Anticipation was in the air as drivers dove into the first round of qualifying on Friday at the NMCA World Street Finals presented by Chevrolet Performance at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana, and as always, there were many awe-inspiring passes. Among the lead qualifiers were Jason Hamstra with a 3.71 in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod, James Lawrence with a 3.97 in Mickey Thompson Radial Wars, Jordan Ensslin with a 4.36 in ARP Nitrous Pro Street and Tim Knieriem with a 4.78 in Edelbrock Xtreme Street. Robbie Blankenship blasted to a 7.95 in Fuel Systems Technology NA 10.5, Rob Goss gunned to a 4.38 in Vortech Superchargers Street Outlaw, Jesse Wilson wheeled to a 10.20 in Chevrolet Performance Stock presented by Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center, Dennie Breeden drove to a 9.55 on an 11.00 index in Coan Engineering Stock/Super Stock and Brent Wheeler achieved a 9.75 on a 9.75 in ATI Nostalgia Super Stock. Rounding out the categories were Mike Moistner with a 12.00 on a 12.00 in Detroit True Trac Nostalgia Muscle Car, Kelly Pierce with a .001 in MagnaFuel Open Comp, Geoff Turk with an 8.12 in Holley EFI Factory Super Cars and Terry Pennington with a 10.02 in Baskin Truck Sales FAST.
Today’s on-track action began with qualifying at 8:30 a.m., and will be followed by round one of eliminations for some categories at 1 p.m. Temperatures are expected to be much cooler today than yesterday, with the high of 67 degrees forecasted for later this afternoon, and we could see some even faster runs as a result.
SpeedVideo is on-site and set up to offer a live feed of this weekend’s event. It also offers replays of some of the many wild passes. To watch, click HERE
When we stopped by Paul Smith’s pit area late Friday afternoon, he and his dad, George Smith, were checking the plugs on top of their nitrous-sipping 415 cubic-inch small-block Chevy and discussing their tune-up as they felt their Camaro should have a run a bit quicker than the 4.85 it ran on an earlier test pass. “It seemed rich, so we may pull some fuel out and get it cleaned up,” said Paul. Later, he picked up to a 4.83 and is currently qualified in the fourth position in Edelbrock Xtreme Street, but watch for Paul to try to achieve an elapsed-time closer to the 4.77 he ran in August at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio.
Mike Reese took a break from his duties with the Jegs racing team and brought out his Third-Gen Camaro for a little Mickey Thompson Radial Wars racing. His wife, Nicole Priola, will be behind the wheel once again, and Reese let on that there might be some engine upgrades to the turbocharged powerplant happening for next year.
Nobody pushes the Coyote mod motor quite like the MMR Xtreme Pro Mod team, and when we walked into their pits and saw a mess of cams and a cylinder head piled up, we had to inquire as to what was going on. As it turned out, one of the cam caps snapped in half. “We’ve had this happen once before and had a couple of customers experience it,” said MMR’s Mark Luton. “They break from the spring pressure and since the back of the cam doesn’t have a journal like at the front, it goes first and it usually starts to break the next one in line and keeps going until they are all broken.” Luton said they will fire up the CNC machines when they get back to their California home base and mill some billet caps to replace the factory ones that are currently used.
While his daughter Nicole Priola will be driving his son-in-law’s Camaro in Radial Wars this weekend with a borrowed engine, Joe Priola borrowed Nicole’s 1967 Camaro and borrowed a Chuck Samuel-built 400ci engine to compete in the class as well. Joe’s partner in the racing endeavor this weekend is Brian Konczyk, and the duo have equipped the small-block Chevy with a 102mm Precision turbo and Brodix 18-degree cylinder heads. Nicole’s husband Mike Reese will be handling tuning duties on the FuelTech FT500 EFI system, and they’re hoping to improve upon the 5.02 that the car has run on only it’s 6thpass ever.
Former NMRA Mod Muscle competitor Rick Doern is mixing it up this weekend in Radial Wars competition with his ’94 Mustang that packs an Incon twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter 4V engine. While the combination makes plenty of steam, it’s not quire the 3,500 horsepower that the top contenders in the class carry with them into competition, but with the car capable of going mid 5s to the eighth-mile without fail, Doern feels he’s got a puncher’s chance of going rounds.
Aaron Glaser felt his ’69 Camaro lay over a bit during the first round of VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod yesterday and pulled out the car’s Lenco transmission for a quick inspection to see if it was the cause. He currently sits in the 15 spot with a 3.93 effort, but there are six other cars behind him all with the capability of barging their way into the field for Sunday
Terry Munroe made his debut in Holley EFI Factory Super Cars at the NMCA race at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio in August, where he ran as quick as 8.50, and he’s in the process of dialing in his 2017 COPO Camaro with a 350 cubic-inch Chevy engine and Whipple supercharger under the hood. So far this weekend, he has run a best of 8.62 and is qualified in the 12th spot, but he’s hoping to move up in today’s qualifying. “We’re learning as we go, and we’re making progress,” said Munroe. “We like racing with the NMCA, and we’ll work on our motor, blower and transmission over winter to see if we can hang with the competition next year.”
Soon after the NMCA race in July in Illinois, Vortech Superchargers Street Outlaw driver Rob Goss reached out to Wade Hopkins of Southern Speed to ask him to assist him and Bruce Maichle of High Horse Performance with the tuning of his chassis and combination consisting of a BES Gen 3 Hemi engine and ProCharger F1X-12R, and according to Goss, the results have been remarkable. “We tested the car in Memphis this week, and it’s working,” said Goss of his Challenger. “It’s set up so that it should work in various track conditions, and that’s a good thing.” Indeed, it is working, as Goss gunned to a 4.38 to set the pace in qualifying yesterday, and feels that he may be able to run even quicker in today’s qualifying. “It’s blower weather,” said Goss, of the cooler, crisper conditions.
