The first event of the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series is about to kick off here in Commerce, Georgia, at Atlanta Dragway. Gates are open and the racers are parking, cars are being unloaded and we’ll begin a test and tune session later today. As part of the Challenge Series, the Chevrolet Performance Nationals welcomes the series competition classes, which include JE Pistons Drag Radial presented by K1 Technologies, Holley EFI Real Street, Chevrolet Performance Stock printed by Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center, LME Street King, Proform Rumble, and of course, Gear Vendors True Street. These classes will be bookended by a two-day bracket race and exhibition passes by the four jet dragsters on the property from Larsen Motorsports. Of course, the manufacturer’s midway is filling up today, and we also have Dina Parise’s Cadillac Pro Mod here to make some 5-second quarter-mile runs as well.
The ProMedia events team is getting everything buttoned up here at Atlanta Dragway and we’re about to kick off another great weekend of racing with test and tune sessions this afternoon. The track’s been prepped, vendors are ready, drivers are making final adjustments, and we’ll be getting down to business shortly!
Dina Parise and her awesome Pro Mod Cadillac affectionately known as “Stella” (which is sporting cool new Aerospace Components graphics) will be on hand all weekend for some exhibition passes and test sessions, and is busy getting her pit area set up this morning in preparation for the upcoming action. Parise recently swapped in one of her older setups, but don’t let that fool you – the 526 ci supercharged Hemi is just as potent as powerful as any other combination out there and it’s the same setup she won her IHRA championship with.
If you thought 300 or even 3,000 horsepower was cool, wait until Elaine Larsen, Kat Moller, and the rest of the incredible 10,000 horsepower jet cars blast their way down the track! We caught up with the Fastest Girls in Town as they were unloading and enjoying the pre-race downtime before the chaos begins.
LSX Drag Radial stalwart Mark Carlyle hasn’t raced his IRS suspended and supercharged C6 Corvette since last fall, but he and his Atomic orange machine are always at the top of their game wherever they race.
Holley EFI Real Street competitor Rob Strong will be watching from the sidelines this weekend, but his wife, Bobbie, will be racing in her Camaro, and their daughter Lauren, will be driving the family’s new 2016 Cadillac CTS-V. The car only has 700 miles on it, including a long burnout in front of the local Ford dealer, and with the 8-speed automatic clicking through the gears the Caddy posted a 12.19 at 116 mph in the 90-degree heat.
Coming to an agreement with the class racers, the rules makers opted to allow Chevrolet Performance Stock racers to use the updated ECM from Chevy Performance that was originally planned to debut at the LSX Shootout in Indianapolis later this month. The new calibration raises the rpm limit, which should improve performance and make it less likely for the racers to tag the air and fuel cut between shifts. 2015 NMCA CP Stock champion Glenn Pushis clocked a 10.4 at 126 mph earlier today with the new computer, a different gear ratio, and a freshened up transmission.
This is bracket racer and Vietnam veteran Jimmy Ray Madden and his beautiful 7-second POW-MIA Corvette. Madden built the all-motor car, which is powered by a 468 big block engine backed by a Powerglide transmission, to pay his respects to the people who lost their lives and to recognize the sacrifices they (and their families) made while defending America’s freedom. Madden says he isn’t the hero, the people memorialized on the car – and so many thousands of others – are the ones who deserve that title. His tribute to the veterans includes many unique details, such as the casket-themed scoop.
Running in LME Street King, North Carolina-based racer Jeff Heintz (who won the class at the Chevrolet Performance Shootout in Ohio in 2015) is back in this bad Corvette, which he obtained from Rodney Massengale at RPM Transmission. Under the hood is a 440 ci LSX engine topped with All Pro heads and mated to, of course, an RPM Transmission. The whole shebang receives an added jolt of power courtesy of a nitrous kit from Nitrous Outlet, and a Nick Williams throttle body is on board for more than just good looks. Heintz took ownership of the car only a few short months ago, and he’s shooting to find out what the Corvette can do when he hits the spray button this weekend.
