Last weekend the Cecil County Dragway held its monthly Street Car Shootout. While some may call the racers crazy, these guys and gals endured 100-plus degree air temperature and not to mention the 150-plus degree track surface. This can prove to be a major test for car, driver and tuner in these conditions. But as always, Jim Halsey and his crew had the track in stellar condition spite the heat wave that had battered the East coast for the prior week. Along with the Street Car Shootout comes the hot new Ultra Street class, which was created by X275 mastermind John Sears. Still based off the ever-popular 275 radial tire but with major limiting factors in the engine department.
On Saturday, fifteen Ultra Street racers lined up to do battle on a tricky racing surface with a wide range of engine combinations. Anything from naturally aspirated big blocks to turbocharged small blocks are the standard in this class, but on this day the N/A cars proved to have the winning edge. As the pairings rolled to the lights for first round of qualifying some would battle traction issues, but it was Ron Rhodes setting the bar in the heat of the day driving his father’s Rhodes Custom Auto-built Camaro. Rhodes laid down a blistering 5.35-second pass at over 131 mph to cover the rest of the field by three tenths of second. As round two of qualifying rolled around the top three qualifiers were all big block naturally aspirated machines. Rhodes stepped up the game a few hundredths to a 5.28 while Marc McCloud moved up to the No. 2 spot with a 5.40 and rounding out the top three was Todd Geisler with a 5.49-second pass.
Eliminations got kicked off with some exciting action for the Ultra Street class as the N/A cars continued to steamroll through the competition. Marc MCloud, Todd Geisler, Mike Barry, John Snyder and Ron Rhodes all made stellar passes in the heat to move on to round two. After round number two was concluded there were four N/A cars left as McCloud, Barry, Geisler and Rhodes squared off in the semi finals.
The first pairing was Geilser’s Malibu versus Marc McCloud’s beautiful G-Body Monte Carlo. In a great race McCloud had a slight advantage over Geisler and outran him to the stripe with a 5.34 to a losing 5.38. The other half of the round was occupied by Mike Barry and Ron Rhodes. Barry went for kill as Rhodes has had the upper hand throughout the rounds. Barry spun at the hit of the throttle while Ron was .006 at the tree and busted off a 5.29 at 131 mph to take the win.
The finals promised to be spectacular with a pair of Rhodes Custom Auto-built machines. McCloud, sporting the big block naturally aspirated Monte Carlo versus the high winding naturally aspirated small block Camaro for Rhodes.
As the pairing took the tree it was McCloud jumping out in front with a .061 reaction time to Rhodes’ .110. As they reached the stripe, Rhodes drove around McCloud for a victory with a narrow margin of .008-seconds. Rhodes with a 5.27 at 131 mph to Marc’s 5.32 at 132 mph is what the fans saw as they flashed on the scoreboard. So with all of that in a nut shell, do you feel that any combination can outgun the high-winding small blocks or torque monster big blocks in this class? Only time will tell as to whether the nitrous and boosted cars will have something for the naturally aspirated dominators in Ultra Street.