by: Scotty Lachenauer
Only a week after a freak pre-Halloween northeaster spewed wet snow, sleet and buckets rain on the Northeast, the loyal followers of the widely popular LX Forums invaded Atco Raceway in New Jersey for the final leg of their Modern Street HEMI Shootout Series. The November meet has become a staple in the year-long race series, and this particular event has been known to give up some of the series best times. This year was no exception. Cool weather and a low elevation (33 feet) usually add up to furnish some of the best conditions to run the 1/4 mile, and luckily the typically unpredictable fall weather here in the Garden State presented the field with two beautiful days on which to determine the best of the best from Chrysler’s LC and LX platforms, and SRT Jeeps.
Racers converged on Atco starting on Thursday, running some great ET’s right out of the box during the practice session. As Friday rolled around, expectations were running high as the clear, chilly day unfolded. Racers started gearing up at 8:00 am, and many first timers were among the predictable presence of the series’ seasoned drivers. In all, 70 competitors and their respective rides showed up, while 90 cars in total made their way to the track. Some came to watch, some came just for practice, and some came to win it all. Prizes were awarded for the top participants in each of six categories, each award donated by a major Mopar related sponsor, which included valuable vendors such as ShopHEMI.com, Paramount Performance Products, and American Racing Headers.
Like last year, racing categories consisted of a 5.7L N/A (naturally aspirated) “Heads Up” class, a 6.1L N/A Heads Up, a Stroker class, and an Unlimited class. An Index round was also held, and contained the largest group of entries. The action was fierce out on the 1320 from the start, and even after a day where track conditions slowly degraded over the course of racing, many impressive ET’s were logged by the participants, and class champions were crowned in each category. From here, a “King of the Hill” would be crowned from a run-off of the four heads-up race class winners.
6.1 L N/A
In the 6.1L N/A Heads Up category sponsored by Stage 6 Motorsports, the 2007 Dodge Magnum SRT8 run by Bill McFadden (LxForum handle “slideway”) from Scotch Plains, New Jersey was the overall winner. Bill managed an 11.21 @ 121 mph to take the win. Not only did Bill take the crown at Atco, he also secured himself the overall season championship win in the 6.1L N/A class. His Magnum was equipped by Cartek Performance in Garwood, New Jersey. Mods include a set of ported racing heads, along with a custom cam and intake manifold. Bill filled the rear with 3.91 gears and added a 4000 stall converter to the trans.
Bill’s been racing the car for almost 5 years now, and has run a best of 11.07 @ 126 mph. He’s been in the victory lane in several events around the country and believe it or not, he still uses his Magnum as a daily driver. Bill thanks his wife Karen for her support … and lunches! Congrats Bill on not only taking the win, and also getting a big thumbs up from me for driving your car to the events!
The Hemituner sponsored Stroker Class saw some heavy competition, but in the end, Alan Kral (“infer Al”) took top honors. Al runs a 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T Classic in B5 Blue. He’s been attending the race now for the last three years, first racing a 2006 Charger sporting a 392. He’s been modifying and racing these modern Hemi cars since 2006 and has loved every minute of it along the way.
Al’s car starts off with a PWR Aluminum Block Big Bore 426. Its topped with a PWR Apache Mean Street Heads and Cam and shifted with a Southern hot Rod transmission. An Arrington 90mm throttle body was added to the mix along with a Paramount Dominator TC. Enhanced Transmissions built the differential out back.
Al solidified the win by running a 11.059 @ 126.30 mph on Friday. His best runs with the car are a 10.86 @ 124.93 mph with a 1.41 60′ time. Congrats Al on a great win!
Al Gennarelli (BigAlG) owns the 2009 Drag Pak Challenger which took top honors in the Unlimited Class sponsored by Twin Turbo Creations. Al’s owned the ride since 2009, and went to Roush racing in Michigan to pick it up. Al’s added a lot of neat hardware to the ride, as these cars are delivered basically as rollers. It sports a 6.1 Hemi built to NHRA specs by Arrington Performance and its shifted by a beefed up 904 automatic trans. Out back, the Dana 60 rear is stuffed with 4.88 gears. A FAST computer system gets everything running in tune, and Kooks headers get rid of the spent gasses.
