The last time we saw Evolution Performance's Kona Blue '11 GT, it was breaking into the 8-second zone. The car has already seen a complete, um, evolution in its combination since it made its 10-second debut on these pages. At MIR, the Evo tester was sporting Kenne Bell's 3.6-liter Mammoth supercharger system atop a built engine and backed by a C4. Evo hotshoe Nelson Whitlock quickly topped the qualifying sheet with a 9.21 at 140.07 mph; then he waited to meet Sean Kelley in the finals. After a double redlight, it was a do-over, and Nelson took the crown with patience and a 9.48 at 145.59.
Engine And Drivetrain
Suspension And Chassis
Sean Kelley describes his ride as a "quiet little street car," and compared to the other heavy hitters in the Unlimited category, his stock-muffler car was pretty tame. That's saying something, as Sean's car sports both a Paxton supercharger and nitrous, but his daily driver also runs with a large number of stock parts. With that in mind, his number-two qualified blast of 9.51 at 146.23 was impressive. Sean squared off against Justin Burcham for a shot at Nelson Whitlock in the finals. Justin got the jump but ran into trouble, and Sean ran it out the back door to the tune of 9.47 at 138.26. The finals were full of drama as both cars lit the red bulb on the first attempt. On the second try, Sean knew he had to get the jump and left early again, handing Nelson the win.
After years of watching Team JPC assemble a race car in the pits and make it into the lanes just in time, it was no surprise to see Justin Burcham with a just-in-time arrival for qualifying. After fighting off gremlins to the point of exasperation, Justin was inspired by his young son to keep up the fight. He made it on the dyno the morning of the event, and arrived in time to qualify with a 9.72 at 141.89. It looked as if it was anyone's race between Justin and Sean Kelley, but a missed shift ended Justin's run and sent Sean into the final round.