We had a bit of rain overnight, and the NMCA crew is hard at work drying the track so we can get started racing as quickly as possible. We’ve got the dryers running and vehicles doing laps in the shutdown area trying to get a little heat in the surface, and expect to be making the first call to the lanes shortly.
Jason Hamstra had a 3.72 to hold onto his lead in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod qualifying, and other drivers who led qualifying were Marty Stinnett with a 3.93 in Mickey Thompson Radial Wars, Daniel Pharris with a 4.31 in Vortech Superchargers Street Outlaw, Mark Pawuk with an 8.05 in Holley EFI Factory Super Cars, Tricia Musi with a 4.43 in ARP Nitrous Pro Street and Jessie Coulter with a 4.71 in Edelbrock Xtreme Street. David Theisen took the lead qualifying honors with a 7.88 in Fuel Systems Tech NA 10.5 and Terry Reeves ran to a 9.43 in Mickey Thompson Heavy Street, while Terry Pennington pushed to a 9.96 in Baskin Truck Sales FAST.
Final qualifying in index categories put the spotlight on Mike DeChicco with a 9.50 on a 9.50 in ATI Nostalgia Super Stock, Tim Boggs with a 12.00 on a 12.00 in Detroit TrueTrac Nostalgia Muscle Car and Larry Geddes with a .000 reaction time in MagnaFuel Open Comp.
In Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series qualifying, Haley Rounsavall ran to a 10.14 to set the pace in Chevrolet Performance Stock presented by Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center, Bryan Williams was 9.77 on a 9.75 in LME Street King and Keith Vennekotter was 11.50 on an 11.50 in ProForm Rumble.
While Brad Ross of St. Clairsville, Ohio usually competes in NHRA Super Stock in his beautiful 1968 Barracuda, he decided to give Coan Engineering Stock/Super Stock Combo a go at this weekend’s event, and it seems to be a good fit. He qualified in the third spot with a 10.17 on an 11.50 index, and when we caught up with him as he was in the lanes preparing for today’s first round of eliminations, he shared that he relies on a 340 cubic-inch Mopar to help him achieve those elapsed-times. “I had heard that this is a good class, and I thought I would try it,” said Ross. “I’m glad I did. The competition is tough, and I like it.”
Eric Simpson, whose COPO Camaro is featured in the latest issue of Fastest Street Car magazine, has been the quickest of the Factory Stock FAST cars this weekend and the past few years that the group has run with the NMCA. This weekend, the low-11-second Camaro sprung a fuel leak at the carburetor and Simpson was working to fix it before the next round.
Denny and Jenny Villemure of Dearborn, Michigan, are competing in Gear Vendors True Street this weekend. And if that engine under the hood looks a bit odd, let us tell you that you’re not wrong and that it’s quite the science project. It’s actually an inline six-cylinder engine from a Trailblazer that has been shoehorned between the frame rails and topped off with a 70mm Precision turbo. Backed by a 4L65E transmission, the powerplant has propelled the ’89 Z28 to a best ET of 10.85 n a methanol-enhanced 15 psi of boost, but Denny told us he has it turned down to about 8 this weekend.
Frequent NMRA Stick Shift Shootout competitor Mike Niehaus recently converted his formerly supercharged small-block engine over to a twin-turbo setup that he fabricated at home. A pair of On3 turbochargers are fed by log-style manifolds and have generated 1,031 hp at 20.5 psi. Niehaus has logged a best ET of 9.09 with the new combination, but expects it to turn in some mid-8-second performances once he gets it fully sorted. During Gear Vendors True Street competition yesterday, Niehaus averaged 10.71 over three runs while fighting an ignition issue.
Charles and Carol Crouch have owned this 1969 Mustang Cobra Jet since new, and it’s quite a special piece as it was a special option colored in the Petty Blue hue. The Crouch’s live just a few miles down the road near Sandusky, Ohio.
A group of Ford GT owners didn’t want to miss out on the festivities that the All-American Nationals here at Summit Motorsports Park had to offer, so they got together and caravanned from nearby Michigan to check things out and put their beautiful cars on display.
In Mickey Thompson Radial Wars, Michigan-based driver Tom Kempf drove his Firehawk to a 4.24 to qualify in the fifth spot despite knocking the tires off at the hit in the first round of qualifying and fighting a throttle issue in the second round of qualifying. Helping him do that is his Billy Briggs Racing Engines-built 454 cubic-inch LS engine featuring a billet Dart block topped with billet Mast heads and fronted by twin Precision turbos, but Kempf is looking to lay down an even better elapsed-time, and will be one to watch when he returns to the starting line for the first round of eliminations later today, and then again at the Summit Racing Equipment Shakedown at the Summit presented by Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, Sept. 13-16 at Summit Motorsports Park.
After hearing about Coan Engineering Stock/Super Stock from ATI Nostalgia Super Stock driver Doug Wright, Mark Coleman decided to enter his 2009 Challenger Drag Pak into competition this weekend. The car has been averaging 10.30s, though Coleman says he wishes weather conditions were conducive to cruising to even quicker elapsed-times. He plans to try again at the NMCA World Street Finals presented by Chevrolet Performance, Sept. 20-23 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana, where temperatures are indeed likely to be cooler.
