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Liberty Ramping Up Her Nitrous Pro Street Program

Posted By: Mary Lendzion
Written by Mary Lendzion
Photos by Steve Turner and courtesy of Nicole Liberty
There are many words to describe Nicole Liberty.
She is smart and skilled, resolute and resourceful, hardcore and happy to be in the cockpit of a race car.
Liberty has landed some hard-fought victories in NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street in her Firebird with a naturally aspirated big-block Chevrolet engine built by her uncle, Vince Khoury of Khoury Racing Engines, and a five-speed transmission built at Liberty's Gears, which is owned by her father, Craig Liberty, and where she works as a design engineer. She finished in third-place in points in 2022.
Now the racer from Michigan is preparing to take another step up as she purchased a 2003 Cavalier built by Jerry Bickel Race Cars.
“We had been talking about updating the chassis on the Firebird, but when we heard about the Cavalier being for sale last November, we decided to buy it,” said Liberty. “It was previously raced by Eddie Buck in Mountain Motor, and we have been working on it since last fall. There were some delays in getting parts, but we’re just about ready now. The goal for this car is to keep up with the rest of the Nitrous Pro Street field, because everything is progressing.”

The Cavalier is powered by a 632 cubic-inch big-block Chevrolet built around a Dart block by Liberty’s uncle and fellow racer, Vince Khoury of Khoury Racing Engines. It will be topped with MBE heads. While Liberty’s previous engine had a carburetor, she has chosen to go with a HalTech engine management system, and accomplished Pro Mod racer Steve Summers will help her tune her combination before she takes over tuning responsibilities.
“Having HalTech will be new for us, and I’m excited to work with Steve Summers on it,” said Liberty.
Additionally, Liberty, who previously ran a naturally aspirated combination, has introduced an Induction Solutions nitrous system to her program, and while the Cavalier was previously set up for a clutch, it has been modified to accommodate her Liberty's five-speed, which she chose to pair with a Neal Chance converter and Quick Drive converter drive.
“We also had to do some modifications for chassis tabs so that the car was a good fit for me, and Nick Jidas handled those,” said Liberty, who also holds her own in Outlaw 632 at Milan Dragway in Michigan. “He updated the cage, pedals, floor pans and zoomie headers.”
The Cavalier features a four-link and shocks from Adam Lambert of Precision Racing Suspension, and Liberty will introduce it to ARP Nitrous Pro Street at the 18th Annual NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Muscle Car Drag Racing, May 5-7 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois. It may be a few weeks before the new patriotic-inspired wrap is placed on it.
“My main focus is learning how the Cavalier is set up, because I’m used to how the Firebird is set up,” said Liberty, who went as quick as 4.39 in her Firebird and hopes to see 4.20s in her Cavalier. “It will be totally different, but I like a challenge, and I have the support of my parents, Craig and Joelanne, my Uncle Vince, my cousins Vince and Rocko and the rest of the Khoury family.”

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