Sunday Coverage—8th Annual Borla Exhaust NMRA/NMCA All Star Nationals presented by Miller Welders


DSC_0614Eric Kenward’s daughter, Holley, with him in the above photo taken by Mike Pryka, kicked off his 2016 race season by claiming the Edelbrock Xtreme Street elapsed-time and top-speed records with a 7.658 and 176.71 at the season opening race in Florida in March, but he bettered those this weekend by blasting to a 7.65.4 and 177 mph in the first round of qualifying and a 7.55 at 178 mph in the second round of qualifying. What that is even more proof that his TRZ-suspended Malibu wagon, featuring a T’nT Race Engines-built 365 cubic-inch small-block Chevy motivated by a 76mm Garrett turbo by Forced Inductions, is working, and working well. Kenward, who’s supported in the tuning department by Cal Hartline, has help this weekend from Robert Rodgers and crew chief Daniel “The Bus Driver” Knapp.


The weekend hasn’t gone as smoothly as Edelbrock Xtreme Street’s John Warren hoped it would. In the first round of qualifying, the nitrous system in his Knieriem big-block Chevy-powered Nova hiccuped and didn’t offer up any nitrous until two seconds into the run, resulting in an off-pace 8.11 at 176 mph. Then, in the second round of qualifying, he blew the tires off. “We think the nitrous issue was because the battery was low, and the reason we blew the tires off is because we had the the X275 tune on the car and it overpowered the tires and I had to lift,” explained Warren, who’s rolling on Mickey Thompson ET Street Radials this weekend. “So, when I got back to the pit area, I put the right nitrous map in and adjusted the front suspension.” Warren was ready to roll for last night’s final round of qualifying when race officials were forced to cancel it because of cold weather. “It should be able to go 7.70s here in a little bit with this set-up,” said Warren.

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Edelbrock Xtreme Street Qualifying has been updated as Ray Cox and his Bandit Trans Am had been left off. We look forward to seeing the BES-powered TA in action later today. See the updated qualifying <<<<HERE>>>>.

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Holley EFI Factory Super Car driver Gardner Stone is sitting in third place on the qualifying sheets. His Cobra Jet Mustang clocked impressive times at the season opener in Bradenton and would have been a contender had the overhead cam timing chain not failed. With the engine repaired, Stone’s CJ has been once again dead reliable and posted an 8.52 at 159 mph. Widowmaker— taking the name from the WWII B-26 bomber—first adorned Stone’s ’66 Chevelle that he used to race, and he felt it was fitting to bring it back now that he is back racing once again.

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David Roemer of Avon, Ohio, was finally able to bring out his VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod after finally getting his new Charlie Buck Racing Engines 903i bullet. The new-for-2016 903i engine is actually a replacement motor, as Roemer had a similar 903 on order that was one of the engines stolen from the famed Pro Mod engine builder’s shop last year. Roemer picked up another smaller engine to finish out the 2015 season while the insurance company was working out the reimbursement, and this is the car’s first time out with the 903 in the car. Roemer qualified 5th in the 16-car field.

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Dina Parise’s husband and crew chief, Andrew Parise was busy changing out the torque converter yesterday in an effort to improve the car’s on-track performance. Dina, the 2015 IHRA champion, is hoping to put her 2013 Cadillac Pro Mod in the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle. The blown-hemi-powered CTS-V coupe currently sits 13th on the qualifying sheet.

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X275 mainstay Rich Bruder jumped into the driving honors on Ray Patriarca Jr.’s Edelbrock Xtreme Street 2014 Shelby GT500 here in Georgia. Bill Gilsbach built the car, which is a Shelby GT500 replica and features a Vortech YSi-B supercharger to supply some extra power to the 5.8L Reid’s Automotive-built motor featuring a Hogan’s intake manifold. Strange brakes up front are framed by a set of gorgeous Weld Wheels, while some laundry from Stroud Safety sits out back. The guys did a lot of testing during the off season but parts breakages put a quick stop to that. Bruder and team are hoping not to have a repeat performance this weekend.

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The flames shooting from the hood of Phil Smith’s Trans Am during yesterday’s Wiseco Street Outlaw qualifying were the result, he said, of a nitrous backfire at the 330 mark. (Video above). He was able to safely bring the car to a stop, and while he and his crew, including car owner Billy Adams, worked through the night to make repairs in hopes of taking part in eliminations today, they discovered that the damage was too extensive, as all of the wiring, a cylinder head and two pistons were burned. As they were loading the car into the trailer for its ride home, Smith lamented that while had qualified eighth in the field of thirteen with an off-pace 4.79 and 126 mph, he was confident he could uncork 4.30s at some point this weekend via his Nelson-built 632 cubic-inch engine and Speedtech nitrous system.


