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.