Prev Article Next Article

Chris Brooker’s TorqStorm-supercharged Camaro sets the tone in LME Street King

’Storm Warning

Chris Brooker’s TorqStorm-supercharged Camaro sets the tone in LME Street King

Written by Ainsley Jacobs
Photography by Kevin DiOssi


 
As co-owner of TorqStorm Superchargers, Chris Brooker built a life around his passion for producing horsepower. One of the best perks of the job, though, is constructing new research and development test vehicles that not only serve the company by helping to produce new products, but that also allow Brooker to enjoy plenty of seat time at the drag strip.
 
Brooker began racing around the time he graduated from high school. He often went to the track to watch other people run but he didn’t consider doing the same with his Dodge Omni 024 until friends encouraged him to go for it. “It was really fast… running 19-second quarter mile times,” joked the man, now 53, of his adolescent acquisition
 
Realizing that bracket racing would enable him to be competitive even with a slower car, Brooker got into the segment of the sport and spent many years racing around his home state of Michigan. He got quicker and faster cars as the years progressed, and, in 1993, qualified to go to the NHRA Bracket Finals when he finished fourth in points locally. “My son was being born around the same time, so I gave the chance to go to the next guy,” he said without regret. “Then, my kids got into drag racing and we did the Jr. Dragster thing for five years or so with me racing on and off.”
 
Although Brooker loved the good sportsmanship that his children learned through racing, he stepped away from his own personal endeavors on track to instead focus on starting Accelerated Racing Products, the parent company of TorqStorm Superchargers, with co-owner Scott Oshinski, in 2009.
 
The company, which is located in Wyoming, Michigan, manufactures centrifugal superchargers “for the average individual” that are designed to be used in a wide variety of applications and are appropriate for many different power levels on both street cars and race cars.
 
Busy with work and being out of drag racing didn’t put a damper on Brooker’s desire to drive, however, as he started autocrossing as much as possible. In a sport that’s usually dominated by naturally aspirated combinations so there aren’t any boost surprises mid-corner, Brooker was strongly competitive with his own TorqStorm supercharged-Mopar entry. 
 
“Our centrifugal supercharger is great because the power delivery is linear and dependent upon rpm and the gas pedal,” Brooker explained of the TorqStorm’s benefits for multiple types of motorsports. “Plus, relatively speaking, it’s easier and cheaper to make power with our blower than it is to make the same numbers with a naturally aspirated setup.”
 
Over the years, TorqStorm built several test vehicles to refine its product line but there hadn’t yet been an LS-specific focus in the fleet. With the small-block Chevy and LS platforms being the top two in sales for the company, and the Hemi engine being the third, Brooker and Oshinski knew it was time to get in the game with a new project.
 
“We really needed a car to showcase our supercharger’s potential to the LS world,” noted the lifelong Mopar man who didn’t want to upset any brand purists by crosspollinating between makes with different engines and chassis. “Thanks to Jim Kline from Go Fast Productions, we found a ’69 Camaro that looked good with a great chassis and would be perfect for an LS swap.”
 
Purchased by the men on behalf of TorqStorm in mid-2020, their new flagship Chevrolet already came equipped with a stout roll cage certified for 7.50-second quarter-mile elapsed times. “The previous owner ran it to 4.40s [in the eighth-mile] with a huge nitrous engine on a small tire,” Brooker boasted of the Camaro’s impressive past. “It had gone through a lot of different variations over the years, but it was built really well.”
 
Over the years, the iconic Camaro had also shed its factory steel front end and had a custom fiberglass replacement fitted instead. The factory firewall, steel floor, and original body panels, though, are all still intact. “Go Fast Productions did a lot of work, as have many people who have touched it over the years,” said Brooker, respectfully.
 
With the foundation of TorqStorm’s new test mule secured, Brooker and Oshinski talked to Prestige Motorsports and put together a plan to build a potent, small-cubic-inch LS engine that would surely make their supercharger shine; the result was a 388-cube bullet based on an all-aluminum aftermarket block from RHS.
 
