Nick McGrath Gunning For A Win At NMCA Norwalk Event

As the owner of Straightline Performance in Joliet, Illinois, Nick McGrath has built many race cars and has backed many racers.

Among them is David Hutnick, who hauled to NMCA Edelbrock Xtreme Street championships in 2014 and 2015 in his Camaro, and when Hutnick decided to step out of the category for a while, McGrath decided to step in.

So, he and his shop’s fabricator, Kevin Stevens, readied McGrath’s Mustang for racing and gave it a 400 cubic-inch LSX engine by Randy Crowley of Precision Engine Rebuilders. It’s fronted by a 76mm Precision turbo, and an RPM Transmissions-builtTurbo 400 spins below the car rolling on 275 drag radials.

McGrath, who chose the LSX engine as that’s what most of his customers are running, proved to be quite competitive in NMCA Edelbrock Xtreme Street, as well as in Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series’ Holley EFI Real Street, and he went on to run as quick and fast as 4.71 and 153 mph on his way to a second place finish in points in both categories last year.

In the off season, he purchased a new billet 76mm Precision turbo with a bigger exhaust side than his previous 76mm Precision turbo, and to be in compliance with class rules after the swap, he added weight to his car to take it from 3050 pounds to 3250 pounds. Additionally, he and Stevens replaced his Mustang’s 8.8 rear-end with a RaceCraft 9-inch rear-end.

With the work wrapped up, he headed to the second race on this year’s NMCA tour, the 10th Annual NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals in April at Atlanta Dragway, where he achieved a 4.91 while dialing in the changes. He picked up to a 4.85 on his way to a runner-up finish at the 17th Annual NMCA Quick Fuel Technology Bluegrass Nationals in May at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky, and he picked up again to a 4.80 on his way to the third round of eliminations at the 13th Annual Nitto NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing presented by Fuel Systems Technology in July at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois, where more than 600 drivers were in competition across the categories.

“We have picked up and progressed at every race, and we hope to stay on the path that we’re on,” said McGrath, who, in addition to crew chief Stevens, receives support from his fiancee, Kara Ripper, Mike McKay, John Eliacostas, Braulio Pulido and John Gaura.

Now, he’s holding down third place in NMCA Edelbrock Xtreme Street points heading into the fifth out of six races on this year’s NMCA tour, the 17th Annual Honeywell Garrett NMCA All-American Nationals, featuring the 50th Anniversary Ford Performance Cobra Jet Reunion presented by TascaParts.com and the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series, Aug. 23-26 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

“Currently, Jessie Coulter and Bill Trovato are first and second in points and I’m third in points, not too far behind them,” said McGrath, who recently swapped rear gears and is anxious to see if it will help him hop off the starting line even more quickly than he already does. “If we can qualify well, be consistent, get from A to B and win, we can move up, and that’s what I’m focused on.”

See McGrath and his fellow racers in action at the event at Summit Motorsports Park, or via a SpeedVideo live feed via presenting sponsor Honeywell Garrett, along with E3 Spark Plugs, ProCharger, FAST, Moser Engineering, Race Star Industries,Flying A Motorsports, Champion Cooling, Late Model Engines and PennGrade Oil.

 (Photos by NMCA and courtesy of Nick McGrath)

About the author

Mary Lendzion

Formerly a writer at the Detroit Free Press, Mary Lendzion writes for Power Automedia, NMCA and NMRA, is the director of media and public relations for Summit Motorsports Park and is happiest in the driver’s seat of her Mustang.
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