OKAY, so it’s actually the Top 11 cars from Hot Rod Drag Week, because we can’t count, and we thought Clark Rosenstengel’s twin-turbo 2010 Camaro was a worthy inclusion with an average of 7.99 seconds.
It’s absolutely mind-boggling that the quickest 11 cars at this year’s Drag Week averaged quicker than 8.0 after competing at four different tracks over five days and driving 1000 miles across a variety of US roads. Clark won the Super Street Small-Block Power Adder class with his Camaro, thanks to a 2075hp Steve Morris-built twin-turbo LSX; the car still has factory a/c, radio and power windows!
Tenth spot went to Jon Wischmann’s ’67 twin-turbo big-block Camaro, which had some tough competition in the Pro Street Power Adder class. The car ran 7.60@188mph during Rocky Mountain Race Week; Jon ran sevens at every track during that event. That was a good test for Drag Week 2016, but unfortunately we didn’t get any video of the car during the week, which is a little embarrassing because the black Camaro averaged 7.87 seconds for the whole event.
We had no problems noticing Les Smith’s bright orange ’67 Nova, which also ran in Pro Street Power Adder. Les bucked the twin-turbo trend by running an F2 ProCharger on a 540ci big-block built by Steve Morris. Without turbos the Nova was one of the louder cars in the Top 10, and it was no slouch getting off the line with that instant grunt. Les finished third in the PSPA class and averaged 7.79 over the five days of Drag Week.
George Gallimore should be no stranger to Street Machine fans. We just love his massive black Monte Carlo running sevens on 315 drag radials. Up front there’s a 555ci big-block with a pair of 94mm turbos dumping their gasses through the front guards. Despite the bigger snails, George averaged just two-hundredths quicker than last year and 3mph less, with an average of 7.74@186mph. But it was still good enough for the big man from Memphis to take home the top award in the Super Street Big-Block Power Adder class.
In seventh spot Mike Wenzler was the quickest non-turbo car at Drag Week, with his Camaro averaging 7.73 seconds. The third-gen Camaro runs a 598ci big-block that makes around 1000 horses, which Michael boosts with around 550hp worth of giggle gas. His best run at Drag Week 2016 was a 7.61 at US 131 in Martin, Michigan, which is his home track. The Camaro had a slightly better average in 2015, but it managed to finish second in the Unlimited class again.
Rick Prospero stepped up in a big way for 2016 to finish sixth overall. The twin-turbo big-block Mazda RX-7 averaged 8.22 seconds last year, and managed to shave just over half a second off that to average 7.71@188mph this time around. With a 7.53, the Mazda was the third-quickest car in the field after Day One, but couldn’t maintain that pace and didn’t manage another 7.5 until Day Five. But a trap speed of 193mph on Day Two indicates how much potential there is in this combo.
Drag Week veteran Mike Roy finished fifth overall and scored second place in the Pro Street Power Adder class with his maroon Monte Carlo. The announcers were having a lot of fun comparing Roy’s big-tyre car against Gallimore’s ‘small-tyre’ car. Both are 4000lb monsters with twin-turbo big-blocks, but they managed to finish reasonably close together. It just goes to show that small and light isn’t the only way to go fast, and an average of 7.67 seconds is nothing to sneeze at.
The only Mustang in the Top 10 was Dan Saitz’s bright orange Fox-body hatch. Dan used his consistency to beat Rick Prospero in the Modified Power Adder class. He’s a regular on the National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) circuit, and the owner of Hyperformance Motorsports in Fenton, Missouri. An average of 7.66 for the week proves he certainly knows his way around a fast Ford. It was an impressive result for a small-tyre radial combo – the quickest radial car at Drag Week.
Third place went to Glenn Hunter and his steel-bodied ’56 Chev Bel Air. Glenn has had a string of different combos over the years, but none as potent at the twin-turbo 555ci big-block that fills the engine bay these days. After failing to finish in 2015, it was a sweet victory to average 7.58 and complete the 1000-mile journey this year. Glenn’s best run this year was a 7.51@185mph at Martin, Michigan, where many racers had their best results. It goes to show that even with the aerodynamics of a brick, the old shoebox Chevy can be pushed to impressive quarter-mile figures.
For the second time in a row, Bryant Goldstone has finished one step down from the top spot on the podium. Last year Bryant’s Javelin came second to Tom Bailey’s Pro Mod Camaro, and this time around he finished behind Jeff Lutz’s Mad Max Camaro. Competing in Ultimate Iron, Goldstone’s AMC is the only steel-bodied car to average in the sixes twice, and it bettered last year’s average by a whole tenth with a 6.85@211mph. While the Javelin may not be able to maintain a low-six-second pace, it’s been right there ready to pounce for the past two years. Who knows what the future may hold for the red and black monster.
The quickest car at Drag Week 2016 was Jeff Lutz’s black Pro Mod Camaro with an average of 6.19@240mph. It’s a hell of a result and Lutz’s second overall win. The composite-bodied car runs a twin-turbo 540ci big-block that pumps out around 3000hp. It’s not as exotic as some of the other combos at Drag Week, but it proved reliable enough to take home the top prize and a few records, including the quickest and fastest pass at this year’s Drag Week – 6.10@243mph. But Lutz has his eye on running the first five at Drag Week – maybe next year. In the meantime he’ll have plenty of the racing to do with the Street Outlaws crew and getting the car to reliably run fives before Drag Week 2017.
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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.
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