Pure Stock Drag Racing: The Way It Ought To Be!0
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Pure Stock Drag Racing: The Way It Ought To Be!
When over a 120 primo muscle cars show up at a drag strip, fun things are going to happen. Especially when any one of these rides could get big money rolling across the auction block at Barrett-Jackson or Mecum. But instead of static displays with the owners obsessively polishing the fenders and using Q-tips to clean off excessive wax build-up on the door jams, we’ve come to a place were the owners are doing high-gear burnouts, getting sideways, and flogging their muscle cars for every last ounce of horsepower.
Where is this mythical place you ask? Well, this is annual Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race (PSMCDR) held every September at the Mid-Michigan Motorplex in Stanton, Michigan. If you’ve never heard of PSMCDR, well shame on you. This event has been happening for over 20 years and brings together the largest assortment of muscle cars from the 1950s all the way up to 1979. And not just any muscle cars, we’re talking about rarities and oddities along with the usual cast of bad Mopar dudes like Six Pack Bees, Hemi ’Cudas, and Max Wedge Belvederes.
If you’re afraid of getting dead bugs on your grille, stone chips on the lower quarters, and caked-on tire rubber from doing burnouts on your Redlines or Goodyear Polyglas GTs, then park your muscle car in the pits and watch from stands. Just remember, you’re missing out on participating in one of the coolest racing events ever. It doesn’t matter if your Mopar runs 14s or high 11s, the Pure Drags is one of the last remaining grassroots racing venues that you can have fun, even if your win light doesn’t come on. If you’re looking for a safe and cool event to race your prized Mopar, the Pure Stock Drags is where it’s at.
The basic rules are simple. Any car built from 1955 to 1979 in the United States or Canada with a minimum warranty of 12 months and 12,000 miles is allowed. This eliminates factory lightweight Super Stock package cars like 1965 A990 B-Bodies, 1968 Hemi Barracudas, Darts, and Ford T-Bolts. Also, cars must be factory equipped with a minimum of four-barrel carburetion, dual exhaust, and other factory-installed equipment that promotes a high-performance intent and image. Cars are paired-up based on time trial e.t.’s and compete in a best-of-three heads-up shootout. You see, simple and fun.
There are also safety considerations the event organizers and track put in place. Drivers must wear long pants, cars running 13.99 and quicker must have an approved Snell 2005 helmet and seatbelts, batteries must be secured, and radiators must have an overflow catch can of at least 16 ounces. Also, all accessory belts must be in place and tight to operate the water pump, alternator, and power steering.
That said, if you want to play, don’t think you can show up with a pair of disguised aftermarket aluminum heads painted Hemi orange on your 440 Magnum. The Pure Stock tech guys are very savvy and have seen it all. The competitors also police each other to keep the spirit of “stock.” You know some of these motors have breathed-on induction and are super blueprinted, but show up with a 500 cubic-inch stroker engine, and the PSMCDR organizers will show you the gate.
You must run the stock intake, carb, cylinder heads, block, and other items for the year, make model, claimed. The camshaft must be stock lift but there’s some leeway with the duration. The compression ratios and blueprint specs are very similar to the NHRA Stock Eliminator guidelines. Don’t forget, you’re also limited to a street tire that cannot exceed a 60-Series width. Drag Radials are not allowed, even if “DOT approved” is stamped on the sidewall.
There’s also the 11.50 ET rule that basically says if you run an 11.49 or faster, you’re out of the show. PSMCDR folks feel that by capping the e.t., it’ll prevent cubic dollar competitors from ruining the true nature of the event.
As always, there was a great assortment of cool Mopars wreaking havoc on the Brand X competitors at the 2017 event. So check out our coverage and see Street Hemis, Max Wedges, 440 Six Packs, and high-winding 340s do what they were intended for: destroy the competitor in the next lane.
If you’re looking to get off the lawn chair at the cruise nights and do something fun with your Mopar, next year’s Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race is scheduled for September 14 and 15 at the Mid-Michigan Motorplex.