Top guns in Arizona shootout for 10 fastest street cars

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Mustang vs. Corvette at the WHP drag strip | Photography by Hans Marquez

A drag-racing shootout is being staged in Arizona to determine the top 10 street cars in a competition that will continue with bracket racing throughout the summer.

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Pink Mustang currently on the top 10 list

The racing is limited to cars that are licensed and registered to drive on the street, and that’s a major goal of the Drift and Drag events: to encourage performance drivers to bring their cars to the drag strip instead of dangerously and illegally racing them on public streets.

Chuck Sundstrum, the owner of Go Fast Entertainment, which hosts Drift and Drag events at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix, said, “There is not a lot of bracket racing in Arizona and with all the hype and excitement from the show Street Outlaws, I wanted to do something similar.”

The series began in May with a night of drag racing to determine the initial top-10 list. There will be four rounds of challenges in which the top 10 move up and down the list and defend their spots against newcomers attempting to knock them off the list.

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Mustang vs. Camaro

“The first round begins with the number two spot versus the number one spot, and then four versus three and so on. The second round allows for three extra people to challenge the top 10 to make it on the list.”

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The series finale for this is at Boostfest in September with more than $3,000 in prize money given to the top three fastest cars.

The night is a mix between the competition and open test and tune, or open driving sessions. The winner of each event takes home $250 leading up to the main event in September. The next event will be July 18, followed by the fourth event on August 15, and then the Boostfest finally on September 19.

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In the burn out box before staging

According to Sundstrum, “this series has generated a lot of excitement, fast cars and we have heard of people doing test and tune at other events to see if they think they can get their cars into our event.”

A variety of cars are participating, everything from classic pickup trucks, Mustangs and  Camaros to Supras and Audis. A majority of the vehicles are turbocharged.

Sundstrom created and developed his company, Go Fast Entertainment, after new management took over the Wild Horse Pass track and discontinued Drift and Drag events.  He reinstituted  Drift and Drag, and the Junefest event held this past weekend marked the one-year anniversary for Go Fast Entertainment.

Part of the effort, he said, is to bring drag racing onto the strip and away from public streets.

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Drivers would race themselves if their competitor wasn’t in attendance

“Our goal is to put on new and exciting events to keep interest here and keep people off the streets,” Sundstrom said. “Lately there have been lots of negative things said about street racing in the media, I’ve been involved in drag racing for over 30 years and my goal has always been to keep racing off the streets.”

With over 120 drift cars and 120 drag cars, this event has grown to be among the largest of its kind in the United States, according to Sundstrom, with each event bringing five to 10 new drivers.

In an effort to keep the experienced drivers of both Drag and Drift excited and interested, Sundstrom looks to social media and his past experience working at tracks across the country for ideas that will add excitement without taking away from the open-session driving.

In addition to the Arizona’s quickest top 10 street cars shoot out, the drift portion of the event has featured a tap the wall contest, team donut contest, and arecent event featuring team tandem drifting with a celebrity judge, Rob Parsons, also known as the Chairslayer.

Parsons is a professional drifter who is paralyzed from the waist down and competitively drives a drift car operated by hand controls. He has also set up the Chairslayer foundation that helps others with disability’s develop a passion for motorsports.

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Go Fast Entertainment has set up a raffle with donations from local automotive shops with 100 percent of the raffle proceeds going to the Chairslayer foundation.

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Nicole James has been involved in the automotive world her entire life. Her dream car is a 1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe. She currently drives a 2005 Mustang affectionately known as Marilyn and uses the car to participate in track events, car shows, and explore the world around her. Nicole joined the ClassicCars.com Content and Marketing team in 2014. Nicole is an automotive journalist and the creator of Pretty Driven - an online source for car culture and news for millennials, as well as a contributor for ClassicCars.com. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @Nicoleeellan