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McKenna Secures His Second Super Stang Championship

Posted By: Mary Lendzion
Written by Mary Lendzion
Photos by Fastest Street Car Staff
Many things can be said about Kevin McKenna.
He has a good head on his shoulders, he is a good person and he is a good racer.
He is also modest, and regardless of how well he does at the racetrack on any given race day, he won’t boast about it. In fact, he usually downplays it.
But McKenna has had a lot of success over the years, and that includes earning the NMRA HP Tuners Super Stang championship in 2020.
The racer out of Indiana had a lot of support going into the 2023 race season, and he was ready with his 2014 Mustang GT with a Coyote engine, VMP supercharger and fuel system, FTI converter, BMS suspension and QA1 shocks and driveshaft. It is a street/strip car that mostly sees 93 octane fuel from a pump, and it is equipped with Mickey Thompson tires. McKenna drives to each and every race.
At the Ryno Classifieds NMRA Spring Break Shootout presented by Nitto in March at Orlando Speed World Dragway in Florida, McKenna qualified in the second spot out of 15 racers with an .057 reaction time and chose a 10.92 as his dial for the weekend. He won the first round with a 10.93 and the second round with a 10.98. He wheeled to an 11.36 on solo pass in the third round. With victory in his grasp, he won the fourth round with a 10.95 and went to the NMRA Winner’s Circle after breaking out by less, with a 10.83, than Mike Moistner.
“I enjoy the people I race with in NMRA and Super Stang in particular,” said McKenna. “I think for the most part, they race for the right reasons. They love it and enjoy the competition.”

The NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport in April at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina was the next event on the tour, and McKenna qualified in the second spot with a quick.010 reaction time. After choosing a 10.87 dial, he won the first round with a 10.90 and made a solo pass in the second round. He won the third round with a quicker reaction time than his opponent and a 10.95 before running too quick for his dial in the fourth round.
Moving full steam ahead, McKenna led qualifying with an .014 reaction time at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Muscle Car Drag Racing in May at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois. He had the track to himself in the first round, and won the second round with an 11.00 on a 10.93. He left the starting line a little too early and turned on the red light in the third round, but he still had a wonderful weekend as he won the special Testo Super Bowl portion of the event.
He made a trip to the Buckeye State for the 3rd Annual Mickey Thompson NMRA Ford Homecoming in June at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. He qualified in the sixth spot with an .072 reaction time and won the first round with a better reaction time than his opponent and an 11.10 on a 10.96. He exited eliminations in the second round with an 11.07.
As the points chase really started to take shape, McKenna made the trip to the TorqStorm NMRA/NMCA Power Festival presented by Paul’s High Performance in July at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Michigan. He qualified in the ninth spot with an .072 reaction time and chose a 10.96 dial for the weekend. He won the first round with a 10.97 and the second round with an 11.00. He stayed in the throttle to a 10.95 on a solo pass in the third round, and went to the NMRA Winner’s Circle with a dead-on 10.86 against Chris Rusch, who broke out.

In the home stretch, he headed to the final race of the season, the Whipple Superchargers NMRA World Finals presented by Competition Clutch featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival in late September, early October at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky. He qualified in the seventh spot with an .064 reaction time out of 16 cars, put an 11.26 on his windows and won the first round with a better light than his opponent and an 11.36. He exited eliminations in the second round after breaking out, but his hard work all season helped him wrap up the 2023 NMRA HP Tuners Super Stang championship.
“One week before the final event in Bowling Green, I drove 700 miles from Indy to South Carolina for Hot Rod Drag Week and broke the rear end,” said McKenna. “Thanks to a number of very helpful individuals, we were able to get the car up and running in time to not only get home, but also make it to Kentucky.”
As icing on the cake the weekend he earned his championship, his wife, Jill McKenna, won in the 11.00 category in Tremec All-Female True Street, a special feature of the NMRA event, while piloting his Mustang.
“I had zero expectations this season, and I was not going to pursue a championship, even after winning the first race of the season,” said McKenna. “It took until mid-year that I actually decided to focus on a second title. I’m not proud of the way I drove this season. Quite honestly, I made a lot of mistakes but somehow got lucky when I needed to. I struggled with concentration and reaction times. Every time I thought I had a few things figured out, I seemed to take a step backwards. Somehow, it worked out in the end. I would like to thank my wife, Jill, who loves this sport as much as I do. I would also like to thank Lloyd Mikeska and his sister, Ruth Lampson, who were my biggest supporters at the track this year, and Evan Smith, Mark LaCroix and Abe Tang for all their help and support, and VMP Superchargers, QA1 Performance, FTI Converters, Mickey Thompson Tires, BMR Suspension and JMS Chip, as they are corporate supporters who make all the difference in the world.”
The NMRA family looks forward to celebrating McKenna and his fellow racers at the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals Awards, held during the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, Dec. 8, 2023, at the Indiana Convention Center, and in the upcoming Champions Issue of Fastest Street Car.


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