The sun is shining down on the track surface at Route 66 Raceway in Joilet, Illinois, and the time is here for the 14th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing Presented by FST Carburetors. The crown jewel of the mid-season for both the NMRA and NMRA squads, the event will see both series run in tandem with racers seeking to visit the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle and stack up points for the season’s championship campaigns.
At the end of the weekend, the top guns from both series will square off in the newly christened Bob Curran Memorial Super Bowl Shootouts. In celebration of Bob’s life, the Curran family is offering a $500 bonus prize to each match-race winner. As usual the winning team will walk away with the prestigious Nitto Tire Diamond Tree ring.
The action all kicks off this afternoon with test ’n tune runs so racers can dial in their combos before the action revs up tomorrow with the first round of qualifying, and you can catch all the action live over on SpeedVideo.com.
Here’s how the action will go down today as test ’n tune runs begin with the NMRA ARP Open Comp class and wraps up with NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock.
When you arrive at the race, be sure to stop by the PowerMall on the Manufacturer’s Midway and pick up your NMRA and NMCA swag.
The VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod tandem of Greg Seth Hunter and Mark Luton of MMR arrived in Joliet on Tuesday to start prepping for the race. The event serves as the perfect mid-point for the West Coast team, as its cars live out out East during the season and need regular maintenance before each race. At this point in the season, they freshened both engines, changed fluids, swapped tires, and as crew chief Jeff Blosdale told us, “Both cars are happy and ready to kick ass!” NMRA fans will get a special treat at the 21st Annual Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals Featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival, as these two Coyote-powered machines will match race for the first time in front of the Ford crowd.
When the action winds down this evening, everyone can kick back and relax at the Nitto Tire Racer Appreciation Party under the car show tent from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Meet up with Nitto Tire, NMRA, and NMCA racers, crews, staff and media for cold beer, drinks, snacks and music. The party is open to everyone.
This race has a long history at Route 66 Raceway, as evidenced by this historical timeline of stickers on this support pillar that holds up the massive grandstands at the track. If you have been to the Super Bowl races over the years, this really puts things into perspective.
Racers were at the registration trailer early signing up for classes, with all of them setting their sights on appearing in the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle.
It’s the first race out for Bob Williams and his FST Carburetors NA 10.5 Corvette, which is running a fresh engine and new heads. He recently made the change to two four-barrel carbs, hence the unfinished body work on the hood. That blemish will soon be covered by a set of monster eyes in deference to the car’s nickname. He hopes to run sevens this weekend at the 14th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing Presented by FST Carburetors.
Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series racer Bryan Williams, of TNT Rescue, is on hand running his Pontiac. He wants to change up the combo, but is resisting the urge until the season comes to a close. He is focused on dialing in the setup based on the conditions, which are warm during the day and cool in the evenings. Look for a feature on Williams machine in an upcoming issue of Fastest Street Car magazine.
Rich Nye’s team readied his FST Carburetors NA 10.5 Mustang by recalibrating its oxygen sensors. He will also be acclimating the combination to a new, untested clutch this weekend with its first hits coming today.
The quickest octet of Dodge // Mopar HEMI Shootout competitors this weekend will match up in the Arrington Performance HEMI Quick 8 Presented by Red Line Oil class on Sunday. Specialists in the HEMI platform, Arrington Performance definitely knows how to put the sauce to your modern Mopar. If you want to put the HEMI sauce to your barbeque, Arrington also offers its own HEMI BBQ sauce.
Randy Dolensek’s Mercury Cyclone is a fan favorite in the ARP Nitrous Pro Street ranks, and it turns out he has help this weekend in the way of former Fun Ford Pro 5.0 champion and engine builder/tuner Chuck Samuel, a guy who certainly knows a thing or two about going fast in the quarter-mile.
Scott Brown has been itching to get back on track and burn some rubber in his Chevrolet Performance Stock CRC Camaro, which is powered by the class-required DR525 Chevrolet Performance crate engine.
Advanced Fuel Dynamics Limited Street racer Mike Ciborowski will be racing this weekend, but he also brought out another toy that he’s looking to sell and will be on display in the car show. It’s a Coyote-swapped 1983 Mercury Capri with the Crimson Cat option. Backed by a 4R70 transmission and topped off with a 150-shot of nitrous oxide, the Coyote 5.0-liter engine has pushed the 60,000-original-mile car to 9.80s.
New to the NMCA is Mike Thompson of Owego, New York, and his 1980 Chevy Camaro. Thompson, who along with his wife Robin runs TNT Performance Auto, currently holds the nitrous small-block record in Ultra Street with a 4.61 @150, and he hopes to make a big splash in the Edelbrock Xtreme Street ranks here this weekend. While Thompson performs most of the work on the car himself, he does get a little help from Jensen Engine Tech, Chris Uratchko, Slick Rick Racing Heads and Nitrous Outlet. Rhodes Custom Auto handled the chassis work and Thompson uses Holley EFI to run the 436ci small-block Chevy engine powering the Camaro, a car he has had for over 20 years.
Mike Recchia brought out his 2016 Corvette to play with in LME Street King this weekend. Recchia, who tunes his father Mike’s VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod Camaro that is also competing this weekend, stuffed the Corvette’s 6.2-liter LT1 engine with a custom camshaft and bolted on a Vortech S-trim that makes 8 psi of boost for around 660 rwhp. For this weekend, he’s added methanol injection to boost performance just a tad more.
The graffiti on Aaron Glaser’s Two-Face VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod Camaro was originally the result of the car contacting the wall, but over the last few months, they completely changed the paint scheme, giving the car a cool gray hue with new graffiti painted on the opposite side of the car.
Edelbrock Xtreme Street driver Bill Trovato will be making his first passes with his new RPM Transmissions TH400 three-speed automatic, which has replaced the Powerglide he previously used. He was able to reuse his torque converter, and the upstate, New York, resident also had his shocks tightened up and modified the front end for more suspension travel.
As the testing action wound down on the Route 66 Raceway quarter mile, the action heated up at the Nitto Tire Racer Appreciation Party under the car show tent. Promedia Director of Operations Chris Vopat served up ice-cold beverages to the fans and racers, while President Steve Wolcott served up snacks.