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Car Craft's Real Street Eliminator VIII

Sponsored by Fram Filtration

By , Photography by

It's the annual Car Craft street car test held in conjunction with the Car Craft Summer Nationals that we covered last month. Within our three-day, gasoline-fed funfest, we also stage Real Street Eliminator, brought to you by Fram, that is Car Craft's longest-running annual test of muscle-car mettle. But enough hype; with so many competitors, let's get right to it.

This year, we had a total of 22 cars compete with the largest participation in the Late Model class. We welcomed several returning competitors trying again to be top dog in their classes, along with several newcomers who did exceptionally well. As it has been for the last few years, our competition focuses on three events: the Lucas Oil chassis dyno, the QA1 autocross, and the Car Craft Launch Box with overall sponsorship by Fram. We assign points for the top three finishers in each category, and we use the horsepower from the chassis dyno as the tiebreaker. In the past, horsepower has come into play several times to break a tie, and since we don't discourage power-adders, it's always a good show on the dyno.

But before we get this show underway, we should acknowledge previous competitor Jesse Riggle. We often take for granted that everyone always arrives unscathed, but barely a few dozen miles from St. Paul, Jessie was involved in a freak trailer accident that flipped his '99 Firebird, truck, and trailer. All three were badly damaged and, worse yet, the trailer was borrowed. Jesse wasn't hurt, but the financial setback is crushing. If this makes you think about towing safety, then perhaps this accident was not a total negative. Jesse says he will return, and we believe him.


Lucas Oil Dyno Challenge

Real Street Eliminator places special emphasis on the dyno challenge, and it's clear that the competitors do, too. Plus, it's a bit of an ego thing to show up with a combination that can lay down a strong number. There were a couple of returning racers who we knew would be players, and there were a couple of new cars that looked promising. When Jim Schmittinger arrived (at the last minute) with this turbo Buick, we knew we were in for a treat. He's been threatening to show up for the last couple of years, but something always seems to fail on his Buicks. While his Kenny Duttweiler–built turbo V6 just missed the magic 1,000hp mark at 959, Jim enlightened us afterward that this big number was with a wounded turbo. As always, he promises next year to return with even more power. Fortunately for the rest of the field, this was Jim's only strong performance, as he finished well back in the other two events.

Nathan Shaw also returned with a vengeance, upping last year's strong 655hp run with a very impressive 923 number to take the top spot in the Muscle Car class, followed closely by Jeff Schwartz's twin-turbo Pontiac Trans Am. Perennial performer Justin Nall also returned with his '66 Chevelle to make 654 and long-distance runner Troy Borgen also made noise with more than 600 hp, finishing Fourth. Imagine making more than 600 hp and not finishing in the points for the chassis dyno—that shows how competitive RSE has become.

Conversely, with only three cars in the Corvette/Viper class, all you had to do was show up to get points. Last year's Late Model class competitor Peter Barton returned with a '69 Corvette and lobbied successfully to intelligently switch to the Corvette class with his older machine. He was up against heady competition from Jeff Smith (no relation to this magazine's tech editor), who cranked out a solid 839 rwhp to take the top spot followed by Joel Kangas' supercharged Viper cranking out only 394.

Lucas Oil Dyno Challenge Results

Muscle Car Class

Position/Owner Vehicle HP Points
1st Nathan Shaw '71 Nova 923 30
2nd Jeff Schwartz '81 Trans Am 808 20
3rd Justin Nall '66 Chevelle 654 10
4th Troy Borgen '69 Camaro 606 -
5th Eric Hokenson '63 Impala 547 -
6th Damion Campbell '63 Pontiac LeMans 393 -
7th Ryan Buck '63 Chevy II 297 -

Late Model Class

Position/Owner Vehicle HP Points
1st Jim Schmittinger '87 Buick GNX 959 30
2nd Brandon Brambilla '11 Camaro 721 20
3rd Greg Hopper '06 GTO 489 10
4th Dan Forsman '94 Camaro Z28 450 -
5th John Wegner '13 Camaro ZL1 426 -
6th Eric Sward '98 Trans-Am 414 -
7th Dan Howe '84 Monte Carlo SS 388 -
8th Ron Popesh '11 Mustang 374 -
9th Bill Irwin '00 Camaro 338 -
10th Michael Callahan '99 Crown Victoria 276 -
11th Brett Lindert '97 Mustang GT 253 -
12th Justin Hirschuber '94 Mustang GT 199 -

Corvette Class

Position/Owner Vehicle HP Points
1st Jeff Smith '99 Corvette 839 30
2nd Joel Kangas '01 Viper 394 20
3rd Peter Barton '69 Corvette 237 10

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16 comments
Seth Baker
Seth Baker

I saw this on hrm. It is awesome.

Vikingo Erik
Vikingo Erik

Yo tengo un modelo de ese para restaurar

Shawn Tarleton
Shawn Tarleton

Lower center of gravity, springs, shocks, tires and sway bars.

Dan Howe
Dan Howe

Funny thing is I just finished putting this article onto a poster frame for the shop. This is a great shot of your Nova Ryan Buck.

Ryan Buck
Ryan Buck

Nice shot of that power house Nathan Shaw.

TCI Engineering
TCI Engineering

That was a different car. He had one previous to this car that was damaged in an accident.

Da Manny
Da Manny

Hey guys... If u want to learn how to work on cars for FREE..then search on Youtube for : KLOWNY1969 and subscribe!

Brandon Quinn
Brandon Quinn

Too bad he was parting this car out on craiglist.

Lee Smith
Lee Smith

pro touring gives som cars a whole different flavor. had dreams of pro touring my Malibu SW suspension... but i never ce to fruition

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