Thursday Coverage—16th Annual NMCA Quick Fuel Technology Bluegrass Nationals

With a line of trucks and trailers a half-mile long or more leading out of Beech Bend Raceway Park, it’s looking to be a killer weekend of racing at the 16th Annual NMCA Quick Fuel Technology Bluegrass Nationals this weekend. This event features the Dave Duell Classic, which will bring in 50 or more wheel-standing Nostalgia Super Stock machines, and it’s the first time that the NMCA Bowling Green event will host the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series (CPCS) presented by Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center as well. The CPCS will bring in four more heads-up and index racing classes with all vehicles being LS- or LT-powered. Today offers a test and tune session before we get into qualifying tomorrow. Check back here for updates, as we’ll be combing the pits and catching the test session throughout the day.

Returning to VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod competition here in Bowling Green are Dina and Andrew Parise and their blown Hemi Cadillac, Stella. After struggling with the car last year, the Parise’s went through the car in the off season and found some significant fueling issues that have since been resolved.

Winner at the season’s opening event in Bradenton is Stock/Super Stock Combo racer Jim Bailey, who we caught making some trailer modifications today to make it easier to tie down the front of his Drag Pak Challenger. The Stock/Super Stock Combo class has continued to grow with each event, so we’re expecting even more cars here at Beech Bend Raceway this weekend. The word is spreading about the class and the NMCA, and we’re happy to have the racers join us.

Joining us for the first time in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod is Larry Higginbottham of Warren, Ohio. Higginbottham has built his blown ’57 Chevy from the ground up himself, and will look to mix it up with the NMCA contingent this weekend.

New to the Pro Modified ranks in general is Radial Wars standout, Daniel Pharris, who built this immaculate GT350 Pro Mod machine in the off season. It packs Pro Line power, of course, in the shape of a twin-turbocharged Hemi, and Josh Ledford will be tuning it this weekend. Pharris now has some track time under his belt, but he’s still experimenting with the setup and some new parts, like the Goodyear tires under the carbon fiber body.

Chevrolet Performance Stock presented by Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center just got its newest member today. Scotty Duncan of Olive Branch, Mississippi, is fielding this ’85 Camaro that packs the requisite DR525 crate engine. Duncan’s father, Gary Duncan, has owned the car in the ’90s, successfully campaigned the car in NMCA Mean Street, and collected the class championship in 2007. Hopefully Scotty can be equally successful in the heads-up CPS ranks.

Winner of the then exhibition NMCA Pro Stock class in Norwalk, Ohio, Kevin Lawrence (at left) will be at the wheel of his own car here in Bowling Green as the Pro Stock contingent will vie for a class championship this year. Lawrence’s Chevy Cobalt packs 400 cubic inches of small-block Chevy power, built by Bob Wirth (at right), and this will be the first time out with the SBC combination. We can’t wait to hear him row the gears of his Liberty five-speed gearbox this weekend.

Holley EFI Factory Super Cars competitor Scott Libersher debuted a new COPO Camaro this weekend. The graphics package is a custom design, but it could sure pass for something the General would come up with. Libersher’s son, Lenny, will also be driving one of the family COPOs this weekend as well.

Those waiting for a Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to enter Holley EFI Factory Super Cars need to wait no longer, as Geoff Turk is here on the property with his 2015 machine. The Yorkville, Illinois, resident also happens to be a huge fan of other things that go fast, in particular military aircraft, as you can see from the graphics on the door. Turk’s 354ci-powered Challenger has dipped into the 8.20s and will surely be a “challenger” for the class win.

Former All-Motor competitor turned Real Street racer Rob Strong is back in action after a brief hiatus. His Monte Carlo SS still looks great, and Strong has made some weight improvements to the G-body, and some engine improvements to the LS-based power plant. A new Jesel belt drive and a new piston and ring combination should help internally, and thanks to Rodney Massengale, Strong got his hands on a Competition Induction Designs BE LS7 intake and then had Wilson Manifolds work its magic on it.

Today’s test and tune session went an hour into overtime, and the track definitely tightened up towards the end. Isaac Preston went for quite the ride in his ’69 Camaro, pedaling the turbocharged machine several times before it came down in a shower of sparks.


As we close out today, here’s the schedule for tomorrow’s fun.