Nitrous Injection Wins Pro Street, While Turbos and Blowers Torch PSCA Records 

Story by Eric Lenore / Photo's by Paul Schmitz & Brenda Treuthardt

  The PSCA rolled into the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on April 25th for the K& N Filters Las Vegas Nationals.    Several notable records were shattered including those of the top class (Hughes Performance Pro Street) and the insane small drag radial class Mickey Thompson Tires Wild Street.  Long Time PSCA racer and former Real Street record holder, Giuseppe Gentile brought out his revamped 2008 Shelby Mustang and shocked the fans with a new ET record of 6.29 @ 226 MPH. Gentile would like to thank Jason Pettis for the motor, Carl Rossler for the trans and Marty at Neal Chance for the converter.   Unfortunately a broken crank trigger in the 3rd round ended the team's near perfect weekend.    Also equally impressive was Chris Groves in the Ron Booth owned '91 Mustang Notchback powered by a unique gear driven F-2 Procharger, which set both ends of the Wild Street (275x60 Drag Radial) record with a an ET of 7.66 and a speed mark of 184 MPH.   While both cars posted "jaw dropping" numbers, it was consistency that won the races as Pro Streeter Kelly Bluebaugh used a series of 6.60s to take the win in Pro Street and Groves backed up his record runs with a string of consistent 7.60 passes.  With the magnitude of these record setting performances and the consistency of teams like WFO & Groves, it was obvious that Chris Blair's crew (led by Nick Heinrich) at the Strip proved their worth as one of the best operations in all of drag racing!!!

A record 20 Hughes Performance Pro Street entries made the call to Saturday's qualifying with current points leader John Mihovetz capturing the pole with a 6.42 @ 219 MPH.  Giuseppe Gentile was not far behind with a 6.44 @ 224 MPH while Randy Hagerty was the top nitrous runner at #3 with a 6.57 @ 214.  Kelly Bluebaugh secured the forth spot with another Fulton Powered 728 and a 6.60 @ 213 while Bob Griffith nailed down the #5 position with the sole blower car in the top five at 6.61 @ 214.  Qualifying was cut short on Saturday as strong cross winds made for treacherous track conditions and the 3rd round was cancelled.   The long haul award went Perry Thyr of Dayton Valley, Alberta (Canada) who came out to play with his nitrous assisted '91 Camaro.  Other Canadians that made the long trek included Dan Vogt in his 63 Corvette and Jay  Syverson in his '37 Chevy.  Wayne Glasgow from Casper, Wyoming also made a long haul with his unique Ethanol injected  765ci nitrous assisted 2001 Camaro.  New comers to the class included Jay Diedrich of Firebaugh, CA in his insane "Evil Outlaw" 57 Chevy, powered by a 596 CI TFX motor with a screw blower and Bart Smith of North Las Vegas in his sleek '41 Willys powered by a blown alcohol 454 CI Chevy.  Former NHRA Pro Stock Racer and ace engine builder Alan Bessant was also their shaking down his ex-Ricky Smith '68 Camaro for the first time.   The diversity in power adders continued to make this class unique as nine nitrous cars battled against six turbos and five blown entries for top honors.    


Tim Henry with the help from Joe Lapone posted career bests (6.635 & 213.30mph)


Randy Hagerty led the Nitrous guys in Qualifying 6.57 @ 213


1st time PSCA Pro Street racer Jay Diedrich and his "Evil Outlaw" Blown '57 Chevy!!!


Rod Pearce from Granite Bay, California ran a 6.686 in the 1st round


Wayne Glasgow's Nitrous Injected '01 Camaro from Casper Wyoming....

