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Here Are Some of the Baddest Drag Racing Door-Slammers in the Nation

Straight Line Spotlight

Bruce Biegler Oct 22, 2015
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Wicked in White

Rochester, New York, is home base to a formidable and long-lasting 1967 Camaro Super Stocker. Driven by Pete D’Agnolo, the popular car is a force to be reckoned with in both NHRA and IHRA Eastern competition, having now won national event level races within both sanctioning bodies. Now classed as SS/CM and using an interesting 336ci Chevy small-block configuration, this particular car has seen a variety of versions over its storied history. The Camaro was actually purchased brand new by Pete’s father and racing partner Sam D’Agnolo who first raced it successfully in conjunction with his brother Tony, in both Modified and Competition Eliminator prior to its conversion for Super Stock a number of seasons ago. The S&R Automotive Camaro, which features some chassis work by ATE Race Cars and engine components from Patterson Racing, regularly runs well under the SS/CM 9.50 e.t. class index with high eight-second elapsed time capability.


Screaming Innovation

Within the popular Fastest Street Car racing scene, the 1978 Malibu owned by Missouri’s Jason Carter and driven by Mark Micke stands alone. Not only is this truly creative turbocharged car unique, it is also of championship pedigree. During 2013, the duo scored a points championship in the (now defunct) ADRL Pro Drag Radial category and then duplicated that by also winning the NMCA championship in the Super Street 10.5 class (winning four of five events attended). Focus is now within the NMCA’s demanding Mickey Thompson Drag Radial category. A new dimension is that the team has converted its combination from gasoline to an alcohol-burning Nelson Competition-built 540ci engine equipped with twin 98mm Garrett GTX turbochargers. The performance objectives are stout, with the team targeting runs in the 4.0-sec zone and speeds nearing 190 mph (eighth-mile).


Excalibur Exposed

Lester Johnson and his wife, Jennifer, campaign a 1955 Chevy with a truly unique background spin: Their Kentucky-based Top Sportsman machine was built back in 2010 by Steve Matukas (Matukas Motorsport Race Cars) and has been an impressive runner ever since, winning numerous Quick 8 events and finishing high in Top Sportsman points. In fact, Lester’s awesome machine qualified Number One for the 2015 NHRA Jegs Allstars event at Chicago and finished runner-up. The car features a 540ci engine program that is topped with an F3-139 ProCharger assembled by Snyder Motorsports. The car, which is highly active in both eighth- and quarter-mile competition has a best quarter-mile e.t. of 6.43 at 221 mph. But the unique angle for this team is in fact within the Excalibur name. Lester reports that choice is a direct result of some extremely good fortune that he and his wife enjoyed back in 2006. “That year, Jennifer and I went to Las Vegas to get married — we were staying at the Excalibur hotel,” Lester explained. “While waiting on her to come down for breakfast one morning I put $20 in a slot machine and won big! That allowed me to build this car the way I wanted it and we call it Excalibur because of that good luck.”


Buckeye Earth Shaker

The utilization of ProCharger technology continues to ramp up in both popularity and frequency within NHRA’s Competition Eliminator category. Ohio’s Chuck Haubiel, who is a lawyer by profession based out of Columbus, Ohio, has been turning heads since debuting his awesome-looking ProCharger supercharged 2015 Camaro during mid 2015. At first glance, this car, which was expertly built by Tennessee’s Darren Breaud (B & B Race Cars) looks very much like a retrofitted Pro Stock car but is in fact purpose-built for the CC/A category. At only 375 ci (with an F3-131 ProCharger), Haubiel employs a unique and very powerful engine program that has been dyno-tested at 2,645 hp! The sleek Camaro features a body by Five Star and a terrific-looking paint scheme, which helps to showcase Haubiel’s primary sponsor: Jax Wax premium car-finishing products. Jegs and Indy Gear also provide associate support. Chuck’s team is rounded out by his wife, Michelle; Tim Ratcliff; “Big D” (Darren); and Grant Breaud.



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