The crew from Southern Style Customs out of Loganville, Georgia, brought a few hot rods to show off in the vendor midway area. They have a ’67 Mustang on display (yes, they brought a Mustang to a Chevy show – and it’s a pretty sweet ride) as well as this one-off ’57 Chevy 3100 pick-up featuring mob-style 20” steel wheels, a hand-tooled leather interior reminiscent of old-west holsters and gun belts, and airbrushed patina finish.
Ready to fight it out in Late Model Engines Street King, Peter Huff put down a 10.263 at 135.85 mph pass during Friday’s test and tune sessions with his ’97 Corvette. Huff, who is joined by tuner Ed Hutchings of HiTech Tuning, is hoping to redeem himself this weekend as he won Proform LSX Rumble here in Atlanta, Georgia, two years ago. Huff’s run a personal best of 9.72 at 138 mph, so the car has definitely got the potential to go the distance. Under the hood is a 427 ci LS7 engine from D&F Performance and a Turbo 400 transmission from Anger Management Racing. Huff’s also representing Hinson Motorsports, Brian Tooley Racing, and his race crew, AMP Racing.
Discovery’s Street Outlaws star “Monza” is on site and can’t wait to show off his freshly updated “Sinister Split Bumper” ’72 Chevy Camaro! Fans can stop by to check out the car and score an autograph on Saturday, June 4, from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm. Monza recently reworked the entire front end of the car and has tons of new tricks up his sleeve. Everything including the engine, transmission, and cage have all been upgraded with chassis work by Terry Murphy Race Cars, and the result is even faster than before! The 762 ci Fulton Competition engine features four, yes, four stages of nitrous from Monte Smith Performance, a two-speed turbo 400 transmission, QA1 carbon fiber driveshaft, wiring from Speedwire, and so much more – see it for yourself at Atlanta Dragway!
What’s hot, other than the Georgia weather? “Doc” from Discovery’s Street Outlaws “Street Beast”! Joined this weekend by his brother, cousin, and best friend, Doc was getting his ’70 Chevy Monte Carlo ready for tomorrow’s fans by cleaning up the big machine. He’s been hard at work lately and crammed an absolutely insane 1.5 years of work into a 12-week project. Doc had the team at Bob’s Pro-Fab Race Cars take the body off, completely rebuild the chassis, and set the body back down. The windows were all replaced with pieces from Optic Armor, and Andy’s Paint & Body in Tulsa, Oklahoma, sprayed the blue paint. The engine, which runs on VP Racing Fuels, is stuffed with Ross pistons, Crower rods, a Comp cam, and Jesel valvetrain components. A bunch of chassis goodies from Quarter Max Engineering were also on the bill, as well as Santhuff suspension and a slick new custom intake manifold and throttle bodies from Dave Visner at Visner Engine Development. Doc worked with the team at EFI University to install and tune his new Haltech engine electronic fuel injection system. Fans can meet Doc and check out the “Street Beast” in person tomorrow, June 4, from 10:00am until 6:00pm at the Chevrolet Performance Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
Be sure to check back as we will continue to post updates throughout the day. We have the test and tune currently scheduled for 3pm today and tomorrow we’ll go into qualifying.
Chevrolet Performance Nationals—Event Update
Due to inclement weather coming into the Commerce, Georgia area, the NMCA competition department has opted to complete the entire Chevrolet Performance Nationals race on Saturday. Competitors will get their three qualifying runs before going into eliminations at 5:00pm.
Both Saturday and Sunday’s scheduled bracket races will offer over $13,000 in total purse and will be completed on Saturday. The first bracket race will have two time trials beginning at 9:00am, followed by eliminations, and then the second race will have one time trial at approximately 4:00pm and then eliminations at 5:00pm. The Saturday Gambler’s race has been cancelled.
Here is tomorrow’s full schedule: