The forecast is looking a little iffy for today, but rest assured all the NMRA/NMCA racing officials will be working quickly to dry and prep the track for final Qualifying and Eliminations all afternoon and evening… including Saturday Night Under the Lights!
Have no fear, Chase Driskell is here offering up his patented “fluff & buff” services for James Lawrence and his DragZine.com-backed ProCharged “Project BlownZ06” drag radial ’17 Corvette. Lawrence is currently qualified third in NMCA Mickey Thompson Radial Wars thanks to his Pro Line Racing power and a 3.926 at 190.35 mph hit during yesterday’s qualifying session.
This event kicks off the 2018 Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series and we saw the debut of two new Chevrolet Performance Stock presented by Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center cars on Friday. NMCA Open Comp and LME Street King racer Shawn Calabrese purchased this new-to-him 2001 Firebird from Darren Poole-Adams, who had started building the car to the CP Stock class rules. Calabrese hooked up with Xtreme Street racer Eric Kenward to swap the automatic out for a G-Force G101A four-speed transmission in the F-body. They finished the car up on Thursday night and Calabrese drop through the night from Vero Beach, Florida, to be at Atlanta Dragway for the event. His Firebird is the first stick shift in the class, and Calabrese, while getting acquainted with his new surroundings and driving duties, is currently qualified fourth with a 10.75 at 127 mph.
Chevrolet Performance Stock racer Keith Vaughn has been busy swapping his DR525 crate engine from his Fourth-Gen Camaro into this new C4 Corvette chassis during the off season. The car’s first hit out here at Atlanta Dragway looks smooth as it carried the wheels out to the 60ft. clock, and Vaughn is sitting 3rd in qualifying with a 10.49 at 126 mph.
The third new CPS entry belongs to Ricky Pennington, who dropped the DR525 LS3 engine into a friend’s ’69 Chevelle. Pennington arrived with no hits on the new combination, having only run the car on the chassis dyno and tested the transbrake in his driveway back in Alabama. The A-body clocked a 10.84 in qualifying as Pennington gets used to the new ride.
ARD Motorsports in nearby Flowery Branch, Georgia, got wind of the Dodge//Mopar Hemi Shootout that is taking place here at Atlanta Dragway and while they brought out one of their customer’s wild twin-turbo, half-mile-spec Vipers to display, they also rounded up nearly a dozen Hellcat owners to come join the fun in the shootout. ARD’s Jake Neirgarth told us that the 1999 Viper, which belongs to Joseph Dell, packs 8.5 liters of displacement and has run to 225 mph in the half-mile, and an easy 190 mph in the quarter-mile during a drag strip fun run.
Currently leading the Hemi Shootout contingent is ARD Motorsports customer Sumit Goyal. His 2016 Hellcat Challenger has received a tune and pulley upgrade, and equipped with drag radials, clocked a 9.8 at 136 mph yesterday. The big Mopar puts down about 880 hp to the wheels.
Thanks to a blown blower gasket yesterday, Scott Christoffel of Oswego, Illinois, is on the outside looking in at the moment as he hopes to make it into the top 16 field for NMCA VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod. His Stroupe Race Cars-built ’69 Camaro keeps a 526 ci Hemi engine topped with a Mike Janis supercharger between its frame rails, while a Liberty’s transmission paired with a Neal Chance converter helps transfer the power out to the track. Given that this is the first weekend he’s had the car out this season and that his transmission and blower are both new, he’s not doing too bad at all.
A wayward O-ring plugged an injector nozzle (inset image) in Jason Hamstra’s ’69 Camaro Pro Mod and caused a major meltdown on Thursday. His team stayed up until midnight swapping in a new engine with the help of the Abbot crew, and their hard work paid off when Hamstra went straight to the number one spot during NMCA VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod qualifying when he ran a 3.67-second pass with his #367 entry. The Noonan-headed blown Hemi is backed by a Coan Racing turbo 400 transmission, and Hamstra is hoping to finish out the weekend with a win.
What are Mark Luton’s plans for today for today with his NMCA VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod MMR GenX-powered and twin turbo ’17 Mustang? Simple. “We’re gonna launch the nuts off this thing.”
The underdog in the NMCA Mickey Thompson Radial Wars class is Tyler Moss, but the hometown hero doesn’t mind. He knowingly brought a knife to a gun fight, as his Tyler’s Paint & Body-backed Fox-body Mustang is a legitimate street car with power windows, power locks, and other creature comforts. Moss runs a 302ci engine with twin turbos, a Powerglide transmission with Neal Chance converter, a FAST EFI system, and a stock-style suspension with TRZ Performance components. His crew was busy checking valves this morning before getting started with the third qualifying session. They hope to improve upon yesterday’s performance, which left Moss wanting more after he ran out of CO2.
Jennifer Brooke Rice is currently leading the field in NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street as her ’09 Mustang ran a 4.724 at 134.10 mph pass yesterday, but the feat came with at a cost – namely, a set of melted pistons and a hurt engine thanks to a broken rocker arm and too much fuel. The Rice team rallied and decided to tear down the Nitrous Outlet-breathing engine and change everything as a precaution.
A former LSX Real Street racer, Robert Strong of Pensacola, Florida, is racing in Fastest Street Car NMCA NA 10.5 this weekend with his silver ’87 Monte Carlo SS. Strong Racing Engines built the LSX-based 465 ci engine, and a Rossler Turbo 400 transmission with Coan Racing converter backs the bullet. Up top sits a single Braswell carburetor modified by CFM (which is a change from his former 2-carb setup) along with a beautiful Wilson intake manifold. Strong is currently qualified twelfth on an 8.488 at 151.71 mph hit as he works out the bugs in his setup with the new-to-him class.
On the other side of the Strong pit sits this ’11 Camaro belonging to Robert Strong’s wife, Bobbie Strong. The lady is driving in NMCA Proform LSX Rumble and is running an LS3-headed Strong Racing Engines-built platform along with a four-speed transmission from RPM. An upgraded rear end, cam, and valvetrain components ensure she stays nice and close to her 12.00-second index.
NMCA VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod driver Aaron Glaser’s ’69 Camaro did an abrupt about-face just shortly after the sixty-foot mark during the third round of qualifying today. The car got crossed up in a wicked way and slammed into the retaining wall facing the wrong way down the track before coming to a jolting halt. Glaser was able to exit the car under his own power, but he’ll have a long road ahead of him to get his ride repaired.
Thank you to all the manufacturers and vendors who support the NMRA and NMCA, and its family of racers! Despite the gloomy weather, the midway is alive and well this weekend.
Kallee Mills of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, is competing in Vortech Street Outlaw competition this year with her 1968 Camaro, which packs a Jamie Miller/Pro Line Racing-tuned, LS-based engine. The team recently bolted on a larger 94mm Precision Gen 2 turbocharger and performance has improved quite a bit since last season. She’s qualified 9thafter two rounds with a 4.53 elapsed time, and is looking to improve on that today.
Ray and Brad Cox are sitting pretty good in Edelbrock Xtreme Street, taking the third spot in qualifying after two rounds. The Bandit Trans Am with a BES Racing Engines-built Pontiac engine under the hood has recently benefitted from a number of off-season changes and solutions to problems that had plagued the F-body last year.
The car show is heating up with a variety of good ol’ American muscle spanning several decades on display.