14th Annual NMCA Ross Racing Pistons Muscle Car Mayhem—Saturday Coverage

3.98Last night during the first round of qualifying for the 14th Annual NMCA Ross Racing Pistons Muscle Car Mayhem, we saw the first 3-second pass in Mickey Thompson Radial Wars as the WOOOO nation’s Keith Berry put a 3.98 up on the scoreboard. The record did come at a cost, though, as you might be able to tell from the relatively low mph. Berry and his crew had to replace a piston and connecting rod, and with some help from Pro Mod racer, Chris Rini, they are taking care of that this morning.


Pierce Wilson

Reigning MagnaFuel Open Comp champion Jenna Pierce-Wilson had a bit of a rough start to her race weekend, as she had issues with her throttle position sensor, cam sensor and alternator, as well as a coolant leak, during test passes in her 2012 COPO Camaro clone on Thursday. “We told ourselves that we would put the car in the trailer and start fresh on Friday,” said Pierce-Wilson. The strategy worked, as she laid down a 9.60 at 139 mph on Friday, minus the alternator, which she and her crew, including her husband, Jesse Wilson, and dad, Kelly Pierce, decided to leave off. “We’ve hit 9.60s before, but last year, we were dialing 9.70s and 9.80s, and this is the fastest I’ve been in the car yet,” said Pierce-Wilson. Because she turned on the red to the tune of -.009 in last night’s first round of qualifying before posting a 9.74, she said she’ll likely dial down her launch for today’s qualifying. Her 430 cubic-inch LSX engine, which was recently freshened and features a new cam for a boost in low-end power, was built by her husband, Jesse Wilson, and Shawn Finley, and  it’s backed by an RPM Transmissions-built Powerglide.


As driver and car-owner, Mark Micke and Jason Carter are a force wherever they race, and this race is no exception. Micke flew to a 4.03 at 189 mph in Carter’s blue Malibu in last night’s first round of qualifying, landing him in the third spot in Mickey Thompson Radial Wars going into today’s second round of qualifying. At work is an alcohol-sipping 548 cubic-inch big-block Chevy built on a CFE block by Nelson Competition featuring Visner Engine Development heads and intake, Billet Atomizer 700-pound injectors and Garrett 94mm turbos. An M&M Transmission-designed and -built two-speed transmission and converter help put the resulting massive amounts of power to the pavement. Eric LaFerriere recently ran wires throughout the car for the move to a FuelTech engine management system, and David Wolfe of Wolfe Racecraft, who recently scaled the car and reworked its suspension, will be on board to help with chassis adjustments throughout the season. “That should bring him out of his hibernation mode,” said a smiling Carter, who’s been friends with Wolfe for nearly twenty years.

One of the many Ford Performance Cobra Jets here looking to take home the first win in Holley EFI Factory Super Cars is Gardner Stone of Middleburg, Vermont. Stone’s white Cobra Jet Mustang is usually a mid-8-second ride, but yesterday during testing, the supercharged Modular engine broke a timing chain. The Cobra Jet community is a tight one, though, and Stone quickly found a ride in the Watson Racing pit. Chuck Watson brought three Mustangs with him this weekend, two of which are Cobra Jets. Watson qualified 4th in the first round with his blue CJ, and Stone qualified 6th in the black Watson Racing Cobra Jet with an 8.71.


Leading the pack in Quick Lane at Downs Ford NA 10.5 after last night’s first round of qualifying is Dwight Ausmus, who blistered the track with a 7.92 at 172 mph run. As we reported yesterday, his ’72 Firebird, which is a little bit lighter with its new Lexan windshield and smaller aluminum fuel cell, is powered by a 568 cubic-inch BES-built Pontiac, ProFlite transmission and PTC converter.


A welcome sight race after race is Mark Woodruff’s ’10 Corvette ZR1, which is currently sporting the 522 cubic-inch Semi Hemi-headed Sonny Leonard engine from his ’67 Corvette. Nelson Competition is handling the maintenance on the engine, which is fronted by twin 98mm Precision turbos, and ProLine and Jamie Miller are helping with its tune-up via a FuelTech engine management system. Woodruff—who ran a stout 4.00 at the recent Lights Out race at South Georgia Motorsports Park—is currently testing some things within his M&M Transmission-built lock-up Three-Speed Outlaw transmission, and is poised to pickup substantially from his off-pace pass in yesterday’s first round of qualifying. “We’re confident we’ve got the combination and the power to get into the 3.80s,” said Woodruff. “We just need the stars to align.”


