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Friday Coverage—2022 NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing presented by Fuelab

Posted By: Steve Baur
Testing kicks off the Friday action here at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway and we roll right into the first round of qualifying before noon. Keep checking back here for coninuous updates from the 2022 NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing presented by Fuelab.

Flyin’ Ryan Bell brought his 1976 Corvette to St. Louis all the way from Phoenix, Arizona to do battle in Dart NA 10.5, where naturally aspirated horsepower reigns supreme. Bell runs an FPS small block 416 with Dart Little Chief heads and a Dart intake, a Weldon fuel system, a Braswell carb massaged by Dale Cubic from CFM Performance Carburetors, an A-1 Pro Flite transmission and a Strange Engineering 12-bolt built by Scott Parks from Neil and Parks Racing. Bell’s Corvette still has power windows and much of the factory interior, save for the required race equipment. Because of that, the car is about 40 pounds heavy than required by the rules. However, the thought is removing any weight would have very minimal effect on ET. As it sits, Bell’s Corvette ran a pair of 8.0s in the heat during Thursday’s test and tune.

Local performance shop HPJ Performance made its name building late-model HEMI cars, but the ownership has since branched out into other brands as well. When HPJ’s Dale Arnold stopped by Jason Dietsch Trailer Sales to pick up his new toter home, he spotted John Kauderer’s Cobra Jet that he campaigned in NMRA Coyote Modified at the facility, as Dietsch was entrusted with repairs to the car after an on-track incident. Arnold came back the following week and purchased the 1-of-3, Gotta Have It Green 2014 CJ. Since then, he’s put on a Forced Inductions 76mm Renegade-legal turbocharger, a new air-to-air intercooler, and added a few other updates. JPC Racing’s Eric Holiday is currently tuning the AEM EFI, but Arnold said they will be switching over to FuelTech towards the end of the season.


Back in NMCA action is Georgina Buckley and her 2005 Mustang. Georgina, and her husband Dave, have a new 588ci big-block Chevy engine with a Fast Lane nitrous plate on board. Perhaps the most notable change was switching from carburetion to FuelTech EFI. Georgina told us that while she has been a diehard proponent of the carburetor, the capabilities of EFI have take their program to a new level. A recent dyno session at FuelTech netted 1,789 horsepower on the company’s hub dyno. Buckley ran her personal best of 4.67 at a recent race just a few weeks ago, and is hoping to improve further this weekend.
While Jeff Borcier is mostly known for his wildly painted, Arnie Beswick-tribute 1963 Pontiac Tempest called The Untamed Tiger that he competes with in Quick Fuel Nostalgia Super Stock, but this weekend he’s re-debuting his 1962 Pontiac Catalina. Borcier has owned the car for two years, but the engine let go during the NMCA race in Norwalk, Ohio, last year and Borcier has been working towards getting it repaired ever since. Under the custom carbon fiber hood is a 455-based, 535ci engine that propels the Big Wampum to 9.40s at 140 mph.

Jenn Fahey in HP Tuners Super Stang has noticed an issue with her Nitto drag radials pushing the car through the burnout, but then not hooking at the launch. Husband Dennis has a theory to test during the rest of test and tune to see if they can sort out the issue. As of Friday morning’s test session, it appears the couple has it figured out, so Jenn can now refocus on getting her reaction times dialed in. The theory was that during the burnout, if Jenn hammered on the gas to initiate the burnout, the car would push through the water, and send the car sideways. The car wasn’t adequately heating the tires that way, but after working on easing into the gas in the water box, that has allowed the car to gain the wheel speed necessary to perform a proper burnout.

Factory Stock racer Mark Anderson broke a strut during Thursday’s test and tune, and was in a mad dash Friday morning to get it swapped out. The little Two-Valve that can is now owned by Team Dirty Bird and the Stephens family. Anderson is still at the wheel of the car, and will be as long as he wants with Team Dirty Bird’s full support.

VP Racing Madditives Renegade racer Joel Greathouse concentrated on making A to B passes during Thursday’s test and tune session. The heat of the day presented a lot of potential traction and power control issues, so Greathouse wanted to make sure the car will be ready for similar weather later in the weekend during eliminations. 

Edelbrock Xtreme Street racer Paul Smith, who had been running a small-block Chevrolet under the hood of his Camaro, replaced it with a big-block Chevrolet by TRE Racing Engines toward the end of the last year, and is gathering a lot of good data for it. Smith, who enhances it with a PKRE nitrous system and backs it with a Turbo 400 by RPM Transmission, decided to make some stator changes in his PTC converter over winter, along with some transmission gear changes, in an effort to pick up at 330 feet. He made a soft pass in testing yesterday, and is preparing for qualifying today.

