The third round of qualifying is now underway here at Atlanta Dragway for the 9th Annual NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by Steeda Autosports. Saturday brings in the awesome car show and True Street class, and we’ll get into eliminations this afternoon.
Scotty Guiler came out strong at the season opener in Bradenton, scoring an event win and setting the pace in Edelbrock Xtreme Street. He looked to continue leading the class in Atlanta, but he had to pedal his Oldsmobile after it went into a pretty sizable wheelie. That left the door open for Jessie Coulter to charge ahead during the second round of qualifying when his turbocharged Third-Gen Camaro clocked a 7.47 at 182.8 mph to take the top spot going into round three.
Jessie Coulter is no stranger to taking the top spot in qualifying in his 1991 Camaro, and this weekend is no exception, as he repeated the feat with a 7.47 and 182 mph in Edelbrock Xtreme Street yesterday. Coulter credits his fresh Brian Tooley-built 388ci LSX engine, CRT-massaged 76mm Precision turbo and RPM Transmissions-built Turbo 400 for the power to push him there, and is confident he can coax even more out of the combination in his RC Components, Inc.-backed Camaro. “We’ll keep making it a little more robust,” said Coulter, who relies on Holley EFI for tuning.
Nick McGrath, owner of Straightline Performance, has officially thrown his hat into the Edelbrock Xtreme Street ring with the debut of a Fox body Mustang. In addition to the 25.2 cage built by his shop, the car features a 398ci LSX engine which began as a shortblock built by BTR and was completed by PER and a 76mm Precision turbo with plumbing by Straighline Performance. An RPM Transmissions-built Turbo 400 helps put power to the pavement, and McGrath, who blew the tires off on both of his passes yesterday, is readying to lay it down in today’s final round of qualifying. Helping him along the way are chassis expert Kevin Stevens, Zeke Velazquez and Don Bailey, who offers input on tuning with Big Stuff 3.
Detroit TrueTrac Nostalgia Muscle Car drivers Tim Clark of Rockingham, North Carolina and Ted Carter of Ellerbe, North Carolina, live just ten miles apart, and for nearly 20 years, they have traveled to NMCA races together. Clark cruises his 427ci Chevy engine-equipped 1967 Chevelle SS in the category’s C/10.50 index and Carter wheels his 1969 396ci big-block Chevy engine-equipped Chevelle in the category’s E/11.00 index. “Everything is going well for both of us this weekend, and we’re having a good time, like always,” said Clark.
Back in the pits after Q2, John Urist’s gorgeous Turn 14-backed VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw S550 Mustang has all four wheels and tires firmly planted on the ground and that’s where the Hellion Turbo “B-Team” driver is hoping it’ll stay for the third qualifying session. The turbocharged, MMR Gen X Coyote-equipped Mustang reared up earlier with an impressive wheelie, but the guys have added weight to the front end, reduced the travel in the front suspension, and adjusted the four-link to try and compensate for the unexpected air time.
216.03mph—that is the new top speed of the NMCA as Steve Summers unleashed a new record during the final round of qualifying. He upped the previous mark by two mph, which he set last month during the NMCA season opener. He is in the field with a 3.821 at 216.03 mph, putting him number two on the ladder.
While Ted Wood knows his way around bracket categories near his home in Mississippi, he’s testing the waters in MagnaFuel Open Comp this weekend, and he’s up for the challenge with his 1968 ‘Cuda powered by a 517ci Mopar engine built by Jeff Burns Racing Engines. He’s qualified eighteenth in the field of 26 with an .056 in the eight-second car going into today’s first round of eliminations, and he’s content with that, but admits that he’s still going to have his work cut out for him. “I’ve already found out that there are a lot of tough racers in this class, and it’s going to be hard to go rounds,” said Wood, with a laugh.
Andy Warren is doubling up this weekend, as he’s running his 1971 Caprice in NMCA Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle Car and his 2013 Mustang in NMRA Race Pages Ford Muscle. While the multi-time NMCA Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle Car champion discovered a crack in the trans pan under his Caprice and had to replace it with a new pan early in the weekend, he has since run a 10.09 on his 10.00 index in the car to qualify ninth in a field of 20. In the Mustang, he posted a 13.95, a tick under his 14.00 index, and is currently qualified eighth in a field of 9. For a recent story on Warren and his cars, click HERE
On the heels of a win in Mickey Thompson Radial Wars at the NMCA season opener in Florida in March comes a record for David Adkins. The Michigan-based driver clocked a 3.94 and 186 mph in qualifying yesterday in his 1963 Impala SS powered by a Baker Engineering-built 400 cubic inch LS engine, Baker Engineering-built billet inline LS heads and twin 88mm Garrett turbos, and that elapsed-time is the quickest ever for an LS engine. The feat marks the third time Adkins has been in the 3s, and all eyes are on him to see if he’ll go there again in today’s first round of eliminations.
New to the NMCA’s newest class, the Stock/Super Stock Comb, is Canton, Ohio’s Norman Saibene. Norman has driven plenty of race cars including a dragster, a Super Stock car, and a Comp Eliminator machine, but these days he’s driving his 1995 Camaro in C/SA competition and it’s LT1 engine propels it to 10.70-second elapsed times. “My friend Jim Bailey said he had a great time running in the class [Stock/Super Stock Combo], so I decided to try it out. So far, I love the event and the staff is so nice. I’m going to run the rest of the races,” gushed Norman. We’re glad to have you, sir.
Final qualifying is underway. Get all of the details right <<<<HERE>>>>
The first round of eliminations is underway. For results as each category has completed a round, click HERE