Fresh off a semifinal finish at the recent Snowbird Outlaw Nationals here at Bradenton Motorsports Park, Josh Green suited up, climbed into his ’69-bodied Camaro and powered to a 3.89 at 192 mph in last night’s first round of qualifying in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod. That puts him in the fourth spot out of seventeen cars going into today’s second round of qualifying, and according to his dad and crew chief, Dan Green, the car’s 942 Musi-built engine and Edelbrock nitrous system are ready and raring to go. The crew is wrapping up a swap from 4.30 gearing to 4.10 gearing.


Speaking of Josh Green (left), his brother, John Green (right), is holding his own this weekend, in his mom’s ’08 Corvette in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod. With the help of the car’s 903 cubic-inch Musi-built engine and Edelbrock nitrous setup, the teen Green, who finished in the top ten in 2015, his rookie year in the class, continues to climb up the go-fast ladder and zipped to an impressive 3.96 at 188 mph in early qualifying. That positions him in the seventh spot going into today’s second round of qualifying.


Edelbrock Xtreme Street driver T.J. Strange is here this weekend with Terry Wilson and his big-block Ford-powered Mustang. Willson made several passes during testing and had planned to drive through eliminations, but the decision was made to put Strange bak in the driver’s seat for the first qualifier. Strange noticed an odd noise from the reared and they eventually found an excessive amount go backlash in the ring and pinion. The Mustang was ready to rock this morning.


In addition to the tremendous amount of race cars on the property this weekend, we also have a full field of show cars on hand. Early and late-model machines of all sorts are on display, and some are even racing as well.


Camren Massengale normally runs Real Street in the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series in his father’s ZO6 Corvette, and he and the elder Massengale made the overnight trip from Indiana to enter Edelbrock Xtreme Street with the nitrous-fed Y-body machine. Over the winter, the NMCA staff made changes to the Real Street class so racers could more easily crossover to Xtreme Street and run more races throughout the year.


Quick Lane at Downs Ford NA 10.5 driver Leonard Long’s Mustang moved into the center line in the dark of last night, which caused a DQ to show up on the sheet where his first round qualifying numbers should have been. But, the reigning class champion posted an 8.08 at 169 mph in today’s second round of qualifying, and is in the second qualified spot awaiting today’s final round of qualifying. As we reported last week, he recently moved from carburetion to a Holley EP EFI system to feed fuel to his small-block Ford. For the story, click HERE

Eric Kenward is back in action this year in his ’79 Malibu wagon. Powered by a TNT-Race Engines-built small-block with a 76 mm Garrett Turbo prepped by Forced Inductions, Kenward says a diet helped finally bring the car down to legal weight, giving him more wiggle room for ballast placement. The result is a car running strong enough to put him on top of the Edelbrock Xtreme Street field with this 7.67 at 176 mph during the second round of qualifying.


Rumor in the pits early this morning was that there was a 7.60-capable Firebird coming to run in True Street, and it quietly appeared in the pits shortly after. Even in the burnout box, the WS6 Firebird Formula was quiet and mundane S.hotly after the turbos spooled, the F-body rocketed to its first 7-second run. Loxatchee, Florida, resident and Firebird pilot, Stephen Smith, laid down two more 7s for the first 7-second average (7.81) in a few years.


Randy Adler is sitting at the top of the VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod field after absolutely flying to a 3.82 at 199 mph and a 3.80 at 200 mph in the first and second rounds of qualifying. The latter is a personal best with his new combination, which consists of a 521 Hemi by A-Team Speed Shop, a screw blower at 115 percent overdriven and a Lenco Drive transmission. “I smoked the tires in testing on Friday, but was able to run those numbers in qualifying,” said a super-chill Adler. “You have to back up a little to go forward, right?” Helping him and his brother and car-owner, Robbie Adler, perfect the tune this weekend is longtime Skinny Kid Race Cars driver Brian Robbins.

Henry Lee

Henry Lee may be new to the NMCA and Edelbrock Xtreme Street, but he and his green Fox body Mustang are finding their way around just fine. The driver out of the McCarty Performance stables drove to a 7.72 and 175 mph in qualifying to land in the second spot going into tonight’s final round of qualifying, showcasing the strength of his McCarty Performance-built small-block Ford, Trick Flow High Port heads massaged by ProLine, Precision 76mm turbo and M&M Transmission-built Three-Speed Outlaw transmission. While he blew two head gaskets in qualifying, he and his crew were close to having repairs wrapped up and ready for John Lindsey to get back to the business of laying a tune with Big Stuff 3.





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