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2014 Super Chevy Show Houston: Royal Purple Raceway

Rain was the only problem during our annual trip to Royal Purple Raceway.

Evan J. Smith Jan 7, 2015
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Despite evil skies and a brief funnel cloud that caused a tornado warning, Super Chevy fans and racers came out to Royal Purple Raceway near Houston in October to tear up the strip in true Bow Tie fashion. We saw a wild array of Chevrolet iron in action, including awesome Camaros, Novas, and Chevelles, but what caught our eye was the obscure, such as a nitrous-gulping V-6 Chevette, a 7-second Cavalier, and a few wild pickups.

The on-track action is always tight, and Houston racers brought some serious heat to the party. That party continued in the car show, with box Novas, second-gen Camaros, and Tri-Five Chevys that had us salivating. We even spotted a certain former Super Chevy project Nova in the manufacturers’ midway.

2014 Super Chevy Houston Camaro Z28 Burnout 2/89
2014 Super Chevy Houston Corvette Row 3/89

Corvettes. You like Corvettes? There were hundreds of them in Houston. We followed a cool train of Vettes into the track on Saturday morning that was headed up by the Afro-American Corvette Club and they came from a multitude of surrounding states. It was a neat sight to see—even the traffic cop letting them through was grinning from ear to ear.

With the track action underway, our team set out to give away our Super Chevy Top 10 Editor’s Choice awards for the show vehicles and the drag racers. This is one of our favorite pastimes, as it’s a nice way to interact with the participants and learn about the iron they bring out. We laid our eyes (and cameras) on some real winners in Texas and they’re not your everyday Chevys. The ominous weather kept the show turnout down a bit on Saturday, but that didn’t make picking the Editor’s Choice Show Car awards any easier. The quality and variety were superb, and there were even a couple of stunning third-gen Camaros. That’s not something we see every day.

2014 Super Chevy Houston Nova Wheelie 4/89

Super Chevy Houston Race Winners
DriveDuracell.com Bracket 1
Winner: Hunter Patton; Highlands, TX; Dragster
Runner-Up: Taylor Blackwell; Highlands, TX; 1962 Corvette
Bracket 2
Winner: Tim “Coach” Ray; Santa Fe, TX; 2002 Z/28
Runner-Up: Matt Exner; Baytown, TX; N/A
Winner: Devin Belluomini, Sante Fe, TX; 1972 Chevy
Runner-Up: Jonathan Womack; Houston, TX, 1976 Camaro
Camaroguys Gen5 Challenge presented by S&W Race Cars
Winner: Daniel Lemonds; Houston, TX
Corvette 1
Winner: Chuck Hoekstra; Houston, TX; 1989 Corvette
Runner-Up: Ron Davis; Cypress, TX; 2010 Corvette
Corvette 2
Winner: Cliff Elliot; Aransas Pass, TX; 2011 Corvette
Runner-Up: Art Tepper; Spring, TX; 2010 Corvette

2014 Super Chevy Houston 1969 Camaro Almaguir 5/89

We loved the clean look of Sergio Almaguir’s basic, black ’69 Camaro, which packed a 434-inch Mouse, backed by a Turbo 400 and a 12-bolt equipped with 4.11 gears. The combo produces 10.20s at 134 mph.

2014 Super Chevy Houston 1966 Corvette Newkirk 6/89

David Newkirk’s ’66 Vette had a wild “period-correct” look and ran strong with its 327. Unfortunately, the Vette’s driveline gave up, parking him for the day. Nevertheless, we liked the car and David’s attitude was awesome, so we gave him an Editor’s Choice Drag Car award.

Car Show Awards
Editor’s Choice Top 10 Show Cars
Patrick Grigsby 1972 Camaro
Joseph Ramirez 1992 Camaro Z-28
Ron Elliott 1955 Bel Air Gasser
Hedrick Horton 1957 Chevy
Rudy Ortiz 1969 Chevelle SS396
Danny Andries 1960 Pickup
Ronny Boldt 1964 Chevelle
Raymond St. Julian 1966 Nova
Valentin J. Coronato 1987 Monte Carlo SS
Justin Smith 1967 Camaro
Editor’s Choice Top 10 Racecar Awards
Sergio Almaguir Jr. 1969 Camaro
David Newlirk 1966 Corvette
Jonathan Womack 1976 Camaro
Scott & Myra Niemann 1969 Camaro
Mike &Susan Holmes 1957 Bel Air
Van Arnold 1967 Chevy Pickup
Diana Legg 2002 Camaro
Ray Dew 1970 Nova
Robert Reider 2002 Cavalier
Rodger Archuleta 1996 Impala SS
Gold Class
MODIFIED WINNER: Jim Lippert, Green KS 1967 Nova
ISCA AWARD: David & Cassie Milan, Liberty TX 1965 Corvette
BEST BIG CAR: Danny Licatino, Baytown TX 1965 Impala
BEST CAMARO: Patrick Grigsby, Baytown TX 1972 Camaro
BEST CHEVELLE: Jorge Limon, Houston TX 1967 Malibu
BEST CORVETTE: David & Cassie Milan, Liberty TX 1965 Corvette
BEST CONVERSION: Keith Gallagher, Houston TX 1932 Ford Pickup
BEST OPEN: James Watkins, Brazoria TX 1963 Corvair
BEST EARLY CHEVY: Jerome Kelly, Houston TX 1939 Master Deluxe
BEST 55-56-57: Sonny Bennett, Montgomery TX 1955 Bel Air
BEST MONTE CARLO: Daniel Marks, Houston TX 1971 Monte Carlo
BEST NOVA: Raymond St. Julian, Crosby TX 1966 Nova
BEST PRO STREET: Ronny Boldt, San Antonio TX 1964 Chevelle
BEST TRUCK: Joey Dupree, Sugarland TX 1977 Scottsdale
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: Justin Smith, Houston TX 1967 Camaro
BEST OF SHOW: Jim Lippert, Green KS 1967 Nova

