The 2013 Chevrolet Performance LSX Challenge season is wrapped, as the final stanza of the series took place this past weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The weather and air were fantastic, Jeff Conley and the LOR staff had the track hooking hard, and the LSX contingent showed up in droves to take their shot at record-setting passes and personal bests all weekend long.
JE Pistons LSX Drag Radial
The JE Pistons LSX Drag Radial class assembles the quickest and fastest LS street cars in the world, and at the World Finals Mark Carlyle had his work cut out for him. Each pass, he seemed to get quicker and quicker, setting an IRS World Record in the process.
In the qualifying sessions, it was all Carlyle in his IPS Motorsports, Part Time Performance-tuned machine setting the pace for all others to follow. The 427-cube, twin-turbo-boosted ’07 ‘Vette topped the qualifying sheet with an outstanding 6.69 at 217.84 MPH, nearly three full tenths ahead of the competition.
Illinois resident Andy Essary also ran a personal best during the qualifying portion of the race, carding a stout 7.229 at 200.14 MPH to land in the fourth spot. Ray Litz had his own struggles during the sessions, but managed to click off a 7.42 at 190 MPH to slot in just behind Essary. Anthony Manna’s 7.46 and Chuck Buckhart’s 7.96 rounded out the odd field of seven competitors in the big-dog class.The other Mark in the class, Koehler, also acquitted himself well by finishing the qualifying sessions in the six-second range with a 6.95 at 211.89 MPH. He was followed by Mike Brown, who was the only other competitor to sneak into the sixes with a 6.991 at 209.82 MPH.
The first round of competition on Sunday found Essary out of competition quickly with a .010 redlight, sending number seven qualifier Buckhart on to the second round. Litz’s struggles continued, as he was able to struggle down the track with a shutdown 11.98, while Koehler’s 7-flat at 200MPH solidified his standing as a player this weekend. Despite scoring a strong .014 reaction time, Anthony Manna went down to the Brown machine, while Carlyle’s competition single netted a 7.40 soft pass.
Buckhart’s luck continued in the second round versus Koehler, who was unable to repeat his first-round success and shut it down to a 10.21 to Buckhart’s consistent 7.88 at 172 MPH. On the other side of the ladder, Carlyle clicked off a 6.95 to Brown’s shutdown 11.28, setting up the final between the number one and number seven qualifiers, proving anything can happen on Sunday.
Buckhart’s luck ended there, however, as Carlyle unleashed a 6.82 at 203 MPH in the final round to take the class win – off his best of the weekend, but solidly in a range Buckhart’s machine couldn’t achieve.
ERL Performance LSX All Motor
Elimination rounds, fittingly, came down to Massingill and Delaney in a late-night Sunday session. Delaney got out of the hole with a .038 advantage over Massingill’s .088 reaction time, but as he ripped down the track, the car got out of the right lane groove and Delaney crossed the track and went nose-first into the far wall through the traps, destroying the nose of the car to the point where we’re not sure it can be repaired. Massingill, to his credit, managed to escape the incident unscathed to take the class win with an 8.73 at 167 MPH.In ERL Performance LSX All Motor, Jud Massingill’s 8.20 led the field through the qualifying rounds, with Baskin Truck Sales driver Greg Delaney’s 2010 Camaro in the second spot with an 8.22- both racers in the 166 MPH bracket. Don Baskin’s shoebox Nova carded an 8.41, and Danny Nicely’s ‘Vette earned the fourth spot with an 8.53 at 162 MPH. Robert Strong carded an 8.64 for fifth, while Brian Massingill rounded out the field with a 9.46 in his 2012 COPO Camaro.
Holley EFI LSX Real Street
Holley EFI LSX Real Street drew 13 racers out for the limited power-adder contingent. Tollville, Arkansas’ George Toll (the guy lives in his own city, how cool is that!?!) managed to run just one click quicker than Kevin Rounsavall in the qualifying rounds – 8.157 for Toll, 8.158 for Rounsavall, although Rounsavall had the higher registered speed, by .15 MPH. Rodney Massengale’s ‘Vette took the third spot with an 8.228 at 165 MPH, while last year’s number one, Adam Preston, carded an 8.23 for the fourth spot.
