Competing in a heads-up drag racing class can get a little out of control, especially in most of the Outlaw-style categories where the rules allow for the wildest combinations imaginable. Given today's economic climate, going heads-up racing is not for everyone, but one category that has remained consistent and realistic for most hard-working folks is NMCA's Vortech Superchargers Xtreme Street. The cars are real, the combinations are stout, and the category is not out of the ordinary. The engine packages allowed are conventional and won't have you calling NHRA Pro Stock racers for hand-me-down parts. Essentially, the cars represent a race-version of the neighborhood street-bully.
Vortech Superchargers has been the proud sponsor of this popular category since the beginning, while Chevy High Performance jumped onboard this year as an associate sponsor. If you recall, we discussed our joint venture in the Aug. '09 issue; however, this time around we're going to take an inside look at what the class is and a few contenders who make the class what it is.
NMCA introduced Xtreme Street back in 2002 as a way to emulate the original days of Super Street racing. In the early '90s the original NMCA group restricted Super Street to true 10.5-inch slicks, cowl hoods, and stock frames, and it brought in a new generation of racers from the streets. Pro Street might have gotten most of the attention during the original days of Fastest Street Car racing, but it was the Super Street class where the average fan related to the cars on the track. Fast-forward to modern times. The Super Street 10.5 category has morphed into back-half cars that run in the high 6s on 10.5-inch-wide tires. The roots of the category might be gone, but racers and fans can look to Xtreme Street to fill the void.
We have watched Xtreme Street go from mid-8 times down to the 7.90 range (in favorable weather and track conditions) at speeds approaching 176 mph. The reason the class is still as successful today as it was in 2002 is because of the rules and the strict enforcement that prevents a metamorphosis away from its original intent. NMCA officials have restricted the engines to traditional cylinder heads as well as fixed weight penalties for various combinations. The only power-adders allowed are nitrous (single fogger or two-stage plate) and a strict list of superchargers-turbos are not included. The engine combinations are general restrictions and are loose enough that you are not building a spec engine, like other categories. It allows for freedom but not to the point where you are on the dyno after every race looking for horsepower. The rear tire sizes and weight help keep the racing tight and fair.
All entries must run 10.5-inch slicks, often measured by the officials to ensure no cheating. Weights range from 2,975 pounds for cars equipped with a 365ci small-block engine on nitrous oxide to a hefty 3,575 pounds for a nitrous-injected 525ci combination. In between are weights for supercharged small-blocks and big-blocks, various-sized nitrous engines, and body styles. The suspension is restricted to stock-style replacement up front and any racing rear suspension-provided the stock framerails remain in place. The bodies are required to be stock with the exception of aftermarket hoods and bumpers. Factory glass is required, and all street-legal accessories are mandatory. Wheelie bars are forbidden, which sort of adds an equalizing factor to the class. The rule package adds up to close and fair racing.
Now that you have the gist of the class itself, let's take a closer look at the type of powertrain it takes to get to be one of the big dogs.