NMCA & LSX Challenge Series - Turning Up The Heat In Georgia
A combination of NMCA and LSX Challenge Series bring hot times to Atlanta Dragway
From the October, 2011 issue of Chevy High Performance
By Michael Galimi
Photography by Michael Galimi
Tony Nesbitt’s Super Street...
Tony Nesbitt’s Super Street 10.5 entry burst into flames when the crankshaft bolt flew off and severed a fuel line. Nesbitt escaped unharmed, and this series of photos shows the dramatic event as it unfolded. The team cleaned the car up, repaired wiring and other damage, and got back on track the next day.
The CHP crew checks in from time to time with the NMCA-Flowmaster Drag Racing series and our first taste of high-speed action in 2011 was the second stop on the 2011 tour at Atlanta Dragway (Commerce, Georgia). It had been a couple of years since the NMCA-Flowmaster series held an event at the famous southern drag racing facility and a packed house of excited Georgian fans cheered for the series’ return. The action was intense as the event, nicknamed the Nitto Tire All-Star Nationals, featured the popular GM Performance Parts LSX Challenge Series as a bonus to the NMCA-Flowmaster show. Three days of action was capped off with record-setting performances and drama as racers fought hard for cash, contingency, and fun.
Chevy vehicles were in abundance for the Nitto Tire All-Star Nationals as NMCA classes start with 6-second Pro Street cars down to everyday drivers in True Street, including the popular Nostalgia Super Stock ranks with iron that should be priceless to any old-school hot rodder. The action was exciting as a few Pro Streeters flirted with the 5-second barrier and we witnessed explosive action from some competitors. Many moments had the crowd gasping and cheering. The worst moment was a horrific fire encountered by Tony Nesbitt in the Mickey Thompson Super Street 10.5 ranks. The crankshaft bolt flew off and severed a fuel line as he staged his ’00 Corvette during qualifying. Fire ensued when the gasoline ignited, and it was tense as everyone waited for Nesbitt to climb out of the car and the track crew to put out the fire. The starting line crew acted quickly, and Nesbitt escaped unscathed. The damage looked far worse than one would think, and the team stayed up all night to get it fixed for Sunday’s eliminations. Nesbitt’s day, unfortunately, ended early due to a loose oil line that dripped fluid prior to the burnout.
ARP Nostalgia Pro Street, a category for full-weight big tire machines that are meant to emulate the original street car shootout movement, saw the first 200-mph pass in the category’s history. Dangerous Dave Beeson drove his multicolored ’78 Camaro to a 200-mph pass during the semifinal matchup. Beeson also set the class record with a 7.17 at 193 mph as he took top qualifying honors. He lost in the final round to Jim Jarrett in a tight race; Jarrett ran 7.26 at 189 mph to Beeson’s 7.27 at 197-mph effort. The Nostalgia Pro Street category is a haven for some of the nicest cars on the property at NMCA-Flowmaster events. Nearly every car is flawless as each combines an authentic look with a race car theme; it is, without a doubt, one of our favorite categories.
Back in the May ’11 issue (“War Zone”, page 58) we reported Mark Carlyle’s drag racing efforts with his C6 Z06 as he laid claim to the world record for an IRS-suspended Corvette. We are happy to report that he nailed down the first 7-second run with that suspension at Atlanta Dragway. Carlyle revamped his record-setting Vette over the winter with additional bars to his rollcage for safety and a new turbo setup that consists of a single TiAL 106mm billet turbocharger and a massive air-to-water intercooler. Carlyle topped the LSX Drag Radial field with a 7.89 at 180, making it the first Corvette to the 7s with an IRS suspension. Despite the 7-second moniker, the car still sees street action with the parachute hanging off the back and the Funny Car ’cage in the interior.
The NMCA-Flowmaster series has five more national events in 2011 and GM Performance Parts has two more LSX Challenge Series events (Holley LS Fest and GM Performance Parts LSX Shootout at NMCA Finals). Check the schedule online at www.nmcadigital.com, and we will see you out there.
