It’s going be a great weekend here at Lucas Oil Raceway Indianapolis as we kick off the 15th Annual NMCA All-American Nationals featuring the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series and the 10th Annual LSX Shootout. Fielding cars two cars in the Holley EFI Real Street class is Rodney Massengale of RPM Transmissions. Massengale’s son, Camren will be at the wheel of the team’s nitrous-oxide-injected C5 Corvette, which recently received a new lightweight aluminum block, and Kenny Johnson will be piloting the turbocharged 5th-Gen Camaro. Phil Frantz owns the C6 ZO6 in the background and will be racing this weekend as well—his Corvette puts down over 600 at the wheels thanks to its Vortech-boosted, 427ci mill.
All the cars and all the stars are unloading this morning in preparation for the weekend’s shenanigans. Fiscus/Klugger Racing crew man Johnny “Drama” has hinted that Josh Klugger, driver of the twin turbo, Racecraft-built and Pro Line Racing-powered FKR ’93 Mickey Thompson Radial Wars Mustang, has got a few new tricks up his sleeve. Klugger’s joined this weekend by his teammate and VP Racing Fuels Pro Mod driver Kevin Fiscus.
New to the NMCA series is the Dart Pro Stock class, which will run as an exhibition class for this race and the two remaining races in Joliet and Norwalk. Similar to Australia’s Pro Stock class, it’s a 401ci engine size restriction and not much else in the way of rules. As the racers sort out the cars this weekend, we should be looking at low seven-second quarter-mile performances from the naturally aspirated, tube chassis machines. G-Force Transmissions and Long Engineering co-owner Leonard Long will be racing his Mustang in Quick Lane of Downs Ford NA 10.5 this weekend, while Merv Moyer will be driving Long’s new Dart Pro Stock entry.
Another NA 10.5 competitor that is making the move to the Pro Stock class is Don Bowles who picked up this Jerry Haas Cougar chassis last year and dropped in his NA 10.5 engine along with a G Force transmissions stick shift box. Bowles made some shake down runs recently and realized that need to make some interior adjustments to suit his tall stature, so this weekend Ed Brady will be at the wheel to put some laps on the car.
Rick Hornback has owned his beautiful ’69 Chevelle since he turned 16 in ’78, but this year will mark his first time running it in the Quick Lane Performance NA 10.5 class. Hornback previously campaigned the 565 ci big block Chevy-powered car in Open Comp, but has decided to step it up a notch and sought out Chris Spall for assistance with the chassis upgrades. With a Lenco 4-speed transmission on board, the Chevelle was sittin’ pretty waiting to be rolled out of its trailer on Friday morning as the weekend got under way.
Daniel Pharris, the current leader in points for NMCA Mickey Thompson Radial Wars, has a plan to maintain his position for the rest of the season. His ’95 Mustang just returned from a trip to the spa where both its 570 ci Jeff Burns Racing Engines 481X and transmission were freshened up. Pharris also installed a new ProTorque converter, and added a new billet center section and axles from Strange Engineering.
Running an old school car with new school technology is something Jim Johnson does exceptionally well. His ATI Nostalgia Super Stock ’65 Plymouth Belvedere has a Muscle Motors 440 ci engine topped by dual Edelbrock carburetors that were built via a combination of efforts from Rob Mix Services and Quick Fuel Technology. Based out of Lansing, Michigan, Johnson’s pretty Plymouth actually runs on E85 ethanol and carries support from American Ethanol.
Attention to detail is Wiseco Street Outlaw driver Ray Litz’s specialty, and his sick valve covers are just another shining example of that. Litz’s car was completely rebuilt after a wreck at the World Cup Finals race in 2015, and this awesome art now tops both sides of his ERL-built, Garrett turbocharged ’98 Camaro’s 400 ci LS-based engine.
E3 Spark Plugs Top Sportsman contender Shawn Morrow put the finishing touches on his nitrous oxide huffing ’03 Mustang. Fresh off his win at the NMCA race in Atlanta, Morrow’s decided to mix things up a bit and has moved from his tried-and-true Goodyear tires to a new set of Hoosiers out back. He’ll be trying them out this weekend, and the car runs under the GAS Racing moniker, which stands for “Gretchen and Shawn” – a shout out to his wife. Bonus points if you can spot the Clemson University sticker representing where the couple met!
Many may recognize Mark Wells’ name from his record-setting blue and white Outlaw 10.5 Mustang (which he ran with industry legend David Hance), but Wells has jumped ship and has stepped into this gorgeous twin turbo Pro Mod Camaro. After a quick valve adjustment, Wells headed out for a test run but shook and spun the tires just shortly after launching. Originally built by Jerry Haas Race Cars for Pro Stock use, Wells’ Camaro is powered by a 527 ci Brad Anderson Enterprises engine that’s bolted to a three-speed automatic transmission and has been as quick as 5.89 in the quarter-mile and 3.87 in the eighth.
Running for the first time ever with a set of 94mm Precision turbos, Rob Valden and car owner Andrew Alepa are looking to get some data on their flawless Mickey Thompson Radial C7 Corvette. Alepa shared that the car is actually using the spare Hemi engine from Pro Line Racing as its main powerplant is in for rebuilding. During testing today, Valden cruised to an easy 4.14 at 191 mph pass. The guys are pretty happy with the data gathered, and Chase Driskell will be in charge of finessing the tune up all weekend.
Ed Brown of Mentor, Ohio, is making his NMCA debut this weekend in the Holley EFI Factory Super Cars class with his 2016 Ford Performance Cobra Jet Mustang. Brown also has a ’14 CJ that he is looking to sell since purchasing the S550-bodied machine, and ran a twin-turbo Mustang Mach 1 prior to that. The ’16 CJ hasn’t been modified much from the way it was delivered, other than tuning and some chassis work by Hutter Performance in Chardon, Ohio.
We caught Vince Khoury making some unapproved carburetor mods to his 2014 Mustang he is driving in Quick Lane of Downs Ford NA 10.5 competition. Actually we just had him pose for this photo, but the Khoury family has been working hard to get what was a body in white they purchased last October into the turnkey racer it is today. While they continue to field their red Trans Am in their local NA class, the Khoury’s built this Mustang—which features the 632ci GM Performance Parts Oldsmobile Pro Stock-headed big block from the Trans Am—just for NMCA competition.
Chevrolet Performance Stock racer Kevin Lumsden took a page out of fellow CPS competitor Glenn Pushis’ playbook and had an auxiliary coolant cooler fabricated for this weekend’s race. The reduction in the engine’s external temperature was immediately apparent and was an encouraging sign to Lumsden who is testing it out this weekend in hopes of getting more consistent performance from his DR525 LS3-based sealed crate engine from Chevrolet Performance.
Ron Potenzo of Oak Forrest, Illinois, is competing in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod this weekend with his good friend Bobby D’Andrea handling the driving duties. The car is the former Tim McAmis Corvette chassis of Mike Knowles, which he bought as a roller. Rob Adler of A-Team Speed Shop put together the 521ci AJPE Hemi engine boosted by twin Precision 88mm turbochargers. Dave Klaput of ProFormance Racing Transmissions assembled the Rossler three-speed transmission and has helped out with gearing up the Mark Williams reared as well.
Final Qualifying <<HERE>>.