The 2020 GForce Performance Engineering King of the Street competition was intense and when the contestants came together at the NMRA World Finals and Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, New Jersey’s Donato Sierchio was the man to beat, with no other competitors coming close to his low-7-second elapsed times. At the conclusion, Sierchio had eliminated Chad Simmons, Rick Baum, and Randy Thomas to be crowned the 2020 GForce Performance Engineering King of the Street.
Sierchio began the 2020 racing season in Bradenton where he squared off against QA1 True Street champion and veteran, Mike Jovanis, who had taken a runner-up finish in last year’s competition. Jovanis collected the True Street win there at the 2020 season opener on Saturday to claim the first spot on the ladder. His 7.83 three-run average bested Sierchio’s 8.08, but the latter had run as quick as 7.54, a time that was a couple of tenths quicker than Jovanis’ best run, and also a number that showed the car’s true potential. On Sunday, Sierchio would get his revenge, though, as strung several 7-second runs, including a 7.46 that allowed him to best Jovanis’ 7.806 in the final round of the Nitto Tire Spring Break Shootout, and earn his place on the King of the Street ladder for Bowling Green.
With the first two spots set, it would be a good few months before racing resumed at the next race at Atlanta Dragway. There, Sierchio was once again on the property looking to dominate True Street once more, but he bowed out before the competition began. That left the door wide open for the rest of the QA1 contingent, and Alex Corella of Florida grabbed the third spot on the ladder with an off-pace 10.04 average from his 8-second-capable, turbocharged Mustang.
The Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing was moved to World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in 2020, and became the third stop on the NMRA series tour. There, among a sizable hoard of True Street entrants, multi-time True Street winner randy Thomas drove his Shelby GT500 to the win with an 8.74 average.
As the Covid-19 shutdowns continued, the NMRA staff found it’s way to US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan, for its next event. There, amid a record car count, True Street contestants were put through the ringer, both on track and off, and at the end, Rick Baum was the quickest over his three runs with an average of 9.23 seconds.
That brought us to the NMRA World Finals and Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival, an event of epic proportions and the site of the GForce Performance Engineering King of the Street eliminations. This event filled the last three spots on the KOTS ladder, and over 150 cars entered QA1 True Street with numerous 7- and 8-second-capable cars on the property. When the results were tabulated, though, many of those heavy hitters and swung and missed, and it was consistency in performance that delivered Jason Wagoner to the True Street title in Bowling Green with an 8.96 average. Wagoner was the Eaton TVS Throwdown Overall Winner at the St. Louis event, and took the next spot on the KOTS ladder with his win at Beech Bend. Hot on his tail was Dan Saitz with not his usual orange Fox-Body Mustang, but a black 2011 machine that he drove to the runner up spot with a 9.01-second average. Saitz was followed closely by Daniel Rosner in his mint-colored new-edge Mustang. Rosner clocked a 9.11-second average to garner the 9-second True Street award.
The ladder was then complete, but before eliminations started, Saitz didn’t make the lane call and was replaced with alternate Chad Simmons, who was the 5th quickest True Street racer with a 9.42 average.
Eliminations began with Baum facing Jovanis out of the gate. Jovanis, however, had sidelined his speedy blue Fox-Body Mustang since Bradenton and brought out a new supercharged, Coyote-powered colt, but its 10.15 wasn’t enough to stay ahead of Baum and his 8.84. Randy Thomas was next up against Daniel Rosner, and it was Thomas who won the round on a hole shot. Leaving first allowed his slower 9.079 to get him to the finish line first over Rosner’s quicker 9.063 effort.
The next pair out was Donato Sierchio against Chad Simmons, and while Simmons collected the slightest of starting line advantages and clocked a stout 8.98, it wasn’t enough to keep him ahead of Sierchio’s 7.58. The last pair of the quick 8 saw Jason Wagoner defeat Alex Corella. Corella went into the round with the quicker of the two cars, but fell well off his normal pace with a 9.65, while Wagoner remained consistent and drove to an 8.75 elapsed time.
Round two kicked off with Sierchio dispatching Baum, 7.62 to 8.90, and Randy Thomas showed he was the man to beat at the starting line as he pulled out another hole shot win this time over Wagoner, 9.06 to 8.75.
That set the final-round matchup of Sierchio versus Thomas in a New Jersey versus Kentucky and old-school push rod power against modern modular muscle. Thomas had been hot on the lights all weekend, but Sierchio brought his A game and took the advantage at the start, .065 to Thomas’ .084. Sierchio’s turbocharged machine charged to a 7.64 run at 170 mph to take the win and the GForce Performance Engineering King of the Street crown for 2020. And KOTS wasn’t the only thing Sierchio won this weekend, as he was also entered in the Hellion Turbo Battle and drove to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle after defeating James McCord, 7.28 to 7.44, in the final round of competition.
The GForce Performance Engineering is currently set to run for the 2021 season, and we’ve already heard of several cars that are being built, upgraded, and more to fight for True Street wins, and we can’t forget about 2019 winner and Canadian resident, Jeff Bloem, who was unable to compete this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. With all of that to consider, we’re sure the 2021 King of the Street competition will assemble the greatest warriors from near and far who are ready to lay claim to the throne.