Back To Boost: Kenny Hubbard Adds A Vortech Supercharger To His Nova

Radial racing standout, Kenny Hubbard, has proven he can nearly perfect a nitrous combination in X275 racing by winning races and smashing records over the past few seasons. Now, he’s decided to return to his forced-induction roots with a Vortech-based combination and gut his infamous Nova in the pursuit of becoming even faster with an LSX-based engine from NRC.

In a world where radial tire cars are nearly tickling the 3.50s, many forget that Hubbard was the first to go 4.20s in Radial vs The World trim behind the wheel of a screw-blown Camaro. Before that, Hubbard was wheeling cars with roots blowers, so the world of forced induction isn’t new to him. The idea to move to a centrifugal blower actually came from his engine builder Jeff Naiser, owner of Naiser Racing Engines.

“About two months ago I went into Jeff’s shop and he said he wanted to do a small-block with a blower combo in the car. I was down for that, so with Marty Robertson’s company, Evolution Race Development (ERD), we decided to try it and get the ball rolling,” Hubbard says.

Some may question the timing of making such an extreme change to a proven and race-winning set up mid-season, but to Hubbard there was no better time than right now. By getting his car changed and ready now, he will have time to work out the new car blues before the biggest races of the season arrive.

“We’re going to head into the middle of the season with a new combination so it will be interesting. With Duck’s races being at the end of the year and then to start the year it really made the most sense to do it now. I have to make the big races including the Sweet 16 and I have a backup car I’m going to use with my nitrous motor to make these last few races this season,” Hubbard explains.

The blower that Hubbard has decided to use for X275 racing is the V-30 102A from Vortech. This is a smaller blower, but it will give Hubbard a nice weight break in the class. The NRC-built engine will be a LSX small-block that will be controlled by a FuelTech EFI system. To help get his first foray into EFI going, Hubbard has enlisted the help of the Bruder brothers to get a handle on things.

“The biggest advantage of going to a blower like this is that we will be able to run at a lighter weight, giving us more tuning options in all conditions with the car. The blower is also more linear with its power, and that will make it easier to bring the power in versus our old nitrous setup. Vortech has been great to deal with so far and extremely helpful since day one. Lance has always answered my calls and assisted in getting everything going on the right track,” Hubbard says.

Being able to make extra horsepower is an amazing thing, but you need to be able to take advantage of it. To harness his new boosted power, Hubbard decided it was time to make some changes to his Nova. What started out as a weight reduction via carbon fiber escalated quickly into a full-blown rebuild.

“Because that car has a lot of weight on the nose to keep it down, changes had to be made to make this new setup work. The plan is to remove as much weight as possible all over the car so I can keep the weight distribution correct and manageable. The car is going to be totally gutted, and it was needed because to be honest … that car had a lot of laps on it. We’re cutting the cage out of it and redoing the entire car to make it more updated. If we are allowed to weigh a lot less with this combination we wanted to do it right from the start,” Hubbard explains.

Hubbard will continue working with the companies that got him to where he is, including AMS, Pro Torque, M&M Transmission,  Thermo Diaz, Quicksilver Hualing and Menscer Motorsports.

“With the support of my sponsors along with my team that includes my wife, Billie Hubbard, Kenny Rodriguez, and Chad Broussard, I think we’re going to be in a good position when this car is ready,” Hubbard says.

The X275 class could be in for a rude awakening after Hubbard gets a handle on this new mixture of parts. Being able to run at a lighter weight with more power management control could be a potent concoction for fast elapsed times when one of the X275’s best figures out his new setup.

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About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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