Paul Falcon, Jessie Coulter, Louie Filippides, and Ted Timmerman made up the eight-second contingent, while Ray Bulach, Mathew Pospishil, and Greg Harmon filled the nine second grouping. Josh Pratt ran a 10.20 for the 12th spot, and Charlie Polly took his ‘built-in-a-week’ turbo car to a 14.18 shakedown pass to round out the field.
The semifinals saw Massengale winning over number-one-qualifier Toll in another pedalfest and Rounsavall strapping a .007 holeshot on Preston to set up the final round between the two players. At this point, it was late in the night, and oildowns had taken their toll on everyone’s nerves. Rounsavall continued his strong weekend, taking the holeshot and running low ET of the race with an unreal 8.12 at 168.25 MPH to drop Massengale into the runner-up spot in the process.Massengale, Falcon,Coulter, Rounsavall, Preston, Polly,and Toll all moved on to the second round, with Toll running low ET of the round with a stout 8.19 at 168 MPH to set up the quarterfinals. There, Preston eliminated Polly, Toll beat Falcon in a pedalfest, Massengale advanced when Coulter didn’t make the call, and Rounsavall moved on via the bye run.
Diablosport 5th Gen Camaro
The Diablosport 5th Gen Camaro Index class had Tim Calabrese running dead-on with a 0 to his 12.00 dial-in to take the top qualified spot over Bryan Benge’s 13.004 on a 13.00 index. Regina Puckett put up a 12.008 to her 12-flat dial for the third qualified spot, while Ryan Frumsa put up an 11.02 to his 11.00 for fourth. Bobbie Strong and Paul Williams took the next two spots, while Jeremy Curran took his 2012 COPO Camaro to a 9.12 on a 9-flat dial, the quickest pass of the sessions. Ronnie Hackleton and Bob Williams took eighth and ninth, respectively, while Tim Earle, Terry Barnett, and Bob Lamb rounded out the field of twelve entering eliminations.
The second round found Puckett moving on against Calabrese, Barnett putting Willams on the trailer via a huge holeshot, and Hackleton moving on again via the earned bye right into the semifinal round. There, he gave up five clicks to Barnett on the tree but took the win when Barnett ran a 13.20 on his 13.50 dial. Puckett took the bye into the final round, running an 11.93 on her 12-flat dial on the test pass. The 5th Gen final round had a double-breakout, with Puckett taking the win by running closer to her index with a .084/11.98 slash line to Hackleton’s .102/9.95 number on a 10-flat index.In the first round, Hackleton eliminated Strong with a 10.15 on his 10.00 index, while Williams moved on easily as Benge didn’t make the lane call. Tim Earle went -.039 red against Barnett, while Puckett went 12.17 on a 12.00 to eliminate Williams. Hackleton had a single when Jeremy Curran’s COPO wouldn’t start in the pits. Curran’s machine has had some issues this year, and the puddle of water underneath the car seems to indicate a set of head gaskets that are in dire need of replacement.
Proform LSX Index Rumble
The Proform LSX Index Rumble had a huge turnout, with 65 cars led into eliminations by Drag Week competitor Shane McClelland driving the notorious “Crusty Nova” [side note – if you haven't seen this thing on Youtube, you owe it to yourself to do a search].
With 65 cars on the property for the class, this was the largest single class of the weekend save for the NMCA’s True Street class, and when eliminations came it seemed as if there were wave after wave after wave of Rumble cars rolling into the lanes. Six rounds of eliminations meant that the winner would truly be an ironman.
It came down to Steven Griswold and Rob Farley in the final round. Griswold earned his spot by eliminating David Sparks in round one, Jesse Wilson in round two, Jeff Heintz in the third round, and Nicholas Massengale in the fourth round. Kurt Anderson went down to his super-consistent 363-cube ’05 Corvette in the semifinals.
On the other side of the ladder, Farley had his hands full as well trying to outlast the competition. He strapped a .008 holeshot on Robert Long in round one and took out LJ Treffer in round two before taking the bye run in the third round. Round four saw Dennis Pearson take the fall, while Robert Lee got the drop in the semifinal round. In a hard-fought battle in the finals, Griswold used a strong .012 reaction time and 9.09 elapsed time to eliminate Farley’s .057/11.64 run.
All in all, a fantastic weekend for LSX competitors from all over the country – for those of you who were here, thanks for coming, and for those of you who sat on the couch wishing you were here, we hope we’ve been able to help you understand just how awesome this race really is. Congratulations to all of the winners!
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