Wheelies were wild and elapsed-times were exceptional before rain fell over the Inaugural Comp Cams NMCA Memphis Homecoming yesterday at Memphis International Raceway. When it was determined that we wouldn’t be able to get back to racing at a reasonable hour, qualifying was set, with some classes having completed two rounds and some classes having completed three rounds. Now, we’re pumped for all of the pavement-pounding action to come in today’s eliminations, and among the drivers to watch will be Chuck Watson Sr., pictured above in the Mustang Cobra Jet he campaigns in Holley EFI Factory Super Cars. To view final qualifying results, click HERE
The rain has left the area and the forecast for today is calling for 71 degrees and sun. The track crew is putting the finishing touches on track prep and MagnaFuel Open Comp will be the first to fire up and fly for the first round of eliminations at approximately 8:45 a.m.
Greg Seth-Hunter, whose Mustang is pictured above, and his MMR teammate, Mark Luton, who also has a Mustang, traveled all the way from California to give it everything they have in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod. Seth-Hunter hauled to a 3.84 to qualify in the ninth spot, while his teammate Luton trapped a 3.80 to qualify in the fifth spot. We hope you can be here at Memphis International Raceway to check out today’s racing in person, but if not, catch it on a SpeedVideo live feed HERE
In ripping off a 7.81 in his Mustang, Rich Nye led qualifying in FST Carburetors NA 10.5 for the first time and picked up a new personal best elapsed-time. Helping him achieve that is the fresh 410 cubic-inch small-block Ford built by Gaby Labiosa of EIC Motorsports and topped with Edelbrock Victor heads under the hood of his Mustang, which features a G-Force five-speed transmission and Ace Racing Clutches clutch from Black Magic Clutches/Aronson Motorsports and has had chassis work by JSC Racing Fabrication. “We went from running 8.00s to where we are now thanks to horsepower from Gaby Labiosa of EIC Motorsports,” said Nye. “And also, thanks to my great friend, James Whitsel, who has been coming (to the races) with me for the last three years.”
Haley Burkhammer maintained her number-one qualifier status after the third and final round of qualifying on Saturday morning. She drove her Chevrolet Performance Stock Camaro entry to a 10.16 to stay ahead of defending champion Jesse Wilson, who clocked a 10.18 to take second. Haley’s father, Kevin Rounsavall, is also competing this weekend in Mickey Thompson Street Outlaw category with his nitrous-fed, 582ci big-block-powered Chevy Camaro built by Shahan Race Cars. As this race is also part of the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series featuring the LSX Shootout, Burkhammer will be collecting points for both series.
Bankston Boyz Racing had to shuffle their drivers around as Popeye, the Firebird that Tricia Musi normally drives, ate a cam bearing rather than his spinach on Saturday. Team owner Mike Bankston stepped out of his ARP Nitrous Pro Street Camaro so Tricia could continue collecting points towards her championship effort.
Having experienced his first Dodge // Mopar HEMI Shootout at the NMRA/NMCA All-Star race in Atlanta last month, Jim Smith of Jamestown, Tennessee, decided he liked the NMCA so much that he drove to Memphis to take part in the Inaugural NMCA Memphis Homecoming. Smith’s ride is a brand new 2019 Dodge Challenger 1320 edition that he picked up in February. It regularly runs 11.9s and Smith qualified for the Arrington HEMI Quick 8 in Atlanta. He has a good shot at doing the same here in Memphis as well. “Every time you get in it, it’s hard not to get on it—it begs to be driven,” Smith said of his new speed machine.
During yesterday’s downtime on track, there was still some racing happening, but in the pits as Easton Ray of Atoka, Tennessee, rolled out a small portion of his Hot Wheels collection and got to racing. Easton’s father, Gabriel, is competing in Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock with his 1964 Chevelle, and we wouldn’t be surprised Easton finds himself behind the wheel in the years to come.
With a fresh set of rear tires on his 1966 Chevelle powered by a big-block Chevy on a Dart block, reigning Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock champion Kevin Gass experienced some slippage between the tires and the wheels during qualifying, but he sought help from an on-site Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels representative, who took care of it with a bit of Hi-Tack. Gass, who had run to a 9.77 on a 9.75 to qualify in the fourteenth spot, was all set from there, as he won the first round of eliminations today and is preparing for the second round of eliminations.
Gordon Laster, who runs Bracket classes at tracks near his home in Oklahoma, is exploring MagnaFuel Open Comp territory for the first time this weekend. He was .042 on the tree to qualify in the eleventh spot in the category, and he got past the first round of eliminations with an 11.57 on an 11.54 in his 1967 Cougar. Laster has owned the classic car for 35 years, and said it currently has a 460 cubic-inch Ford under the hood. He also has a 1968 Cougar at home. “I had seen the Open Comp class in Fastest Street Car magazine and decided to come out,” said Laster. “It was a six-hour drive, but I’m glad I came. I like the class.”
More and more drivers with 2005 and newer Gen III-powered Challengers, Demons, Hellcats, Chargers, 300s and Jeeps are discovering the Dodge // Mopar HEMI Shootout at NMCA events this year. Through a special program, Dodge // Mopar covers the cost of the entry for the first 75 drivers who register for the category, and the collection of cars cruising in for it have a lot of attitude while adding to an already-impressive lineup of cars.
Andy Warren (right) and Chad Brewer (left) are in a neck-and-neck battle for the top spot in Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle Car, and this weekend they will also race in the ATI Performance Products Muscle Car Madness presented by Deuce Machining, which is a one-off shootout that includes Nostalgia Super Stock, Nostalgia Muscle Car, and Stock/SuperStock Combo racers all vying for over $2,600 in prize money.
In addition to bumping up the prize money for the Muscle Car Madness shootout, Tim Boggs of Deuce Machining was also passing out complimentary hats to all of the competitors as they loaded up in the staging lanes for the first round.
NMRA True Street winner Troy Eaton is here this weekend competing in Gear Vendors True Street, but his regularly low-8-second ’89 Mustang isn’t quite as quick as he just recently installed a new Holley EFI Dominator ECM and he’s still getting himself up to speed on the tuning and functions of the system. Eaton’s Mustang is stuffed with a big-bore 347ci small-block Ford engine with a Bullseye turbocharger.
The UPR Products Car Show is filling up today and we had to check out Michael Cole’s ’78 Chevy Scottsdale pickup. Cole has owned the super clean and restored short-bed for over 20 years, and while it once was a work truck, it has since been retired to show duty. The Jackson, Tennessee, resident swapped out the old 350 small-block for a modern 5.3-liter, LS-based engine and transmission from a newer Chevy truck.
The Tull brothers from Buffalo Springs, Tennessee, have been racing off and on in the NMCA since 1994, which is round about the time that Jamie Tull bought his 1967 Mustang. The blue coupe packs a 351 Windsor engine backed by a Top Loader four-speed transmission. His brother Randy Tull got a little wilder with the ’67 Mustang he has had since 1994, shoehorning a 5.0-liter Coyote engine from an F150 between the grafted in and modified Fox-body Mustang shock towers. Equally impressive is the big 76mm turbo that pushes 10psi of boost into the camera engine, and the Jerico four-speed transmission that he was able to mate up to it with the right Lakewood bell housing. The brothers perform a number of late-model engine swaps at their shop, GWT Engineering, in Selmer, Tennessee.
Get Eliminations results HERE