Mark Carlyle cruising to his...
Mark Carlyle cruising to his first 7-second pass as he lowered his own IRS/Vette world record from 8.15 down to a jaw-dropping 7.89 at 180 mph. The car is still street driven and barely looks like an 8-second car, let alone a 7-second one.
Skip Baskin gets sideways...
Skip Baskin gets sideways in his ’70 Nova during the burnout. Baskin relies on a B.E.S. 525ci big-block with a single stage of nitrous to power the heavyweight Nova deep into the 7s.
Two fine examples on how to...
Two fine examples on how to get it done in Xtreme Street: John Warren is in the yellow Nova, and Dan Kroll wheels the blue one. Both cars rely on slapper bars and 523ci engines with a single stage of nitrous to run low 8s.
Our buddy Jamie Stanton stood...
Our buddy Jamie Stanton stood the car up during qualifying as he and his crew chief, Jake Holdrege, tried to find a balance between a wheelie and tire spin. Here they had more traction than expected. Stanton went on to win Xtreme Street with a 7.93 at 176 mph with no wheelie bars and true 10.5-inch tires. We think the CHP license plate on the back is the reason they win so many races, but that is just our casual observation.
Chris Woods pushed his naturally...
Chris Woods pushed his naturally aspirated ’02 Camaro to a best of 8.66 at 157 in the LSX All Motor category. Woods had perennial turbo pioneers Pro Line Race Engines build the 427ci engine. Woods finished runner-up to Judson Massingill, 8.23 at 164 to 8.66 at 157.
Dangerous Dave Beeson was...
Dangerous Dave Beeson was runner-up in Nostalgia Pro Street, but still managed to set the e.t. and mph record with a 7.17 and 197 mph. He did run 200 mph, the first one in the category’s history, but he wasn’t able to back it up within the required 1 percent.
Vinny Demieri had his colorful...
Vinny Demieri had his colorful ’68 Camaro back in action after a horrific crash last year at the NMRA-NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing race in Joliet, Illinois. Jerry Bickel Race Cars rebuilt the car and Pat Musi supplied the 865ci monster motor. On four stages of Edelbrock nitrous the car ran a best of 6.14 at 232 mph to qualify Third in the tough Pro Street field.
Longtime NMCA superstar Randy...
Longtime NMCA superstar Randy Adler, of A-Team Speed Shop in Tinley Park, Illinois, brought out Lynwood Wood’s ’57 Chevy Pro Street ride. The body is a 7/8-scale replica made of carbon fiber and Adler stuffed a 2,500hp-supercharged engine through the hood. He qualified Second with a 6.11 at 225. He went out in the semifinals to eventual class winner Alex Viscardi.
Don Baskin brought four cars...
Don Baskin brought four cars to competition and he drove two of them. This ’67 Chevy II competed in Mean Street, a naturally aspirated class that runs in the bottom 10s. The other ’67 Chevy II was entered in Pro Stock, an 8-second naturally aspirated eliminator. He won Mean Street but lost in the third round of Pro Stock.
Dave Hance, of New York Motorsports,...
Dave Hance, of New York Motorsports, fought troubles in his ’57 Chevy Pro Street ride. The car features a 540ci Hemi engine with twin Precision 88mm turbochargers and runs on alcohol instead of gasoline. The car has 5-second potential but suffered serious engine damage going through the finish line during the first round of eliminations.
Judson Massingill, from the...
Judson Massingill, from the School of Automotive Machinists, decimated the LSX All Motor field with his ’99 Camaro. He relies on a 433ci LSX bullet with C5R cylinder heads and a Liberty five-speed clutch-less transmission. Watching this car blast down track with the five-speed is like listening to music, running smooth and effortlessly during each run. The engine and race car program is a class project that the school runs as the students study to become professional race engine builders. CHP