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2016 Spectre Performance Team Driver, Chris Jacobs and His Race Season Wrap Up

Front end view of the '66 Chevelle on the track.

This beautiful 1966 Chevelle looks great while slaying the track

Isn’t this how every good gearhead story starts out? "I had a friend. . ."

So is the case with Spectre Performance team driver, Chris Jacobs. Turns out he had a friend with a pro-mod ZR-1 Corvette back in 1993 at a SEMA booth so he tagged along to help out. PRI in Ohio was pretty cool back in the day, but Chris recalls that SEMA was completely overwhelming. At the time having only been involved with drag racing and that being the primary focus of his attention, his first SEMA experience opened his eyes to the endless possibilities with regards to motorsports. What started as a hobby has now become more of a way of life for the husband and wife team with jobs being a means to get back to the track!

His love of anything with wheels started at a ridiculously early age. Up until recently he still had hundreds of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, but Chris found a young man in Texas who he thought was worthy of the collection and ultimately made that young Texans' day. From the age of 5 until adulthood he had some form of dirt bike, three wheeler, street bike, or combination thereof.

Driver side view of Chris behind the wheel at the MidWest Muscle Car Challenge

The 1966 Chevelle of Chris Jacobs handling the road course at the Midwest Muscle Car Challenge

Drag racing for this Spectre Performance Team Driver and his friends seemed to be the easiest way to let loose and go fast back in the day, since there were always empty industrial parks at their disposal, along with three drag strips within 2 hours of suburban Chicago when they were teens. Chris started drag racing his street cars back in 1987, but just for fun. This morphed into drag racing street bikes as well. In the early nineties he had a 1982 Honda that ran high nines with a blow through turbo on it. In fact his daily driver at the time was a 1970 Chevelle that would run in the mid 10s. Talk about a speed junkie! Needless to say after his first autocross event in 2007 he was hooked.

Driver side view of Chris Jacobs behind the wheel on the autocross track.

Chris Jacobs makes autocross look easy throwing his 3,800 lb. Chevelle around the track

Long time supporter of the Spectre Performance brand, a chance meeting at a Mid-West Goodguys event evolved into Chris running his 1966 Chevelle at OPTIMA’s Search for the Ultimate Street Car challenge at famed Road America in Wisconsin back in 2014 under the Spectre Performance banner. In 2015, Chris became one of the Spectre Performance brand ambassadors. This past year has proven to be a very busy year for the Spectre Performance team driver, Chris Jacobs. He’s been competing in numerous events, including Cars and Cones, Midwest Musclecar Challenge, Motor State Challenge, North East Muscle Car Challenge, Goodguys Des Moines, Goodguys Columbus and the Chicago region SCCA autocross series.

Passenger side view of Chris Jacobs on the road course at Road America

On the road course at Road America, the 1966 Chevelle of Chris Jacobs

Jacobs has had quite a few accomplishments during his racing career. He has won 7 Goodguys Street Machine class autocross events, competed at the Goodguys Grand Finale, Duel In The Desert, at Westworld in Scottsdale, AZ in 2015, in the Street Machine Of The Year winner, a ’68 Corvette owned by Harold and Tracy Chapman. He has had multiple podium finishes at numerous pro-touring events over the past six years. He even earned the title of CAM Class Champion at the inaugural Chicago Region SCCA CAM Class in 2014, and returned in 2016 to take the CAM-S class title, once again. For a guy who started autocrossing not that long ago, it seems he is a natural.

But all this success doesn’t come without the support of his amazing wife Lynda, another Spectre Performance team driver, and of course the help of the incredible folks at the Roadster Shop, Finish Line Performance, Black Dog Speed Shop, and of course his best friend Randy Johnson from D&Z Customs. Chris purchased his Mist Blue 1966 Chevelle from Randy Johnson back in 2010. Randy had installed an LS7 with Spectre Performance cold air intake, with a Rockland T-56 on a G-Machine chassis from Kevin Laatsch at Pathfinder Chassis. Then the two changed sway bars and spring rates and before long the Chevelle handled better and became quite competitive with Chris behind the wheel. In 2011, Jacob’s changed to a Fast Track IRS and was amazed with the car’s performance. Since then not a whole lot has changed with the exception of a C&R Radiator, a set of Penske shocks, a Centerforce Dyad Clutch and a set of BFG Rival tires. Chris takes care of all the regular maintenance on his pro-touring rides, but for car mod’s and upgrades he relies on these professionals saying it’s definitely a team effort.

Driver side view of Chris Jacobs behind the wheel of the Chapmans '68 Corvette

Chris Jacobs, staging & ready to run the Spectre equipped '66 at the CAM Challenge Chicago Region

Spectre Performance team driver, Chris Jacobs has been involved with helping out at some of the Chicago Region SCCA autocross schools, and most recently assisted and instructed at the last Tire Rack Street Survival School. For the 2017 race season he is looking forward to doing what he can to continue giving back to the pro-touring community. Inspired by folks in the automotive industry like Kyle Tucker and Mark Stielow, Chris appreciates how each of them have found success both on the track and in careers doing what they love. But more important Chris is looking forward to the snow melting and so he can get his pro-touring ride out of the garage and back on the track.


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