The on-track action has begun here at the 15th Annual NMCA World Street Finals featuring the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series. The day starts with a test and tune session this morning at 8:30, and that will run to 3:00pm this afternoon when we’ll jump into the first round of qualifying.
Part of the NMCA World Finals is the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series, which includes Holley EFI Real Street. Fran Schatz of Race Proven Motorsports loaded up his new stacker trailer with his C6 Z06 and headed west from his Delaware-based LSX-performance shop. He recently dipped into the 4.90s with his ProCharger combination, which should put him deep into the 7s once he runs it out of the back door.
The name on the side of the door says “Cal Hayward” as the noted Gear Vendors True Street racer will be driving a 2014 Cobra Jet in Holley EFI Factory Super Cars. For those who might have missed it, Hayward’s 7-second street car was hit in the staging lanes during the race last month in Illinois and it is at Watson Racing getting fixed. He is staying sharp behind the wheel during the downtime in Chuck Watson Sr.’s personal racecar.
This car isn’t a familiar one to NMCA racers but in the Ultra Street world, it is one of the more feared entries. Alex Hays hauled his naturally aspirated Fox-body Mustang a few hours southeast of his home in Michigan and entered Wiseco Street Outlaw. The car is powered by a Uratchko Racing engine that produces over 1,300 hp from its robust 565ci big-block Chevy. Hays is testing for next weekend’s Yellow Bullet Nationals, so the eighth-mile format of Street Outlaw and excellent track conditions lend itself nicely for his preparation.
Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series JE Pistons Drag Radial driver Joe DeDona went into a wild wheelstand in his Corvette in his first test pass today, and his return to Earth resulted in a broken mid-plate and K-member, as well as a cracked hood. “The car was actually vertical,” said DeDona, who added that he’s “fine” but “upset.” He and his crew are working to make repairs before his next pass, as he comes to this race second in points and is set on staying in the game in his car powered by a 441 cubic-inch engine on a Dart LS Next2 block, ProCharger F1X-12-R and an RPM Transmissions-built Turbo 400.
While Texan Richard Holt is relatively new to NMCA VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod, he’s getting a handle on what it takes to hang on and hang tough in the highly competitive category. His ’69 Camaro with a 521 Hemi has gone as quick as 3.86 with a Roots-style blower and 3.70 with a screw-style blower, at a lighter weight, and while he had been running the former as of late, he’s running the latter this weekend and hopes to pick up. Holt’s beautiful black Camaro is easy to pick out as it sports a huge white punisher skull on the side in honor or fellow Texan and U.S. Navy Seal, Chris Kyle.
VP Racing Fuels is the official sponsor for the NMCA’s Pro Mod class, but the company is on site at most every NMCA race to provide all sorts of fuel to all sorts of speed machines.
In a test pass today, Quick Lane at Downs Ford NA 10.5 driver John Langer laid down an impressive 7.99 and 172 mph in his ’69 Trans Am powered by a 565 cubic-inch BES-built Pontiac engine, but he still got right under the car afterward to swap from one PTC converter to another PTC converter, with the hope of running even quicker and faster. “That was an easy pass,” said Langer, while turning wrenches.
This may be Louie Filippides’ first full season in Edelbrock Xtreme Street, but he has already put his name on the map, and came to this race second in points in the category. “I’m very happy with how the season has gone,” said Filippides, whose 2010 Camaro flies American Racing Headers and Farks Supercars flags and is powered by an LME-built 427 cubic-inch LS engine fronted by a ProCharger F1C-94. “Our car has run well with our supercharger, but in addition to that, it’s also cool to see how the others cars in the class have run with the various power-adders, including superchargers, nitrous and turbos. All three have been in the winner’s circle, and that says a lot about the parity of the rules.”
On his first test pass today, VP Racing Fuels Pro Mod powerhouse Michael Biehle, II went into a wheelie and made a move to the left in his Grabber Blue 1967 Mustang Shelby GT500, which sent him back to the pit area to move some weight in all the right areas on the car to prevent it from happening on his next pass. “The track is tight,” said Biehle, II, whose car boogies with a ProLine-built 526 cubic-inch Hemi engine, twin 88mm Precision turbos, M&M Transmission-built Pro Mod three-speed Turbo 400 and ProTorque converter. “The tire stuck and the car tried to climb.”
It’s all on the line here at the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series this weekend as one lucky top-ten finisher in the series is going to win this 1969 Camaro rolling chassis from the NMCA, Real Deal Steel and Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center. Working with companies like Chevrolet Performance, Chris Alston’s Chassisworks, and Weld Wheels, the Real Deal Steel team put together one capable first-gem Camaro that packs LS3 crate motor power.
While Donnie Edmonds was experiencing some shake at the hit in his ’69 Chevelle at the NMCA race in Illinois last month, he has remedied it with a new TRZ Motorsports bump-steer kit and an alignment, and laid down a 9.49 — followed by another 9.49 — in test passes today. “I’m good to go now, buddy,” said Edmonds, who has been as quick as 9.43 in his car, nicknamed Bertha, which boasts a Dart-based big-block Chevy built by Greg “Rosie” Robinson of Robinson Racing Engines.
