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Street Car Takeover 2017 Denver: Daily Drivers & Dyno Runs

Introduced to Indianapolis Street Car Takeover earlier this year, I was eager to visit its stopover in Denver. The first event had demonstrated just how competitive street car drag racing has become. What blew me away most this time around was the magnitude and diversity of both domestics and imports that had come to prove their mettle.

This Nova on NT555 G2s was the winner of the show and shine

Never having been to Denver, I wondered how the guys were tuning their vehicles differently in Denver. Being 5,000 feet up, the thinner air poses a challenge for getting the right air to fuel mixtures to keep the engines running at full tilt down the drag strip. When I got off the plane, I was surprised to notice how humid Denver was — another factor to consider when tuning a car.

A fully built AWD Mitsubishi EVO

As they did in Indy, the Street Car Takeover crew fenced off the local Twin Peaks restaurant parking lot for the Friday night meet and greet. It looked to me like the night might be ruined by rain, but after about half an hour the weather tapered off. It became apparent that Denver weather served up unpredictability during this time of year, switching being sunny skies and thunderstorms quickly. 

The crowd was around the dyno all night.

By 5:00 p.m. there wasn’t a single parking space left in the huge lot. The Denver street car scene was showing off its wide range of interests. Bug-eye Subarus were parked across from a bone stock Lamborghini, sitting next to a fully built Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. The Denver crowd seamlessly mixed; it seemed different from some of the clique-like car meets I find in California.

There were many different types of cars at the meet

Talking to car owners, I got a few insights that contrasted with the crowd I’d met in Indianapolis. It seemed the Denver enthusiasts all drove their cars daily, and planned to track them the next day.

A clean CTS-V

Soon after the mobile dyno guys showed up, a line of cars and trucks formed behind it to see what kind of numbers they’re putting down. Kody Kleman’s run of his 2003 Duramax on Nitto NT420S tires caught my eye. Black clouds of soot combined with power numbers in the four-digit range are always crowd pleasers.

Kody Kleman's Duramax on NT420s

Street Car Takeover founders Justin Keith and Chase Lautenbach had their own cars on display as well. (Remember Justin's Sinister C7?) These guys launched this event due to their own heavy involvement in the scene, and they continue living the lifestyle themselves as the event has grown to be a nationwide series.

Driving Line Issue 11 in the Street Car Takeover booth

Said to be one of the fastest cars at this event, this highly built Nissan Skyline GT-R, owned by “Scuba Steve,” may not look like much on the outside, but the details are all under the hood. Scuba Steve is rolling on Nitto NT555Rs, a tire he can drive on both the street and track, with comfort and performance.

Scuba Steve's Skyline

Under the hood of Scuba Steve's Skyline

It seemed that “run what you brung” was the common theme for Denver — an event where local car enthusiasts cruise down to the meet then wake up the next morning to drive the same car to the track, without changing a single thing. 

Imports and domestics alike lined up for the dyno

There wasn’t an empty parking space at the Twin Peaks until after 10:00 p.m., and the dyno runs ran through the end of the night. Meanwhile, 30 miles south, Bandimere Speedway lay dormant, ready to take on over 500 cars and 3,600 spectators the following day in what would be the biggest Street Car Takeover to date.

The sun setting over the Twin Peaks Flatiron in Denver

There's so much more to see, so make sure you check out our SCT Denver photo gallery.

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