Fitted with a forged 4340 steel crankshaft, H-beam connecting rods, forged pistons, and topped with LS3-style heads that Prestige CNC-ported, polished, and blueprinted, the leveled-up LS was buttoned up with a billet intake manifold. “It’s from Visner Engine Development, but we worked with Dave [Visner] to do some of the machining for him,” Brooker explained of the collaboration. “We also added Visner billet valve covers that we machined, and it all ties in nicely with our billet supercharger.”
 
Finally, TorqStorm’s team fitted the engine with a single TorqStorm supercharger and, with Sam McClead managing the tune-up of the Holley Dominator EFI system, the methanol-fueled combination produced 806-rear-wheel horsepower on the Mainline hub dyno at Terry and Jordan Pennington’s Horsepower Depot in July of 2021.
 
“It was the most power we had made with a single TorqStorm supercharger setup,” noted Brooker, who was eager to put the classic Chevy on the track and see what it could do in a real-world environment. “We had been waiting on parts, which is why we didn’t get it out until mid-season.”
 
Planning ahead, Brooker checked out the classes available in the Red Line Oil NMCA Muscle Car Nationals series and looked though the rulebook. He realized that, given the Camaro’s configuration, his best bet would be the NMCA LME Street King category. 
 
Although the guys had brought their newest build to the 16th Annual NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing Presented by HPJ Performance at World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis, Missouri, earlier in the year so that spectators could take a look, its real debut was at the Inaugural Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival Presented by Force Engineering at their home track, US 131 Motorsports Park, in Michigan in late July.
 
“I learned a lot about index racing very quickly,” laughed the former bracket racer. “Street King is really hard! But, they’re a great group of guys and I learned a bunch from them, too.”
 
Despite tons of practice to prepare for getting back to drag racing, Brooker found that he was “red-lighting like crazy” no matter what he did with his high-8-second Camaro. It wasn’t until multi-time champion Kurt Anderson clued him in to the existence of a transbrake delay button that his luck turned around.
 
“By that point, I had already red-lighted away two races in a row in the first round or I had waited too long at the tree,” lamented the man who didn’t know what he didn’t know until it was too late. “So, we ran the last three NMCA races of the year and then went to LS Fest [East in September] where I qualified number one and got to go a few rounds.”
 
With the rust thoroughly dusted off his driving, Brooker headed into the off-season with a small list of things to address. “I got new buttons — a 4/10 pro tree button and a 5/10 button — and both are working out great,” he shared of how sometimes the smallest changes can have the biggest impact. “We also put a new hood on to get rid of the hole from the previous owner’s scoop and had the front end of the car repainted.”
 
Prestige Motorsports spec’d out a custom cam from COMP Cams to move the LS engine’s peak power point from 5,900 rpm to something closer to the 7,300 rpm that Brooker usually saw as he flew through the traps. “We only run on 11.8 psi at the most, so now we make power later in the rpm range and the car likes it a lot better,” added the driver. “TorqStorm’s superchargers don’t have as much parasitic loss as some of the other units on the market, so we can make good power at lower boost levels.”
 
Back on the dyno at Horsepower Depot, the TorqStorm toy responded well to the changes and delivered an additional 100-wheel horsepower, cranking up its overall output to more than 900 horses at the rear tires.
 
One of the other issues that had nagged at the guys throughout 2021, however, was in the drivetrain. Brooker had been running a three-speed Turbo 400 transmission built by a local shop and, no matter what McClead did with the tune-up, the car wouldn’t respond at all. “No matter what we did, it would run 8.90 at 150 mph,” he confessed. Confused, the men searched for probable cause and found it to be their torque converter.
 
