Even tropical storm Nestor was no match for No Mercy 10, as the racing continued into the night at South Georgia Motorsports Park. Saturday, however, is a matter of dealing with the leftover bands of rain from the storm as it moves east. With showers expected off an on, racing will resume on Sunday, but here’s a recap of what went on yesterday.
The big news of the day was the staggeringly quick run clocked by the Ducky Johnson Racing Mustang Cobra formerly campaigned by Dean Marinis. Yardley drove to a 4.245 at 168 mph in the second round of X275 eliminations, which is the new record for a nitrous-assisted X275 car. Marinis still tunes the big-block Chevy combo for the team.
While there are a lot of great looking cars at this event, Timmy Meissner’s 1967 Mustang fastback could very well be the best looking of them all. The supercharged pony faced Alex Laughlin in the third round, and while Laughlin had the advantage off the line (.002 to .021) Meissner outran the Corvette to the finish line, 3.71 to 3.73.
Mark Woodruff’s newly revamped ZR1 Corvette looks fantastic in its new color and the wheelies Woody was wielding yesterday wee wild to say the least. Unfortunately, the twin-turbocharged machine had a tough competitor in round one in Jamie Hancock, and couldn’t keep pace with the Firebird’s searing 3.71 elapsed time.
Tommy Youmans had a bye run in the second round of Pro 275, and it couldn’t have gone much worse for the McIntyre, Georgia, resident as the GTO lost traction shortly into the run and spun into the wall. Youmans was unharmed, but the Goat was pretty banged up. An initial assessment of the damage indicates it’s surprisingly mostly cosmetic, with possibly a few suspension items tweaked, and Youmans said he plans to start rebuilding as soon as he gets home so he can once again flex the Pontiac’s 3,355 horsepower that was logged on the FuelTech hub dyno.
Florida’s finest Walter Drakeford (near Lane) and Kirt Sanders (far lane) both compete in the ultra competitive Ultra Street category. Sanders relies on a nitrous-fed big-block Chevy, while Drakeford has remained Ford-powered and the long-time nitrous racer recently switched to a ProCharger combination on methanol. Drakeford was the quicker of the pair in qualifying, logging a 4.76 to take the 8th spot, and he advanced past the nitrous-assisted machine of David Vasser in the first round of eliminations.
Brad Edwards debuted a new S197-bodied Mustang in Radial Vs. The World this weekend, but the event hasn’t gone as planned for the Asheville, North Carolina, resident. Edwards qualified towards the bottom of the field with a 3.90 and in the first round of eliminations, the car wouldn’t back up under its own power. The team and SGMP staff pushed it back behind the starting line, and in the process, pushed the driver’s door off of the car. The team couldn’t secure the door before the tree was tripped, leaving Huston Dial to run uncontested.
In 2018, Andy Manson secured the VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw championship in the NMRA. Looking for a new challenge, he changed up his engine combination a bit and entered the Limited Drag Radial ranks for 2019.Manson qualified his 1996 Mustang third with a 4.08, and eliminated Larry Trimnal and fellow NMRA racer Charles Hull in rounds one and two respectively.
The 1969 Camaro RS is a classically cool look and Paul Gargus’ machine is a beautiful representation. Gargus drove the Camaro to a first-round win over Lyle Barnett and a second-round victory against Blake Catalanotto.
Coming off a third-place points finish in the NMRA’s ProCharger Modified Street, Martin Connelley and his team came to try their hands in Ultra Street here at No Mercy 10. Connelley qualified towards the bottom of the sheet, however, with a 5.24 and while he improved to a 5.00 in the first round of eliminations, it wasn’t enough to get past Rylan McCaskey who ran 4.68.
While the car has changed hands a few times, and even got a few drives put in by Street Outlaws: New Orleans star Kye Kelley, the Warbird remains it’s own star. In the hands of Daniel Ray of Alabama, it’s proven to be a fierce predator, claiming the second spot in Radial Vs. The World qualifying with a 3.64 at 200 mph. The nitrous-injected machine dispatched Bryan Markiewicz before failing to advance over Tim Slavens when it tripped the red light at the start.
Mike Cerminaro finished up the 2019 NMCA season by claiming the third spot in points in Mickey Thompson Street Outlaw competition behind the wheel of Bruce Maichle’s 4th-Gen Firebird. The team qualified 13th here at No Mercy and Cerminaro was .005 on the tree against Rich Bruder to take the first-round win with a 4.36. In the second, he used another reaction-time advantage to allow his 4.35 to take the holeshot win against Tim Dutton and his 4.29.