Fastest of Fast: The Cars of PRI, Part 1
As the SEMA Show began to broaden its reach and appeal in the mid 1980s, the “S” that once stood for “Speed” was changed to “Specialty.” This led to race teams, engine builders, chassis fabricators, parts manufacturers and race parts retailers yearning for their own show — a show entirely dedicated to the automotive racing industry. In 1988 they got their wish, as the first Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show was held and well received. Nearly three decades of growth and success would follow.
Fast-forward to 2016, and the PRI Show now sardines over 3,000 vendor booths (representing more than 1,200 companies) into the 500,000-square-foot Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. In fact, the show has picked up so much steam that some exhibitors have no choice but to set up shop outside the two primary convention halls. By comparison, just 169 companies were on hand as exhibitors at the first PRI Show back in ’88.
While the PRI Show is similar to SEMA in that plenty of “automotive excess” is on display, it’s unique in one crucial way: everything (be it a vehicle or component) being showcased is geared toward helping you make it down (or around) the track faster. Cosmetics and bling definitely take a backseat to horsepower at this venue. It’s a place where you’ll find the fastest street cars, drag cars and circle track vehicles in existence.
So without further ado, here is the first batch of heavy-hitters we came across at this year’s event. Stay tuned for Part 2.
We’ll get started with the fastest of the fast. In 2016, Brandon Snider laid claim to that honor in the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA), home of the quickest eighth-mile drag racers in the world. Snider won the Pro Extreme class and also reset the national E.T. record with a 3.48-second pass at just under 221 mph. Snider’s car is backed by MBE Cylinder Heads and Manifolds, a company that’s become synonymous with the winner’s circle in recent years.
Without a doubt, the stars from Discovery Channel’s hit show “Street Outlaws” have infiltrated PRI in a big way. This year, show favorites such as “Daddy Dave” Comstock, Shawn Ellington, Bobby Ducote and “Doc” (James Love) were at the show with brand new or totally revamped versions of their cars. Here you can see the new Murder Nova, driven by Shawn Ellington.
“From the chassis to the paint, to the wheels to the power plant to the turbos, it’s top of the line stuff,” Ellington said during the unveiling. While this version of Murder Nova is graced with a small block (482 cubes), it features parallel 88 mm Precision turbos; Ellington reassured us that it makes the same power as the old car. In addition, the car is rumored to be 600 pounds lighter and sit six inches lower than the previous version.
Big Single Turbo (Keeping It Simple — and FAST)
Ziff Hudson’s small tire Mustang is a freak of nature. After shattering record after record in the 275 radial class, it’s no surprise where the car sits at the present time. Once he’d marched to bottom 4’s, his Chevy-powered ’90 Fox-Body would go 3.96 at a blazing 193 mph in the eighth-mile, making this the first big block, single turbo car to dip into the 3’s. A big, 118-mm snail from Precision Turbo & Engine is integrated into the front bumper, and the 527 ci engine was built by TKM Performance of Denton, North Carolina.
Turbo what? Street Outlaws’ “Daddy Dave” Comstock and his ’63 Nova (Goliath 2.0) were on hand, and the car is now packing some serious forced induction in the form of a massive F1x-12 ProCharger. The new, 10.5:1 compression, 540 ci Chevy big block, built by SDPC Raceshop, sees 21 psi of boost and cranked out 2,269 hp at 8,500 rpm on the engine dyno. This thing should scoot!
Those Crazy Australians
PRI 2016 marked the first time this engine had ever been seen by anyone outside of its respective race team — and it was worth the wait. Sporting a Garrett turbo that just about dwarfs the size the engine, the PAC Performance crew’s rotary-engined Mazda 6 garnered a lot of attention in the TurboSmart booth. At the last event of the year (Orlando Speed World Dragway), the Australia-based PAC Performance team ran back-to-back 6.30's in the 218 mph range.
Outlaw Sprint Car
The No. 1 BDS Motorsports 410 ci Outlaw Sprint car was on display at the SCE Gaskets booth, and former Knoxville Raceway champion Justin Henderson even stopped by to sign autographs on Saturday morning. Imagine having four-digit horsepower on tap in a vehicle that weighs less than 1,400 pounds!
Said to be the “baddest small tire car in the country,” Bobby Ducote’s ’71 Ford Maverick (named “Lil’ Legend”) has a widespread and loyal following on Street Outlaws. The Maverick’s nitrous-assisted, 458 ci small block from GBRB Race Engines churns out somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,300 hp.
Three turbos, 1,400 hp and 100 psi of boost... that’s what we see when we look at Matt Misner’s Chevy Silverado — an ’05 model ¾-ton truck that weighs 3 tons. During the summer months, you can catch his Duramax-powered standard cab running 9-second quarter-miles in the Outlaw Diesel Super Series’ Pro Street Class or the NHRDA Super Street category. And with a slight detune, the truck can click off consistent mid 10’s in the 10.50 Index class.