Aussie challengers of No Prep Kings

The recent Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings tour has sparked a game of mega-dollar musical chairs among Aussie drag racers

Photographers: Street Machine Archives

The Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings Aussie tour in February and March was one hell of a circus, in both the good and the bad senses of the word. The tour saw several stars from the hit American TV show – including Lizzy Musi, Shawn Ellington and Jeff Lutz – racing at Perth Motorplex, Willowbank Raceway, Sydney Dragway and Calder Park, with different Aussie opponents at each track.

From an outsider’s perspective, I have to wonder why a production with so much potential as a racing event was seemingly so poorly organised. Leaving it until a week before each race day to let prospective Aussie entrants know if they were in or out, and disqualifying them if they raced at the track during that week, was a long way from ideal.

The Americans knew they were coming a year ago, so I have to surmise that the show’s producers wanted to catch us napping. They knew we had fast cars but that we don’t usually race no-prep.

That being said, the tour was a big shot in the arm for the sport here in Australia. A lot of race teams really put in 100 per cent against overwhelming odds, and since the end of the tour, things have gone a little crazy.

“We are hoping that there will be another NPK tour or that we can do a tour of the USA, and we want to be ready for it”

With rumours that the NPK crew will head Down Under again in the future, a lot of Aussie racers are getting busy with upgrades to try and step up their game and be ready.

Queenslander Tony Webb became an overnight legend after sticking it to the Yanks with his win against Kye Kelley at the Willowbank NPK event. While Kye has since resorted to the international book of excuses, Webby’s win has only spurred his team on to do bigger and better things.

“We are hoping that there will be another NPK tour or that we can do a tour of the USA, and we want to be ready for it,” he declared.

Webby’s stunning hatchback Torana, powered by a Westend-built twin-turbo big-block Chev, has run a best of 4.08@184mph on radials. The car has a stock firewall, floorpans and rails, and the current combo is belting out 2550hp at the tyres, which is around 3200 at the flywheel!

“We are currently selling the entire driveline combination, from front oil tank through to the diff centre, in preparation for a new billet Noonan hemi that we recently purchased,” Webby said. “Our goal now is to run in the 3.80s with the stock firewall, rails and floorpan, and to make the car easier to service, we need to make a lot of changes in design, like being able to get the sump off the car in 10 minutes.”

The new 4.8in-bore Noonan motor was purchased from Queensland racer Kyle Hopf. Fellow Torana racer Simon Kryger will be overseeing the build and will involve a number of businesses to string it all together.

“I’ve got a pair of 94mm Garrett turbos that we are going to use, but we are starting with a bare motor with an inlet manifold. Now that the rules have changed in 275, we are not going to be left behind,” said Webby. “The guys at Westend are going to pull the motor down and check it out. It’s a nice piece with Superman heads, and between Kon at Wollongong Automotive Services and Kryger, we will get this thing hauling.”

Matthew Marsh from Pro Street Industries, with help from GameOn Motorsports, will do a lot of the fab work, adding more rollcage, stiffening the car, and handling general fit-up like new engine plates and pipes.

“Our data from Sydney showed we should have run in the threes, but we already added 60lb to the front of the car and we have been at the limit of the block for quite a while, so it was time to step it up,” Webby explained. “We have purchased a new M&M two-speed transmission from Dan Szabolics and John Ricca, and hope to be testing in Sydney in July.”

Webby’s nemesis in 275, Victorian Daniel ‘Pazzo’ Nunziante, has also stepped his game up after making just one full pass in his stunning Fox-body Mustang. He has just bought a ProCharged Pro Line hemi from Johnny Ricca.

“When I bought a 481X six years ago, it was at the top of the game. Times have changed, and the hemi is now the best engine,” Pazzo explained. He plans to ditch the blower cam and fit a couple of big-arse turbos, which will give him up to 5000hp on tap.

“The MH5 Pro Line motor had 15 passes on it from the NPK series, so I will put a set of rods in it, which will give me 40 passes instead of 30 with the ProCharger,” Pazzo said. “This will give me two days and a race meeting.”

Pazzo reckoned he would have liked to have had a crack at the NPK series but had some misgivings about it. “We all have the same power and the same stuff, but [the Americans] have done 1000 laps on different surfaces and we have done none,” he said. “I was meant to race, but I pulled the pin as I can’t fit a big tyre under the car.

Also, I would have had to change the whole set-up I have for radial. But if they come back, we will test for it. I’m building this car to run 3.70s on a 275 to keep up with the best in the world – give me a date to work towards for the next NPK tour and we will give them a run. For now, we are focused on having the car ready for July testing in Sydney.”

In other news, Queenslander Simon O’Carroll is said to be going to a screw-blown hemi combination for his ex-Hopf Camaro, and Matt Grubisa has purchased the ex-Mark Micke Malibu, which has run 220mph on a 275 tyre.

Meanwhile, Kyle Hopf has returned to racing his stunning twin-turbo big-block Chev-powered ’69 Camaro, and it’s great to see him getting some quality seat time.

So, while the Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings tour wasn’t without controversy, the fact that these Aussie racers are looking to level up in the tour’s aftermath can only be a good thing for drag racing Down Under.