Nonstop Action Delivered at NMCA/NMRA All-Star Nationals
As the second stop on the 2016 NMCA tour, the 8th Annual NMCA/NMRA All-Star Nationals presented by Miller Welders at Atlanta Dragway promised to be a highly anticipated hotbed of action, and it delivered.
The event at the House of Speed on April 7-10, 2016 welcomed NMCA racers and race fans in addition to NMRA racers and race fans, and while the intense race action had to conclude earlier than planned on both Friday and Saturday because of dropping ambient temperatures, racers got back to pounding pavement and posting personal bests just after sunrise on the final day of the event. The Aerospace Components Winners’ Circle, after all, awaited.
In VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod, Raymond Commisso’s drive all the way from Toronto, Ontario, was made worthwhile when he powered his ’69 Camaro to a 3.88 and 195 mph for the top qualified position. NMCA newcomer Tim Savell in the Bankston Racing Camaro earned low ET and top speed of the category with 3.76 and 197.97 mph in his 2014 Camaro. Savell would meet Michael Biehle and his 1967 Mustang Shelby GT500 in the final, and Savell nabbed the W with a 6.34 on a competition single, as Biehle broke and was not able to make the run.
In Mickey Thompson Radial Wars, series standout DeWayne Mills powered his ’68 Camaro to a 3.95 at 207.94 mph for the low ET of the category and the top qualified position, while Daniel Pharris piloted his ’95 Mustang to the top speed of the category with a whopping 208.17 mph. But because of a dip in temperatures, the final featuring Keith Berry and his ’02 Corvette and Pharris will be held at the 15th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Nationals, May 12-15 at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Wiseco Street Outlaw saw Jarod Wenrick push his ’66 Nova to a 4.45 for the low ET of the event and the top qualified position, while longtime and legendary NMCA/NMRA runner Manny Buginga blistered the track in his new-to-him SN95 Mustang with a 170.32 mph for top speed of the category. Showing staying power by winning back-to-back races, Wenrick flew to a 4.81 to defeat Ronnie Diaz in the final after Diaz posted an 8.76 in his ’99 Mustang.
In Edelbrock Xtreme Street, Eric Kenward was on a roll and reached the finish line in his ’79 Malibu wagon in 7.557 seconds to claim the low ET of the event, while Martin Connelley flat-footed his ’93 Mustang to a 182.53 mph for the top speed of the event. Kenward, who held the top qualified position, went on to post a 7.51 and 180 mph to unofficially reset the category’s records, but in the final, Scotty Guiler pulled out an upset win with an 7.65 over Kenward’s 8.42.
In ARP Nitrous Pro Street, Don Baskin was the king of the low ET and top speed of the event by posting a 7.27 and 188 mph in his ’12 Camaro, in addition to nabbing the top qualified position with a 7.27. He stayed on a roll and won with a 7.31 over Jennifer Brooke Rice, who ran into trouble in her ’09 Mustang and limped down track to a 16.79 for the runner-up finish.
High-revving and high-stepping action in Quick Lane at Downs Ford NA 10.5 included an 8.07 and 171 mph for Dwight Ausmus, who earned low ET, top speed of the event, and the top qualified position with those numbers out of his ’72 Firebird. Focused and formidable, he uncorked a 7.88 at 173 mph and a better reaction time in the final for the holeshot win over Mike DeMayo Jr., whose SN95 Mustang was just rebuilt after a wreck and flew to a 7.85 at 168 mph for the runner-up.
In Detroit TrueTrac Nostalgia Muscle Car, longtime class participant Cindee Hall drove her ’63 Falcon to a 13.000 on her 13.00 index to land in the top qualified spot, but as it turned out, Steve Wilson and his ’72 Nova and Ted Carter and his ’69 Chevelle were meant to be in the final. There, Wilson earned the win with a 10.51 on his 10.50 index.
In ATI Performance Nostalgia Super Stock, Geary Bates pushed his ’67 Fairlane to a 10.500 on his 10.50 index for the top qualified spot. When the tree dropped in the all-Ford final, Brian Merrick of Dellroy, Ohio, piloted his ’64 Thunderbolt to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle. Merrick had the starting line advantage and went 10.07 on a 10.00, while the runner up Ted Vise was 9.86 against his 9.75 index in his ’66 Ford Custom.
The ever-growing E3 Spark Plugs Top Sportsman category pitted Shawn Morrow and his ’03 Mustang against Tracy Cockman and his ’07 GT500 in the final. Morrow emerged as the winner after posting a .009 light and a 8.04 at 159 mph.
In Chevrolet Performance Stock presented by Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center, CP Stock newcomer Haley Rounsavall and her ’10 Camaro qualified first with a 10.34 at 127 mph. She drove it to the Winner’s Circle by driving past Glenn Pushis and his ’13 COPO Camaro with a 10.28 to his 10.44.
In the Sealed Stock Manufacturer’s Cup final round, Coyote Stock racer Joseph Marini and his ’11 Mustang against Chevrolet Performance Stock racer Ronnie Hackelton and his ’13 Camaro. Marini grabbed the win after an .013 holeshot at the starting line allowed his slower 10.49 to beat Hackelton’s 10.47.
In Holley EFI Factory Super Cars category, a class new for 2016 and is designed for cars including Chevrolet COPO Camaros, Dodge Challenger Drag Paks, and Ford Cobra Jet Mustangs, Randy Eakins pulled out a win in his ’14 Cobra Jet with an 8.59 over Kevin Skinner, who posted a 9.10 in his ’14 Cobra Jet.
In MagnaFuel Open Comp, Chuck Hockenberry powered his ’82 Mustang to the win over Donald Fenlon, who turned on the red light in his ’73 Camaro.
Taking home the $500 in cash and the Open Comp Shootout trophy is Susan McClenaghan, who defeated Jenna Pierce-Wilson in the final. McClenaghan took the early lead with an .010 light to Pierce-Wilson’s .021, and then went 9.381 on a 9.38 dial while Pierce-Wilson broke out with a 9.59 on a 9.61 dial in.
In Gear Vendors True Street, Terry Faust emerged as the winner after posting runs between 9.12 and 9.25 in his ’02 Corvette, and Willard Howard and his ’67 Dart earned a runner-up after posting runs between 9.56 and 9.59. James Barlow was the 10-second winner in his ’67 Cougar; Richard Stimson was the 11-second winner in his ’15 Hellcat; Thomas Dabbs was the 12-second winner in his ’99 Camaro; Scott Reynolds was the 13-second winner in his ’02 Camaro and Jacob Richardson was the 14-second winner in his ’04 Lightning.
In Bracket 1, Amber Acre was on her game in her ’12 dragster and defeated John Hobbs and his ’69 Chevelle in the final. In Bracket 2, Chad Brewer and his ’69 Firebird outran Phillip Wilmington and his ’85 S10 Blazer.
Keep up with the finely-tuned cars and the ever-rising stars of the NMCA and the NMRA at the next stops on the tours, the 15th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Nationals, featuring the Dave Duell Nostalgia Super Stock Classic, May 12-15 at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and the 16th Annual WyoTech NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals, April 28-May 1 at Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pennsylvania.