Preview delivers the hard-hitting stories and event coverage that hardcore drag racers crave. Up-to-the-minute news from the NHRA, PDRA, NMCA, drag radial racing, no-prep and beyond, not to mention in-depth features, hardcore tech articles, and exclusive video content. It’s hardcore drag racing, 24 hours a day.
 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
Together with
The Starting Line newsletter is back in your inbox, bringing you the latest from dragstrips across the globe! The staff is hard at work to bring you everything from in-depth tech articles, up-to-the-minute news, and even some deserving car features. Let's get to this week's edition....

Dragzine's Latest Stories Trending Now:
Exclusive Sneak Peek: Memphis Street Outlaws Takes On The West Coast
Photo Gallery: The Drag Cars Of The Goodguys Summit Racing Nationals
Funny Car Champ Matt Hagan Describes The Intensity Of Drag Racing

There's also some great reading this week. From our technical department check out Building Project Red Dragon’s New Turbo-LS Short Block. If wild sleepers are your thing, read about Dakota Arnold’s SRT4-Powered Dodge Caravan.
This AWD Mitsubishi Evo Lancer Has 2,000 HP Worth Of Twin-Turbo LS Power!
An all-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII is by no means a slouch as it arrives out of the factory with 405-horsepower from a 2.0L turbocharged engine. But European gearhead and racer Przemysław Komar created a very legit drag-car using a twin-turbocharged 427 LSX for power.

The motivation around the American LS power was to have something more reliable than the original 4G63 engine and drivetrain. Komar also retained the all-wheel-drive format because his European region offers no prepared dragstrips, only asphalt runways, so traction was a key wish.

Power for the Komar Lancer consists of:
  • Dart 427 LS Next block
  • MAST cylinder heads
  • Callies crankshaft
  • Oliver racing rods, Diamond pistons, BTR camshaft
  • Holley Hi-ram intake
  • Twin BorgWarner S400SX-E turbos with an air-water intercooler

A Rossler Turbo 400 is mated to a Neal Chance converter. A Syclone transfer case converts that force to all corners. Out back is a GM 12-bolt rearend with Moser Engineering axles and spool.

“The car was back-halved — the rear part of the floor was cut out, and a complete 4-link system with a frame from Competition Engineering was welded in," Komar explains. "The floor was modified to accommodate a big transmission. To our surprise, the engine fit quite well in the engine bay.”

Komar has collected an 8.047-second time slip at 174.03 MPH with the previous smaller engine — the all-new 427 setup is estimated to produce 1,800- to 2,000-horsepower and will hit the dyno in the coming weeks and then will debut on the racetrack, where it should likely smash into the sevens.

Saving A 10,000-HP-Producing Supercharger. NHRA crew chief Rob Wendland shows you how to repair and re-strip a nitro supercharger.

Drag Racing Humor Facebook Page. If you're looking for some funnies to share on your page, here you go.

Circle-Burner Turned DRAG RACER!  Coming from a circle track racing background, this racer enters the sport with his LS-powered S10 drag truck.

Drag Radials vs Slicks. Spelling out the basic differences between the two drive tires.

Drag Racing Tattoos. Yup, there is a Pinterest page for drag racing tattoo images.

When The Parachutes Don't Open. Aussie Pro Modified competitor, Sam French, goes for a ride in the sand.

The Racing Head Service (RHS) Pro Elite CNC-ported cylinder head is ideal for those big LS engine builds. This LS3-style casting uses the popular six-bolt design to provide more clamping force for high-horsepower, or forced induction engine builds, while also improving head gasket retention.

Available as bare heads or assembled, the complete PN #54550 heads include:

  • PN#943 dual valve springs
  • PN#1731 tool steel retainers
  • PN#632 valve locks
  • PN#511 valve seals
  • PN#4874 spring seats
  • PN#6083 titanium intake valves
  • PN#6084 Inconel exhaust valves

See more details on the COMP Cams website.

With the six-bolt pattern, the design makes this RHS head compatible with the RHS LS race block, GM LSX block, and OEM four-bolt blocks by simply leaving the non-applicable bolt holes of the cylinders unused. Their CNC-machined intake and exhaust runners, as well as combustion chambers, increase airflow capability.

The completely assembled head option includes 0.660- and 0.700-inch lift valve spring assemblies, allowing for higher lift cams and increased engine RPM.
The Dragzine Podcast Episode 104: Steve Johnson’s Incredible Ride

NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Steve Johnson joins us on The Dragzine Podcast this week to share how he got started in drag racing, the story of his racing trips to Japan, and dish on some of his favorite racing memories.

Click here to subscribe, so you never miss an episode of the Dragzine Podcast!
A dedicated group from Long Island, New York, has been jonesing for a dragstrip ever since their last one closed almost 20 years ago. The L.I. Needs a Dragstrip Facebook group is a determined bunch with over 20,000 followers who never backed down from a odds-stacked mission.

Pete Scalzo has a long track record of fighting uphill battles operating and revitalizing multiple dragstrips. You can read about those efforts in the extensive Dragzine feature story.

Scalzo finally made some headway earlier this year with the town board of Riverhead to host events on a runway at a shuttered airpark known as Enterprise Park at Calverton (EPCAL.) The use of the 7,000-foot runway came with many restrictions from political leaders. The biggest issue, of course, is noise concerns from local residents. This issue remained even though a large national cemetery buffers the runway.

