Most of the attention of the LSX Shootout and NMCA World Finals was placed on the individual classes that make up both events. But we noticed a rivalry brewing between two competitors who were entered in two different categories. Keith Berry never lined up against Mark Carlyle since both were entered in different categories but they watched each other’s runs very closely; Berry competed in LSX Real Street while Carlyle had his street-driven Vette entered in Drag Radial. The reason for the interest in each other’s results was that a record hung in the balance between the two Corvettes. On the outside, not many people realized what was at stake as both competitors pulled to the starting line. But for the diehard Vette and LSX fan they knew that both cars were competing to claim the title for the Quickest IRS-suspended Corvette.
You might not think it’s a big deal but running low 8s with an independent rear suspension is quite an accomplishment. The adjustability just isn’t there for drag racing applications like a live rear axle combination offers. For these two racers and the LSX community, there was something on the line every time these guys pulled into the water box. Berry held the record going into the race with his nitrous-gulping Vette having gone 8.32 at 165 mph. In qualifying, Berry would run a quicker 8.22 and a best speed of 172 mph. But Carlyle unleashed a best of 8.15 at 172 mph from his turbocharged Vette to finish qualifying. Both racers finished runner-up in their classes but neither bettered the qualifying efforts and the record still stands at 8.15. Carlyle has hinted at taking a stab at the 7-second zone while Berry has cut up his car to go all-out Drag Radial racing with a live-axle setup.
NMCA Class Battles
The NMCA points race features a similar playoff system to NHRA’s Countdown as well as NASCAR’s Chase. That meant the World Finals was the battleground for titles in most categories. And in between the championship fever were several cars simply there to grab the cash and glory.