As elimination approached, Mother Nature decided to cooperate and the cross winds diminished.  The air was good by Las Vegas standards at approximately 3,200 feet and the track surface was simply outstanding.  One can not say enough about the amazing preparation of the track crew who delivered the best track surface on the West Coast.   The highlight from the early rounds was of course the incredible 6.29 of Gentile.  However, several other racers also took advantage of the favorable conditions and reported personal bests.  Randy Hagerty went 6.50 in round 1 and Kelly Bluebaugh posted a 6.58 @ 214 along with a series of 6.60s.    


Bob Griffith posted a career best 6.481@214.69


Giuseppe Gentile of Sun Valley, California posted the 1st sub 6.30 pass in PSCA Hughes Performance Pro Street History (6.297/226.05)

Bob Griffith put the Viper on a string with a personal best 6.48 @ 215 against the Joe Lapone (Ex-NHRA Pro Stock Racer) tuned Firebird of Tim Henry and advanced to the 3rd round where he faced points leader John Mihovetz.  Griffith's car put a cylinder out during the burn-out and could not recover against the Cougar's 6.53 @ 221 MPH.   Team Hairston clawed their way to their second straight 3rd round appearance.  However, Clint unfortunately lit the red bulb ending the family's run against eventual winner Bluebaugh.  In the Semis the Accufab yellow team gave the track all they had with a 6.46 @ 221 MPH and got passed a surprising early shut-off of the new record holder Giuseppe Gentile.   Nevertheless, at the end of the day it was the consistent 6.60s of Kelly Bluebaugh that got Team WFO the win as Mihovetz shook the tires and never fully recovered.   


Kelly's 1st PSCA win was well deserved!!!


Mihovetz struggled but still managed a Runner-up Finish...

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The excitement of the Accufab sponsored Outlaw 10.5 class was marred by the crash of long time PSCA racer Greg Seth-Hunter in his beautiful 1970 twin turbo Nova.  Although the cause is still undetermined, Hunter believes that fluid from a transmission overflow tank was to blame for the cars sudden right hand turn just past half track.  Greg was fortunately unhurt thanks to the top notch safety crew at LVMS and his focus on safety (including a head and neck restraint device and an outstanding chassis which he built himself).  Nevertheless, qualifying resumed and it was Rich Zehring and crew chief "Lil Bri" Smith taking the pole with a slightly off the pace 7.21 @ 198 MPH.  Ron Lummus and the Garrett Turbo team made an impressive "early shut-off" run of 7.37 at a mere 163 MPH for the second spot.  This well sponsored team is making significant progress in the world of Outlaw 10.5 racing and will likely be a big league contender in the near future.  Crowd favorite Slim Zeinaty put his AES powered 91 Camaro in the #3 slot with a 7.50 followed closely by SCSN's III Champion Dale Moznik who ventured down from British Columbia to mix it up with the PSCA.  Enrique Soto rounded out the top five with a 7.63 @ 184 MPH.  The event also marked the return of 3-time champion Doug Sikora who has been away from Outlaw 10.5 competition since 2003


Ron Lummus on the way to his 1st PSCA 10.5 Victory!!!

Unfortunately, Sikora struggle with his new small block nitrous combination and went out first round with a red light against #1 qualifier Rich Zehring.   Lummus, Soto, Zeinaty and Moznik all advanced to round two as well.  Zeinaty turned on the dreaded red light by a mere .002 seconds and handed Moznik the easy win in round two.  Lummus used a slowing 7.58 to get past Soto while Zehring idled down the track to save parts.  The 2006 class champion (Zehring) showed off the big 870 CI Fulton power with an amazing 205.69 MPH blast in the semis sending Moznik back on a long return trip to Canada.   However, it was all Ron Lummus in the final as the Garrett team put together its best run yet with a 7.19 @ 201 MPH to take out a struggling Zehring. 


Pueblo, Colorado's Greg Orr and his Awesome new Camaro!!!


SCSN III Outlaw winner Dale Moznik made it to the semi's


Past Outlaw 10.5 Champion Doug Sikora debuted his new Pettis Performance Powered SBF Mustang, but had a few issues in the TnT session.. After a 24-hour period of repairs to his wheelie bars and oil pan, Doug made it back to eliminations...

