NMCA'S Xtreme Street Bracket - Inside The Best Damn Class In Drag Racing
NMCA'S Xtreme Street Is Making Urban Legends Out Of Chevy 10.5 Racers
From the August, 2009 issue of Chevy High Performance
By Rod Short
Photography by Rod Short
Imagine a street car class that has 50 contestants and competes in races all over the country, and the season championship comes down to a highly charged final round at the last race of the season. That's what NMCA's Vortech Xtreme Street gave the fans last year--and it looks to be even better in 2009.
How can we say that? Several reasons. For starters, true 10.5 racing has become today's standard bearer for street car racing. With the cost of performance of Pro Street and Outlaw 10.5 cars now reaching the stratosphere, true 10.5 racing is still within the reach of a lot of racers. Second, NMCA has aggressively acted to restrain cost and performance by keeping a tight rein on the rules so cars in the 8.00 to 8.20 e.t. range can have a shot at the championship. Third and perhaps the most important of all, NMCA has the best marketing organization in sportsman drag racing today. The association promotes itself well and draws good crowds, and it makes heroes of its racers, which is what potential sponsors want to see. It's a class to see and to be seen in, which is why Xtreme Street is such a vital part of the race scene today.
OK, so what are the basic rules? Intended for stock-appearing American production vehicles made since 1950, Xtreme Street is a heads-up eliminator for cars with a stock-type chassis with framerails. Rear tires are limited to 10.6-inch-wide slicks. Wheelie bars are not allowed. Gasoline-powered nitrous and supercharged small- and big-block engine combinations are allowed up to 565 ci. There are no turbochargers in the class. Various weight breaks help to equalize the competition between the various engine combinations and body styles. The pairings at each event are based on an NHRA Sportsman ladder, with a heads-up start on Pro .400 tree.
Bob Curran (near lane) has...
Bob Curran (near lane) has been a fixture in NMCA Xtreme Street with his '96 Corvette Grand Sport since the beginning. He won the class championship in 2004 and has finished in the Top 10 every year since. He currently runs a fuel-injected 400ci small-block on nitrous and is one of the favorites to contend for the championship this year.
"It's a heck of a lot of fun to watch and drive in," said Bob Curran, who has been in the class since its inception. "The rules are pretty fair where they stand, and they're straightforward. You're limited by the tire size and no wheelie bars, so making gobs of power doesn't necessarily put you in the Winner's Circle. You need to be able to manage the power throughout the entire run."
What do these folks race? Pretty much a cross-section of both classic and late-model muscle cars ranging from early-model Camaros and Novas to later-model Mustangs and GTOs. Chevys have been well represented at every stop on the tour, as the cars from local tracks often compete in the class whenever the NMCA tour makes a stop nearby. Even last year's champion also made the quickest and fastest run in the history of the class in a Mustang--with a big-block Chevy under the hood!
As far as engine combinations go, the rulebook offers a variety of possibilities for racers. Most recently, big-block nitrous Chevys were the engines of choice as evidenced by 11 of the 17 entries at the season-ending event that had these. Subsequent rule changes during the off season have taken some of the advantages away on this combination. In 2009 these cars have to begin the season at a whopping 3,575 pounds. While off-season Internet chatter seemed to think that the pendulum may have swung over to favor small-block nitrous and centrifugal blower combinations, NMCA will look at how the situation plays itself out on the track before making any midseason rule adjustments.
If past seasons are an indicator of what we can look forward to in NMCA Xtreme Street, count on seeing and reading about some of the best racing in the country. It's still the best damn class in drag racing!
Xtreme Street has always epitomized...
Xtreme Street has always epitomized the heart and soul of street car racing. Nick Rinehart took the championship in this street-legal Nova back in 2003, but has since switched to a late-model GTO, as times have gotten quicker and speeds have increased.
Xtreme Street has been an...
Xtreme Street has been an attractive venue for a number of faces you wouldn't normally see. Bob Kurgan, long known as a consistent winner at many Mustang events, ran this late-model Camaro with some success several years ago before returning to his Mustang.
Cameron Coble made a name...
Cameron Coble made a name for himself in Xtreme Street with this sanitary-looking Nova by finishing Third Place in the first year of class competition. Severe carnage from a giant wheelstand forced him to park this car. After the mishap, Coble pulled the drivetrain and threw it into a Mustang body he already had, and he locked in another championship season in 2008. Look for the white Nova to return to the strip this year.
