The premise is simple enough. Rent a track for a day, invite a handful of people to bring out their cars, and give them a chance to dial in their combinations. It's not a chance to win an eliminator or stage a race; rather, it's a rare opportunity to get as many runs down the track as you want, science out components, and get real-world performance numbers for your efforts. Cool, huh?

Actually, we can't take credit for thinking up this program; that goes to the folks at Primedia's New Jersey offices. Through the agreement they have with noted NHRA facility Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, on certain Thursdays, the company pays for the track personnel and the invited-only guests to go at it for eight hours. Some time ago, HPM editor Greg Rager selected a group of small-block racers to come to the track. This included drag cars, street cars, stroker projects, forced induction monsters, and Pro Street versions. Most, of course, were based around the venerated LA-series 318/340/360 of the '64-'90 era, with one exception: a 360/300hp crate motor Magnum, which is still a "close cousin" to the LA family.

We were blessed with good October weather, and with Primedia Shootout veterans Tom DeMauro, Jim Campisano, and Dan Foley making sure everything went smoothly, our team of seven assaulted the quarter-mile. The next several pages show their cars, their performances, and their reflections on the day. Due to noise restrictions, every car had mufflers.