All things indicate that this 18th annual NMCA race here at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, will be one of the biggest yet, as the NMCA plays host to the 50th Anniversary Chevrolet Performance COPO Camaro Shootout presented by COPO Parts Direct.
Today’s test and tune session is underway after a brief rain shower overnight, and the pits are already filled with rigs and racecars from end to end. Over 80 COPO Camaros pre-registered for the special shootout class this weekend, and joining those racers will be the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series contestants, the Baskin Truck Sales Factory Appearing Stock Tire and Factory Stock racers, and the 8th annual Ford Performance Cobra Jet Showdown presented by Watson Racing—there will be no lack of muscle cars and horsepower this weekend!
Vic Ricci is experiencing his first NMCA race this weekend and will be behind the wheel of his 427ci-powered, 2013 COPO Camaro in the Chevrolet Performance COPO Camaro Shootout presented by COPO Parts Direct. Ricci, who also owns a supercharged 2017 COPO Camaro, has never raced outside of the NHRA division 1 circuit, but the Heights Market and Deli proprietor and Easton, Pennsylvania, resident saw the COPO Shootout flyer and headed over to Summit Motorsports Park to try his hand at something new.
VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod racer Dave Roemer has had the Gladiator designation on many of his race cars, but it was only recently that he and his team were able to break out the airbrushes and give their current car its name and image.
Rob Cox debuted his new Camaro Pro Mod at the second stop of the NMCA Drag Racing Series presented by E3 Spark Plugs in Commerce, Georgia. Since then he’s been fine-tuning the new car and with a recent change to the exhaust housings on his Garrett turbochargers, subsequent testing proved it was a move in the right direction.
Another new face this weekend is James Reed of Lincoln, Illinois. Reed came out specifically for the Chevrolet Performance COPO Camaro Shootout, and found that his rear tires had some very odd wear on them. He was headed to the Mickey Thompson trailer for some replacements.
Last year, Haley Burkhammer’s Chevrolet Performance Stock Camaro had an issue with the line lock, and it would seem the bad luck returned as the car would not engage reverse when she went to unload the car this morning. Ronnie Hackelton, Burkhammer’s grandfather and the car’s owner, got to work figuring out whatever it is that seems to be causing the problem.
Youngstown, Ohio’s Killer Brooks is looking to knock the dust off of his 2017 Camaro Pro Mod this weekend and put some fire and nitrous into the cylinders of its 960ci Billy Albert-built engine. He’s also looking to introduce everyone to his transmission puller gantry that he is manufacturing.
There have been some strange things going on at the Libersher Racing pits today, but when you bring 7 cars and 4 different drivers to the race, anything is bound to happen. Scott Libersher, his son, Lenny, son-in-law Dan Condon, as well as Nostalgia Muscle Car champion Andy Warren, will all be piloting Scott’s COPO Camaros across a variety of classes.
Not all of the new racers we talked to today are COPO Camaro drivers, as Michigan’s Jim Betz (center) is debuting his Watson Racing-built 50th Anniversary Cobra Jet. The self-proclaimed horsepower junkie has a small car collection that has a 500-horsepower requirement to enter, but decided he wanted to try his hand at competitive drag racing and will make his competition debut with all but a handful of laps behind the wheel of the CJ that he just picked up a couple of weeks ago. Testing this past week offered a clean 8.16 pass at 163 mph for the trucking company owner. He’ll have help from his brother-in-law Steve Deak (at right) as well as longtime friend and fellow trucker, Larry Dorringer (at left).
ATI Performance Products’ J.C. Beattie purchased this pro mod Camaro from Chris Rini a few years back and has been hitting the Top Sportsman scene with it ever since. While Fritz the boxer was on guard duty, Beattie told us about the Camaro’s interesting power plant, which consists of a 388ci LSX-based engine with a 4.0-iter Whipple blower smashing air into a whole lot of methanol. The car has been 4.20 to the eight-mile and 6.69 at 205 out the back door. Beattie says the car can pretty much hook in the rain and go A to B every time, so he’s hoping that gives him a fighting chance this weekend in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod. He’ll also be fielding his COPO Camaro, which also features a Whipple-supercharged, LSX engine on gasoline, in Edelbrock’s Xtreme Street category.