Fast street cars don't get...
Fast street cars don't get any more stock appearing than this Monte Carlo driven by Audri McGrane. This wild wheelstanding ride took McGrane to a Top 10 finish in the season championship points race while running in the 8.20s.
With the wide acceptance of...
With the wide acceptance of true 10.5 racing throughout the country, NMCA's Vortech Xtreme Street class has provided a national arena for local track heroes to gain both exposure and experience while rubbing shoulders with the best racers in the land.
Big-block Chevys on nitrous...
Big-block Chevys on nitrous have been the dominant engine combo, as seen with this 525ci built by Tyree Smith of Ty Tech Racing Engines. While new rules for 2009 might favor small-block combinations with nitrous or centrifugal blowers, some insiders think that midseason rule adjustments will put the big-block cars back out front.
Despite not running the full...
Despite not running the full season, newcomer Fred Brunn made a splash last year with his new '69 Rally Sport to finish Ninth in points. Brunn used a nitrous-huffing 522ci big-block to consistently run 8.20s. Should he run the entire schedule in 2009, look for him to be a championship contender in 2009.
Steve Cagle's racer has been...
Steve Cagle's racer has been a proven testimonial to the fact that putting big horsepower on the ground with a small tire and no wheelie bars can lead to some hairy moments. Still, that's part of what evens out the competition and provides the allure of racing NMCA Xtreme Street.
|'08 VORTECH XTREME STREET TOP 10 FINISHERS |
|1. ||Cameron Coble ||Lewisburg, TN ||'04 Mustang |
|2. ||Danny Shemwell ||Elkton, KY ||'01 Mustang |
|3. ||Bob Kurgan ||Northbrook, IL ||'86 Mustang |
|4. ||Bill Trovato ||Rochester, NY ||’78 Starfire |
|5. ||Aaron Stapleton ||Plainfield, IL ||'92 Mustang |
|6. ||Bob Curran ||Bartlett, IL ||’96 Corvette |
|7. ||Bart Tobener ||Winder, GA ||'04 Cobra |
|8. ||Tony Orts ||Oswego, IL ||’68 Firebird |
|9. ||Fred Bunn ||Loxahatchee, FL ||'69 Camaro |
|10. ||Steve Cagle ||Huntsville, AL ||'70 Nova |
|PAST VORTECH XTREME STREET SEASON CHAMPS |
|2002 ||Tony Orts |
|2003 ||Nick Rinehart |
|2004 ||Bob Curran |
|2005 ||Tony Orts |
|2006 ||Cameron Coble |
|2007 ||Danny Shemwell |
|2008 ||Cameron Coble |
|WEIGHT BREAKS |
|ENGINE ||POWER-ADDER ||CI ||BASE (lbs) |
|Modular 4.6\5.4 ||Nitrous ||330 ||3,125 |
|Small-block ||Nitrous ||365 ||2,975 |
|Small-block ||Nitrous ||400 ||3,075 |
|Small-block ||Nitrous ||415 ||3,125 |
|Small-block ||Nitrous ||440 ||3,175 |
|Small-block ||Supercharged ||365 ||3,300 |
|Small-block ||Supercharged ||400 ||3,400 |
|Big-block ||Nitrous ||477 ||3,450 |
|Big-block ||Nitrous ||525 ||3,575 |
|Big-block ||Supercharged ||477 ||3,400 |
|Big-block ||Supercharged ||525 ||3,450 |
|The maximum cubic inches for all combinations is 565. If actual cubic inches are more than the base cubic-inch listing in section 13, there will be a weight penalty of 8.0 pounds per cubic inch assessed to base weights. All weights are determined with driver, at the conclusion of the run, at the scale area. |
|ALLOWABLE WEIGHT REDUCTIONS |
|TYPE ||DEDUCT (lbs) |
|'50-74 body styles and all trucks ||50 |
|Entries using street-type supercharger ||75 |
|Entries using stock-type suspension ||50 |
|Forced-induction entries without intercooler ||150 |
|Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Mopar ||75 |
|Big-block Ford ||100 |
|Modular 4.6\5.4 Supercharged combos ||100 |