While testing his new 1995 Cutlass at Memphis International Raceway a few weeks ago, longtime NMCA driver Don Baskin ran into trouble when a freeze-plug in his engine block blew and allowed water to spill under his tires.
As hard as the multi-time champion tried to keep off the wall, he got into it, and injured his ribs, neck and foot. While he’s healing from those injuries, his car – powered by a BES-built 480 cubic-inch LSX engine – is at Jerry Haas Race Cars, where bars that were compromised on impact are being replaced and a new front-end is being installed, and when repairs are wrapped up, Baskin will introduce the car to NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street.
Because he’s not one to take it easy, even while healing, he put his Cobalt back on active duty in a test session yesterday, March 25, 2016, at Memphis International Raceway, and laid down an 8.04 at 168 mph. The small but mighty car gets its energy from a 420 cubic-inch BES-built small-block Chevy and an RPM Transmissions-built ProFlite, and it rolls on 29.5X10.5 Mickey Thompson slicks.
“I couldn’t get down track as quickly as I would have liked, but I’m pretty sure the car has an 8.00 in it,” said Baskin.
In addition to running the Cobalt in NMCA Quick Lane at Downs Ford NA 10.5 at the 8th Annual NMCA/NMRA All Star Nationals Presented By Miller Welders at Atlanta Dragway, April 7-10, 2016, he’ll unleash his tried-and-true 2013 Camaro in NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street at the same event. That car, which features a 632 cubic-inch BES-built engine amped up on nitrous and an RPM Transmissions-built Turbo 400, rolls on 14X32 Mickey Thompson slicks and clocked a 7.32 in recent testing, but Baskin is trying to coax a 7.29 from it before parking it when the Cutlass is repaired and returned to race action.
“I’m going to try to run two cars and pull double-duty at each race this season, and maybe I can do some good,” said Baskin, who’s assisted at the track by Randy Auwarter, Jimmy Cochran and his wife, Renee Baskin. “I messed up with the wreck before the NMCA season-opener in Florida, but I’m hoping I can make up for it. I’d sure like to win a championship in NA 10.5 and in Nitrous Pro Street.”