Coverage presented by Continental Tire
Quarter-mile drag racing doesn't quite have the luster it did 10, 20 or even 30-plus years ago. Times have changed. Production sports cars and most tuner vehicles have more horsepower than ever. And to be quite honest, more people aren't into watching the same guys trying to shave every last tenth of a second at the track all day. Not to mention if you've had experience with serious racing, you most likely invested in a set of costly drag slicks as well as had your fair share of broken axles among other things. Enter the world of half-mile racing...
What's great about half-mile racing is that you don't have to be a pro driver, nor own a race car. These events are open to any enthusiast, whether you're a newbie or veteran. And it's open to you, whether you rock a 300hp Scion FR-S or 1,000hp GT-R. You just need a technically safe ride and the desire to go fast!
We picked up on half-mile racing a few years ago and now we regularly check out Omega Motorsports' No Fly Zone (NFZ). The premise behind NFZ is simple: half-mile, side-by-side roll racing. There's 5,200 feet of runway to use with all of the proper equipment necessary to give you an accurate trap speed. There's no run groups, bracket races or trophies. Line up with whomever you want, cruise up to 40mph, and then let the hammer drop until you've passed the checkered flag. It's that easy, and it's super fun!
There's a couple of things we should warn you about... First, it's not the cheapest affair with entry fees at NFZ costing $200. Second, most half-mile races take place at isolated airstrips, usually a couple of hours from civilization; so factor travel time. But that's about it! If you want a safe and private place to push your project car to its limits, half-mile racing is hard to beat!
So with all of that said, last winter, with the help of our friends at Continental Tire, the Super Street staff hopped into a Ford Transit van and made our way to the fourth No Fly Zone Arizona event. Most of these events tend to attract a lot of supercars and American muscle, but our crowd is slowly picking up on the action and we managed to meet some brave enthusiasts who weren't afraid to test the waters of top speed.
Who: Jeff Sides
What: '13 Scion FR-S
Jeff is member of the local Arizona FR-S/86 club and brought out his daily-driven, turbocharged FR-S to NFZ for the first time. It was one of the most underpowered cars of the field at 360whp; however, he hit 140mph and was surprised to keep up with some higher-powered Mustangs. Nice job, Jeff!
Who: Daniel Torres
What: '14 BMW M235i
Daniel is the founder of Performance Design Unlimited, and his M235i makes 500+hp thanks to a port-injected N55 running E85. He got addicted to half-mile events after seeing them on social media. It became a great environment for him to test 'n tune his project car. At NFZ, he maxed out at 150mph due to unfortunate mechanical issues.
Who: Scottsdale Vault
What: Nissan GT-Rs
If you own a Rolls Royce, Lambo, Ferrari or Bentley in the greater Phoenix area, chances are you've heard of Scottsdale Vault. They specialize in all types of high-end maintenance and service, but we were pleasantly surprised to find out their staff are a bunch of GT-R guys at heart. They showed up to NFZ with not only a few exotics, but a squad full of R35s, most of them built to break 200mph. We particularly liked their red demo car that's pushing around 1,600hp.
Who: Ryan Richardson
What: '15 Nissan NISMO 370Z
We were shocked to see this Z going hard at NFZ. The owner Ryan brought out his family for a fun-filled day after learning about NFZ via Facebook. His NISMO 370Z is twin-turbocharged by Fast Intentions. Matched with a 3" exhaust, E85 tune using Ecutek and a Specialty Z clutch, he pushed his 650whp Z34 to162mph in the half mile.
What: '06 Subaru STI
This Subie from DynoComp has been around the scene for years, in fact, maybe over a decade! It's been worked on extensively to become a full-blown time attack race car weighing in at 2,800 lbs and given nothing but the best in high performance parts such as JRZ suspension, Brembo 8-piston brakes, Carbonetic diff, Cosworth block, and more. Pushing 550+whp, the STI popped its half-mile cherry at NFZ and we saw it record a pass at 158mph. Not the fastest car by any means, but it helps to show the diversity of the cars at half-mile events.
Who: Reggie Paul
What: '94 Toyota Supra
While two decades old, the MKIV Supra is still king when it comes to straight line acceleration. We've seen countless examples perform on the quarter-mile, and many more showing their strength at more and more half-mile events. This is Reggie Paul's baby that he's owned since '08. He picked it up stock and has since gone through many stages. Today, it's a 755whp beast he loves to drive every weekend thanks to a single-turbo conversion, built top-end, AEM Infinity and E85 tune. Reggie hit 165mph on his first No Fly Zone experience. This time around, he outdid himself with a 170mph pass. In the end, he summed up half-mile racing the best, "My car runs 10.8-seconds on the quarter-mile but there's a lot of wear and tear on the car. With half-mile racing, there's no hard launches and I can drive the car home without worrying. Plus, I love spanking those exotics!"