People love to quote chapter and verse about how fast their street cars are. You know 'em-and you may even be one of them. These Internet jockeys whip out handy dyno numbers and e.t.'s at the slightest provocation, clogging up message boards with enough virtual hot air to launch a Saturn V rocket. This story isn't about those people, it's about a class of racer-the street fighter-who practices what he preaches. He does it on the street, at the track, and with just one machine. This is NMCATrue Street.

Sponsored by Popular Hot Rodding, MSD Ignition, and now Hedman Hedders, NMCA True Street is exclusively for licensed, registered, and insured street cars. And unlike the "street car" drag race run by another well-known magazine-the race you have to kiss butt to get into-this one is for anybody, as long as he or she has the stomach for hardcore racing, real street miles, and a kinship with like-minded street fighters.

True Street kicks off with a 30-mile driving loop that puts all cars through a grueling cruise that simulates city and highway driving. Drop out or break, and you're done. After returning to the track from the cruise, all cars are sequestered in a special pit area, where they are not allowed to pop hoods, tune, or perform work of any kind. We allow tire pressure checks, refueling, and hooking up nitrous bottles, but that's it. Then all cars are brought to the staging area, where they must complete three drag-strip passes back to back. If your car pukes, overheats, throws a belt, deflates a tire, or otherwise requires repair, it's out of competition with a "DNF." When all runs are completed, the e.t.'s of competitors are averaged, and ranked from quickest to slowest. The guy with the quickest three-run average is crowned the king, and the cars averaging closest to, but not exceeding, the 10-, 11-, 12-, 13-, 14-, and 15-second index breaks are also awarded $100 prizes.

At the Superbowl of Drag Racing in Joliet, Illinois, this past July, Paul Ferrucci of Waterbury, Connecticut, bested a field of 77 fellow competitors to win the 6-foot trophy, a $250 cash prize, and a gold and diamond Nitto Tires "Superbowl" ring from the NMCA. Paul's average was a blistering 8.643 seconds-absolutely amazing for a street car. In Joliet, we selected nine cars to profile in this story. When we chose them, we didn't know who would win, or even finish, but there was something about each one we were drawn to. Some were obvious ones, like Paul's Malibu, but we also wanted a broad cross-section of typical street cars. Many of these street fighters are cars like yours, or otherwise might be within reach with more time and money. Here are their stories, along with the results of the Joliet race.