While Mississippi-based driver Tim Savell posted  a 3.76 at 197 mph in early qualifying in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod, the front cap on his Bankston Racing-owned ’14 Camaro was a touch too long to accommodate class rules, but because being sidelined wasn’t an option for the dedicated team, they had a replacement front cap shipped to them in time for today’s first round of eliminations. It was a worthwhile effort, as Savell has advanced to the second round.


Even though Michael Biehle, II has only made several passes in his recently-debuted ’67 Mustang Shelby GT500-appearing Bickel-built hotrod, he’s well on his way to having it shaken down. He’s trying some tricks of the trade this weekend to optimize his combination, which features a ProLine Hemi and twin Precision 88mm turbos, and after advancing over Raymond Commisso and his ’69 Camaro in the first round with a 3.97 at 199 mph, he’s readying for the second round. “We’re here to race, but everything is new and we’re getting a handle on some engine stuff and we haven’t had much time on-track to adjust the four-link,” said Biehle.



While Michael Sanders piloted a ’68 Barracuda in ATI Nostalgia Super Stock for a while before testing the Quick Lane at Downs Ford NA 10.5 waters in a Fox body Mustang, he’s now in a different ’68 Barracuda for Wiseco Street Outlaw. Its chassis was built by Mayhew Race Cars and its suspension was installed by Two Lane Performance. A Mark Williams modular rear-end works underneath, and the car features a naturally aspirated Kaase-built 748 cubic-inch HEMI 99 topped with two Book 400 carburetors. The power is transferred to the pavement with a Rossler TH210. Michael, whose father, Mike, is his crew chief, qualified ninth with a 4.86 after a sizable wheelie and just posted a 4.61 in the first round of eliminations to win on a holeshot over number six qualifier Charles Hull, who was 4.48 at the traps. In the second round of eliminations, he’ll face veteran driver Ronnie Diaz, who just visited his pit area to shake his hand and wish him well.

OC Shootout

Taking home the $500 in cash and the Open Comp Shootout Cup trophy is Susan McClenaghan, who defeated Jenna Pierce-Wilson in the final. While the testosterone was thick in the air during the Open Comp Shootout driver meeting, both McClenaghan and Pierce-Wilson would triumph by the end of the competition. McClenaghan took the early lead with an .010 light to Pierce-Wilson’s .021. McClenaghan then went 9.381 on a 9.38 dial while Pierce-Wilson broke out with a 9.59 on a 9.61 dial in.


Josh Green, right, qualified ninth in VP Racing Fuels Pro Mod in his ’69-bodied Camaro powered by a 942 Musi-built engine and Edelbrock nitrous system, but he exited competition after uncharacteristically going red in the first round of eliminations. That gave him some time to hang with his brother — and fellow VP Racing Fuels Pro Mod driver — John Green, who was forced to keep his ’08 Corvette in the pit area all weekend long while Team Green chased some mechanical issues.


The 7.89 and 174.4 mph which Quick Lane at Downs Ford NA 10.5 driver Dwight Ausmus recorded in the first round of eliminations today replaced previous personal bests of 7.91 and 172.5. “My 60-foot is still not there, and that was the first run all weekend that I was able to stay in it,” said Ausmus, which makes us think there’s even more to be uncorked. He won the round and is currently prepping for the second round of eliminations.

Mike Clifford

Detroit TrueTrac Nostalgia Muscle Car driver Mike Clifford had to have his Mopar-powered ’66 Barracuda pulled off the starting line in the second round of eliminations today, as his starter failed. The Florida-based driver who came into this event third in points said he’ll have his starter replaced and his car ready to rock and roll before the next stop in the series, 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.

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Kenny Cruz introduced himself and his ’02 Camaro to VP Racing Fuels Pro Mod at the season opening race in Florida in March, where he drove to the semifinal. The car is majorly motivated by a 526 HEMI and a screw blower, and while Cruz posted a 4.03 in qualifying, he’s usually in the  3.90s and was not at all happy with what he referred to as an “off pace number.” He took a solo run in the first round of eliminations when his competition couldn’t make the call to the lanes, and exited in the second round of eliminations. As disappointed as he may be at the moment, he’s determined to be tuned up and trampling the track in no time, and along for the ride, as always, will be Minion (above), who hung on tight two years ago when Cruz rolled the car a whopping six times, and emerged without a scratch.


All class finals have been completed with the exception of Mickey Thompson Radial Wars, which will be run during the third qualifier at 15th Annual Quick Fuel Technology NMCA Bluegrass Nationals in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Get the results <<<<HERE>>>>