By Mary Lendzion
Always open to new challenges, Andy Warren accepted an offer to drive fellow racer Scott Libersher’s “Gas Monkey Garage” COPO Camaro this year.
It would be in addition to driving his own Caprice to chase an eighth championship in NMCA Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle Car, but he was determined to be competitive in two different cars and in two different categories.
He showed his strength from the start, and earned a runner-up finish in NMCA Detroit Nostalgia Muscle Car in his Caprice at the first two races on this year’s tour, held at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida and Atlanta Dragway. Then, he announced that he would make his competition debut in Libersher’s COPO Camaro in the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series’ LME Street King category at the Inaugural Comp Cams NMCA Memphis Homecoming in May at Memphis International Raceway.
There, Warren went into a wicked wheelie in the COPO Camaro, landed it and lapped up a 9.48 on a 9.50 index to qualify in the twelfth spot in the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series’ LME Street King category, and after an early exit from eliminations in that category, he remained focused in NMCA Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle Car, where he posted a 10.25 on a 10.25 index to qualify in the second spot in his Caprice, and several rounds later, a 10.31 to take a trip to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle. He also won with a 10.28 on a 10.25 in one of the event’s special features, the ATI Performance Products Muscle Car Madness presented by Deuce Machining, a 32-car shootout featuring the top ten qualifiers in Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle Car, Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock and Coan Engineering Stock/Super Stock and two wild cards.
“Memphis was my first race in the Gas Monkey Garage/Copo Parts Direct 2015 Copo for Scott Libersher and Libersher Racing,” said Warren of the car which also flies banners for E3 Spark Plugs, Lucas Oil and Mickey Thompson Tires and Wheels. “It took a couple of passes to get used to the car, and I felt at home once eliminations came around. Unfortunately, the .500 pro tree threw me off after just making a pass in the Caprice which is on a .500 full tree.”
Now Warren, who’s currently leading points in NMCA Detroit Nostalgia Muscle Car and will be giving it everything he has to try to earn an eighth championship in his Caprice, will also wheel Libersher’s COPO Camaro in NMCA Coan Engineering Stock/Super Stock Combo at the three remaining events on this year’s NMCA tour, including the 13th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing, July 25-28 at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois, the 18th Annual NMCA All-American Nationals, featuring the 50th Anniversary Chevrolet Performance COPO Camaro Shootout presented by COPO Parts Direct, Aug. 22-25 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio and the 17th Annual NMCA World Street Finals presented by Chevrolet Performance, Sept. 19-22 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Additionally, he headed to an NHRA Division 3 event, July 12-14 at Route 66 Raceway, where he entered Stock Eliminator with Libersher’s COPO Camaro. While the weekend didn’t go as well as he hoped, he plans to give it another go at several upcoming NHRA Divisional and Regional races.
“The busier I am, the better I do in the Caprice,” said Warren, who is supported in his racing efforts by his wife, Shelby Warren, brother and fellow racer, John Warren, and parents, John and Brenda Warren. “That really shined in Memphis. Let’s hope I can keep the momentum going.”
(Photos courtesy of Kayleigh Condon)