By Mary Lendzion
Soon after cruising to the NMCA Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock championship in his classic and cool Chevelle in 2018, Kevin Gass set out to back it up in 2019.
He began by posting a 9.78 on a 9.75 index in his car powered by a big-block Chevy to qualify in the twelfth spot before going on to a runner-up finish at the first event on this year’s NMCA tour, the 17th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem in March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida.
Then, he headed to the Inaugural Comp Cams NMCA Memphis Homecoming in May at Memphis International Raceway, where he had some slippage between the tires and the wheels under his car during qualifying. Luckily, there was a Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels representative on-site who helped him, and he hauled to a 9.77 on a 9.75 index to qualify in the fourteenth spot, and then a 9.73 to take a trip to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle.
Continuing to give it everything he had, he ran right on his 9.75 index to lead qualifying and then a 9.77 to win at the 14th Annual Nitto NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing in July at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois, where he also won his race against an NMRA competitor in the NMCA/NMRA run-off portion of the event.
From there, he headed to the 18th Annual NMCA All-American Nationals in August at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio, where he put a 9.76 on a 9.75 index on the board to qualify in the eleventh spot, and made it all the way to the semifinal. With the lead in points, he loaded up for the final event on this year’s NMCA tour, the 18th Annual NMCA World Street Finals in September at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana. After rolling his car with the number 1 on the windows out of his trailer, he ran to a 9.758 on a 9.75 index to qualify in the eighteenth spot, rounded up three round wins and rocketed to the NMCA Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock championship for the second year in a row.
“Well, what we accomplished this year really has not sunk in yet,” said Gass, who lives in Ledbetter, Kentucky, with his wife and crew chief, Kim Gass. “I feel very blessed to be a back-to-back NMCA champion. I feel we have stiff competition. At the race in Indiana, a 9.758 on a 9.75 placed us eighteenth on the ladder. That’s pretty close. I feel it gets more competitive every year.”
Gass and his fellow champions will be celebrated at the NMCA Muscle Car Nationals presented by E3 Spark Plugs Awards Ceremony presented by Aerospace Components on Dec. 13 at the Indiana Convention Center.
(Watch for stories on all NMCA champions to be posted on the NMCA and Race Pages Digital websites and in Fastest Street Car in the days to come.)