"You have to go in front of the town board, and the town board changes every couple of years, and it’s always been ‘no, no, no,” Scalzo says. To the group’s surprise, opinions changed when they presented the idea of only allowing muffled cars.

The green-light includes a permit for an eight-event schedule under a litany of restrictions; muffled cars, no traction compounds are to be applied to the racing surface, safety barriers need to be installed the length of the track, and just a hair over 1,300 people are permitted to be on the site.

Scalzo secured sanctioning from the NHRA, whom he says “jumped on the opportunity,” adding they “wanted to get back in that market in the worst way.” The first event is scheduled for August 21st, 2021.
To design a hardcore racing piston is one thing, but to offer one that can withstand the rigors of turbo and supercharged engines that soar into the stratosphere of 2,000-horsepower is a feat of engineering. Did we mention that these Diamond-caliber pistons are "off the shelf?"

With the popularity of the Chevrolet LS platform engines combined with the propensity to utilize forced induction with such, Diamond Pistons has addressed customer's needs with parts numbers that exclude the typical custom piston wait-time.

Key performance features include:

  • Fully strutted, 2618 aluminum alloy forgings
  • Lateral gas ports
  • 3D-finished precision with 0.230-inch thick crown
  • 0.280-inch top ring land depth for ultimate strength and stability
  • H-13, tool-steel, Trend wrist pins
  • Accepts Total Seal AP Stainless top ring and the Napier-style second ring
  • Skirt clearance for all common stroke lengths

Diamond's LS2K pistons are a grouping of off-the-shelf pistons readily available for 12- and 15-degree LS engine and cylinder head configurations. This new piston effort includes both dish and flat top options. Pistons with the ability to handle these power levels were once considered only as a custom-order piece, but today's demand for these engines at these power levels has these Diamond part numbers readily available by leading retailers.

Of course, Diamond will still build you any custom piston you may require for non-mainstream applications, but these new pistons represent a great step forward for shops creating a series of identical or similar engines for racers who are anxious to race.

While waiting in the staging lanes, just try to toss out a Mazda Miata crack at Peter Chavez and his 1990 drop-top Miata -- you will swallow your words once you see the e.t. and MPH shown on the dragstrip scoreboards at the close of his run.

Though the factory sports car that rolls out of the Mazda factories is intended to be hard-cornering, it did not take some gearheads much time to develop the underpowered compact into something much more. Countless versions of power-adders and complete engine swaps fill the internet, but Chavez outdid them all.

This roadster is set up with a 445 cubic-inch LS crammed under the hood along with a giant F1-X ProCharger supercharger and a Holley Dominator EFI system. A legal dragstrip chassis and cage system are necessary to cope with over 1,200 horsepower. Despite the miniature beast's best e.t. of 7.97 at 178 MPH, it still sports a set of California license plates for highway duty.

A TH400 transmission and a 9-inch Ford rearend handle drivetrain duties that are passed off to a pair of M/T slicks. Even if you're not a fan of the Miata sports car, you can appreciate what Chavez has accomplished as he continues to tweak his combination to enter the 7.8-second zone.
Project Number Cruncher’s SAM Tech-built top-end spells out what it takes in the cylinder head area when you build a naturally-aspirated engine to achieve upwards of 700 horsepower. Though we focus here on the heads used, be sure to visit the complete top-end build article at Dragzine.

The 427 cubic-inch LS engine features a set of Dart’s Pro1 LS7 cylinder heads, offering great flow numbers out of the box, but SAM Tech lets its students get some practice working on combustion chambers with our heads.

Andrew Hachmeister from SAM Tech explains aftermarket cylinder head advantages. “The pushrod holes being wider on these heads allow the entrance of the port to become closer to being square. This means we don’t have to pull so much material out of the floor of the port.”

Dart put a lot of effort into improving the overall design of the OEM LS7 cylinder heads with its Pro1 unit. Mike Sanders from Dart spoke on why these heads are a great fit for this build.

“Our 12-degree LS7 285cc CNC head was designed to be used in naturally-aspirated or forced-induction applications. Like all heads we develop, we adhere to strict cross-sectional formulas and maintain specific velocity numbers to make sure the port doesn’t become turbulent.”

The only thing left to do was bolt the complete engine to the dyno, wire up the FuelTech ECU, and make some pulls. The engine pulls all the way up to almost 7,700 RPM and generates 781 peak horsepower with 608 ft/lb of max torque. This ample power should push our project Firebird into the 9-second zone with ease.

July 15-17PDRA Summer Shootout at Virginia Motorsports Park

July 16: Street Outlaws Live at New England Dragway

July 16-18: NHRA Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway

July 22-24: Street Car Takeover at Indy Lucas Oil Raceway Park

July 22-25:  NMRA/NMCA Power Festival at US 131 Motorsports Park

July 23-24: OSCA at Beech Bend Raceway Park

We'll check in with you again next week here on The Starting Line newsletter! In the meantime, THANK YOU for combing through this week's newsletter.

If you've got any stories for us here at, be sure to e-mail us!

Thank you to Diamond Pistons and COMP Cams for making this content possible.
Feel free to send any feedback or suggestions to
To update your subscription, click here.
If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, you may

© 2021 Power Automedia. All rights reserved.
Power Automedia, 25843 Jefferson Ave., Murrieta, CA 92562, USA

Email Marketing by ActiveCampaign