Veteran NMCA Pro Street competitor Jeff Lutz, who gave Hot Rod Drag Week superstar Larry Larson his most staunch challenge to date this fall in the grueling battle of street car supremacy, scorched the record books over the weekend at the Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Lone Star Shootout in Houston, Tex., as he powered his 1957 Chevrolet to an astounding 6.909 at 215 MPH during testing, marking the quickest lap recorded by a street legal car in the United States.
Overt the course of the weekend, Lutz drove the ’57 sporting turbo power from Pat Musi on the 30-mile cruise as part of the Unlimited True Street class and later took the car into town for a cruise along with fellow street terrors Larson, Joe Barry, and others. Lutz recorded low elapsed time of eliminations in Houston the following day, dropping a 6.989 at 200.44 MPH on California native David Schroeder in the semifinals. In the money round, Lutz got some redemption on Larson for Drag Week, besting the five-time champ on both ends of the racetrack in a 7.00 to 7.28 contest.
The definition of a street car and what criteria must exist to clay claim to the title “World’s Quickest Street Car” has become a heated and much-discussed topic in recent months. For many, Drag Week has become the defining benchmark, but there are other cars however, such as Englishman Andy Frost’s twin-turbo Vauxhall that’s been 6.50’s and Rod Saboury’s Corvette that’s been in the high sixes that have proved their street worthiness and legality on many occasions and deserve to be in the discussion.
While the debate will surely rage on until all of the challengers battle on the same track on the same day, Lutz, who passed Drag Week with flying colors, is now the marked man to beat on American soil.