The next generation of the Hubbard drag racing dynasty and heir to the Kenihana family legacy, Kyla Hubbard is following in her father’s footsteps with an heirloom 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo built to take down the competition in Ultra Street and TeX275.
Kyla’s dad, Kenny Hubbard, a well-respected small-tire radial racer in his own right, bought his daughter her first Jr. Dragster when she was just 8 years old and the family helped Kyla campaign the car around their hometown of Montgomery, Texas.
“We raced the Junior for a few years, but I stopped when I turned 12 because they just weren’t fast enough for me and I decided to wait until I could get a door car,” recalled Kyla, now a 21-year-old college student who also ran in the 7.90 class for a few years as a teen. “When I turned 18, I asked my dad if he would get his old car back together for me.”
Obtained from their friend, Ben Miles, in 1998 by Kenny and his wife, Billie, the 1985 Monte Carlo was the first racecar that the couple built together. They raced it for about five years, parked it for over a decade, and finally took it out of the shop in 2018 to start the lengthy process of transforming it into their daughter’s dream ride upon her request.
Working with the same chassis builder who helped prepare his iconic ProCharged 1974 Chevy Nova for X275 fame and fortune, Mathew Mungall of MC Fab, Kenny ensured the new chromoly roll cage would not only stiffen the factory frame in front and in back, but that it would also help keep his little girl safe.
“My dad, Mathew [Mungall], Maverick Wilsher, and Kenny Rodriguez put the car together,” said Kyla of how her Monte Carlo was custom-built to fit her exact needs. “Thanks also to Carissa Hart, David Butcher, and Sarah Lee Butcher for their help crewing.”
The group outfitted the Chevy with aftermarket upper and lower control arms, as well as steering arms, made specifically for the G-body by TRZ Motorsports. In the rear, a custom MC Fab built 9-inch rearend housing was fitted with a Strange Engineering third member, gears, and axles.
Upgraded to a four-link style rear suspension, too, the Hubbard family’s Monte Carlo received additional upgrades with Menscer Motorsports shocks and struts at all four corners.
With the chassis updates complete, Kenny was confident that his old car could handle the 1,500-plus horsepower needed to enable Kyla to be competitive in Ultra Street. Jeff Naiser of Naiser Racing was given the honor of both machining and assembling the 12:1 compression, 440 cubic-inch small-block Chevy engine.
Naiser, who has worked with Kenny on his own engine program for years, assembled a weapon that Kyla could unleash on a whim. The 4.170-inch bore Dart bottom end was stuffed full of top-of-the-line parts, including GRP connecting rods topped with Wiseco pistons that rotate around a Bryant crankshaft.
A solid LSM Systems Engineering camshaft triggers Trend pushrods that operate the Victory 1 Performance titanium valves and T&D Machine Products rocker arms inside the cast aluminum All Pro 245 cylinder heads done by Dan Barton. The engine was buttoned up with a two-piece Moroso oil pan and dry-sump system with pump primer and filter from Peterson Fluid Systems.
Using Fragola hoses and fittings, Kenny and Rodriguez wired and plumbed the VP Racing M1 methanol-fueled small block to accept its new ProCharger F-1A-91 gear-driven supercharger. Additionally, an All Pro billet elbow integrated with a Methhead Injection by Nitrous Outlet kit was incorporated into the induction system.
With the mechanics wrapped up, Kenny sent the completed car over to Eastex Collision Repair in Houston, Texas. There, the steel roof and quarters, fiberglass front clip, doors, hood, and deck lid were sprayed by Jerry Hicks and Dustin Dietert in a beautiful, eye-catching shade of House of Kolor orange.
Inside, Kyla’s cockpit is all business with tasteful touches of style and carpet-covered factory floors. A customized orange shifter from M&M sports her name, and the orange accented Strange steering wheel neatly ties the color scheme together while framing the FuelTech digital dash.
The airbrushed dash panels are an artful nod to the Chevy’s former interior and show off the old gauges, radio, heating and air controls, vents, and Monte Carlo emblem in stunning detail.
Rolling on a set of Mickey Thompson rubber-wrapped RC Components wheels, which have been beadlocked by Mac-Fab in the rear, Kyla showed off the car’s capabilities at Duck X Productions’ No Mercy 12 at South Georgia Motorsports Park in mid-October of 2021. There, she ran 4.648 at 150.51 mph to qualify 16th overall but spun early in eliminations and wasn’t able to secure a round win.
Kyla showed a strong improvement at the DXP Lights Out 13 race in late February of 2022, however. The Ultra Street category was packed full of some of the toughest names in the country, but Kyla qualified impressively well in 15th out of 40 entries; the 4.609 at 152.18 mph run marked both a new personal best elapsed time and trap speed for the young woman, but she slowed to 4.628 at 151.05 mph during the first elimination round and wasn’t able to get past Frank Provenza in the opposing lane.
“I’m hoping to go 4.40s this season,” shared the rookie radial racer, who depends on TBM brakes to haul her back down to pit speed after each pass. “We finished the car in 2021 and I have enjoyed every minute of being in it so far. It drives and handles like a Cadillac and fits me to a tee.”
Although she’s been behind the G-body’s wheel for a relatively short amount of time, Kyla has already developed a solid racing routine. “I do not like change and like to keep the same pattern every time, including having the same crew members guiding me into the groove and lining me up to the beams,” shared the girl whose driving technique is all about repetition.
Her system begins by turning on the ignition and letting the O2 sensors warm up. Once those are ready to go, Kyla fires up her family’s showpiece and does her burnout. “I’ll put it in second and pop it into third, then I am guided back,” she continued of the process. “I clear the motor out, check my safety belts, and pull into the beams… then I put my visor down and hold on!”
With both Nick Bruder of Bruder Brothers Racing and her “Hopped Up by Hubbard” father tuning the FuelTech FT600 EFI system to control the Billet Atomizer 700 lb/hr injector and Firecore smart coils, Kyla stands to be a strong contender in Ultra Street and TeX275 competition for her 2022 season and beyond. “Thanks to my parents, and every single person who is involved in this car,” she added of her love for her parents’ bright orange 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. “There’s absolutely no way I could do any of this without my family, friends, and sponsors.”