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Chevy High Spotlight on Influential Sportsman Drag Racers

Straight Line Spotlight

Bruce Biegler Jul 13, 2018
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002 1971 Corvette Launch 2/4

Simply Sensational ’71s! Simply Sensational ’71s!
Beauty is certainly beholden for two drag racers that have tasked themselves with campaigning classic Corvettes—both ’71 models and both in Stock Eliminator.

Ohio’s Rick Winchester runs a stunning candy apple red ’71 Corvette with T-top in H/SA, using a 350ci engine rated at 400 hp. The car was built by PK Race Cars (Columbus, Ohio) and features an engine program by reputed Parsons & Meyers Race Engines (Columbus, Ohio). After its meticulous construction period was complete, Rick debuted his car during the spring of 2016 and since then has coaxed his combination to a best run of 11.08 at 118 mph. The finished product, which certainly speaks for itself and is highlighted by expert paint by Ron’s Auto Body (West Chester, Ohio), is also a deserving award winner. Rick and his wife/crew chief Phyllis have Best Engineered and Best Appearing awards from NHRA to their credit. Support for the West Chester-based race team comes from valued associates Ron’s Auto Body, PK Race Cars, Defiance Transmissions, and Q-Jet Performance.

The passion for the ’71 Corvette is clearly international too, as evidenced by the C/SA class effort campaigned by Scandinavian driver Mikael Lind. Lind, who resides in Borlange, Sweden—and also races a GT/EA ’90 Camaro in Super Stock in Europe—acquired his Corvette back in 2010. Lind keeps his Corvette based with friends in Jackson, Missouri, and comes over to North America three to four times a season to race. This Corvette features a 454ci engine that is rated at 365 hp (prepared by Line Performance), and the classic tips the scales at 3,535 pounds. He has a best run of 10.26 at 127.76 mph (2018 NHRA Gatornationals), and has also racked up a couple of class wins with it. When racing in North America, Lind receives valued support from Wade and Alex Owens, Lance and Jason Line, Jackie and Katie Sepanek, and Redhorse Performance.

003 1955 Chevy Burnout 3/4

A ’55 Fanatic!
Massachusetts-based Don Lussier is continuing a longtime personal passion for Chevy’s ’55 model. After acquiring his very first ’55 Chevy back in 1962, he has carried forward that dedication to the present and is now behind the wheel of a Top Sportsman machine. Don has been campaigning this car for a number of seasons using a fuel-injected engine built by Pat Musi. That engine combination features Pontiac Big Chief cylinder heads and a Kinsler fuel-injection system. Don tasked S&W Race Cars with the chassis build and now his race car is a consistent runner in the low 7-second and high 190-mph zone. Don focuses most of his racing to events located in the Northeast each season, making frequent trips to tracks like New England Dragway and Maple Grove Raceway. The great-looking race car, which features what is for him some traditional and signature orange paint, gets most of its race day support from friends and family, including Ronnie Montini, his son Steven, and granddaughter Jocelyn.

004 1969 Chevelle Launch 4/4

On Target Chevy
Since 2017, Chris Borges (Roseville, California) has been competing within NHRA’s Super Street index class with a nicely prepped ’69 Chevelle. This car has seen a nice evolution after starting to put the car together around 2008, Chris first hit the dragstrip with it racing e.t. classes locally (mostly at Sacramento Raceway) around 2013. This Chevelle features some chassis work by Jim Berg (Performance Chassis), and the engine is a Riolo Racing Engines-built 489 big-block. That program features a Manley Performance rotating assembly, Brodix Race Rite heads, and a healthy Comp Cams camshaft. The driveline includes a transmission and converter built by Steve Casner at CRE. When not chasing the NHRA S/ST 10.90 index, Chris is a successful bracket racer, too, and his car has run a best of 9.18 at 148 mph. He has some solid accomplishments to his credit also. Not only is he a former Super Pro Track Champion (Sacramento Raceway), he has also won at the NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional level and was named the NHRA Division 7 Rookie of the year. Sponsors are: Riolo Racing Engines, CRE, Mike Sala, James Riolo Paving, Berco Redwood, and Berry Lumber. His crew consists of his uncle, Bill Derby, and his parents and girlfriend, with numerous friends willing to help out whenever they can.

Photos by Bruce Biegler

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