The SpeedGirls Magazine


The Power of Passion

The Making of Kristen’s SurvivorCamaro
Kristen Benavides Survivor Camaro

The May sun hangs overhead at the Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas. For one weekend, this track is the final destination that which over a thousand car enthusiast traveled from near and far to experience. To the attendees, this is not just another car event — it’s the ultimate gathering of Chevy enthusiast that all share one common passion – 5th Generation Camaros.

Welcome to Camaro5 Fest, one of the largest gatherings of bow tied beauties in the U.S.  Over the course of three days this event includes cruising, drag racing, auto crossing, social events and a car show filled to the brim with wild paint schemes and more Lamborghini door kits than a Ferruccio factory.  Scope the scene and you’ll definitely catch Kristen, turning heads and collecting stares while parked within the rows of muscled-up LS chariots.

But it’s not that Kristen has been in the car scene for very long.  Unlike some of us, her love for car culture wasn’t ingrained during her youth, or inspired by silver screen chase scenes.  Her passion was inspired by the most critical time in her life — the fight and the conquering of leukemia.  After enduring such a strenuous hardship of what sometimes can be a fatal end,

Kristen survived.  Now stronger and with the battle behind, she’s moved on with a new outlook and a high performance pallet to help create awareness of what she — and so many others have endured.

Moving forward to 2011, Kristen was the prowl.  She was always a fan of muscle cars, but when the 5th generation Camaros came out, it was love a first site.  So when her eyes met with a 2010, black 2SS Camaro, she knew this was the perfect canvas.  The keys were now in her hand and the task began to turn this ride into one hell of a show stopping powerhouse.

And with Kristen, there’s no foreplay when it comes to upgrades, she went straight for big finish.  So far, her “SurvivorCamaro” is packing a serious list of mods including a Magaflow Exhaust, American Racing long tube headers, Comp Cams camshaft, Injector Dynamics 850 injectors, topped off with a Magnuson TVS 2300 supercharger making this one hell of a ride.  Kristen says, “I loooove to hear it growl”. But that’s just the beginning.

By looking at the build list, you’ll see this car is stacked — from the engine all the way to the ground.  “I get asked all the time “is that your man’s car?  The men are always shocked when I pull up and they see me get out of the driver’s seat,” she says.

One would think, building a badass car and taking home a ton of awards would be the best part about doing this, but when I asked Kristen what her favorite thing about her car is, she replied, “It’s the friends that I’ve made from all over the country . . . there have been so many people who have been touched by cancer, or share a similar story like mine.  I’ve shared many tears with complete strangers who felt a connection just by seeing my “SurvivorCamaro.”  I feel like I was given the gift of survivorship for a reason and if I can inspire one person with just my car — then maybe that’s my purpose. My “SurviorCamaro” has given me a voice for cancer awareness that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”  This goes to prove, that participation in car culture is more than just self-fulfillment.

So what now?  With all of the modifications, customizing and awards, you might say there’s not much left to do.  But if so — you’ve missed the theme of this article.  The “SurvirorCamaro” is about moving forward, being strong and living life.  Which is exactly about what Kristen is doing. She says there’s a lot more ahead including local auto crossing events and several more upgrades, including customizing her new wheels.  From here out, we definitely know that this girl will keep her power of passion surviving strong.

Kristen would like to thank those who have made her SurvivorCamaro what it is today.

Her husband

H-Town Camaro Club

Phastek Performance

HP Motorsports

Clarity Auto Detailing LLC HTX

J-Rod’s Speed Shop

Florida Speed and Power

Lerick Custom Designs

Corrado Murals

David Gonzalez at Magnuson Superchargers