By Mary Lendzion
While Vince Khoury had been competing in Dart NA 10.5 presented by Diamond Pistons, he made the move to ARP Nitrous Pro Street late last year, and has been on a mission ever since.
He set the pace in qualifying with a 4.50 and went to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle with a 4.56 at the first NMCA event of 2020, the 18th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem presented by Holbrook Racing Engines in March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida.
He then qualified in the second spot with a 4.56 and earned a runner-up finish with a 4.61 at the 12th Annual Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals in June at Atlanta Dragway. Upon returning home to Michigan, Khoury and his crew replaced the naturally aspirated 499 cubic-inch engine that was under the hood of his Firebird with a nitrous-enhanced 632 cubic-inch built by his family’s Khoury Racing Engines.
“The 499 cubic-inch engine was my dad’s old Pro Stock engine from when he ran Pro Stock,” said Khoury, who picked up where he left off by qualifying in the fourth spot with a 4.62 and made it to the semifinal before exiting eliminations with a 4.66 at the Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl presented by HPJ Performance in early August at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois.
A few weeks later, he qualified in the eighth spot with a 4.62 and was hoping to go rounds to gain points, but turned on the red light in the first round of eliminations at the NMRA/NMCA All-American Nationals presented by Force Engineering, in late August at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Michigan.
As determined as he could be, he qualified in the second spot with a 4.43, raced all the way to a runner-up finish with a 4.53 and cemented the 2020 NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street championship at the final NMCA event of the season, the 19th Annual Nitrous Supply NMCA World Street Finals presented by Chevrolet Performance, in late September at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana.
As icing on the cake, Khoury also wrapped up a fourth-place finish in Ground Control Outlaw 632 at Milan Dragway in Michigan, while his brother, Rocko Khoury, wrapped up a sixth-place finish in NMCA Dart NA 10.5 presented by Diamond Pistons and a third-place finish in Liberty’s Gears All Motor at Milan Dragway in his Mustang.
While the Coronavirus pandemic prevented NMCA from having its annual ceremony to celebrate champions, each was invited to share the words they would have shared on stage in front of their fellow racers, family and friends.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE EARNED A CHAMPIONSHIP DURING SUCH AN UNUSUAL SEASON?
It’s always a great feeling to win a championship, no matter what the circumstances. It was a little different having postponed and canceled races, with also running the Milan Dragway series, but everything worked out for us.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU OVERCAME ON YOUR WAY TO EARNING THE CHAMPIONSHIP?
This year, after the Georgia race, we decided to switch over to nitrous, and with that was an all-new learning curve for us. With the naturally aspirated application, we were very comfortable, but with the added horsepower came all the necessary changes to the chassis, gear ratios, wiring in the car and a new routine at the starting line.
WHICH FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS WOULD YOU LIKE TO THANK FOR SUPPORTING YOU ALONG THE WAY?
I have to thank my family for everything, including my mom, Teresa, and dad, Vince, brother Rocko, Aunt Joel, Uncle Craig of Liberty’s Gears, and cousin Nicole, for all of the help. No matter what changes we seem to come up with, each and every one has a part in making it possible. I also want to thank Rob Cox of Cox trucking for transporting the car to all the races, along with his Pro Mod car, and Burt and Logan, the crew, the Slone Boys and Dave Fallon and Derek Timmer for helping us with the nitrous tune-up and learning the new system.
WHICH SPONSORS WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE?
Liberty’s Gears, Khoury Racing Engines, Weldon Fuel Pumps, Diamond, Dart and Cox Trucking.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT RACING IN NMCA ARP NITROUS PRO STREET?
I enjoy racing NMCA Nitrous Pro Street because of the wide array of car and motor combinations that are all very close on the qualifying ladder. No one car or combination sticks out too far race after race.