NMCA Quick Lane at Downs Ford NA 10.5 driver Mike DeMayo, Jr. is getting closer and closer to where he wants to be in his Mustang, which was completely rebuilt after a wreck last year. With the help of his high-revving EIC Motorsports small-block Ford engine, he ran a best of 7.94 on his way to a win at last month’s NMCA race in Illinois, and has his sights set on going even quicker. “We have had ignition issues, but I began replacing every ignition component in the car before the race in Illinois, and finished replacing them afterward,” said DeMayo, Jr., who’s currently in second place in points. “Now, I feel like I have a good chance of winning.”
While John Carinci regularly runs in the Outlaw 10.5 with the Canadian Outlaw 10.5 Association and PDRA, we have him for this weekend — and likely many more weekends — in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod. His ’04 Corvette C06 gets from A to B in a hurry with a 540 cubic-inch big-block Chevy engine built by Jan-Cen Racing Engines with 94 mm Precision turbos. Carinci, who has been as quick and fast as 4.04 and 196 mph, was forced to lift on his test pass today, but is readying his PTP Racing-tuned machine for tonight’s first round of qualifying. To hear his engine talk, click this video link: IMG_1614
The Autogeek-sponsored machines of Bruno Massel are always competitive, and Massel took the first Holley EFI Factory Super Cars event win in Bradenton this year with his supercharged COPO Camaro. The Jerry Bickel chassis car in the background is Massel’s Comp Eliminator ride that features an Ecotec four-cylinder boosted by a 76mm Precision turbo. That car has taken him to two Comp Eliminator championships, and this weekend he’s entered it in the tough Fastest Street Car Top Sportsman ranks.
The new Corvette Stingray has already proven to be a popular platform to modify, and Carlyle racing brought a 2016 model to the track that’s been equipped with an A&A Vortech supercharger kit that made 590 rwhp. If the rear wheels have grabbed your attention, well, those are Carlyle Racing specially made 17-inch beadlock wheels by Weld Racing. Mark Carlyle told us he’s already sold over 20 sets as they have proven popular with the Corvette crowd. The other orange car in the background, Carlyle’s rather famous C6 Corvette recently had some reared surgery to solidify the mounting arrangement of the independent rear suspension. The rear cradle was modified for easier maintenance, and after trying some M/T ET bracket radials earlier today, the team is going back to its 315 Pros for qualifying.
Dave Granger had quite the intake manifold explosion in Joliet, but he’s back with the Henry J repaired and ready for Top Sportsman this weekend. The team found that some of the foam in the fuel cell and crept through the fuel system and jammed the regulator open, which then pushed 28 psi of fuel pressure to the carburetor and forced the explosion.
Edelbrock Xtreme Street racer Bill Trovato is continuing his adventure in Holley EFI Real Street, and feels he finally has a handle on his suspension issues—and given the wheelie he carried out about 100 feet earlier today, we would agree. Trovato and his crew chief David Mitchell were rebuilding a back up transmission with a different gearset to see if they could improve the 5th-Gen Camaro’s performance further.
Josh Pratt was making hits at a local no-prep event just days ago with his turbocharged ’98 Trans Am, and as it would happen, he ended up running against Discovery Channel’s Street Outlaws’ Daddy Dave Comstock and his Chevy Nova Goliath 2.0. Goliath did lay the smack down on the TA, but Pratt has been happy nonetheless as he’s been making good strides in his car’s performance thanks to a recent short torque arm upgrade from Midwest Chassis. He plans to keep adding more power to it this weekend, and with Daddy Dave and Kye Kelley showing up for Saturday and Sunday’s NMCA action, maybe he’ll get a rematch.
Championships are on the line this weekend and when you eat up main bearings during qualifying, you get busy replacing them for the next round if you hope to take home the Nitto Diamond Tree ring. That’s what Ed Rice had to do for his daughter Jennifer Brooke who is currently second in points in ARP Nitrous Pro Street. He and friend Kurt Welfel were elbow deep in the underside of the S197 Mustang-bodied, nitrous injected machine that has taken young Jennifer to two runner up finishes this year.
Jackie Slone has officially shaken down the 2015 David Janes Race Cars-built ’69 Camaro-bodied Pro Mod he recently purchased. The car, which packs a 855 cubic-inch Buck Racing Engines-built bullet and four SpeedTech nitrous systems, delivered the Belleville, Michigan-based driver to a 4.27 in a test pass, with only two of four nitrous systems, and a 4.15 in tonight’s first round of qualifying, but he’s confident 3.90s are coming. “The car has some little gremlins, but we’ll be fine,” said Slone. “I’m here to race.” For a recent story about Slone and his new ride, click HERE
Congratulations to Tim Savell as he just secured the VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod while driving the Bankston Brothers 2010 Camaro SS. The Mississippian only had to take the tree in qualifying to secure his first NMCA title. That is the first championship sealed up in 2016 and more will be crowned as the weekend wears on.
ROUND ONE QUALIFYING