The Plum Crazy Challenger was driven by Tiffany Daniels (Tiff), a young, up and coming racer already known for her achievements in Pro Stock Racing (NASCAR and ASA Transcontinental). Tiff made her drag racing debut in July, and has been tearing up the track since. The Paramount and Arrington (www.shopHemi.com) sponsored ride beat the best of the unlimited cars by pulling a 9.988 @ 136.08 mph in the final round.
Not only did Tiff show her metal, she also showed us the underside of the belly of the Challenger, taking some air on her launches at the line. Congratulations Tiff on a job well done.
5.7L N/A Heads Up, Index, KING OF THE HILL
Last but not least, 37 year old Jon Dalton (novawagonmaster) from Ashatabula, Ohio took overall top honors at the meet, obliterating the competition in the BFNY Motorsports sponsored 5.7L N/A class, and then beating out the field in the Billet Technology sponsored Index category. Jon and his Challenger was on top of his game all day, pulling an 11.530 @ 116.74 mph in the finals of the 5.7L class and then running tops in the overall Index class, which was incidentally the most competitive racing class of the day, due to the size of the field. Jon was also crowned “King of the Hill”, after beating the other three winners of the heads-up classes. The crisp fall air on this day also allowed Jon to set a new LC based 5.7L N/A record of 11.12 @ 120 mph.
Jon has been building hot rods since he was 16 and works in the automotive business full time. His ride is a 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T sporting a 5.7L (345 cubic inch) Hemi motor backed by a 5 speed automatic transmission, fitted with a FTI torque converter. Upgrades include a forged Hemi short block built by Arrington. GTP cylinder heads and GTP ported intake were added to the mix along with a Steve Frank custom ground camshaft (specs are secret). A 90mm throttle body by Arrington was added and is fed by a Legmaker carbon fiber cold air intake.
Kooks longtube headers get the gasses out in a hurry and feed a custom made exhaust system, designed by the owner and using Flowmaster Super 44 mufflers. Out back, 3.91 gears turn in a Getrag stock rear differential. Jon added a TCE/Wilwood rear brake conversion so he could run 15 inch wheels. So a set of Weld RT-S wheels, 17″ skinnies up front, and 15″x10″ in the rear, now sit on the car. As far as rubber, 28-17 M & H front runners guide the car, while 28 x 10.5-15 M/T slicks do the pushing from the rear.
A Diablosport Predator tuner, which was tweaked by “Hemituner”, runs the system which gets the most out of Jon’s build. Driveshaft loop by Crank This Performance keeps it all safe down below. Visual modifications include a T/A hood from Mopar Performance and a T/A stripe kit by Rider Graphix give it an old school look. To finish off the T/A theme, semi-gloss black paint work was added by Frank’s Auto Body in Madison, Ohio.
Besides the short block build, the rest of the work was done by the owner. Jon would like to thank his wife Shannon for her support, because without her on board, none of this would happen. Congrats Jon on the big win.
Along with the great times that the winners racked up, several records fell along the way over the two days. Along with Jon Dalton’s LC based 5.7L N/A record, Kent Irwin racked up a new LX based 5.7L N/A record as well, burning an 11.39 @ 116 mph. Eric Koll steeped up into his SRT Jeep Stroker and turned a record 10.69 @ 124 mph. Ken Kimak took his LC based 6.1L Stroker N/A and ran a new record 11.32 @ 119mph. Al Kral rewrote the books when he took his LC based Aluminum Stroker N/A to 10.86 @ 124 mph. And last but not least, event organizer Dan Van Horn set a new Modern Hemi Nitrous record, by running a blistering 9.69 @ 145 mph during Thursdays practice runs.
The LX Forums Modern Street Hemi Shootout Series continues into next year, leading off with a meet at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida on Feb 17, 2012. Dan Van Horn, organizer of the series, expects a great turnout for this always exciting late winter meet. Stay tuned to Modern Mopar Magazine for upcoming news on the series. And you can always check www.lxforums.com for information on the burgeoning world of Chrysler late model racing.