It’s a known fact that the small-block Chevy engine made a definitive impact in the world of hot-rodding; that is, until the LS1 came out. The LS series engine spawned the line of LS-X crate engines from Chevrolet, and has been joined by the newest and even more powerful LT-based crate engines. These venerable V8’s are under the hoods of something old, and something new. Something GM and something non-GM. Chances are, if you don’t already know someone directly that owns an LS-swapped first generation Camaro; then one of your friends does.
But, you gotta admit; it’s a sweet engine! While Ford was trying to start a trend with their line of OHC engines, Chevy came out of the blue with an old-school pushrod V8 that was not only silky smooth, it could rev to the moon, make tons of power, and deliver phenomenal fuel mileage! The following of the LS and LT crate engines is so strong, that Chevrolet has been able to sponsor The Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series for six years straight with the 2018 season being the seventh year.
Working with the NMRA/NMCA, the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series is a drag racing event that’s open to any year, make and model of vehicle, but it has to be LS or LT powered. Other than that, it’s “run what ya brung, and hope ya brought enough!” The annual event kicks off April 5 at the 10th Annual NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA. It is followed by races in Joliet, Ill., Norwalk, Ohio and two events in Bowling Green, Ky. The series ends Sept. 9 in Bowling Green.
This is a series that promises some exciting racing with excellent match ups! Come on out to see what the excitement is all about.
The Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series Returns for 2018
Any make, any model but only Chevrolet LS and LT engine power
Chevrolet Performance pioneered the high-performance crate engine half a century ago, and since then, drivers of everything from classic Camaros to Jeep Wranglers have turned to these factory-built, fully assembled LS and LT V-8 engines for speed, ease of installation and durability. For the seventh year in a row, Chevrolet will sponsor the Performance Challenge Series so owners of hot rods can race for bragging rights and prize money.
The annual event kicks off April 5 at the 10th Annual NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA. It is followed by races in Joliet, Ill., Norwalk, Ohio and two events in Bowling Green, Ky. The series ends Sept. 9 in Bowling Green.
“The racing community has made Chevrolet’s crate engine program a very successful one in the industry, and supporting the Challenge Series keeps us close to our customers and fans,” said Steve Walczak, marketing manager, Chevrolet Performance. “The series is a great way for highly-qualified racers to showcase the power of our parts on the track.”
Chevrolet Performance, the series sponsor since 2011, manufactures LT and LS engines and performance parts that racers use. Requirements for race car modifications vary throughout five different race categories and range from mildly modified to completely rebuilt cars. Cars can race with crate or modified production LS or LT engines. The modified vehicles range from Chevrolet Camaros and Corvettes and other popular makes and models.
Chevrolet Performance manufactures a wide range of LS and LT high performance crate engines such as the LS3, which delivers 430 horsepower and 425 lb-ft of torque up to the LT4, featuring a 1.7L Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger, which spins at up to 20,000 rpm. That’s enough to generate more than nine pounds of boost and 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque.
“The series attracts young fans and enthusiasts who connect with turbocharged, supercharged street cars,” Walczak added. “Racers use an extensive portfolio of Chevrolet Performance engines, parts and accessories that help them win at the track.”
Racers prepare their muscle cars during the off-season with work ranging from minor tuning to complete overhauls. Chevrolet Performance pays contingencies – award money for specific parts and engine postings – to winning racers. Contingencies vary year to year depending on the number of parts and engines in winning cars and whether winning cars promote Chevrolet Performance with signage on their race cars.
Representatives from Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center, which carries Chevrolet Performance engines, parts and accessories, will be at the series events, answering questions about technology, engines, accessories and components.
In addition to mild and heavily modified engines, the series also showcases the Chevrolet Performance DR 525 drag racing sealed crate engine in the Chevrolet Performance Stock class, said Steve Wolcott, President & CEO of ProMedia LLC, which runs the series. The DR 525 is the only crate engine allowed in the Chevrolet Performance stock class.
The Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series takes place alongside the NMCA Muscle Car Nationals. The race series features many attractions, including drag races, car shows, swap meets and and manufacturer midways that Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series racers and fans can also enjoy.
Racers competing for Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series championships must participate in four of five races. Results of each race are tracked throughout the season in NMCA’s Fastest Street Car magazine. Here are last year’s results.
The Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series features four racing categories and one shootout, running at each Challenge Series event. Categories are Chevrolet Performance Stock, Street King, Rumble, Street Car Challenge, and the Real Street Shootout.
- April 5-8: All-Star Nationals, Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia
- May 17-20: Bluegrass Nationals, Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky
- July 26-29: NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing, Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois.
- 23-26: All-American Nationals, Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, OH.
- 7-9: Holley LS-Fest, Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The top three competitors from Chevrolet Performance Stock, Street King, Rumble and the Real Street Shootout winner and runner-up will be invited to a special Chevrolet Performance Champions Dinner on Dec. 8 at the PRI Show in Indianapolis. It celebrates the best of LS and modern-LT drag racing. Each class champion, and the Shootout winner, will receive an LSX Victor award, a championship ring, and a custom jacket.
For more information on the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series, including class rules, log on to www.nmcadigital.com/lsx or call 714-444-2426.
Living in Richmond, Tx, PJ Rentie has been in the automotive industry for more than 30 years. This former Assistant Editor at Vette Magazine also spent time with companies like NOS, Edelbrock, Hillbank Motorsports, Classic Industries, and was an automotive instructor for Cypress College for ten years. In his spare time, PJ hopes to one day bring his Fox Body Mustang out of the back yard and back onto the street!