During any event track conditions can change and drivers and their respective crews need to adjust accordingly to make the best of any given situation. Whatever the case may be, these modern day cowboys make it work and more often than not, tend to prevail with consistent timeslips. A collection of factors are involved when tuning. They can range anywhere from keeping an eye on tire pressure to programming a complete timing ramp to manage the engine's power levels.
At this year's LSX Shootout at Memphis Motorsports Park in Memphis, Tennessee, Mother Nature provided a racing environment that would prove to be challenging for anyone, with bouts of light rain and the bone-chilling winds. Making it worse, Sunday night's finale ended with 44 degree temperatures, and it was only getting worse with a slippery tarmac.
Given the less than ideal weather, the degree of personal self-tuners across the field and quick passes was proof that it could be handled. In True Street, a class that requires a prerequisite cruise with three back-to-back passes, it was a game for some, who attempted to best their own reaction times. We found many feathering the clutch at higher than normal rpms in an attempt to average out their first two time trials for the quickest time, all the while trying to manage to not break out of their index. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there was the heads up Extreme Street class that were going all out with big mills and a power adder on top of a 10.5 slick.
To showcase the tuning efforts within this event, we combed the infield and found four cars that ranged from daily drivers to full blown race car status. We picked the drivers and tuners brains to find out what they do to ensure a clean and drama-free pass; some did nothing but stick the key into the ignition while others performed more in depth tunes as their class was significantly quicker with much more horsepower to harness. While some may think drag racing is easy, we certainly challenge anyone who thinks it's as simple as stabbing the throttle and holding on. Follow along; you may be surprised to learn at how difficult it really is.
What We Did
Get the scoop on how to compete with the big boys of the NMCA's LSX Shootout
These drivers hang on the ragged edge
Where It Was
Memphis Motorsports Park, Memphis, TN
True Street 12 Second Index
Running in True Street was this base '09 Corvette with minimal modifications. "The car is completely stock aside from the rims," claimed 22-year-old Justin Keith of Blue Springs, MI. Sporting a base LS3, the Corvette in factory form makes 430 hp right out of the box. So why no modifications? "It's my daily driver and all I have to do is start the ignition and make a pass. I just swap the rears to drag radial tires," he explained. Since this class is dominated by everyday street cars, Justin's tune would rely mostly on eliminating driver error and unnecessary wheelspin. True Street averages out the three passes to get your final time, which means it's vital to make sure you don't break out of the index. In the end, Justin averaged 12.05 at 119 mph, which was very respectable, only it wasn't enough to make this year's field.