While Kent Nine has been racing a Brenspeed shop car in NMRA Steeda Limited Street and is currently in fifth place in points in the category, he debuted his reworked convertible Mustang at the 17th Annual NMCA World Street Finals presented by Chevrolet Performance this weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway. He entered Edelbrock Xtreme Street, but explains that he’s not a perfect fit for the class and has his sights set on NMRA Steeda Limited Street beginning with the 20th Annual Nitto NMRA All-Ford World Finals, next weekend, Sept. 27-30 at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky. The car, which Nine said had a “complete makeover,” features a new 25.3 cage by Straightline Performance and a Cobra Jet 5.0 engine for which Holbrook Racing Engines performed machine work and which Nine assembled and topped with a Roush TVS 2.3 supercharger. An RPM Transmissions-built Turbo 400 and a Circle D converter handle things below the car which rolls on Strange axles and a Strange spool and Race Star Wheels wrapped with Mickey Thompson ET Street tires. Patrick Barnhill and Jason Lee are on board to handle the tune with a Haltech engine management system, and Nine has steadfast support from his wife, Angie Nine, plus Brooks Smith and Tyler Friend.
While making a qualifying pass in his Firebird yesterday, Edelbrock Xtreme Street driver Tony Orts noticed that his engine had some drag, so when he returned to his pit area, he replaced his converter and his differential, and it translated to a 4.79 and the sixth qualified spot. “I’m very happy with that,” whose combination consists of a 440 cubic-inch Chevy engine by Precision Engine Rebuilders amped up on a Switzer Dynamics nitrous system. “It’s actually my best elapsed-time in Xtreme Street trim. My previous best in Xtreme Street trim was 4.8000. I’ve had a lot of help this weekend from my crew, though they only work for food.”
Having clocked the only two runs in the 7s in Holley EFI Factory Super Cars, Geoff Turk collected the first spot in Holley’s 7-Second Club and also earned an extra $10k courtesy of Holley EFI for his feat. Today, Turk added to his collection of 7-second times slips after logging a 7.98 at 172.70 mph and if he can back that run up, he’ll reset the NMCA record that he currently holds which is an 8.00. Q3 is coming up tonight!
Running neck and neck with Shawn Ayers all year in Vortech Superchargers Street Outlaw is Daniel Pharris of Sikeston, Missouri, who made his first hit of the weekend today with an A-to-B 4.32 run during the first qualifier. Pharris’ tuner, KBX Performance’s John Kolivas (pictured) will need to dial in a bit more into the FuelTech EFI system if they hope to get past Ayers, who clocked a 4.30 on the same run.
Longtime NMCA racer Gary Rohe is on the property and ready to kick some ass and take some names in ARP Nitrous Pro Street competition. He’s on the qualifying sheet with an off-throttle 7.68, but he’ll have his work cut out for him as Jordan Ensslin set the pace with a 4.32.
Ernie Dampier is back in Edelbrock Xtreme Street with his Fifth-Gen Camaro after bolting on a set of newly ported cylinder heads courtesy of Frankenstein Engine Dynamics. Since then, he’s found he needs to work on the torque converter setup to get the most out of the newfound airflow that the heads have to offer his LS-based powerplant.
The UPR Performance Products Car Show is in full effect today, and this gasser-style Buick Skylark caught our eye with the big blower and patina paint.
Racing with the NMCA for the first time is Ryan Edwards of Portage, Indiana. Edwards’ ’89 Camaro packs a big-block Chevy engine with a ProCharger F3-136 supercharger running Big Stuff EFI and backed by an M&M Transmission 2-speed Turbo 400. With Big Joe Oplawski helping out with the tuning and Ryan’s brother Sean and father John here to provide crew support, the no-prep racer will be making license runs while entering the Radial Wars ranks this weekend.
While the Factory Appearing Stock Tire (FAST) muscle cars look pretty tame, they are anything but and here is the carnage from Dave Dudek’s Hemi Roadrunner. With nearly 700rwhp on tap, it’s not surprising that cast factory parts can come up short in the durability department. Dudek will become a spectator for the rest of the weekend, while Terry Pennington continues to beat down the record for the class with his L88 Corvette.
Jeremy Lyons joined the Nitrous Pro Street ranks earlier this year in Bowling Green and continues to improve his ’82 Camaro’s performance in the category. It looks like he may have competition for the driver’s seat, though, as his daughter Abbee got behind the wheel to steer the car into the staging lanes for qualifying and also tried on the helmet and harnesses for size.
Denny Hillman, who regularly competes in NHRA Stock Eliminator and is trying Coan Engineering Stock/Super Stock for the first time this weekend, is doing so in his 1967 Camaro featuring a 327 cubic-inch small-block Chevy built by Zimmerman Brothers and a four-speed Jerico transmission. While rowing through those gears, the Indiana-based driver ran an 11.70 in qualifying and will settle into the category’s 12.50 index in time for eliminations. “I like the variety of classes in this series, and I like the character of the cars and the restrictions of the modifications of the cars in this class,” said Hillman.
James Lawrence pretty much has the Mickey Thompson Radial Wars championship locked up at this point, but to put a stamp of speed on that achievement, he also ran 3.84 in round two of qualifying to reset the ET record for the class. He just needs to back it up this weekend.
Hot off the press qualifying results will be added as we receive them. For the latest, click HERE