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Story and Photos by Alan Cesar

Some things aren’t supposed to make sense. Minivans are made for hauling people. SUVs are made for, well, hauling image-conscious people. It’s absurd to make these vehicles any faster than the Prius they’re trying to edge out in the Whole Foods parking lot. They’re not meant for racing, and there are better ways to go fast. Why handicap your competition effort by starting out with something inferior?

Because it’s fun. Duh. It also gives owners of lesser, street-going versions something to aspire to—even if the most hands-on attention their soccermobile gets is a spritz of carpet cleaner and a wipe-down after little Linda barfs up the Gerber Exorcist Pea Soup. Every dad wearing a polo shirt tucked into his khaki shorts and black socks with brown shoes will be cheering you on from the stands.

We love a good underdog story, whether it’s a Jeep Cherokee miraculously hitting the fastest autocross time at our $2012 Challenge or the legendary “Dad’s Turbo Mini Van” Dodge Caravan that nailed 12-second quarter-miles—or machines that weren’t manufactured by Chrysler subsidiaries, like Andy Hollis’s Corvette-chasing, 250-horsepower One Lap CRX.

When we saw a pair of bright-white, two-box homages to the absurd pulling into registration at the 2012 Tire Rack One Lap of America—among Godzillas and Vipers and Vettes, oh my!—we were drawn in. The first was a Honda Odyssey minivan that was clearly much more than two sliding doors of practicality. The second was a Hemi-powered Jeep with a black grille and a roll bar.

These two vehicles are phenomenally different in build philosophy, street presence and style, but they ended up side by side at the 2012 Tire Rack One Lap of America—in the SUV class.

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