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Thursday Coverage | NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals

For the first time this season, the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals and the Red Line Oil NMCA Muscle Car Nationals join forces at Rockingham Dragway in Rockingham, North Carolina, for the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals Presented by MAHLE Motorsport, which begins today. The action kicks off with test-and-tune runs as racers hone their combinations in preparation for the weekend’s competition.
In addition to a full slate of heads-up and index championship racing, this weekend’s action at The Rock includes several specialty categories. Innovation Performance Technologies Jr. Street will see 13-16-year-old racers competing at this national event in full-size vehicles. Meanwhile, Tom Bailey’s Sick the Mag Drag & Drive Invitational presented by Gear Vendors will bring out some of the quickest dual-purpose machines in the country.
Since the two series are coming together, there is also plenty of inter-series competition, including the 7th Annual Jason Dietsch Trailer Sales Sealed Stock All-Star Showdown, a special race between select Coyote Stock and Chevrolet Performance Stock presented by Scoggin Dickey Parts Center competitors. Likewise, competitors from NMRA’s ARP Open Comp and NMCA’s MagnaFuel Open Comp will face off in the 7th Annual Jason Dietsch Trailer Sales Open Comp All-Star Showdown presented by Autokraft Racecars.
If that weren’t enough, Dawn Perdue will take on Larry Aldrich in fire-breathing jet cars as they attempt to break the North Carolina land-speed record later this weekend. And, Bigfoot will be on hand for photo opportunities. On Saturday, the action dovetails into the Top of the Rock Fan Appreciation Party with hosts Clarence Barnes and Chris the Car Guy. 
All that gives us something to look forward to, but today when the test passes wrap up, the Weldon Racer Appreciation Party, held from 5-7 p.m., will celebrate a successful first day with snacks and ice-cold beverages.

Stay tuned to this page and our social channels for updates throughout the day from Rockingham Dragway.

Here’s how today’s action is scheduled to go down at the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals Presented by MAHLE Motorsport.

Marc Heidings made the trip up from Ana Maria Island, Florida, with his Low-Budget Racing 2021 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. Unfortunately, he ran into a wiring issue during yesterday’s track-rental test session, so he has to borrow some wiring and make a hasty repair in the pits. He seems to have the issue sorted and is looking for a good weekend in Holley EFI Factory Super Cars competition.
Gary Windsor made the switch to a C4 automatic last season in his Somewhat Evil Richmond Gear Factory Stock machine. His Fox Mustang is powered by an RGR Engines-built Coyote has been running the backup transmission since last season, but he recently acquired a new gear set from Whatever It Takes Transmission Parts, which happens to sponsor the Limited Street class. He hopes to have to new trans ready for the next race, but for now, he is confident in how the car will run as we move into qualifying tomorrow.

Brian Keep has several reasons to celebrate this weekend at the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals Presented by MAHLE Motorsport. Not only is he at the racetrack with his 1998 Camaro running in Edelbrock Xtreme Street, but he has a first-time crew chief, Stephanie Kolenut, who just happens to be his fiancé. Keep recently popped the question and she said "Yes!" An athlete who loves the competitive nature of racing, Kolenut will soon be out racing Keep’s familiar S10 pickup. The duo hopes for a successful weekend in Rockingham. Keep is running a 94mm ProCharger which allows running with the big-block competition, and he has become adept at moving weight around to get his radials to hook. 

It was fitting that we happened upon VP Racing Madditives Renegade stalwart as he applied the NMRA 25th Anniversary decals to his familiar Fox Mustang. His team, led by Dale George, spent the off-season upgrading his ride with a new 9-inch rearend and a Team Z Outlaw K-member, which they modified to relocate the engine lower and farther back. They also freshened the engine and added an external oil pump and a vacuum pump. With a new ProTorque converter in the transmission, Cook hopes to dial in the new combo for a successful run this weekend in Rockingham.
At the season opener, Kyle Salminen made it to the final round in ARP Nitrous Pro Street, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. A damaged camshaft nearly slowed their role, but his dad, Matt removed the cam, ground on it, buffed it, and put it back in. For this weekend they have a fresh camshaft in the 2003 Cavalier’s 632 cubic-inch Chevrolet engine. They made some shakedown hits at a track rental yesterday, but they are still catching up on rest from installing until the wee hours on Monday.

A constant sight in ARP Open Comp, Larry Geddes made a huge change in advance of this weekend’s action. A long-time stick-shift racer, Geddes made the move to a C4 automatic in the hopes of correcting his car’s reaction issues. With advice and labor assistance from fellow racer Brent Blacker, Geddes went with a Dynamic Mighty Mite 2 and he is still adjusting to a new launch procedure in his Fox Mustang.

Leonard Long, of G-Force Racing Transmissions fame, is on the property this weekend at the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals Presented by MAHLE Motorsport — with his race car! In Orlando he was just a spectator, and he had planned to only run three events this season, but the event is close to one of his businesses in North Carolina, so he made it a parts-delivery run before coming out to run this weekend. Long hopes to run well in Dart NA 10.5, but he didn’t bring a spare engine like he did when chasing championships in the past. Long noted that the competition in the class is getting tougher all the time.
There is a new player in Coyote Stock this weekend. Thanks to the fresh, Opulent Blue makeover you might not recognize John Leslie Jr.’s Fox Mustang, which is making the leap from Richmond Gear Factory Stock to Coyote stock this season. Its visual makeover was orchestrated by his sister Sondra Leslie, who put in 200 body hours of prep work before running out of time and installing a wrap matched to the painted door jambs by K&K Auto Body. The car ran 9.92 in testing yesterday, and JLJ would be ecstatic if he can get the car into the 9.80 range this weekend in Rockingham.

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