No Prep Racing has become the hottest scene in motorsports

No Prep Racing has become a phenomenon in the last couple of years. “Street Outlaws” started this fire back in 2013, and it keeps burning hotter, some 5 years later. We now have a new spin off show “No Prep Kings” that has grown as quick, if not quicker then it’s predecessor. The cars are engineering marvels boasting  big horsepower, as they drink high octane fuel, and spit fire for 660 feet with each race. The drivers are celebrities, and the racing are battles reminiscent of the WWF of decades gone by. People have their favorites, and not only promote, with shirts, hats and hoodies, but defend them at all costs. But there is a backstory, to this high octane inferno, not only the people behind the wheel, but the crews, families, and friends that support them.

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No Prep Racing

My wife and I witnessed this first hand, at the recent NPK (No Prep Kings) in Norwalk, OH. I happen to catch up with a fan favorite from Texas. Ronnie Pace, aka “Barefoot Ronnie” a true legend in the street racing community, who currently owns 2 race cars, a 2nd gen Nova and 1st gen Camaro . Ronnie found himself in a predicament, as both his cars were out of service, as they needed parts for repair. Unfortunately, the parts were in high demand, and unavailable. Ronnie’s wife Emerald, put out an APB for not parts, but a car that Ronnie could drive, so they could keep their current points standing in the NPK leaderboard. Enter Kelvin Brown from Tennessee, a true street racer in his own right, and the owner of a beautiful black 66′ Chevy Nova (Chevy II) named “Ruby.” In a world of big cubic inches, and multiple power adders equating to staggering horsepower ratings up to 3500hp. Ruby seemed to be an underdog. sporting “only” a 450 cubic inch small block, and 2 stages of NOS as Kelvin explained to me, while installing new plugs. But this seemingly underpowered contender, skillfully driven by Barefoot Ronnie, had enough to beat  Street Outlaw “Jerry Johnston” aka “Monza” in his black 2nd gen Camaro, a twin turbo big block literally “dwarfing” the engine in Ruby. Ronnie was now past round 1, and into round 2, where he would face off against “The Godfather” Barry Nicholson. Unfortunately, big cubic inches and more stages of NOS got the better of Ruby, and Ronnie’s driving duties were now over at this NPK event.

No Prep Racing

Thanks to a self less act from a friend, and fellow racer. Ronnie and Emerald Pace, were able to not only attend, but race in this new and wonderful form of drag racing…NO PREP !!!


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No-Prep Racing has a Future in the Motorsport World

No Prep Racing

A no-prep race is like your average drag race except the track isn’t prepared for it. For a normal or traditional drag race there is a procedure that is accomplished before a race begins. To prepare the track, tyre rubber is scraped off and then the track is rinsed, brushed and dried. Additionally, the track surface is treated with PJ1 Trackbite or other chemicals to make sure that there is as much grip as possible, so cars don’t spin out of control. However, for no prep racing this process isn’t taken. There are a few motivations for a non-prepared track. The major motivation is that it replicates the conditions found on public roadways. There are motor sport followers who prefer no-prep racing over drag racing because it enables the racers to demonstrate that their cars can be competitive on a public roadway without having to race illegally and endangering themselves or anyone else out on the streets. Due to the reduced traction on non-prepared tracks, racers are required to be more skilful to not crash or lose control of their vehicle. No-prep racing borderlines between street racing and drag racing. It takes its race rules from drag racing and it is inspired by street racing as the track simulates the conditions found on regular motorways.
No-prep racing was created so a street race could take place in a safer environment like a dedicated race track. The Hot Rod Network interviewed Trent Eckhart who organises no prep races in Illinois and Steve Gillespie who is a racer about the beginnings of no-prep racing. Eckhart tells Hot Rod about how he initiated no-prep races. “no-prep is an evolution of street racing…we started running Real Street Drags at Great Lakes around 1999 or 2000, and at first, we ran it on days when the track wasn’t officially opened.” Eckhart goes on to explain that in no-prep racing, just like in street races, “racers can call one another out, give car lengths to a slower car, start on a flashlight or arm drop” (Hot Rod Network).
The popularity of no-prep racing has surged in the last few years. The street racing ambience and the unpredictable thrill of each race is fuelling the popularity of no-prep racing. Mike Murillo, who is a veteran drag racer and the co-owner of the Dirty South No-Prep Series said in an interview with writer Nick Gagala that “what makes it so exciting is that now we are going to races that are just insane as far as the risk, the danger—but you look up into the stands and they are packed.” Steve Gillespie tells the Hot Rot Network about how no-prep racing levels the playing field and that a racer with a lower budget can beat a racer with a high budget due to the non-preparation of the track. “The low-budget guy has the same chance to win as the high-dollar build. Everyone must go down the same surface. So, a guy that makes 2000 horsepower must turn it down to get down the surface. If he takes 800 horsepower out, and the guy that makes 1200 can use it all, it is an even drag race,” he said.
To conclude, no-prep racing can only increase in popularity and greatness. The unpredictability of who will win each race and the thrill of a street race environment is turning no-prep into an exciting prospect in the world of motorsport.

References:
Gagala, Nick Outlaw Country: The Booming No Prep Drag Racing Scene. 2018. Outlaw Country: The Booming No Prep Drag Racing Scene. [ONLINE] Available at: https://bluetoad.com/publication/?i=393304&article_id=2739907&view=articleBrowser&ver=html5# {%22issue_id%22:393304, %22view%22: %22articleBrowser%22, %22article_id%22: %222739907%22}. [Accessed 23 May 2018].

Hot Rod Network. 2018. No-Prep Drag Racing: Is it the Next Big Thing? – Hot Rod Network. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.hotrod.com/articles/no-prep-drag-racing-is-it-the-next-big-thing/

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