Small-block nitrous X275 world record holder Ron Rhodes smashed his own 1/4-mile record last weekend at the World Cup Finals: Import vs Domestic at the Maryland International Raceway, one of many new marks set during what was a record-breaking affair.
Rhodes, driving his familiar and highly-decorated fire-engine-red 1968 Camaro, clicked off a five-day-long series of 6-second runs, bettering his own previous 1/4-mile record of 7.08 and 189 mph by nearly half a second and 20 mph by the close of the weekend. After spinning in the opening session of X275 versus Hot Rod qualifying, Rhodes stunned everyone with a blistering 6.78 at 207 mph. That in itself was worthy of the highlight reels, but the Delaware native was far from finished.
In the fifth and final session, he improved to a 6.759 at at 207 to qualify fifth in the stout 16-car field. Rhodes nearly matched his qualifying time in round one the following morning with a 6.755 at a faster 208 mph trap speed. After a pedaling to a 7.29 at 168 in round two, a even-quicker-yet 6.734 at 208 was enough to put him into the final round, where he would sit opposite of Derek Mota in Manny Buginga’s potent Ford Mustang. After nearly identical reaction times, Mota sailed to a 6.57-second victory, but Rhodes was far from disappointed in the outcome, clocking his quickest-ever lap with a screaming 6.671 at 209.26 mph.
What makes Rhodes’ performance so impressive? The car is powered by a 500 cubic-inch BES-built small-block with a Speedtech fogger nitrous system and a single Holley EFI throttle body. It’s also a leaf spring car, and it rides on 275 drag radials. There was a time when big-tire cars with boost couldn’t touch those numbers — what a time to be alive!