This past weekend the newly renovated Palm Beach International Raceway (formerly Moroso Motorsports Park)
was home to the season opener for the National Sport Compact Racing Association's Southeast region. After
a successful pre-season event, the staff at the NSCRA took all the feedback and criticism they received to
not only make their event bigger and better, but establish themselves as a formidable motorsports
We honestly weren't sure what to expect when we arrived at the track on the morning of May 3. It's not a
huge secret that drifting has become the motorsport of choice for our set, with more and more people in the
industry adding to the notion of drag racing's ultimate demise.
Boy, were we surprised when we got to the facility. Not only was Palm Beach International Raceway's
quarter-mile track completely redone, the stands were packed and there were well over 150 cars looking to
compete down the 1320.
In the heads-up classes of racing, several of the local heaviest hitters showed up to represent for
Florida. We have to say that the NSCRA has so far done a fair job at keeping the classes competitive and
fair while trying to do something all the drag racing sanctioning bodies have been avoiding - mixing up the
FWDs with the RWDs and the AWDs.
The Phantom Grip Street Outlaw 4-Cylinder class had 19 cars gunning for a spot in heads-up eliminations.
The majority of the class featured FWD Hondas while the number-one qualifier was an AWD EVO. The class
winner however would be Hector Santana's '82 Starlet, as he took out Jeremy Alderman's '93 Honda Civic with
a 10.122 at 134.15mph to a slower 10.290 at 138.67mph.
The Street Outlaw 6-Cylinder class had an awesome variety of cars, including Larry Ramnath's bright orange
Nissan S15 Silvia and South Florida Turbo's right-hand drive Supra. Darin Dichiara made the trek from
Orlando with his Titan Motorsports-powered MK IV Supra and qualified number one with an 8.62 at 166.68mph.
He battled his way to the finals where he would have met Chris Gore's Supra from South Florida Turbo.
Everyone was anxious to see these two white MKIVs, but the excitement was short lived. Unfortunately
Dichiara's Supra suffered a broken differential in his round against Big Daddy's MK III Supra. Gore took a
single in the Final for the win.
The Modified Sport Compact class was packed with some of the nation's fastest sport compacts. By far we
were most surprised to see how many cars the NSCRA had brought out for this class. The crowd definitely
got their money's worth by watching the class's seven-second cars battle it out.
In the second round of qualifying, the Mazworx S15 Green Machine blasted a scary fast 7.374 at 163.55mph.
What very few realized, however, was that the S15 had let off at the 1/8th mark after suffering some engine
damage. Despite all that however, the Mazworx team managed to pull off their fastest elapsed time ever
with a much slower mph than we're used to seeing from them. After Mazworx's mishap, Luis Ferrer Jr. in his
Scion tC would take the class win powering his way through the rounds running consistently in the high 7s.
South Florida Turbo had sponsored the True Street class, which had the coolest variety of cars we've ever
witnessed racing in one class. A brand new '09 Nissan GT-R was seen in the qualifying rounds racing
against a VW-powered Audi, a couple of Lexus chassis, EVOs and Nissan 240s.
Chris Green, who used to campaign a FWD Volkswagen Jetta, had the debut of his newest car, a 2002 Audi S4.
Green told us that he had basically recycled his Jetta's power-plant but went AWD and completely dominated
the competition round after round. He ended up taking the win light against Silvio Leal's Nissan by
running a 9.840 at 146.24mph to Leal's 10.215 at 135.56mph. We're excited to see Green's Audi out again at
another event and see how fast he can get it dialed in.
Other class winners include Mark Podkowik with his K-series Honda Civic in the Street Compact NA class,
Armando Melendez in the NA Sport Compact class and Hector Garcia in the Turbo Sport Compact class.
Overall we had a great time attending NSCRA's season opener and we're excited to see how their July 5 event
will go. They are definitely doing a great job keeping drag racing growing and alive. For more
information on the NSCRA, visit www.nscra.com.