On May 6, 1999, John Rzepiennik, a Central Florida resident, took delivery of this Magnetic Red '99 C5. Like many Corvette owners, John wasn't content to let his ride remain as it had rolled off the assembly line. So, as he flipped through the countless catalogs that offered aftermarket goodies, visions of a low-e.t. Corvette (and probably a voided GM warranty) danced in his head.

Within the span of three months, John was a few steps closer to his dream ride and a few more dollars in the hole. While the first steps included only a Corsa Indy exhaust and a twin-K&N air-filter setup, it was nonetheless groundwork for a future that would run the gamut of the performance industry.

The important additions happened in the fall of 2003. With some extra cash to burn, the retired salesman added an ATI/ProCharger intercooled blower, which gave the car a reported 507 hp and 464 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. Soon, further additions would include an Evans water pump, a high-flow radiator, L.G. Motorsports long-tube headers, and a Lingenfelter fuel pump. Allied with a set of Nitto drag-spec radials, all of this equaled a scorching track performer in a relatively straightforward package. What a drag!

Quick Test:MT ET Street Radials
Not one to shrink from a challenge, John Rzepiennik agreed to thrash his car for us-purely in the name of science, you understand-on the Orlando Speed World Dragway strip. First, John made a series of passes on his normal track tires-a pair of Nitto Extreme Drags. Next, we installed Mickey Thompson's ET Street radials, mounted on stock-sized Z06 wheels from Mid America. John then made another string of passes to see what the differences were. To see for yourself, check out this comparison of John's best 60-foot times.

Nitto Extreme Drag RadialsMickey Thompson ET Street Radials
Pass 1:2.15Pass 1:2.107
Pass 2:2.127Pass 2:2.043
Pass 3:2.04Pass 3:1.923
Pass 4:2.053Pass 4:1.897

Mickey Thompson set out to create a set of tires that worked as well on the street as they did on the track. Previously, if you wanted to run ultra-sticky tires, you installed them in the pits, towed your ride to your favorite strip, or risked traveling illegally (not to mention dangerously) in order to "run what ya brung." Thanks to M/T, you can get to the track in record time and drive home afterwards without bringing extra equipment or taking your life in your own hands. Of course, these tires come with a "dry pavement only" warning label and have a tread-wear rating of zero, making them ill-suited to a regularly driven street car.