While 2015 Detroit TrueTrac Nostalgia Muscle Car champion Andy Warren was ready for the first NMCA race of 2016 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in March, his ’71 Caprice was not, so he climbed into Chip Rollins’ ’82 Malibu wagon for the weekend and wound up in the winner’s circle.
“The Caprice was going through some serious upgrades, and was up on jackstands at the time,” said Warren. “I was able to win an event in a car I had never stepped foot in, and that is a huge accomplishment.”
Back in his own car for the event at Atlanta Dragway in April, he replaced his previous best elapsed-time and mph of 10.24 and 128 mph with a 9.96 and 132 mph in a test pass, which moved him from the class’ 10.50 index to the 10.00 index. Helping him achieve that was his recently-freshened Knieriem-built engine, which was taken from 427 cubic-inches to 434 cubic-inches and packed with Scat rods and crank, plus Ross pistons, and then topped with new AFR 245cc heads, an Edelbrock intake and a Quick Fuel Black Diamond-series 1050 carburetor. He then ran to the second round of eliminations at that event.
“It was a huge achievement getting the big Caprice into the nine-second zone,” said an excited Warren. “AFR stepped up to the plate with my engine build, and was able to make the little 434 breathe.”
He followed that with a runner-up finish at the event at Beech Bend Raceway in May, and earned his second win of the year at the event at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana in June. While he exited competition early at the races at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois in July and Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio in August, he racked up enough points to earn the 2016 Detroit TrueTrac Nostalgia Muscle Car championship.
“2016 was interesting,” said Warren, who now has a whopping five Nostalgia Muscle Car championships under his belt. “I owe this championship to Chip Rollins for allowing me to drive his car at the season opener in Florida. I have a few upgrades planned for the Caprice, and they include a transmission freshen-up from Bilbrey Automotive, new American Racing Headers, new FlowMaster Outlaw II mufflers and some small weight-reduction projects to help get the car into the 9.80 range. I’ll be back in 2017, hoping to keep the championship-train rolling.”
The consistently-capable Warren, whose brother, John Warren, is a standout in Edelbrock Xtreme Street, will be celebrated at the NMCA Awards Ceremony, Dec. 9 at the Indiana Convention Center.