Friday Coverage—9th Annual NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by Steeda Autosports

The track here Atlanta Dragway is going hot at 10am this morning and the cool, sunny weather should prove favorable for fast elapsed times. We’ll start the day with the first round of qualifying for NMCA/NMRA Open Comp and continue with the rest of the index classes before jumping into the heads-up categories around noon.

A special feature of this weekend’s event is the 2nd Annual NMRA/NMCA Sealed Stock All-Star Showdown featuring Coyote Stock vs. Chevrolet Performance Stock. Taking place during qualifying, it will put the spotlight on the top three drivers in 2016 points and the first event in 2017 combined, plus a wildcard driver whose name will be drawn during a meeting of drivers before qualifying. Qualified NMCA Chevrolet Performance Stock drivers are Glenn Pushis, Kevin Lumsden, Ronnie Hackelton, and qualified NMRA Coyote Stock drivers are Drew Lyons, Shane Stymiest and Jacob Lamb. Alternates, if needed, are Keith Vaughn, Haley Rounsavall, Jesse Wilson, Heath Shemwell and Pete Epple on the NMCA side and Carlos Sobrino, Darin Hendricks, Tim Matherly, Joe Marini and Frank Paultanis on the NMRA side. Up for grabs are $1,000 cash, a trophy and a trip to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle.

While Ball Ground, Georgia resident Matt Davis has been racing PDRA and Carolina Xtreme Pro Mod, he’s giving NMCA VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod a go for the first time this weekend. In his 1969 Camaro built by David Reese, he makes 3.90s look like a cake walk, though he has his sights set on moving up to 3.80s, and is confident he can with help from the new Chuck Ford-built Roots blower on top of his Jimmy Rector-built 526ci Hemi. “This is our first NMCA race, and so far, we love it,” said Davis. “There’s a lot of good competition here.”

Rich Nye, who joined Boninfante Racing NA 10.5 last year, earned more round wins than he ever had in the class at the season-opening NMCA race in Florida in March, and the result was a runner-up finish. What that did, among other things, was motivate him to commit to running even more Boninfante Racing NA 10.5 races this season, and up to the task are his Fox body Mustang, Gary Hammaker-built 400ci small-block Ford and G-Force GF2000 five-speed, which recently helped deliver Nye to a personal best of 8.17.

While John Snyder had been rolling on drag radials for Ultra Street competition across the country, he swapped to slicks to tackle Boninfante NA 10.5 last year, and is working to form a friendship between those slicks, his Uratchko Racing Engines-built 570-ci Pontiac engine and his 1965 GTO. He’s been adjusting ladder bars, moving weight around and trying various converters, and his efforts are paying off, as he unleashed a 7.94 in NMCA trim in a recent test session.

Proudly owned and driven by Allen Hurley, this beautiful ’67 Fairlane was built in record time thanks to the hard work of the team at Jacky McCarty’s McCarty Performance. Hurley purchased it less than six months ago, and since then the car has been torn apart and completely rebuilt. Running twin 76 mm turbos on a Coyote engine from MMR, Hurley will put the first shakedown runs on the Fairlane this weekend in True Street. A FuelTech engine manage system (tuned by Josh Lindsey) is on board, along with a transmission from Mark Micke, Menscer shocks, and a carbon driveshaft. Additionally, Hurley spent 80 hours wrapping the 25.5 cage in carbon fiber to make sure the 2,000+ horsepower car looks flawless on the track or cruising the streets.

Driven by Fiscus/Klugger Racing’s Kevin “Flash” Fiscus, Chris Matters’s eye-catching ’06 Saleen S281 recently set the record for an X275 Modular-powered car, and the guys are looking to run in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw this weekend but will do so in full X275 trim. The Rich Groh Racing-built 5.4L GT engine is boosted by an 88mm Precision turbo and bolts to an ATF 3-speed TH 400 transmission, and JPC Racing’s Ronnie Reynolds is heading up crew chief duties for the combination. Matters recently swapped his Fast Mover Motorsports Saleen over to use Menscer Motorsports 4-way shocks and struts, and had Loco Graphics re-wrap it so it’s fresh for the 2017 season.