2014 Super Chevy Houston Woman Warren 7/89

When not running their NHRA national record-holding Super Stock Cavalier, the Womack brothers, Jonathan and Warren Jr., can be found messing with this quick street Camaro.

2014 Super Chevy Houston Cavalier 8/89

The Disco-era Chevy is motivated by a sweet-sounding 372 SBC with Dart heads and a single Holley carb. It’s also got a TH400 and a set of 4.11s that help the ’76 run low 11s.

2014 Super Chevy Houston 1969 Camaro Niemann 9/89

The second ultra-clean ’69 Camaro on our Editor’s Choice list is Scott and Myra Niemann’s SS, which came with the optional 396. While no longer stock, the Niemann’s Camaro normally sports a 496-inch big-block that motivates it into the 10.60s, but that baby blew up recently. Rather than miss the Super Chevy Show, they swapped in a 355-inch small-block. That’s the kind of dedication that gets you an award!

2014 Super Chevy Houston Holmes 10/89

When it comes to cool drag cars, we like big tires and multiple shift levers. Mike and Susan Holmes’ ’57 Bel Air had both the show and the go, thanks to a tube chassis and “small” 526-cube big-block.

2014 Super Chevy Houston 1957 Bel Air 11/89

This low-slung Chevy ripped out of the hole and produced consistent 8.30 elapsed times with Mike pulling the handles on the Lenco four-speed. He’s sponsored by Monster Performance of Cypress, Texas, and we liked that he was racing with his family.

2014 Super Chevy Houston Van Arnold 12/89

Amazingly, just five years ago Van Arnold had never even been to a dragstrip. But after heading out with friends, he decided to purchase this ’67 Chevy truck and jump in the mix.

2014 Super Chevy Houston 1957 Truck 13/89

We liked the chopped top and sweet flame job. The mostly steel rig weighs 3,000 pounds, runs a 582-inch BBC, and dips in the 10s.

2014 Super Chevy Houston Diana Legg 14/89

We found quite a fourth-gen Camaro contingent in Houston, and this clean ’02 belonged to Diana Legg of LaPorte, Texas. She was running 13.50s with her mostly-stock machine. She only started racing two years ago, but had a handle on things and went some rounds.

2014 Super Chevy Houston Ray Dew 15/89

In addition to some casual bracket racers, we found 2013 NHRA Division 4 Super Street champion Ray Dew. Dew’s clean ’70 Nova caught our eye, and we saw the “41” on the window, designating Division 4, number 1!

2014 Super Chevy Houston 1970 Nova 16/89

Dew has quite the resume of accomplishments; he was the 2013 Jegs Sportsnationals champ and he built and painted his own Nova. The handy Dew also built the 496-inch BBC that propels the Chevy to the 10.90 Super Street target. When not running S/ST, the Nova has recorded 9.40s at 142 mph.

2014 Super Chevy Houston Reider 17/89

The quickest door-slammer we saw in Houston was Robert Reider’s Jerry Haas Cavalier that clipped off consistent 7.40s at 185 mph.

2014 Super Chevy Houston Haas Cavalier 18/89

It’s rockin’ a 598-inch Scott Shafiroff big-block and backed with a Powerglide. It had a great look with clean paint and ran the number every time.

2014 Super Chevy Houston Impala Archuleta Editors Choice 19/89

We’re big fans of big Chevys, and Rodger Archuleta brought out this ’96 SS.

2014 Super Chevy Houston Impala Engine 20/89

It was especially clean, despite having 113,000 miles on the clock. And not afraid to mash the gas, Rodger laid down some 15.13s on track.

2014 Super Chevy Houston Adam White Chevette 21/89

One of the most interesting machines we encountered was this basic-looking Chevette. Upon closer inspection, we found Adam White had implanted a 4.3L V-6 from an S-10 and added an NOS fogger kit as well. Adam stated that the engine he normally runs was out for a rebuild and that ’plant has pushed the ’Vette into the 9.0s.

2014 Super Chevy Houston 2010 Camaro Leukemia Survivor 22/89

The young lady who owned this fifth-gen was a leukemia survivor. Way to beat it!

2014 Super Chevy Houston 1955 Bel Air 23/89

Ron Elliott’s ’55 Bel Air was featured in Hot Rod back in the 1950s.


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