 

Mickey Thompson Tires Wild Street attracted a record 20 drag radial cars to the Strip to do battle.  Running with the PSCA for only about a year, relative newcomer Chris Groves shocked competitors and fans alike with a new MPH record in qualifying with a 7.71 at a stout 184 MPH!  The Albuquerque, NM native went on to set a new ET record as well with a 7.66 in round one.   This 91 Mustang is owned by Ron Booth and runs a fairly simple R-headed 408 sbf utilizing a gear driven Pro Charger F-2 adapted by Sherbring Racing.   Evident in the pictures is the fact that the car looks like your typical 11-12 second street car.  It however is a rocket ship that has set the class on its ear.    Grove’s performance should be commended and will likely result in a elevation of the rest of the class.   Other notable performances were turned in by Al Jiminez (another F2 Pro Charger car) running several 7.90s in eliminations, George Raygoza (8.02), Derroll Hubbard (8.03) and Levi Hanna (8.06) and David Schwarz (8.11) 


Armen Maghdessian runs his personal bests.... 8.284 / 168.47

Groves progressed through the field with a string of 7.60s meeting up with the #2 qualifier George Raygoza in the final round.   Raygoza hurt his engine in his quarter final match-up and could not make the final round however, Groves didn't let the fans and all the event winners & runner-ups lined up on the Strip's famous return road and blasted a 7.66 @ 186.5 MPH 


Chris Groves and a very happy "Dyno Edge" Race Team!!!

 

In K&N Filters Limited Street we saw a 1st time Limited Street winner Tony Politano.. Tony had several victories way back in the day in the EFI Challenge class but has been searching for a Limited Street victory for the past several years. Politano qualified last and had to face series points leader Craig Williams in the 1st round. In a very close race, Politano edged out Williams 9.475 to a 9.536. On the other side of the ladder, the 1968 Camaro of Russ Delia from Mar Vista, California defeated PSCA newcomer Erick Carrasco in the first round, then beat the 2007 Champion Gary Brandt in the semi's. This set of a turbo vs. nitrous, Chevy vs. Ford battle!!! In the closest final in all the heads-up classes Politano's 9.302 squeaked out the win over Delia's 9.384. Delia had a half a tenth on the tree, and only lost by .0323


Russ Delia Jr. Posted his 2nd runner-up finish


Politano (Nears) edges out Delia in the final round...

 

The Edelbrock Hot Street racers put on a great show as always in Vegas!!! From the show car quality rides to the crowd pleasin' wheel stands!! Dan Bott II led the way in qualifying with an outstanding 8.550 from his Kuntz built SBF, nippin' right at his heels was Carl Gustafson with his Big Chief Big Block Chevy with a 8.551. Carl's dad Craig was slightly off the pace with an 8.582 followed by the BBC's of John Mitchell & Victor Brum in the 8.60 range. Class points leader and 1st event of 2008 event winner Darrell Shaffer struggled in qualifying and was the only Hot Street car not to reach the 8 second zone. Darrell's luck will soon get better as eliminations start....


John Mitchell made his 1st appearance in a Hot Street Final

When Sundays eliminations began, the winds kinda settled down a bit and the Naturally Aspirated Warriors were all ready to line them up and battle for the Vegas Crown!! Upsets came early and often as number 2 & 3 qualifiers were both sent home in the 1st round as Carl & Craig Gustafson first outing back in the class had traction issues and #'s 8 & 9 Shaffer & Rob Wasso advanced!! in round 2, Rob Wasso met up with his Perris California neighbor John Mitchell (Driving his father George's Nova) Wasso lit the red bulb giving Mitchell the win and a bye into the final round. On the other side of the ladder, Bott overcame a huge holeshot by Steve Fulgham in the 2nd round, then took care of Darrell Shaffer in the Semi's to set up a BBC vs. SBF final Round. In the finals, Mitchell cut a .006 light, but the car had mechanical issues as Bott blew by posting a event low ET 8.533!!! This win propelled Dan into the class points lead after two events......


