I had the opportunity to speak at length with Kenny Hubbard today regarding his switch from nitrous, to the new ProCharger combination in his Nova, along with discussing X275 and the future of the class.
Kenny’s car is a ’74 Nova that he has for years and started out as just an 8-point cage car and continually progressed from there to what you see today, which is a top of the line, front running X275 car that you see here.
I asked Kenny to explain how the switch to a ProCharger came to fruition and Kenny stated that it was his engine builder Jeff Naiser’s idea. “Last May or so Jeff said that we need to do a small block with a ProCharger”. At the time, Kenny said he didn’t know the difference between a Vortech or a ProCharger. Vortech had previously come on board, but since Kenny was working with Lamar Swindoll and his ProCharger setup, it naturally made sense to speak with ProCharger about coming on board. “It was a tough choice” said Kenny, when speaking about which company to go with, but in the end, it was going to be ProCharger.
Once doing that, Kenny and Matt Mungall from MC Fab decided that updated chassis work, along with some work to the floor were in order. Weight was going to have to come off the floor, and it wasn’t going to just help by doing the front nose and doors. The car was taken down to roof, quarter, firewall, and then updated from there.
Since Kenny is known as a carb guy, he knew that he was going to have to make some calls, so he spoke to the Bruder Brothers (Nick and Rich), whom Kenny had known since his blower days in RvW, he also spoke to Eric Dillard about going with the FuelTech setup in the car. Kenny will be sporting the FuelTech setup with Atomizer Injectors, and Bruders will be helping with getting the base tunes set up.
The Orange Nova is known to make an ungodly number of passes in any given weekend, and when asked he said that he is looking forward to less between round maintenance. With that said, he was very specific to tell me that he does still have all his nitrous setup ready to go if need be. The blower combo must be convincing before he is ready to ditch the nitrous sitting in the shop.
All drivers have goals, and I asked what his goal was, whether it be here or this season. The number that is in his mind is a 4.35. Kenny told me that the car had gone a .37 on the nitrous and based on the few hits they have made already; the front split shows the potential of going the .35 number that he is looking to obtain.
Kenny will certainly still be tuning some of the nastiest nitrous combos in the country, but he also said that nitrous car still can’t keep up with the backsplits of the blower and turbo stuff. With all that said, he said that the nitrous cars will have a summertime advantage due to the heat, but otherwise it’s the blower and turbos and will be the front runners at this point. “No one wants to slow the classes, but there is a lack of parity because you can only get a car so light”.
The plan for the 2019 season is going to be to concentrate on the John Sears x275 points championship. Kenny, who was runner-up twice in a row has every intention of putting that #1 decal on the Nova at the end of the season. If time permits, he will also be running events with the Mid-West Pro Mod Series, which he is the two-time champion of.
Another thing that we addressed in our conversation was the rumor that Kenny can’t make a car go fast without blowing s@t up. “Some people make fun how my tuning capability is, and that I like to burn s@t up, but I do that, and the stuff goes fast. So, if people want to say that I’m not that well of a tuner and I can’t make stuff go fast without burning it up, then so be it”. That is where the “Burnt Up by Hubbard” slogan came from. You buyin’ were fryin’. “I tune fast cars” is what Kenny has to say about that.
As far as where we go from here, Kenny said that he expects we will see .25’s. While he doesn’t think it’s a good thing to have cars running mid 20’s and others in the 50’s, he said that the offseason nitrous rule changes where a good thing and he looks forward to seeing how that all plays out.
What’s the best part about being at the track? People, is his first answer. He went out to say that being at the track is like vacation, and if you aren’t having fun at the race track then you need to quit because you aren’t gonna get rich, it’s the same as playing golf or going fishin’.
A big shoutout to all the companies that are on board with Kenny as well. Obviously, Jeff Naiser who built that nasty small block. Mark Micke from M&M Transmission, Dave Vasser at Nitrous Outlet, Mark Menscer at Menscer Motorsports, Joe at ProTorque, Sebastian and the AMS2000, MCFab, Chad at Glassman Mobile Services, Wiseco Pistons, Mickey Thompson Tires, and so many more.
The bodywork was handled by Mark McClaskey. Mark is a customer of Kenny, he and his family handled the paint and bodywork. The paint is a House of Kolor Orange with a custom touch of Mark mixed in with it. As you can see, it might be one of the most beautiful colors you will see in or out of the gates at a race track. They have created the name of the color…Asian Orange.