Working with Neal Chance Racing Converters, a new unit was spec’d out and installed. “Right off the bat, we went from 8.90s to 8.50s,” Brooker happily proclaimed. “We sent them a datalog, and they could tell where it was hooking up and flashing, and we changed the stator, and now the car is really consistent and actually responds to changes in the tune-up.”
 
The new 2022 NMCA drag racing tour started in March at Florida’s Bradenton Motorsports Park with the 20th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem Presented by Holbrook Racing Engines and Brooker was looking forward to finally being able to run a complete season of LME Street King.
 
His first time out with all of the new changes, Brooker had unexpected traction trouble. He qualified sixth in the 15-car field with an 8.780-second run on an 8.75-second dial in, but broke out in a big way during round one of eliminations when he ran 8.645 at 135.93 mph.
 
Having only run 11-second quarter mile times before jumping into his new TorqStorm supercharged-Camaro to blast through the traps in 8 seconds and change, Brooker knew he had a lot to learn when it came to running so much quicker. Everything from suspension tuning to four link adjustments… the “leaf spring and Mopar guy” had to get up to speed in a hurry, but was able to do so thanks to guidance from experts in the industry.
 
“The car had been set up for, like, 2,500-horsepower before and it wasn’t separating the way it needed to for us,” he said. Fortunately, Mark Menscer from Menscer Motorsports was happy to lend a helping hand and educate Brooker on what changes they needed to make, both to their two-way-adjustable Menscer shocks and to the suspension system’s bars, to get the Camaro working better. “Mark taught us a lot, and we went from 1.2-second 60-foot times down to the 1.16-second range. It’s a lot of fun to feel that when I take off!”
 
Similarly, it was Go Fast’s Kline who gave Brooker the reality check he needed to get his attention focused where it needed to be. “He told me to have my butt in the driver’s seat and let Scott [Oshinski] help watching the scales and turning the bars to make adjustments instead of me trying to do both,” he added amiably. “We got it fixed and now the car runs straight and is a blast to drive.”
 
By the time the second race of the season rolled around, the 14th Annual Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals Presented by MAHLE Motorsport at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina in April, Brooker was ready to rip.
 
Having not had any full-tilt passes on the Camaro to date, he let it fly out the back door just to see what it would do and set a new personal best of 8.22 at 162 mph during Street King qualifying — even with a big wheelie at the hit. Brooker calmed the car down a bit and qualified 11th overall with a 9.005-second run on an 8.50 dial-in. Unfortunately, he had a tough pill to swallow in eliminations as a bad light and a breakout of 8.380 put him in the losing lane.
 
The following month in St. Louis, Missouri, for the 17th Annual NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing Presented by FuelLab at World Wide Technology Raceway, Brooker decided to try an 8.25 index since he had run so quick at Rockingham.
 
More traction trouble plagued the team, though, and the Camaro refused to run near its new goal. A best run of 8.433 in Street King qualifying put Brooker in ninth going into eliminations, and, once again, he wasn’t able to advance past the first round.
 
“The car was eating plugs and we were having all kinds of problems. My car didn’t even come close to running the number,” Brooker sadly explained of his losing 8.769 at 152.88 mph effort. “We had gone to the dyno before the race and thought we had it figured out, but didn’t. It was a bummer, but there’s nothing I could do except move forward.”
 
With half the season now behind him, Brooker moved on to the 2nd Annual Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival Presented by Force Engineering event in Martin, Michigan, and it felt good to be back at his familiar facility. 
 
He backed the car down a bit to stay on the safe side of things, and ranked eighth overall in the LME Street King qualifying order with a 9.051-second run on an 8.50 index. Even though he lit the red bulb in round one of eliminations, the “first or worst” rule meant Brooker surprisingly got the win over his slower competitor who had also red-lighted.
 
Brooker was on the right side of his reaction time for round two, but again his opponent was not and gifted him with his second-round win in a row. “I definitely got lucky in the first two rounds,” he said, grateful to the racing Gods for blessing him with win lights. “I ran in the semifinals against Casey Martin and treed him. He had a head start, but I prefer to chase someone down than the other way around. I caught him around the 1,000-foot mark and got on the brakes, but not hard enough, and broke out.”
 