Arizona's Dan Bott II took his Kuntz SBF to the winner's circle


In Borla Performance Xtreeme Drag Radial, the boost cars seem to have what it takes to qualify up front, but a certain nitrous car comes to the forefront during eliminations!!! Steve Short and Justin Buettner (Both twin turbo SBF Combo's) were the stars of the qualifying sessions with Short landing the pole with a 7.67, followed closely by Bueettner's 7.729. Matt Schmidt had the quickest nitrous big block time with his 7.789 qualifying him 3rd, and Scott Oksas posted the quickest small block nitrous combo ET with a 7.993. Bobby Frye took the high mile per hour honors with a very stout 188.23 top end charge!!! Last years champions in both Real & Xtreeme Street (Rich Hoyle & Roger Holder Jr, continue to struggle early this new season, but did show signs of life during the eliminations rounds...

In the first round of eliminations, the only real upset came when Rich Hoyle took a huge holeshot advantage and continued on for his 1st round win of the new season over the twin turbo Ford of Justin Buettner. In got really interesting in the semi's when the two rivals from teh Real street days lined up... As Matt Schmidt took the starting line advantage, Rich Hoyle's car decided it was about to make the video highlight real and literally wheelie past the 660 clocks where he finally had to lift. Matt got to peak a little at the bumper standing Chevy II, but continued on with his second consecutive 7.81 pass and get ready to face the #1 qualifier Steve Short or the BBC ProCharger entry of Bobby Frye in the finals.. In the other semi, Frye posted the event high MPH (189.95) but a pesky red light ended his day as Steve Short set the Event quick ET (7.542) This set up another nitrous vs. boost final (Just like every other PSCA heads-up class) Matt Schmidt in the nitrous Nova was not to be denied with his 2nd consecutive XDR win (3rd win in a row dating back to 2007) as an almost perfect .005 reaction time, his quickest run of the weekend (7.772) and his opponent Short having some issues just to top it off... Congrats to Matt and his crew for another great weekend of Heads-up Radial Racing!!!


Matt Schmidt doing what it takes to win in XDR!!!


Steve Short runs the quickest XDR pass to date 7.542


Doug Crumlich continues to impress in NRP Super Street and gets his second win of the 2008 racing season!!!


Even after jumping into the next faster Index class (8.60), It's hard to keep Brian Rogers out of the final round!! 


After plenty of wins in the Trophy class, I think Michael Hadtrath has found a new home in Quick Street as he picks up his first class win!!!


PSCA newcomer Al White has defiantly got his GTO dialed in and a very impressive runner-up finish...

 


2007 Open Comp Champ Mike Nordahl, picking up a win in Mean Street....


Erick Aldrich Qualified #1 for the 2nd consecutive event and also posted his first perfect 10.600 pass...


Henry Oliver made it to his 1st Final Round

 


Willy Reiksiek wins his 1st event since the inaugural SCSN 


Las Vegas resident Steve Westlund had a better reaction time in the Orme Bros Inc. Open Comp Final, but lost by mere inches...


John McKindley posts his 1st ever perfect light (.400) and qualifies number one in Open Comp....

 


Glen Strelecki's Cobra was the #1 Qualifier and gets his first win in the Ford Racing Mustang Maddness Class....


Justin Keller of California City, California had his best PSCA finish with a runner-up in the Mustang Maddness Class!!!

 


Great job by Dave Meigide and entire the Rim High School Racing Team as they get their 1st PSCA Win in Chris Alston's ChassisWorks Bracket-1 Class


Corey LeClair from Pahrump, Nevada had a great weekend going 6 rounds and a runner-up finish...

 

Much More to follow....