NMCA track preparation specialist and official track starter T.J. “El Prepe´” Bailey has given the thumbs on Atlanta Dragway’s new surface and says it is in the best shape he’s ever seen. Credit for that goes to Atlanta Dragway track manager Mike Savage who made that happen over the past several months. With the new racing surface and the cool weather we are expecting this weekend, the cars should be flying here at the 8th Annual Borla Exhaust NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals. Friday’s schedule includes a morning test and tune session followed by two rounds of qualifying.
The ever-gregarious Jennifer Brooke Rice was a little less than thrilled about missing the season-opening race in Florida in March, but she’s poised to make up for it in spades this weekend in ARP Nitrous Pro Street. Her Frank Ofria-built small-block Ford topped with Brodix heads massaged by Neal Induction Systems is fresh and ready to rev to the moon, and because she and her crew chief/dad, Ed Rice, didn’t want to run a hood scoop, they’re debuting a Pro Stock-style K&N air-duct on their Mustang. Also, rather than the Liberty four-speed they had been running, they’re trying a Powerglide to go along with a Neal Chance converter. The team, which is working toward getting down to the class’ minimum weight, also replaced the car’s four gallon fuel cell with a two gallon fuel cell, and moved it from the rear to the front of the car, which is now sponsored by Nitrous Outlet.
While Edelbrock Xtreme Street driver Ray Cox had been struggling with electrical gremlins that had been manifesting themselves in various ways—including a nitrous system that was turning on and off down track—he’s confident he’s found the fix with the new 16-volt batteries in the trunk of his Trans Am. “I was getting pretty upset, but now we should be on the right track,” said Cox, who has been as fast as 8.11 and 170 via his nitrous-enhanced BES-built 535 cubic-inch Pontiac engine and seems to uncork more power with each event. “I’m a half-second off-pace, but one of these days, I’m going to go faster.”
John Trobiani blasted to a best of 7.50 and 186 mph in his ’68 Camaro in ARP Nitrous Pro Street last year, and decided to leave his combination alone for this year. It consists of a Tom Dixon-built 480 cubic-inch big-block Chevy engine, Induction Solutions nitrous setup and Proformance Racing Transmissions-built Turbo 400. Trobiani, (above left) who drove to a runner-up finish in the class at the season-opening race in Florida in March, is receiving help this weekend from fellow class driver Josh Ritli and his dad, Rick Ritli and son, Kyle Ritli. While the help is much-appreciated, it’s a bit bittersweet for the Illinois-based driver, whose dad/crew chief, Anthony Trobiani, passed away last year.
The vacuum pump that reigning ATI Nostalgia Stock driver Doug Duell installed in the off-season to complement his Indy Cylinder Head-built 540 cubic-inch Wedge engine has helped him and his ’64 Plymouth wagon go from the class’ 9.50 index to the 9.25 index, and the Indiana-based driver is content. “I went 9.254 off the trailer today, and I’m looking to win here this weekend,” said Duell, who drove to a runner-up finish at this event last year. “I like this track, and I feel like I have a pretty good shot.”
It’s always a pleasure to have MagnaFuel Open Comp and LME Street King driver Shawn Calabrese and his ’01 Firehawk on-site, and to hear about changes he has made to his hotrod. His F-body’s LS3 427 cubic-inch engine, which was built in the comfort of his garage, now features a Wagner Motorsports head and cam package, and Calabrese also recently swapped to a new FTI converter and TCI flexplate. The Firehawk’s Mickey Thompson Pro Bracket Radials are now wrapped around a new set of Bogart bead-lock wheels, and the driver who recently discovered during a dyno session that he had picked up 60 hp, lowered his previous best eighth-mile elapsed-time of 6.70 to a 6.49 in testing last weekend.
Detroit TruTrac Nostalgia Muscle Car standout Jerry Stamps made his first pass of the season in his ’73 Duster this morning, and posted a 12.15. “I’ve got a little room to play, and we’ll pull a little weight out before the next pass,” said Stamps, who was the class champion in 2012 and finished fifth in points in 2015. His car, which tramples the track with a 340 cubic-inch Chrysler built by Parsons and Myers, is consistent in the class’ 12.00 index.
