First Chevy High Performance Nationals - Showtime!
The Inaugural Chevy High Performance Nationals
From the November, 2012 issue of Chevy High Performance
By Henry De Los Santos, Jake Amatisto
Photography by Henry De Los Santos, Henry Z. DeKuyper, Jake Amatisto, Robert McGaffin
If you missed the very first Chevy High Performance Nationals last June 1-3, then you shunted a great gathering of some of the baddest Chevys in the country competing for car show, autocross, and drag racing glory. For those who couldn’t attend, read on, as we showcase a whole bunch of Chevy action from the event in the next several pages that will make you obsess about showing off your Bow Tie at the event next year.
A collaboration of efforts between the National Muscle Car Association and Chevy High Performance resulted in an all-Chevy event that will be one for the record books. The first event brought on a massive car show, wild drag racing, and a Jet-Hot Coatings–sponsored autocross, which had attendees entertained all day. Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia, hosted the meet, and the fans just about packed the place.
We got to take a ride in Detroit Speed’s Camaro while it was thrashing around the cones at this event, and man, what a rush. Look for detailed coverage of how well this car did with Camaro Performers’ Editor Nick Licata behind the wheel.
As the second stop on the Chevrolet Performance LSX Challenge Series, the CHP Nationals hosted several cool drag racing classes, including a wild drag radial class that saw cars running mid 7s in the quarter, a naturally aspirated class for LS-powered cars, and a class called Real Street that featured a slew of low 8-second late-models. For the index racer there were a few options as well, like the Fifth-Gen Camaro Challenge class and the LSX Rumble category, which is a class intended for entries at nearly any performance level. For the street cars, the Tremec True Street class was also a category featured at this event. If you have a muscle car you drive and you want to test its mettle on the dragstrip, True Street is a great way to do it. Basically you have to successfully complete a 30-mile cruise on public roads and highways, and then make three back-to-back passes on the quarter-mile without opening the hood, messing with computer tunes, or refilling intercooler ice. It really is a challenging and fun class to compete in, and you would be surprised by the performance levels of some of these street cars; some were able to complete the cruise and then run a string of low 9s with stock suspension and drag radials!
This was the first time Chevy High Performance has hosted an event of such magnitude. Many folks in attendance agreed that it was a success, so the good news is you can look for another Chevy High Performance Nationals around the same time next year; keep reading CHP for the exact date, as we’ll keep you posted.
The Tremec-sponsored True Street has been our favorite class for years because it’s the ultimate way to prove your quarter-mile monster is actually streetable. Even if you have a slow car, True Street has a category you can compete in. Designed to cater to nearly every performance level of car, True Street is a class we were glad to host at the CHP Nationals. The idea is to make a 30-mile cruise around town, through stop signs and over railroad tracks, then each competitor has to make three back-to-back passes without popping the hood or working on the car whatsoever. If you break on the line, you’re out; if you adjust the carb, you’re out; if you can’t make the cruise, you’re out. The person with the quickest average gets to be the “king” (there’s even a cape and crown the winner “gets” to wear). Awards are given to the racer who gets their car’s average closest to the 9-, 10-, 11-, 12-, 13-, 14-, and 15-second zones. For example, if you have a car that runs 11.90s, a strategy would be to slow the car down a bit so you can get your average closest to the 12.00 mark. The awards are some cash and prizes, but what people really enjoy is being able to really prove they have a reliable and fast street car. Jared Shepard out of Austin, Texas, had the quickest True Street car on the property, running an average of 9.806 in his ’02 Camaro SS.
Our very own Henry De Los...
Our very own Henry De Los Santos got to drive several killer hot rods on the dragstrip at this event as part of the Street Machine Challenge (which you can read about next month). We really liked the nostalgic NASCAR flavor Fatman Fabrications’ ’57 Chevy had. It wasn’t the fastest ride, but it was one of the most fun to drive.
Craig Doolittle was a crowd...
Craig Doolittle was a crowd pleaser with his stone-stock second-gen Camaro. We appreciate Doolittle coming out and showing everyone that a non-modified ride can come out and have some fun; kudos to you bud!