Bruce Lang, who drove his grey Barracuda powered by a 440 Six Pack to a win in Fastest Street Car Super Stock Eliminator at the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport last month at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina, is hoping to back that up at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing presented by Fuelab this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois. He would be even happier if he could also haul to a win in Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock in his other car, a  green Barracuda packing a 470 cubic-inch engine. “I actually had the engine out of the green Barracuda last week since it lost a thrust bearing, but it’s okay now, and I made some good test passes yesterday,” said Lang. The racer from Wisconsin added that he will try to run close to 9.65 in Fastest Street Car Super Stock Eliminator and close to 9.75 in Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock.

Del Holbrook may be new to JDM Engineering Limited Street, but he is finding his way around the category just fine, and he proved that with a runner-up finish at the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport last month at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina. The Michigander also ran a personal best of 8.32 and 161 mph at that event in his Mustang motivated by a Coyote engine built by Holbrook Racing Engines and paired with nitrous, but he didn’t mince words this morning when he told us that he wanted to go even quicker and faster at this event, with help from his father and fellow racer, Chris Holbrook, and team. He'll be one to watch.

David Bishop has been keeping the roads hot between his home state of Oklahoma, Bradenton, Florida, and here at World Wide Technology. Coastal Dyno also does the work on Bishop’s GT500, which benefits from an MPR Racing Engines bullet with a Jokerz Performance ported blower, a Fore Innovations fuel system, ID1700 fuel injectors and a Signature Wheels drag pack wearing Hoosier slicks. The car has been as quick as 9.1, and he went a 9.4 earlier today. If he can lower his 60-ft times, he hopes to get into the 8s this weekend. To reduce some weight from the car, the GT500 wears Vision Sport carbon fiber seats.

Originally planning to bring two cars to race this weekend, Ricky Pennington had some electrical issues with his Chevelle, so he’s just piloting Ronnie Booth’s G-Body Malibu this weekend in the Super Stock Eliminator class. The Malibu is a 283ci/stick-shift combination that both Ricky and his father Rick have raced successfully.

Normally, David Fuszner can be found competing in the Victory Nostalgia Super Stock series with his 1964 Thunderbolt Fairlane, but he decided to mix it up with the NMCA’s Quick Fuel Nostalgia Super Stock racers this weekend at WWT Raceway. Fuszner bought the car as a roller in 1968, sold it in 1970, and managed to buy it back in 1976. He bracket raced it from then on, and grabbed an AHRA B/Modified record with the car until he got hooked up with Nostalgia Super Stock racing. The 427 side oiler under the hood pushes the vintage Ford to high 9s and a 10.0 index.

Zach Schmitz of Troy, Missouri, is testing out a new pre-production centrifugal supercharger from American Forced Induction. His 2007 Z06 Corvette is packing a 434ci LSX-based engine with Mast Motorsports Black Label heads and previously ran 8.70s with another blower. The new AF1-94 supercharger currently works with the A&A Corvettes bracket kit and production is set for July of 2022. The company is developing 4 series to cover everything from entry level units to Pro Mod-capable blower. The Schmitz Performance-built Corvette, which uses an RPM Transmission Powerglide transmission, sips E85, is tuned on a Holley Dominator EFI system, and has the supercharger pulley’d for 18 psi of boost, clicked off an 8.14 at 170mph during this morning’s test session, and Schmitz thinks there is a 7-second timeslip in the car with better weather. Midwest Speed and Fab sorted out the charge piping and air-to-water intercooler. Schmitz will be putting the on-track and street capabilities of the 3,300-lb car to the test during TorqStorm Superchargers True Street this weekend.

Competing in the Dodge//Mopar HEMI Shootout this weekend are John Ridings and Jack Titone. Both of these drivers have 8- and 9-second race cars, but they love not having to work on and maintain their late-model Mopar machines. Ridings, of Springfield, Illinois, has competed at the Super Bowl event on five occasions and collected 3 wins with his Plum Crazy 2018 Dodge Demon. Titone, of Chesterfield, Missouri, normally runs the bracket program here at WWT Raceway with his 2014 Dodge Charger, which has been equipped with all of the bolt-ons and runs 12.0s consistently.

Earning his NHRA license this weekend is Matt Caldwell from Edelstein, Illinois. His 1986 Mustang GT is definitely capable of earning one, Caldwell just needs to go through the formality of earning his license so can compete in TorqStorm True Street without any issues. The Four-Eye boasts a 408 Windsor with Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads, a Flowtech Induction cam, and a Borg Warner S475 single turbo. Behind the big Windsor is a Dynamic C4 with a TCT converter and an 8.8 rear with Superior axles, 3.27 gears and a Cobra differential. With a Mike Post tune in the Holley Terminator X EFI system, the car usually runs 9.0s in good weather, but until he earns his license, he has to run increment lengths before being able to run it out the back door. OG Mustang fans will no doubt recognize the car’s Bogart wheels and Saleen rear wing.

