Man, this stuff gets our cookies! Yes! Rock! Big steel doorslammers on 11.5-inch DOT tires. Big-blocks meet small-blocks. Major squeeze. Bumper-mangling holeshots. Headlights, turn signals, full interiors-the occasional bench seat. The sporadic 8-second pass!
It's all part of the NMCA/Comp Cams World's Fastest Street Cars Drag Racing Series. Not the full-gonzo, might-as-well-be-IHRA-Pro-Stock, tube-chassis-F-body Pro Street guys-but the little ol' EZ Street racers. The little guys of street car racing. The little guys with the cool cars.
You'd have to be sniffing glue not to notice that Car Craft has been hyping EZ Street throughout 1998. To give 'em even more, the NMCA tossed together a special Car Craft Quick 8 Shootout for the St. Louis event held August 8-9. The Quick 8 program is simply a race held during the Saturday qualifying session; the quickest eight cars in the first round get paired off in a standard ladder during subsequent qualifying rounds, and at the end of the day, there's a final round to determine the champion. The prize? Nothin' but bragging rights and a fabu Car Craft staff jacket. Oh, and glory in these here pages.
Once you've checked out the Quick 8 runners (with Quick 8 qualifying e.t.s noted) and a few highly notable also-rans, get a grip on yourself and plan to hit an NMCA race in person during 1999. Call 800/213-4883 to get a rule book or info, and peek at CC every month for more news.
Quick 8 Winner
9.26 at 147.09 mph
So far, you don't win an EZ Street race unless you're Gary Rohe or Bobby Joysey. Even though Rohe's Mustang was the number one qualifier at St. Louis with a flabbergasting 8.98, he didn't do it in first-round qualifying so he missed out on Quick 8 action. Joysey was up to the task, wading through the field with authority thanks to a new big-block combo. We awarded Bob the official Car Craft jacket, but he passed it on to his dad Bill who builds the engines and handles the tune up.
9.37 at 144.10 mph
The guy's 19 years old. His 441 Rat-powered Chevelle makes anything we've built look stupid. We hate him. Brian Waszak and Team Wasz have come outta nowhere and smacked EZ Street silly with consistent just-quick-enough times (plus dropping a few tenths since you met him in our October issue) and smart racing that put him in the final round of both the Quick 8 Shootout and the Sunday big race. He redlighted the Quick 8 but cut the best reaction time of the entire race in the Saturday final.
Flash: First EZ Streeter in the 8s!
8.98 at 150.35 mph
Everyone on the line and in the lanes stood slack-jawed and pig-eyed. The fans tore the stands down. Gary Rohe was already the dude to beat, and the 8.98 at 150.35 pass didn't help matters. The first EZ Streeter in the 8s! Un-farging-believable! Remember, that's with a car that's steel except for the hood, has a full interior, runs an automatic trans, and with only a single stage of spray. Even more, Rohe just swapped from his old 406-inch mill to a smaller 350 small-block Ford. EZ street is a weight-per-cubic-inch class (8.5 pounds per cubic inch for nitrous)-and the Mustang hasn't even been lightened up for the new tinier engine. Guess our buddy Gary's goin' shopping for a parachute. Big surprise: Rohe also overalled the Saturday event at St. Louis.
9.649 at 144.69 mph
It's pretty to easy to put a car together nicely the first time-but try a few pit thrashes and see what happens. Even after a major panic when Mike's screamin' small-block seemed to lose oil pressure, his little orange sedan remained among the most sano cars in Super Street. Every one of his buddies was climbing all over the car to find the cure, which turned out to be a bad oil-gauge connection. Waszak's equally tasty Chevelle ousted Rizutti in the second round of the Quick 8.
9.67 at 140.61 mph
Yet another EZ car that could win any car show, Ernie's 433-inch big-block '68 has become an NMCA regular. Even running low 9.80s, making him seventh qualifier, Ernie made it to the semifinals on Saturday before he met Brian Waszak and got whacked. Curiously, it was also Wasz that took Ernie out in the first round of the Quick 8.
9.51 at 141.19 mph
You first saw Jim Craig's Olds in the Oct. '98 "Street Punks on Nitrous" story in which we berated Jim for considering a big-block Chevy. It worked: "Ain't gonna happen," he promises. Too bad the sharp G-body drew Joysey's Camaro in the first round of the Quick 8 Shootout, then Mark Werdehausen's serious Nova wagon during Saturday's big eliminations, putting him on the trailer.
9.58 at 141.49 mph
Brian showed at the St. Louis race with a new 426-inch low-deck engine to displace the old 451 mill. Check the spaghetti of nitrous plumbing atop the full Indy cylinder head induction. It's a system from Craig Campton Motorsports that incorporates Fogger nozzles into one big mondo plate-still a legal two-solenoid plate system, but a bit unconventional. You can bet other EZ Streeters will raise a few eyebrows as the Mope drops e.t. into the 9.30s. Jim Craig's Olds blew Brian out of the Quick 8 Shootout in one of EZ Street's rare no-Chevy matchups.
9.39 at 146.61 mph
St. Louis was the first '98 race where we spotted Dustin White who was featured in CC, May '97. We also saw that the 415-inch big-block-powered Camaro opts for free power in a way we've never before seen in EZ Street: ram air. The USM Inductions airbox sits under a 5-inch cowl hood and crams air from the under-bumper inlets. They say it's good for more than a tenth.
The Price Is Right
10.42 at 127 mph
A 10-second ride can't even be close to competitive in EZ Street, but we're still thrilled when they show up. Nothing's gonna stop us from giving ink to a cool car, and Royce Fox from Silverlake, Kansas, has a cool car. He made it to the race thanks to some help from Prosther's Competition Parts in Topeka and ran consistent 10.40s at 127 mph but got taken out in the first round. Still, that's impressive for a 400-inch low-deck Mopar with 9.8:1 compression and tons of homebuilt and backyard-scrounged parts. He claims there's 9 grand in the entire car, and that it's the quickest street car back home.
9.83 at 139.13 mph
Look like granny's ride? Scott scored the Chevelle in his hometown of Hartford, Wisconsin, after the original owner drove it from Fresno, California, and put it up for sale. It was gennie right down to the 230 inline six, which Scott jerked in favor of 461 Rat power. It's all original paint and trim except for the hood. The old man probably never figured on top 9s, which made him a first-round kill in the lane opposite Bobby Joysey.
Hellacious Wheelstand Award
9.20 at 146 mph
Mark Werdehausen didn't qualify for the Quick 8 Shootout but put in three rounds on Sunday and made a dang good show of it. First his little Nova wagonmeister dragged chrome to half-track. Next time out the small-block urped a head gasket, belched, and caught something on fire. We're not sure what, but it was cool. This was followed by one of the best thrash-in-the-pits scenes we've ever seen in EZ Street, resulting in a event-best e.t. of 9.20 at 146-haulin' beautiferous bootie, but slow enough to get spanked by Gary Rohe with a 9.07. We want more!