Vengeance Racing had a couple...
Vengeance Racing had a couple Camaros in attendance at this event; one was a fifth-gen gunning for the 8-second zone, and the other was driven by Ron Mowen in the LSX All Motor category.
Although Mowen struggled in...
Although Mowen struggled in qualifying, he was able to beat Joe Honeycut in the first round with an 8.50 at 161 mph, but lost to eventual event winner Greg Delaney in the second.
It’s not too often you see...
It’s not too often you see such a clean ’87 Monte Carlo running 8s with stock suspension, but that’s exactly Robert Strong’s weapon of choice for the ERL-sponsored LSX All Motor category. Strong qualified with a 9.03 at 153 mph, but a red light start in the first round kept him from advancing. What’s cool is on Sunday when we spoke with him he said he had a blast anyway, and that’s what matters.
A duel between two of the...
A duel between two of the fastest women in the world was seen at the CHP Nationals.
The “Sorceress of Speed” (Elaine...
The “Sorceress of Speed” (Elaine Larson, left) versus the “Princess of Power” (Marisha Falk, right) ran their Embry-Riddle/Miller Welding–sponsored Jet Cars side-by-side at speeds up to 300 mph and times ranging in the 5-second zone. The Sorceress ended up schooling the Princess two out of three times.
Adam Preston is the defending...
Adam Preston is the defending champion in the Holley EFI Real Street class with his low 8-second fourth-gen. He topped the field in qualifying with an 8.63 at 158-mph blast, however Ted Timmerman was hot on his heels with his Pontiac after running 8.68 at 158 mph tp take the second slot. Preston ended up facing Timmerman in the final, but Preston's nitrous-huffing machine outran Timmerman's boosted beast with an 8.66.
Mike Meeks, the 2011 Champ...
Mike Meeks, the 2011 Champ in JE Pistons Drag Radial, brought his new, recently wrapped fifth-gen Camaro to the grounds in Atlanta and we were totally digging the faux carbon-fiber skin. Although most of his competitors are running boosted applications, Meeks opted for a high dose of giggle gas for a power adder. He is still sorting out this new car, so he struggled a bit, but expect to see running some mid-to-high 7s in the quarter-mile once it’s sorted.
This event also hosted match...
This event also hosted match racing between six incredible Pro Mods; Keith Baker topped the field in qualifying with his wild Corvette after rung 4.10 at 179 mph to the eighth-mile mark, but he broke and couldn’t make the second. Jimmy Sandefur took the win in Dixie Pro Mod, after beating Lynne Miller, 4.16 to 4.17.
RPM Transmissions, of Anderson,...
RPM Transmissions, of Anderson, Indiana, dragged their fifth-gen to the CHP Nats and ran some stellar single-digit passes. Nicknamed “The Fridge”, this car gets it done with nitrous oxide, which is cool since boost seems to be the popular choice for fifth-gens these days.
With the fifth-generation...
With the fifth-generation Camaro becoming more popular at the dragstrip, it made sense to host a class exclusively for Chevy’s pony-beater. Josh Perryman took the class win after taking out NMCA regular Ronnie Hackelton in the final, where Perryman was a bit more accurate with his elapsed time prediction and was able to get the victory.
We would like to extend a huge thanks to the guys at Mayhem Motorsports out of Raleigh, North Carolina, for bringing one badass (and the only) X275 car to do battle at the CHP event. Even though the Internet was ablaze with people claiming they were coming to compete in this eighth-mile category, when the chips fell, driver Jeff Rhodes and the Mayhem boys were the only ones to show up. Maybe they were scared of Rhodes’ 5.18 at 149 performances? The Vette is powered by an LSX-based 427 with Trick Flow 235cc heads and a single 88mm Precision turbocharger.
C5 racer Danny Niceley cut...
C5 racer Danny Niceley cut his way through to the finals, taking out Judson Massingill’s wicked Camaro with a holeshot in the first round. He got a bye run into the finals where Greg Delaney was able to outrun Niceley’s 8.85 pass.
There’s something about a...
There’s something about a roots blower fitted with a chrome skull peering into the middle-distance that made Metallica start playing in our heads.
