Sunday Coverage—15th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem

It’s eliminations day here at Bradenton Motorsports Park. Qualifying is complete and it’s time to whittle down the racers until we find the winners who will get to visit the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle. To see how the racers qualified in their respective classes, follow this link <<<HERE>>>>.

Chevrolet Performance Stock presented by Scoggin Dickey Parts Center saw all of the competitors find performance gains over the season break, but none more so than Leo, Indiana’s Glenn Pushis. The 2016 class champion claimed the number-one qualifying spot with a 10.15 elapsed time at 130 mph—the first time anyone in the class has been in the teens.

A new edition to the Muscle Car Mayhem lineup for 2017 was the special AFCO Racing Nostalgia Super Stock vs. Nostalgia Muscle Car competition presented by Rollins Automotive. Competitors were chosen based on their 2016 points standings and qualifying this weekend, and one of the benefits of this was the pairing of Nostalgia Super Stock’s Doug Duell against Nostalgia Muscle Car’s Andy Warren. These are two of the most winningest drivers in NMCA history, and both came in as the 2015 class champion for Duell and the 2016 champion for Warren—both have collected past championships as well. In the round of champions, Warren defeated Duell, but would later red light in the final round. “The event was a rush altogether, and being able to race the multi-time champion was the icing on the cake,” said Warren. “Thank you to AFCO and Rollins Automotive for helping with the class.” With Warren turning on the red, Watkinsville, Georgia’s Brent Wheeler was able to cruise to the Muscle Car Mayhem victory in his ’66 Coronet.

In flying to a 7.848 in his Book Racing-powered Mustang, Boninfante Racing NA 10.5 driver Robbie Blankenship achieved a personal best in NMCA as well as a number two qualified spot right behind Mike DeMayo, Jr., who flew to a 7.841 in his EIC Motorsports-powered Mustang. “I’m pretty happy about that,” said Blankenship, who was poised to go even quicker but sat out the final round of qualifying as he waited for a fresh set of valvesprings to arrive. Now that he has that fresh set of valvesprings, however, he’ll be one to watch going into today’s eliminations.

Despite breaking a steering knuckle in his nitrous-gulping big-block Chevy-powered 1968 Camaro during qualifying and taking a trip to TRZ for replacement parts, ARP Nitrous Pro Street driver John Trobiani is focusing on the positive. “I’ve found some things in the chassis this weekend, and the car will now be better all around the board,” said Trobiani, who qualified fifth with a 7.57 and is readying his four-link car for today’s first round of eliminations.

Soon after driving his Mustang to the 2016 ARP Nitrous Pro Street championship, Joe Bucaro declared that he intended to defend it in 2017, and he’s off to a solid start. He had his nitrous-sipping small-block Ford freshened by Zapp Racing Engines in the off season and got it back last week, and with no dedicated test session to dial in, he managed a 7.30 and a third qualified spot going into today’s first round of eliminations.

Local racer Hannah Sanders likes to be behind the wheel of a race car, and more often than not, she does well when she is. She was entered in Flex-a-Lite Open Comp, Bracket 2 and VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw at last weekend’s NMRA event, and this weekend, she’s laying down mid-tens and going rounds behind the wheel of her naturally aspirated small-block Ford-powered 1986 Mustang in MagnaFuel Open Comp, despite leaving the line in second gear because of a hurt part inside of her Powerglide. Hanna also races a 1993 Mustang in Ultra Street at tracks across the country, and its nitrous-sipping small-block Ford helps deliver her to high fours in the eighth-mile. “I love racing both cars,” said Hanna. “The Open Comp car is fun because it requires me to think more, and the heads-up car is fun because I like to let go of the button and see what it does.”

VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw driver Charlie Cooper came to this event looking to back up his win at last weekend’s 23rd Annual Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout presented by Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords, and he’s doing whatever it takes to do that in his PTP Racing-tuned Mustang featuring a Precision turbo-fronted small-block Ford recently freshened by MCRP. After making a test pass with wheelie bars on the car, he and his crew decided to remove them until they have more time to make the necessary adjustments. Then, after his starter failed in the staging lanes and prevented him from taking part in the third qualifying session, they replaced it, and while they were at it, they put a fresh set of headgaskets on his engine. Cooper, who qualified third with a 4.47, just advanced over Jacky McCarty in the first round of eliminations when McCarty had issues and was pushed back.

Paul Roderick’s 2017 Cobra Jet may only be a week-old, but he has already introduced it to the dragstrip. With a 5.0L and a 2.9 Whipple supercharger under the hood, he drove the car to an 8.37 in testing earlier in the week, and in Holley EFI Factory Super Car this weekend, he qualified fifth with an 8.43, and had just won the first round of eliminations when we stopped by his pit area. “Now that we’ve got bite, we want to turn it up, and hopefully, we can go 8.20s or 8.teens,” said Roderick, whose wife of 37 years, Janet, is on-site supporting him and whose grandchildren, Hunter, Levi and Kylie are watching the SpeedVideo live feed.

David Adkins drove to an incredible 3.99 to lead qualifying in Mickey Thompson Radial Wars in his stunning 1963 Impala SS, and now, several rounds later, he’s waiting to line up alongside Nick Agostino and his 2000 Camaro for the final round. The long and lean blue and grey machine features a 400ci LS engine by Baker Engineering, Inc. topped with a Thomsen Motorsports billet intake and complemented by twin 88mm Garrett turbos. A Rossler Turbo 400 and ProTorque converter take care of things below, and TJ Grimes of Baker Engineering, Inc. tackles the tune-up.

Ken Weilbrenner was ready for a new season of Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle Car and recorded a .001 reaction time in his 1970 Chevelle before driving  to a 9.751 on his 9.75 index to lead qualifying and going two rounds. His chock-full of character car, which packs a 565ci BES-built big-block Chevy and had spent much of last season going into wheelies, has been a bit more tame at the hit this weekend, and Weilbrenner attributes that to moving weight from the back to the front of the car and making shock adjustments.

For information on Eliminations as they come in, click <<<<HERE>>>>