Matt Bell of Redline Motorsports our of Illinois has been working on putting his personal car together for some time and he is here in Atlanta to shake it down. The notchback Mustang chassis was built by Burkhart and is entered in Mickey Thompson Radial Wars. Under the hood is a 588ci big-block Chevy built on a Brodix block and the company’s Big Duke 18-degree cylinder heads. Tuning on the Holley EFI, Bell has piloted the cope to a 4.78 with a 1.28 60-ft time. He went 1.16 on another pass and expects the combination to be even quicker with further tuning.
As RPM Transmissions’ Rodney Massengale often runs his 2001 ZO6 Corvette in local Ultra Street races which are eighth-mile contests. For this race, he swapped out the rear gear to a more quarter-mile friendly ratio as his son Camren will be piloting the car in Edelbrock Xtreme Street. Massengale is also happy to have finally remedied an issue with the ignition coils they were using on the LS-based engine, which should provide greater reliability and allow for greater performance as well.
David Adkins of Hamilton, Michigan is competing in Radial Wars this weekend in his wild ’63 Impala. Adkins only has about a dozen runs on the car with radial tires, so he and his crew will be looking to see how much power from the twin-turbocharged 400ci LSX they can put down to the track. The car has previously gone 6.36 at 223 mph in the quarter on slicks.
Since the dated chassis in the 2000 Firebird ex-Pro Stock chassis that he had was not suitable for VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod competition, Kannapolis, North Carolina’s Tony Wilson recently purchased this ’68 Camaro. It’s a Tim McAmis Race Cars chassis in which he stuffed a Reher-Morrison 855ci, 5.300-borespace engine in. Feeding all of those cubes are four stages of Switzer Dynamics nitrous oxide injection, and an M&M Transmissions three-speed automatic is parked behind the big-bore engine.
Mark Woodruff’s beautiful C6 Corvette underwent a powerplant swap some time ago, and now sports a 522ci Sonny Leonard big-block that is maintained by Nelson Competition with help from Pro Line Racing. Woodruff has been 3.92 with this combination and will be looking to bag more 3-second passes this weekend.
Part of this weekend’s racing lineup is the inaugural Sealed Stock Manufacturer’s Cup, which will pit four Chevrolet Performance Stock machines against four Race Pages Coyote Stock Mustangs. Both classes run sealed crate engines from Chevrolet and Ford Performance groups, and both will be looking to take home the $1,000 in cash and the Sealed Stock Cup trophy. Earlier today, there was a meeting to determine the final pairings. Six of the eight cars were selected based on the top three points finishers from 2015 combined with the top points finishers from the first race of 2016. The remaining two positions were randomly drawn from a hat, with CP Stock rookie Hayley Rounsavall and Coyote Stock newcomer Tyler Eichorn chosen to mix it up with the seasoned competitors.
Reigning Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series JE Pistons Drag Radial champion Anthony Manna is spending time in Mickey Thompson Radial Wars this weekend, and though his car and combination are set up for the former category rather than the latter category — and therefore 500 pounds over minimum allowable weight — the longtime driver says “Anything can happen.” Under hood of his black ’98 Camaro is an AES-built 427 cubic-inch LSX engine and twin 88mm Precision turbos, and the power is put to the pavement with a Proformance Racing Transmissions-built Turbo 400. Manna, who posted a best of 4.21 and 182 mph last year and 4.22 and 180 mph at the Lights Out Race in Georgia at South Georgia Motorsports Park in February, recently swapped to a different PTC converter after deeming it too loose, and is readying for today’s first round of qualifying.
Mickey Thompson Radial Wars newcomer Marty Stinnett has been a key player in the outlaw drag radial scene for ages with his 275-tire equipped ’96 Mustang, but is making his debut with NMCA this weekend in Georgia with his ’93 Mustang coupe. Sadly, Stinnett started out by torching one of the heads on his beautiful 445 ci Jeff Burns Racing engine. Boosted by a set of Garrett 94mm GTX turbos, a faulty blow off valve resulted in a massive boost spike. The car is also sporting a Fuel Tech engine management system, Performance two-speed 400 transmission, Santhuff shocks, and alcohol-pumping Billet Atomizer injectors. Stinnett and his guys were working some magic to get the repairs made in time for qualifying, and despite the setback, everyone on the team was feeling positive about how the weekend will continue to play out. Wade Hopkins of Southern Speed Racing is on board as crew chief, while Ken Ray and Mark Mincey provide backup crew support.