With this race, Benjamin Board has officially made the move from NMCA Fastest Street Car Top Sportsman to VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod in his Jerry Bickel Race Cars-built 2012 Camaro. With upgrades to his car and combination wrapping up just days ago, he didn’t have time to test before diving into today’s first round of qualifying, and was forced to lift with a mechanical issue, but he’ll be one to keep an eye on as he and tuner Ryan Micke dial in his combination consisting of a ProCharger-fronted Starting Line Motorsports-built Brad Anderson Hemi, Bruno Lenco and Blue Bayou Motorsports converter. For a recent story about Board’s upgrades, click HERE

It may be early in the weekend, but Adam Flamholc is already making waves in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod. He flew to a 3.77 and 200.21 mph in today’s first round of qualifying in his 1963 split-window Corvette powered by a 526 Hemi built by HRE and MMR and topped with a Roots-style supercharger massaged by Mike Janis, and that elapsed-time and mph, achieved in windy conditions, are personal bests for Flamholc. With a sly smile, he mentioned that he’s always looking for ways to coax even more power from his combination, and hopes to go even quicker and faster at some point this weekend.

Scott Libersher. Smartest man on the property. Period.

Big Daddy DeWayne Mills is at Atlanta Dragway with a new drivetrain in his ’68 Camaro. Right from Pro Line Racing is a new 548ci Hemi with the latest updates to the AJPE block and heads. Mills and crew chief Tim Davis also stepped down to Precision 88mm turbochargers, and on the first qualifying pass, the Camaro put more power down low than was expected, with a quick 1.04-second short time. Davis told us that they’re going to throw a little more at it for round two of qualifying. The team is continuing to sort out the new combination, which also includes the latest FuelTech FT600 EFI system.

With his ’63 Corvette running super consistent 3.70-3.80s for the past few races, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Adam Flamholc put down a class-leading 3.77 during the first round of qualifying. What was  a surprise was the 200 mph speed, which was the first time the team has attained that speed.

While Haley Rounsavall has been given the keys to her grandfather Ronnie Hackelton’s  2013 COPO Camaro for a while, he tested it on Thursday while she and other family members were preparing to board a plane bound for Atlanta. Luckily, the call saying he had broken the axles under the car and needed replacements came before they left for the airport,  so they packed them in a suitcase, successfully explained to TSA what they were for and made it to the track in time to help install them in time for today’s first round of eliminations.

As reported as part of this morning’s coverage, the 2nd Annual NMRA/NMCA Sealed Stock All-Star Showdown featuring Coyote Stock vs. Chevrolet Performance Stock will be contested this weekend. Rollie Miller, General Manager and National Event Director for NMRA, NMCA and NMCA WEST, gathered the drivers tonight and pairings for the first round, shown above, were set up.

It was an exciting qualifying run for Mickey Thompson Radial Wars driver DeWayne Mills, but not for the reason he had hoped. Towards the end of his second hit, one of his new Precision 88mm turbochargers let loose in a catastrophic failure and self-destructed more than just itself. The turbo only had two passes on it, and although the “Golden Gorilla” Pro Line Racing-powered ’68 Camaro is down, it definitely isn’t out – with approximately 20 hours left until eliminations begin, Mills “didn’t come here to be the runner up.” Ironically, his round one hit of 3.919 at 195.08 mph has kept him in the number one spot and there’s still hope for the man they call Big Daddy.

On the other side of the Mills’s family pit, Kallee Mills is celebrating a new personal best of 4.570 at 162.25 mph with her “Golden Panda” Camaro. Mills recently upgraded from an 88mm turbo to a 94mm one, and is clearly getting more comfortable with her VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw car thanks to more seat time. The full-time student will soon be out of school for the summer and is excited about making racing – and even better timeslips – her primary focus for the next few months.