Drivers of the NMCA delivered exciting and extraordinary racing at the 12th Annual NMRA/NMCA Nitto Tire Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing, July 27-30, 2017 at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois, where the winners in the two series were pitted against each other to battle it out for the Super Bowl championship and the Nitto Tire Diamond Tree rings.
For the series’ quickest and fastest category, VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod, 28 drivers from the United States, Sweden, and Puerto Rico gave it everything they had in qualifying for the 16-car field, but it was Sweden’s Adam Flamholc who set the pace with a 3.80 in his Corvette. Sadly, his chances of advancing were cut short in the first round of eliminations, even though he got the win light, as his car impacted the wall. That opened the door for a final round that was to feature Billy Banaka and his Bankston Boyz Camaro and Jason Hamstra and the Camaro he debuted this year, but Banaka blasted to a 3.93 and the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle after Hamstra had trouble and couldn’t compete.
DeWayne Mills muscled his Camaro to a 3.90 to lead qualifying in Mickey Thompson Radial Wars, but sailing to the final were Marty Stinnett and his Mustang and Isaac Preston and his Camaro. Stinnett, who hammered the tree, took the win with a 3.97 to Preston’s 4.07.
While Jacky McCarty motored to a 4.37 in his Mustang to lead qualifying in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw, Manny Buginga and Rob Goss got to the final. There, Buginga went into a wicked wheelstand in his Mustang, but settled it enough to post a 4.50 to claim the victory over Rob Goss, who was forced to lift in his Challenger.
Jeff Rudolf rode Rudolf’s Sleigh — his Nova — to a 7.29 to lead qualifying in ARP Nitrous Pro Street, and didn’t let go until the final round. There, he lined up against Jill Hicks and her 1998 Avenger, who returned to competition at this event after two years off, and took the win with a 7.77 to Hicks’ lifting 10.91.
In Holley EFI Factory Super Cars, David Barton blasted to an 8.21 in Scott Libersher’s COPO Camaro to see his name on the top of the list of qualified entrants, but the final round was tailor-made for Libersher, who, in his COPO Camaro, cruised to an 8.28 to win over Chuck Watson, who turned in an 8.25 in his Cobra Jet.
In Dart Pro Stock, Kevin Lawrence lead-footed his Cobalt to a 7.19 to lead qualifying, and never looked back on his way to a 7.35 and the win over Pete Pawlak, who pushed his Firebird to a 9.04.
Jessie Coulter uncorked a 4.71 in his Camaro to lead qualifying in Edelbrock Xtreme Street, and kept the pace through the final, where he popped off a 4.74 to pull off the win over Camren Massenagale, who motored to a 4.77 in his Corvette.
In Boninfante Racing NA 10.5, David Theisen drove his Firebird to a 7.91 to earn his first top qualifier in the category, and he advanced to the final for a fight against Leonard Long and his Mustang. While Theisen was a tick quicker on the tree, he had to lift, leaving Long room to rocket past him and win with an 8.09.
In Chevrolet Performance Stock presented by Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center, Jesse Wilson managed to keep the spotlight on himself from start to finish, as he led qualifying with a 10.20 in his Camaro and defeated Haley Rounsavall and her COPO Camaro after a 10.15 to 11.37 match.
Dennis Breeden led qualifying with a 9.56 in his Challenger Drag Pak in Fastest Street Car Stock/Super Stock, but in the final, Daryl Bureski won with an 11.31 on his 11.28 dial in his 1970 Oldsmobile, while Fred Bartoli was the runner-up with a 9.99 on his 9.91 dial in his 1987 Camaro.
In Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle Car, where old school is the rule, Keith Egan led qualifying with a 12.25, but multi-time champion Andy Warren wrangled up another win in his Caprice with a 10.27 on his 10.25 index, while Mike Moistner ran to a runner-up in his Mustang with a 12.01 on his 12.00 index
Multi-time champion Doug Duell led ATI Performance Nostalgia Super Stock qualifying with a 9.50 in his Fury wagon, and he hung on through the final, where he faced Danny Jones and his Coronet. In the double breakout race, Duell drove to the win with a 9.48 on a 9.50 index while Jones drove to the runner-up with a 10.44 on a 10.50 index.
In MagnaFuel Open Comp, where drivers are often dead-on their dials, Ricky Pennington won with a 10.75 on his 10.75 dial in his Chevelle SS after Jake Winters turned on the red in his S-10.
In Gear Vendors True Street, Kevin McCotter managed the overall win with a 9.95 average in his Mustang, while Bill Schwarz sailed to the runner-up with a 10.39 average in his Chevelle. Brian Tabaica was the 10-second winner in his Jeep; Bob Hoffman was the 11-second winner in his Grand National; Clyde Bronson was the 12-second winner in his Cadillac CTS-V; Connor Lawson was the 13-second winner in his S-10; Thomas Fry was the 14-second winner in his Cobalt and Fallon Walker was the 15-second winner in a Ram 1500. In the True Street bracket class on Sunday, Keith DeLuca defeated Dan Fletter for the win.
For the eleventh year in a row, the event pitted NMCA winners against NMRA winners in a runoff. Fans crowded around the starting line — and Jeff Rudolf’s team dressed as Santa Claus and elves — to wildly cheer for their chosen team, and when it was all said and done, Team NMRA took the win, 9-5. Now, each NMRA team member is set to receive a specially designed Nitto Tire Diamond Tree Ring.
With only two events remaining on this year’s chase to the championships, drivers will undoubtedly be making a mad dash to the next one, the 16th Annual Honeywell Garrett NMCA All-American Nationals, Aug. 24-27 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
(Round-by-round eliminations can be found HERE)