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Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational Blends Horsepower with a Dose of Girl Power

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Jane Thurmond and Brandy Morrow-Phillips will pilot their vintage Chevrolets against the Ultimate Street Car Association's top drivers in the 2015 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational

Jane Thurmond and Brandy Morrow-Phillips will pilot their vintage Chevrolets against the Ultimate Street Car Association's top drivers in the 2015 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational

A highly anticipated invitation only race follows the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, Nevada each year. Optima Batteries, in cooperation with the Ultimate Street Car Association (USCA) puts on the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational presented by K&N air filters. Throughout the 2015 season, the USCA promoted nine K&N sponsored nationwide Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car events as an opportunity to qualify for a highly coveted spot in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational.

Jane Thurmond races her 1964 Chevrolet Corvette nicknamed Scarlett, which she and her husband originally built as a show car, before it morphed into a highly competitive street & track car

Jane Thurmond races her 1964 Chevrolet Corvette nicknamed Scarlett, which she and her husband originally built as a show car, before it morphed into a highly competitive street & track car

While each of the USCA events are broken into classes based on vehicle type, and skill level, the OUSCI does not make a distinction between pro & amateur, car or truck, or even men vs women. While this does make it tough for the underdogs, it will provide competitors like Jane Thurmond and Brandy Phillips an opportunity to prove that they're good, and not just for a couple of girls. One advantage working in their favor is that neither Jane, nor Brandy are strangers to the OUSCI racing scene. In fact, both ladies competed in the 2014 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational.

In 2014 Jane Thurmond earned a USCA Spirit of the Event award which gave her the opportunity to show the boys she gets things done at the OUSCI. Jane, a mother of three, is married to Greg Thurmond who runs GTS Customs in Simi Valley, California. Jane's husband Greg and the GTS Customs shop have experience with all kinds, and all levels, of automotive repair and restoration. However, the couple's passion for the Chevrolet Corvette has earned the shop a reputation among 'Vette enthusiasts.

During a two-year hiatus from racing Brandy Phillips and her husband Rob built Brandy's 1972 Chevrolet C10 R race truck using ideas Rob gained while driving his 1969 Chevy C10

During a two-year hiatus from racing Brandy Phillips and her husband Rob built Brandy's 1972 Chevrolet C10 R race truck using ideas Rob gained while driving his 1969 Chevy C10

Jane races a 1964 Chevrolet Corvette nicknamed Scarlett. Jane and her husband originally built Scarlett as a show car, but it has morphed into a highly competitive street & track car. Jane began racing when she decided she'd had enough of waiting on the sidelines and wanted to do something more exciting. Jane's driving has progressed so much since that fateful day that she now teaches performance driving techniques with the goal of helping others get into the sport.

Similarly, Brandy Morrow-Phillips and her husband also started by building show cars before progressing into racing. Brandy's husband Rob grew up working on cars and eventually opened his own shop known as PCH Rods. Rob gained notoriety when his 1969 Chevy C10 pickup truck was taken to the SEMA show and used to compete in autocross and pro-touring events. So when it came time to build a race car for Brandy, the couple took what Rob learned from his 1969 C10 and applied that to an all new C10 race truck build.

Jane Thurmond and Brandy Phillips had the opportunity to compete in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational in 2014 and at one point even raced head to head against one another

Jane Thurmond and Brandy Phillips had the opportunity to compete in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational in 2014 and at one point even raced head to head against one another

Brandy had grown up around cars since the 1990's by joining her father, who works in the automotive aftermarket industry, at SCCA and NASA events. Brandy began competing and attending driving schools after getting her license. She began competing in 2008 and in 2011 her diligence paid off in when she won her first Goodguys Autocross event at the 2011 Goodguys Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. Brandy took some time off from racing in 2012 when she and Rob started a family. It was during this two-year hiatus when the couple built Brandy's 1972 Chevrolet C10 R race truck.

Jane and Brandy had the opportunity to compete in the K&N supported Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational in 2014 and at one point even raced head to head against one another. With the knowledge they gained from their past experience participating in this event, both women hope to improve their results from last year and hopefully finish in the top half of the field. As mentioned before, the OUSCI does not make a distinction between pro & amateur, car or truck, or even men vs women. But everyone loves an underdog story and hopefully these ladies can outperform even their wildest expectations.

The 2015 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational presented by K&N Filters will take place this weekend, November 7th & 8th, 2015 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. If anyone in attendance happens to spot Jane or Brandy, don't be afraid to approach them and wish them luck. In fact, go check out their amazing vehicles, take pictures, and ask questions. These two ladies may be wives and mothers, but they're able to talk the talk and walk the walk on par with most car guys.


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