Records Fall at PSCA Race Fontana
Of all the times to set a record, no one would have even guessed that the PSCA Pro Street speed record would be shattered in July, along with one of the quickest ET’s ever in the class. But that’s what happened during the West Coast Shootout at Fontana, California’s Auto Club Dragway.
Those turbo guys, Giuseppe Gentile and his North Hollywood team, were just incredible, turning in a 6.32 at a fantastic 229.55 mph to the amazement of everyone on the grounds.
The record set by Ed Thornton and the Accufab ‘57 Chevy had been in place for quite some time and was set with ideal weather. But Gentile’s amazing little freshly painted turbo 2008 Shelby Mustang was not to be denied when they set the record and backed it up in the 102-degree heat. [Note: the famed ‘57 has been sold to a party in Australia and has made its last run here. No plans for a new car yet.]
It was kind of a weak turnout in numbers for the Pro Street class at only eleven, but the quality was still there. At the head of the class was the newest star of the PSCA Giuseppe Gentile and his green and yellow 2008 Shelby setting the pace in the heat at 6.354/225.75 mph and that was just a start. The little turbo Cougar of John Mihovetz, who has been dominating the class, was next at a fine 6.456/220.33 mph. Kelly Bluebaugh and his WFO-powered big block Monte Carlo from Arizona was third quickest at 6.580 while the guy with #1 on the side of his window, Ed Thornton, sat at number four with a 6.649.
Former AHRA Pro Stock Champ Randy Hagerty (shown) only brought out one of his Corvette’s this weekend, but hurt the motor on his only qualifying pass 6.894/183.77 mph. They were followed by Art Hodges (recent winner at the West Coast Hot Rod Assn.) race in Bakersfield, Clint Hairston’s slick GTO, Bob Towne’s Arizona-based turbo Camaro, Mack Moffat’s Mikes Transmission-backed Corvette, Jeff Sams I the new Booty Hunter GTO, and Dan Myers’ ‘57 Cameo truck.
Jeff Sams and his crew made their debut in Pro Street in the brand new 2008 GTO. Jeff has never driven a Pro Street car in competition but has raced a Nostalgia bracket ‘64 GTO in the Tucson area and won four events. He also drove for Arnie Beswick in one of his famed ‘63 Flyin’ Farmer Pontiacs. Ron Miller built the potent 835 cu in powerplant and behind it is a TCI powerglide. No nitrous for this big bad boy. The Tucson group will be at the remaining PSCA events this year.
Gentile started things out right in the Muscle Motor Performance-backed turbo Shelby, and he may have earned that odd lot single but laid down an awesome 6.327 at 227.08 mph. Hagerty, in his ‘66 Corvette, got a big break when Bob Towne’s could not make the call . Veteran Bluebaugh paced his WFO AutoTrader Monte Carlo to another fine easy pass of 6.655 at 219.41 mph while newcomer Sams got a bit out of the groove and eased to a 7.594/194.94. Not bad for his first Pro Street race.
Accufab had two entries at the West Coast Shootout and the first up was Big John Mihovetz and his turbo Cougar, which laid down a fine 6.459/216.41 while Ramona, CA’s Dan Myers in his ‘57 Cameo truck went everywhere but straight to the tune of 7.188, 196.39 mph. This truck does the most awesome burnout ever, though!
It was Dodge vs Pontiac with two veterans Art Hodges in his Dodge Stratus and Clint Hairston’s 2007 GTO. Lot’s of potential but neither driver could get a handle on the tricky track and Hairston’s sub par 6.864/206.45 was good enough to advance to round two. Hodges was really disappointed after his big win in Bakersfield, with way off pace times of 7.594, 194.54 mph. Big Ed Thornton in his Shane Tecklenburg- and Doug Stewart-tuned ‘57 advanced easily too as Lancaster’s Mack Moffat’s Corvette just could not find the right combination this week. Thornton ran an easy 6.905 at 212.43 over Mack’s 7.886, shutting off to save parts.
Gentile was on a roll as the little twin turbo Shelby stepped it up a bit and cranked out a fine 6.334/227.96 mph over Hairston, who struck the tires instantly. Hagerty knew he needed a good light against Mihovetz but cut it too close and turned on the red, advancing Mihovetz.