The big news in Wyoming-based racer Rob Goss isn’t a change with his ProCharged ’09 Challenger, but rather with who is tuning its FuelTech engine management system. Wade Hopkins from Southern Speed Racing has stepped in to do the honors, and this is his first weekend working with Goss. The car has been performing well and ran 4.417 at 168.85 mph during Vortech Superchargers Street Outlaw qualifying to land fourth, and the guys are hoping to keep its consistency as they creep up on the tune.
Back in black, er, orange, is Marty “McFly’n” Stinnett. The new look for the twin Garrett turbocharged Fox body is serving Stinnett well, as his small block combination earned the Kentuckian the number one spot in Mickey Thompson Radial Wars qualifying with a quick 3.932 at 193.43 mph. Stinnett lucked out with a broke bye in round one, spun and pedaled it midtrack before lifting to still go 4.52.
On the first qualifying hit in Edelbrock Xtreme Street, Ray Cox’s ’02 Pontiac threw a hissy fit and went sky high before slamming back down onto the track and damaging itself in the process. A popped tire, bent spindle, and tore up brake rotor were the consequences of the extra power Cox (right) had found in his nitrous-assisted engine. Thanks to help from Al Kussy of Aerospace Components (left), Ed Rice who loaned Cox a BFH to get the spindle straightened up, and Eric Saffell’s assistance with the AFCO shocks, Cox was able to make the needed repairs. He moved some weight up to the front and took power out, but had a similar in issue in Q2. He wound up qualified fourteenth, and turned the tune down even further for the start of eliminations in hopes of keeping the car on the straight and narrow.
Indiana steel mill manager and respected dolphin trainer Glenn Pushis piloted his ’16 Camaro to a new personal best during Holley EFI Factory Super Cars qualifying when he ran 8.189 at 167.99 mph. (Perhaps his secret is the massive ice funnel?) The effort put him in seventh for the start of eliminations, and Pushis plans to keep sneaking up on his tune, timing, and suspension setup. He’s got a broke bye in round one of eliminations coming up, and plans to throw the kitchen sink at the car to see what will stick. A big “thank you” goes out to SAM Tech and Jud Massingill for their help in making the horsepower needed to compete at this level.
On his last True Street lap with his ’01 Camaro, Nicholas Massengale put it into fourth gear and a shifter bolt broke off. It was a little oops, but no harm was done. He averaged 11.211-seconds across his three hits, and is going into eliminations sitting in sixth on a 11.093 in Proform Rumble.
Some people like to sleep in on Sundays, especially when it’s raining. Some people, including engine builder David Barton, see that rain as an opportunity to make the most of some unexpected downtime and start on an engine swap at 7am instead. Barton, part of the Libersher Racing camp, is preparing for the US Nationals race in Indy next weekend and is looking to get every competitive advantage he can find, so he swapped in a same-but-newer engine into his ’17 COPO Camaro in no time flat. He goes into eliminations as the number three qualifier in the Holley EFI Factory Super Cars category after having run 8.119 at 168.01 mph.
For the first time in what seems like an eternity, it was someone other than Jesse Wilson sitting in the number one qualifier spot in Chevrolet Performance Stock. It was Carlisle, Arkansas resident Haley Rounsavall who did the honors, and she did the deed with a 10.144 at 130.90 mph hit.
“The most affordable thing in drag racing is Summit Raceway Park’s $1 per pound of ice cream,” according to ProMedia’s Director of Marketing and Content, Mike Galimi.
Matt Guenther and his father Mike decided to check out the NMCA’s VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod class here in Norwalk, Ohio, and their Musi 942ci, nitrous-oxide breathing Camaro qualified 7th with a 3.83 performance. The Rochester, New York-based team advanced past the first round, but couldn’t keep ahead of Don Walsh in the second round. Given that the Guenther Automotive machine has clocked a 3.69 at a previous event, they stand to be very competitive at the next round of the NMCA Drag Racing series presented by E3 Spark Plugs at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana.
Ultra Street racer Steve Mogle was looking for more places to race his Fox-body Mustang, and after talking with Edelbrock Xtreme Street racer and EKR proprietor, Eric Kenward, he decided to try his hand in the class that Kenward has seen considerable success in. Kenward spec’d an MPR Racing Engines small-block Chevy powerplant with an F1A-94 ProCharger adding boost. Mogle put the ’81 notchback in the 7 spot during qualifying on Saturday and has so far advanced past the first round of competition.
Holley EFI Factory Super Cars driver Richard Bierie has experienced parts breakage at several races lately, and he wasn’t planning to come to this race, but engine-builder and fellow racer David Barton offered a bit of help mixed with a bit of encouragement, and Bierie loaded his COPO Camaro into the trailer and made the trip to Norwalk. Even though he was flying solo this weekend, he took care of everything his car nicknamed Roxie the Copo needed between rounds, and made it all the way to the semifinal, where he lost in an 8.24 to 8.45 bout against Lenny Libersher.