Gary Muder made the long trip up from Tampa, Florida to run his 2020 GT500 in TorqStorm Superchargers True Street. The car has spent quality time at Coastal Dyno for a Jokerz Performance ported blower with a billet lid, a JLT Performance cold air intake, a Kong Performance 108mm throttle body, a Fore Innovations fuel system, ID1300 injectors, ARH long-tube headers, a custom Coastal Dyno heat exchanger and a Signature Wheels drag pack with Mickey Thompson ET Street Rs, with a drag racing-specific tire alignment. The engine and transmission are stock, and soon the engine will receive a major upgrade in the form a Whipple 3.8 supercharger. During Friday morning’s test session, Muder ran a 9.4 before the rain came.

Joe Sepanik is the original owner of this 1993 Mustang LX, and he has a long history of racing the car, even though he says, “This is the first time in five years I’ve taken it down the track.” This is also the first time he’s raced it with a new Tremec TKX behind the car’s 357-inch Windsor, paired with an Anderson Ford Motorsport Hi-Rev clutch. The car gets its main motivation from a Vortech Si-Trim supercharger, but the Mike Post tune is turned way down within the car's Anderson Ford Motorsport PMS. Even with the tune turned way down, and Sepanik going easy out of the hole, since he is running on 275/40R17 street tires, the car still ran an 11.91 at 124 mph. The tire’s lack of sidewall height has Sepanik shifting into 5th gear before the stripe, but we fully expect him to go quicker once he finds the sweet spot. The amazing thing about Sepanik’s LX is that it retains its factory paint, save for what’s on the Boss Inc. hood. Sepanik keeps his car so clean that watching it rain on the LX was a painful experience. Hopefully Friday’s rain is the last wet stuff we see for the remained of the event.

David Fallon Jr., who led qualifying in ARP Nitrous Pro Street and landed in the winner’s circle at the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport last month at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina, went for a wild ride while making a test pass yesterday at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing presented by Fuelab at World Wide Technology Raceway. When the racer from Michigan pulled the chutes at the traps, the brake pedal in his Camaro, powered by a Musi bullet and two systems of nitrous, went straight to the floor. “I didn’t have time to safely make the turn-off, so I went into the gravel at the top end of the track,” said Fallon Jr., who managed to very calmly tell his crew over the radio that he had no brakes. “I’m very fortunate.” Thankfully, Fallon Jr. was not injured, but he and his crew had their hands full when they got his car back to the pit area, as they had to remove gravel from the belly pan and headers, and straighten the hood, which was bent up a bit. He was good to go in time for the first round of qualifying, where he ripped off a 4.48 and 159 mph.

When walking up to Bob Cosby’s GForce Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock pit, he told us to not look at the car too closely. Knowing the car’s long history in NMRA competition, we don’t mind its cracks and wrinkles. Cosby tells us he is racing within his means these days, which translates into buying a used Kevin McMullin water pump with a custom Tim Donathen bracket. “I’m out here to have fun,” Cosby says, so he wisely spends his money so he can continue doing what he loves. The Gen3 engine was in his former Factory Stock Cobra, but he took the engine out of that car and put into his 1988 Mustang coupe, adding Hooker headers, Dynomax Race Bullet mufflers, Billet Specialties wheels, and a Ram clutch from Tim Matherly in front of a GForce G101A transmission. He was guessing the car would be in the 10.20s, but he ran a 10.1 in round 1 of qualifying.  

Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle racer Charlie McCulloch is one of those racers always capable of going rounds. McCulloch runs an MV Performance Four-Valve engine with an FR500 intake and heads. The engine is an old Robert Hindman combination now displacing 294 cubic inches. The engine broke a rod bolt at Bowling Green at the end of 2021, so much of the bottom end is new for 2022. The cams are from Comp, while John Mihovetz ported the heads way back when. Tracy Simmons from Shift Solutions handles the car’s C4 transmission, while an Ultimate converter is between the engine and transmission. MV’s Tim Matherly handles the tune using DiabloSport software. The car is usually good for high-10s, low-11s. 

Mickey Thompson X275 racer Alan Felts has been working on different transmission combos with Dave Klaput at Proformance Transmissions. He’s been going back and forth between 2- and 3-speed transmissions to see what works best with his combo. Felts also has been working with Precision on different turbocharger configurations. One of the other large pieces to the puzzle, Felts is working with Bennett Racing on a new engine design. In round 1 of qualifying, Felts ran a 4.35 at 169 mph to put him in the top spot for the moment.  

Dwight Ausmus has the honor of having a fan-favorite car, and he spends a lot of time talking to fans about how long he has had it, how it has changed through the years and how he is currently campaigning it in Dart NA 10.5. He’s quite competitive, too, as he frequently finishes toward the top in points with the help of his 573 cubic-inch Pontiac engine built by BES Racing Engines. The Tennessean recently took things up a notch with a new custom BES cast intake manifold and new Warp 6 Pontiac cylinder heads. His car is also sporting a new carbon fiber scoop by Jerry Bickel Race Cars, which he needed in order to clear the taller intake manifold. Ausmus, who plans to paint the scoop satin black, ripped off a 8.14 in today’s extreme heat and humidity and is currently qualified in the sixth spot, but will work toward picking up to low 8s in upcoming qualifying.

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