NMCA/NMRA Superbowl Of Drag Racing
True Street Results • Joliet, IL
Name: Hometown: Car: First run: Second run: Thirdrun: AVG: NOTES:
1. Paul Ferrucci Waterbury, CT '81 Malibu 8.939 8.662 8.328 8.643 winner
2. Marc Schankweiler Douglassville, PA '66 Chevy II 8.622 8.648 8.685 8.652 RU
3. Steve Hoch Tolono, IL '68 Corvette 9.196 9.226 9.195 9.206  
4. Greg Zoetmulder McHenry, IL '80 Jeep CJ-7 9.445 8.944 9.328 9.239  
5. Damon Dias Winona, MN '79 Mustang 9.688 9.609 9.625 9.641
6. Chad Slattery Cedar Rapids, IL '89 Mustang 9.665 9.679 9.723 9.689
7. Joe Kosiba Hoffman Estates, IL '63 Nova SS 9.885 9.921 9.871 9.892
8. Steve Posenau Amelia, VA '02 Mustang 9.858 9.949 9.935 9.914
9. Eric Olsen Freeport, IL '83 Ranger PU 10.106 10.079 9.859 10.015 10-second index
10. Terry Herbert Elizabethtown, KY '84 Monte Carlo 10.144 9.954 10.054 10.051
11. James Hughes Rock Island, IL '89 Mustang 9.565 9.672 11.332 10.190
12. John Puckett West Des Moines, IL '83 Capri 9.802 9.758 11.036 10.199
13. Ben Ripstein Aikdale, WI '03 Mustang 10.834 10.707 10.435 10.659
14. Brad Columber Westchester, IL '89 Mustang 10.730 11.503 10.119 10.784
15. Ryan Sprehe Murphy, TX '91 Mustang 10.611 10.842 10.941 10.798
16. Ryan Herschleb Sturgeon Bay, WI '87 Mustang 10.882 11.225 10.989 11.032 11-second index
17. Larry Bell Moro, IL '67 Corvair 10.937 11.002 11.185 11.041
18. Mike Biggs Fortville, IN '88 Mustang 10.876 11.335 11.149 11.120
19. Ernie Keppler Riverton, IL '78 Catalina 10.907 11.272 11.889 11.356
20. Rick Pazak Naperville, IL '02 Lightning PU 11.743 11.664 11.631 11.679
21. Kelly Ryan Sauk City, WI '94 Mustang 11.975 11.829 11.614 11.806
22. Matt Waich Brooklyn Park, MN '74 Caprice 11.495 11.560 12.717 11.924
23. Paul Kwiatkowski Cary, IL '85 Corvette 12.000 11.762 12.047 11.936
24. Steve Quickel Streator, IL '80 Malibu 11.964 12.005 11.981 11.983
25. Matt Tomlinson Grayslake, IL '88 Corvette 11.982 11.919 12.126 12.009 12-second index
26. Barrett White Louisville, KY '78 Malibu 11.527 11.770 12.730 12.009
27. Carloe Lissy Schaumburg, IL '97 Mustang 11.662 11.932 12.466 12.020
28. John Hornyak Yorkville, IL '99 Camaro Z28 12.024 12.028 12.085 12.046
29. Jerry Fischer Downers Grove, IL '03 Mustang 12.050 12.126 12.136 12.104
30. Angela Zamboni Riverview, FL '05 Mustang 12.503 12.019 11.999 12.174
31. Paul Metcalf Oaklawn, IL '92 Mustang 12.089 12.158 12.287 12.178
32. Robert Davis Jr. Chicago, IL '93 Mustang 12.879 11.874 11.858 12.204
33. Todd Braasch Orlando, FL '00 Mustang 12.374 12.289 12.256 12.306
34. Harvey Walden III Orland Park, IL '03 Mustang 12.383 12.129 12.566 12.359
35. John Galway McHenry, IL '03 Mustang 12.776 12.114 12.298 12.396
36. James Brand Pendleton, IN '83 T-Bird 13.303 12.365 12.409 12.692
37. Jason Triezenberg Homewood, IL '01 Mustang 12.786 12.883 12.870 12.846
38. Stacey Jelinek Richmond, IL '89 Mustang 12.440 12.511 13.650 12.867
39. Phillip Smith Chicago, IL '71 Camaro 12.496 12.456 13.840 12.931
40. Allen Braasch Oak Lawn, IL '06 Mustang 12.861 12.849 13.159 12.956
41. Tony Serno New Lenox, IL '94 T-Bird 12.817 12.862 13.326 13.002 13-second index
42. Robert Spiewak Cicero, IL '96 Camaro 12.713 13.517 12.806 13.012
43. Kevin Cody Dearborn, MI '86 Mustang 12.634 13.946 12.608 13.063
44. James Stacey Palos Hills, IL '01 Mustang 13.209 13.234 12.828 13.090
45. Mike Murphy Glen Ellyn, IL '00 Mustang 13.589 13.018 12.703 13.103
46. Drew Kipp Clarendon, IL '90 Mustang 13.018 13.129 13.191 13.113
47. Brian Walsh Crestwood, IL '03 Lightning PU 13.148 13.180 13.171 13.166
48. Hank Mager Weldon, IL '06 Mustang 13.332 13.293 13.290 13.305
49. Randy Hart Elmhurst, IL '02 Mustang 13.485 13.511 13.839 13.612
50. Maryanne Parker Glen Ellyn, IL '92 Mustang 13.414 13.352 14.189 13.652
51. Michael Oellrich Burns, TN '93 Dodge Dakota 14.097 13.510 13.717 13.775
52. Michael Pickering Chicago, IL '93 Mustang 14.215 13.964 13.811 13.997
53. Dorinda Blaney Deltona, FL '07 Mustang 13.865 13.865 14.272 14.001 14-second index
54. George Carey Monee, IL '05 Corvette 13.151 13.380 15.922 14.151
55. Chris Faltin Downers Grove, IL '00 Mustang 14.242 14.316 14.387 14.315
56. Lawrence Bosley Calumet City, IL '02 Mustang 14.354 14.394 14.402 14.383
57. Jason LeStarge Monroe, WI '05 Mustang 14.907 14.949 15.060 14.972
58. Brandon Alley Algonquin, IL '01 Chevy S-10 14.567 14.738 15.734 15.013 15-second index
59. Nick Tasic Fox River, IL '97 Mustang 14.670 15.638 14.736 15.015
60. Tim Fields Crete, IL '89 Mustang 15.088 15.111 15.214 15.138
61. Doug Johnson Joliet, IL '86 Mustang 15.529 15.794 15.606 15.643
62. Mike Serno New Lenox, IL '98 Mustang 15.966 15.977 16.027 15.990
63. Dave Ginter Racine, WI '01 Mustang 11.195 18.600 19.334 16.376
64. Joel Dufkis Palatine, IL '88 Mustang 14.714 14.262 DNF
65. Frank Savage Memphis, TN '85 Caprice 8.924 DNF
66. Dan Marks Wonderlake, IL '02 Camaro 9.051 DNF
67. Joe Rozinek North Liberty, IA '82 Camaro 10.292 DNF
68. Eric Lozowski Woodstock, IL '89 Mustang 10.942 DNF
69. Ron Chamberlin St. Peters, MO '88 Mustang 11.331 DNF
70. Chad Wade Iowa City, IA '89 Camaro 16.259 DNF
71. Blake Highsmith Lindsay, OK '70 Road Runner DNF
72. Jim Filipowski Brighton, MI '66 Nova wagon DNF
73. Jeremiah Zanin Champaign, IL '88 Mustang DNF
74. Cody Williams Greenwood, IN '92 Mustang DNF
75. Rick Wrobel Pingree Grove, IL '93 Mustang DNF
76. Justun Burcham Glen Burnie, MD '05 Mustang DNF
77. Dennis Hennessey Hickory Hills, IL '03 Mustang DNF
78. James Fredericks Burbank, IL '91 Mustang DNF