In the ultra-competitive NMRA Edelbrock Hot Street class, horsepower is king. There are no superchargers, turbos, or nitrous solenoids to rely on when the going gets tough, just pure, naturally-aspirated power backed up by a choice of automatic or manual transmissions at varying weight breaks. Easton, Pennsylvania’s Mike Curcio has chosen the latter, and stands alone in the class at this point as the only racer to attempt to take advantage of each and every weight break that is offered while still retaining a manual transmission, which itself carries a stout 75-pound weight adder. They were hard at work in the pits making the necessary adjustments prior to the third round of qualifying, where Curcio shifted the clutch-assisted five-speed to an 8.85 at over 155 mph, showing that he has the power to compete but still needs to find the sweet spot in the suspension and clutch.

Jason Hoots got a lot more than he bargained for this weekend in Steeda Real Street. The opportunity arose to drive Tim Matherly’s ’02 Mustang in the class for the weekend, as Matherly returned to the seat of his gorgeous ’10 Mustang, freshly returned from the body shop. “Hootie” struggled during qualifying, and when we caught up to him in the pits he was in the middle of repairing the transmission. “The slider just exploded. I don’t know that the car ever even had third or fourth gear, it may have been broken from the last time Tim drove it. We’ll get it fixed up and back on the track,” he explained. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what happens when you run approximately 700 horsepower through a stock-style transmission and diaphragm clutch.

At the season opener in Bradenton, Eibach Springs Pure Street had a light turnout with only three cars making the haul to Florida. However, the class’ qualifying sheet has filled out a little more here at the All-Star Nationals with six entries on file as of the final round of eliminations. Some of the drivers are still sorting out new combinations or dealing with random issues – like Drew Lyons pictured above, losing his exhaust on the hit. At the end of the third round of qualifying, Brandon Alsept leads the Pure Street field with a 10.13 at 132 miles per hour, for the top spot going into today’s eliminations.

Another class that had a rough car count in Bradenton and has redeemed itself here in Commerce is Steeda Real Street. There are seven cars on the ladder this weekend, with Bruce Hemminger at the top of the heap, carding a 9.36 at over 143 miles per hour. Today should be an exciting day of eliminations!