Despite going out, Brooker was thrilled to have just had a shot at winning in the first place. His performance, too, put him up toward the top-half of the pack in overall championship points and he was pleased as his primary goal for the year was simply to finish in the top 10.
 
With only two races left for the year, Brooker has made tremendous progress with his beautiful blue-and-white Camaro but he wasn’t the only one having fun on behalf of his company during the season… 
 
Wanting to give back to the racers and support the market their products are intended for, TorqStorm Superchargers had signed on with both the NMRA and the NMCA as title sponsor of the True Street class for 2022. Racers who run in the category exemplify why the TorqStorm centrifugal supercharger was created in the first place, as street cars of all shapes and sizes can enjoy a jolt of boost on a budget.
 
Looking ahead, though, Brooker plans to return to NMCA LME Street King in 2023 but also hopes to be able to dip into the 7-second zone – preferably with a single supercharger setup instead of twins. He has considered also getting in on the TorqStorm Superchargers True Street fun himself, but with no air conditioning to be had in the Camaro and no roll-down windows, he isn’t keen on the idea of sweltering during the 30-mile cruise.
 
“Being a test car, we have been running some experimental things that we hope will help us get bigger blowers into production in the future,” Brooker noted of the 91mm and 94mm sizes TorqStorm should be releasing soon. “It’s great to be able to see how things perform under race conditions instead of on a test stand.”
 
As if the product line expansion wasn’t enough excitement, Brooker and Oshinski also recently purchased a Fox Mustang for additional testing of Ford’s Coyote engine program. Wrapped with a similar color scheme to match the Camaro, the Fox will either end up with a twin supercharger setup or a big single and is earmarked for NMRA Renegade or NMCA Xtreme Street use. 
 
The Camaro has proven to be a development tool for TorqStorm’s supercharged LS applications and, with TorqStorm decals proudly positioned on the rear quarter panels, it’s also proven to be a great marketing platform for the company.








                            
The Details
Owner/Driver
Owner: Accelerated Racing Products, LLC
Driver: Chris Brooker
Hometown: Middleville, Michigan
Occupation: Co-Owner of Accelerated Racing Products LLC and Accelerated Tooling LLC
Class: NMCA LME Street King
Crew: Scott Oshinski
Car Year/Make/Model:1969 Chevy Camaro
Powertrain 
Engine: LS-based
Engine builder: Prestige Motorsports
Displacement: 388 cubic inches
Block: RHS Aluminum
Bore: 4.125 inches
Stroke: 3.622 inches
Crank: K1 4340 forged steel
Rods: Wiseco Boostline I-beam 6.125 inches
Pistons: DSS Racing FX Series
Heads: Prestige Aluminum LS3
Valvetrain: Jesel – Katech - Gaterman
Cam type: Solid roller
EFI system: Holley Dominator EFI, VED intake, Aeromotive pump, Fuel Injector Development
Power-adder: TorqStorm supercharger
Fuel brand and type: VP Racing Fuels M1
Headers and exhaust: Go Fast Productions custom headers
Transmission: Turbo 400 with transbrake
Clutch/shifter/torque converter: Neal Chance 9.9, B&M Pro Ratchet
Rearend: Fab 9
Chassis 
Body and/or chassis builder: Stock tub, Fiberglass front end 
Suspension (Front): Menscer Motorsports shocks
Suspension (Rear):  Menscer Motorsports shocks
Brakes (Front): Strange disc
Brakes (Rear): Strange disc
Wheels (front): Weld Racing
Wheels (Rear):  Weld Racing
Tires (Front): Mickey Thompson
Tires (Rear): Mickey Thompson 10.5x28 Pro Bracket Radial
 

join our

email list

You’ll be first to know about NMCA events, race results and so much more!