Like the Fifth-Gen Camaro...
Like the Fifth-Gen Camaro class, the LSX Rumble category is another index-style class where competitors have to predict what times their car will run. Whoever can wheel their ride closest to the chosen index wins the round. S10 driver Steven Hill took the win over Paul Smith by running 12.51 on a 12.50 index, while Smith ran broke out (ran too fast) with a 9.91 on his 10.00 index.
Kevin Rounsavall got past...
Kevin Rounsavall got past the first round with his fourth-gen Camaro, but he was halted by the eventual winner, Adam Preston. Rounsavall runs a 420ci LSX combination that is capable of mid 8s in the quarter.
Bob Littlefield and Jake Moreau...
Bob Littlefield and Jake Moreau from Littlefield Customs of Charlestown, Rhode Island, took home a whole gamut of awards for their menacing ’69 Camaro. When the smoke cleared at the end of the event, Littlefield took home the title of Fastest First-Gen Camaro and fastest overall time for the day in the autocross. The guys also entered it in the car show and won First Place for the LSX Camaro category and Best in Show overall. Look for more coverage of the autocross in next month’s issue, and you can expect a full feature on this killer ride.
Check out the body roll on...
Check out the body roll on Jet-Hot’s g-body Malibu. As Jet-Hot’s test car, this car gets abused often at various Pro Touring events and Cheryl Herrick was whipping this thing around the corners viciously all weekend.
|Nitto Tire Pro Mod
||’98 Monte Carlo
||Baxle Pine Mountain Valley, GA
|JE Pistons LSX Drag Radial
||Huber Heights, OH
||’98 Trans Am
||Liberty Township, OH
||’00 Trans Am
|ERL Performance All Motor
||Strawberry Plaines, TN
|Holley EFI LSX Real Street
|Proform LSX Index Rumble
|Nitto Tire Fifth-Gen Camaro
|FSC Magazine Bracket 1
|FSC Magazine Bracket 2
||Fair Play, SC
|FSC Magazine Bracket 3
* Saturday’s Award Winners
|11-Second Winner & Runner-Up
||West Union, SC
|12-Second Winner & Runner-Up
|13-Second Winner & Runner-Up
|14-Second Winner & Runner-Up
||Park Hills, MO
Another fast competitor in...
Another fast competitor in the Holley EFI Real Street class was Charlie Polly, who ran a series of 9-second passes in his turbocharged Camaro, then finally an 8.80 against Adam Preston in the first round. Unfortunately for Polly, Preston was slightly better and got the win with an 8.68.
The car show on Saturday was...
The car show on Saturday was staggering at this meet, and the way it was poised on the grounds had people entertained with corner-carving muscle machines on the left and immaculate works of car art on the right. It would be impossible for a gearhead to be bored at this event; without a doubt, it had something for everyone.
The Jet-Hot Coatings–sponsored...
The Jet-Hot Coatings–sponsored autocross course had everything from early muscle cars to late-models, which also brought in crowds of onlookers all weekend long.
Tim Hansard, of Cumming, Georgia,...
Tim Hansard, of Cumming, Georgia, brought out his highly modified ’69 Camaro. We had a chance to talk with him and he took the time to point out all of the structural enhancements; we’re talking a lot of hours and sweat equity that went into his build.
If you were looking for a...
If you were looking for a project car, whether it was in parts or a complete runner like this ’67, the opportunities were there. This gem was an SS clone with a 454ci big-block, a Turbo 400 transmission, and a complete frame-off resto.
This C6 out of the Vengeance...
This C6 out of the Vengeance Racing stable laid down 724 hp and 586 lb-ft to the wheels; yes, we dig it!
Bo Harden brought out his...
Bo Harden brought out his ’66 Nova SS from Conyers, Georgia, and gave us a bit of inspiration for our own in-house Chevy II project.
Heavy Chevys are cool, and...
Heavy Chevys are cool, and this ’96 Impala owned by John Rafteseth featured a wild twin-turbo combination.
The sign above claimed it...
The sign above claimed it was a solid 8-second ride at 167 mph; we just wish we could have seen it in action for ourselves.