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Some of the Coolest Drag Cars on the Planet

Straight Line Spotlight

Bruce Biegler Aug 4, 2016
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A Rarity in Red

The father-and-son racing team of Ronnie Glenn Smith and Tyler Glenn Smith, who are based out of Springfield, Tennessee, are campaigning very rare bird in drag racing: a well-prepped 1979 Chevy El Camino. After buying the car six years ago and first running it as a bracket racer, mostly on the eighth-mile, three years ago the team decided to completely disassemble it, rework the chassis, and repaint it. Now outfitted with a 565ci aluminum-block Chevy engine topped with Brodix heads (built by S&W Powersports), the car returned to the dragstrip in 2015 with the 10.90-indexed Super Street class being its primary playground. Tyler Glenn, who in 2004—at the age of 10—was an Eastern Conference Junior Dragster champion for NHRA, is the driver. The team receives valued support from S&W Powersports, Tinnion Suspension, Runnels Trucking, Richardson Motorsports, Scrouples Racing, and Abruzzi Transmissions & Converters.

2004 Chevy Cavalier Burnout 2/4

Tedesco Fleet Car

Mia Tedesco, a 22-year-old lady racer, is widely regarded as one of drag racing’s most promising up-and-coming racers. Mia plays an intricate part in the management of the multicar Tedesco Racing outfit (based out of Pittsburgh), which was co-founded by her father, Michael, and includes no less then seven different drag racing vehicles. Mia, who is licensed and races the team’s injected nitro-powered Top Alcohol Dragster also spends a lot of time behind the wheel of a very nice 2004 Chevy Cavalier Super Gasser. That purpose-built SG class car (by Rick Jones) was debuted by the team in 2012 and features a 615ci Wilkerson Racing Engines engine program. Mia has enjoyed some success racing the Cavalier, including multiple final-round NHRA event appearances and a win at the NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional level. The team’s sponsorship lineup is impressive and includes CARS Protection Plus, VP Racing Fuels, Aamco, Wilkerson Racing Engines, Quick Fuel Technology, Hoosier Racing Tires, and Abruzzi Transmissions & Converters. Mia’s crew includes Jason Lynch (a team co-driver) and Jason Oteri.

1966 Chevy Ii Wheelie 3/4

New Carolina Classic

Super Stock class drag racing in 2016 included the emergence of a new player: South Carolina-based Steve Johnson. Johnson has chosen to buck the current trend of building late-model-class cars, instead choosing to have Darrell Lai Race Cars (Maiden, North Carolina) construct a spectacularly built 1966 Chevy II. Fully armed and aimed for NHRA’s SS/CM class, this high-winding and manually shifted 318ci machine features a shift point of 10,000 rpm and rolls through the quarter-mile finish line at 10,400 rpm! Johnson tasked FMG Race Engines (Roan Mountain, Tennessee) to do his engine program, and that power is transferred through an ACT system and a Liberty five-speed transmission. The finish on Johnson’s car is also truly stand-alone and features stunning deep-red paint applied by John Black (Taylorsville, North Carolina). This Chevy II has won a Best Engineered award in IHRA racing. Steve’s dedicated crew is comprised of Barry Lowe, Rusty Humphries, Dane Pearson, and Ben Potts. He is also appreciative of the support he receives from his wife, Pam, and his family.

John Force 2016 Camaro Funny Car 4/4

First For the Future

Fans of NHRA’s nitro Funny Car class have finally received what they had been anticipating for a long time: the debut of the sixth-generation Chevy Camaro Funny Car body, based on the Camaro SS. That occurrence came to be in May when drag racing living legend and 16-time NHRA World Champion John Force introduced the all-new body at the NHRA Kansas Nationals, in Topeka. This Camaro replica is the end result of a lot of computational analysis and scale-model wind tunnel testing. Among the unique aerodynamic elements is a new, integrated front splitter that helps direct more air over the body to increase downforce. The design also incorporates new, dual blow-out—or “burst”—panels, safety devices that relieve underbody pressure to help keep the body on the chassis in the event of an engine failure. The new body, which is also lighter than John Force Racing’s previous Camaro Funny Car body, carries the distinctive styling signatures of the 2016 Camaro SS’s front- and rear-end designs. Force’s teammates Courtney Force and Robert Hight are scheduled to introduce new Camaro SS Funny Car bodies later this season.



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