Because reigning Detroit TrueTrac Nostalgia Muscle Car champion Andy Warren’s ’71 Caprice wasn’t ready for the season-opening race in March, he drove an ’82 Malibu wagon owned by Chip Rollins that weekend, and to the delight — but not surprise — of many, he ended up in the winner’s circle. But he’s back in his own car this weekend, and is already making waves, as he replaced his previous best of 10.24 at 128 mph with a 9.96 at 132 mph in a test hit today. That moves him from the class’ 10.50 index to the 10.00 index, and helping him achieve that is his recently-freshened Knieriem-built engine, which was 427 cubic-inches but is now .030-over and 434 cubic-inches. It’s packed with all new internals, including Scat rods and crank, and Ross pistons, and it’s topped with new AFR 245cc heads, an Edelbrock intake and a Quick Fuel Black Diamond-series 1050 carburetor.
Sitting in Edelbrock Xtreme Street stalwart Bill Trovato’s shop back home is an aluminum Dart block, which he’s anxious to introduce to the engine bay of his 5th Gen Camaro. The car, he explains, is nose-heavy, and the block, which will feature all of the same internals as his current BTR-built 440 LS engine, will go a long way toward knocking 125 pounds off the front of his car. Trovato, who made the move from slicks to Mickey Thompson 275 drag radials just before the season-opener in Florida, proved his pavement-pounding prowess there by moving from a best of 1.21 to a 1.17 in the 60-foot and from a best of 7.77 to a 7.72 in the quarter-mile. He’s assisted this weekend by David Mitchell and John Costello, and when we happened by their pit area, they said they were “researching transbrake location options.” While we’re not sure that’s exactly the case, we are sure Trovato will be one to watch this weekend.
Longtime ATI Nostalgia Super Stock driver DW Hopkins missed the first qualifier today, as the starter in his too-cool-for-school ’64 Thunderbolt let go. When we stopped by his pit area, he was awaiting the arrival of a replacement, along with friends, fellow racers and Jeff Burns, who built his 528 cubic-inch FE engine, and he was confident he would be back to running in time for the next round of qualifying.
George Farkouh and Louie Filippides have a heck of a handle on sharing seat time in their independent rear suspension-equipped 2010 Camaro which flies American Racing Headers and Farks Supercars flags. While Farkouh will race it locally, Filippides will race it in Edelbrock Xtreme Street, after getting his feet wet in the class at a race last year. The team, which also includes their fathers, Farid Farkouh and Nick Filippides, is this weekend debuting a new 427 cubic-inch LS engine on a Dart LS Next block built by LME. It’s topped with Mast inline LS7 heads and a Mast LS7 intake, and it’s fronted by a ProCharger F1C-94. They count on an RPM Transmissions-build Turbo 400 to transfer the power to the pavement, and the whole shebang is tuned via FAST XFI by George Farkouh and Matt Hauffe of Tune Time Performance. “I like the variety of cars and combinations in the class, and I’m looking forward to being part of it,” said Farkouh, who is shooting for 7.65 sooner rather than later.
Reining Edelrock Xtreme Street champion David Hutnick may have had a hurt engine in his final round matchup against Martin Connelley at the season-opening race in Florida, but he powered through to the win in his Straightine Performance-built ’02 Camaro. Now, with repairs behind them, he and his crew are ready to lay down some numbers this weekend, with the help of his BTR big-block Chevy, CFM carburetor and Edelbrock nitrous system. “I think we’ve got something for everyone,” said crew member Kevin Stevens, of Straightline Performance. “Our engine is one of Bill Trovato’s masterpieces, and we made some tune-up changes with help from Dale Cubic of CFM.” Hutnick, who had long been running slicks, is on Mickey Thompson 275 drag radials for only the second time in competition this weekend, but he does have a set of slicks in his trailer should he decide to go back to them. “We’ve got to be fluid, not rigid, in this deal,” said Stevens. “If something isn’t working right, we’ll go back to what we know works right.”
Check out the results of the first rond of qualifying right <<<<HERE>>>>