Recently, I was in the middle of a bench-racing session where we started discussing the incredible advancements in Sportsman door racing. “Incredible,” let’s think about this for a second—people are going deep into the 7-second zone at well over 180 mph with factory-style suspensions and 275 drag radials. Can you say sub 5-second passes in the eighth-mile? Yes, and that’s with DOT-approved street tires!
If you aren’t familiar with factory- or stock-style suspension, this means all suspension mounting points are in the factory locations and said components must bolt into place with no modifications. This allows tubular K-members and A-arms, including rear double-adjustable control arms—basically, no big tire ladder bar or four-link cars.
Even more impressive, the folks building and piloting these hot rods are enthusiasts with a passion for speed and willing to put in a whole lot of sweat equity for a little fun on the weekends. That’s right, these are not paid professionals. I’m talking about your next-door neighbor, family members, maybe even you, who put in 40-plus hours a week for an adrenaline rush.
The fact is, cars are going faster than ever and producing performance numbers that are just obscene. Seriously, even factory ponycars are running in the 11s with seat time; add a few basic bolt-on goodies and you better get ready to install a rollbar.
It really goes to show just how far we’ve come in a relatively short period of time. Simply put, today’s technology has allowed the aftermarket to manufacturer high-quality yet affordable engine and suspension components to make this happen. Sure, depending on how fast you want to run it could cost you, but it’s nowhere near the cost from yesteryear. Even a budget-minded combo can quickly propel a car into the 10-second zone with a well-thought-out combination. And if you’re not adhering to class rules, lighten up the chassis and get ready to run a number.
By the end of our powwow, we all wondered the same thing: What will be the next round of performance achievements? Will 9s be the new 11s? Will 650-plus horsepower to the tires be the new 500? What will be the limit of stock suspension cars?