It’s going to be a great weekend of muscle car drag racing here at Summit Motorsports Park as the 18th Annual NMCA All-American Nationals presented by Whipple Superchargers and featuring the 50th Anniversary Chevrolet Performance COPO Camaro Shootout presented by COPO Parts Direct is set to celebrate the incredible COPO Camaro legacy at one of the biggest muscle car events of the year.
Today begins with a test and tune session and then qualifying begins at 11:15. If you can’t make it to Norwalk, Ohio, to see the race in person, be sure to visit www.speedvideo.com and watch the live feed. And as always , we’ll keep you up to date on what’s happening right here at RacePagesDigital.com.
Last night featured the Racer Appreciation Happy Hour & Ice Cream Social featuring Norwalk’s iconic 1 lb. scoops of ice cream. Today, COPO attendees will enjoy a COPO Camaro Shootout luncheon, presented by Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center, followed by an end-of-day Happy Hour and free parts raffle with upwards of $10,0000 in product up for grabs exclusively to COPO owners.
Representatives from Chevrolet Performance and Scoggin Dickey Parts Center are here this weekend to check out the action and talk to enthusiasts and racers on the manufacturer’s midway.
For the past few years, Eric Simpson (at left) has come to Norwalk to run his white 427-powered, COPO Camaro in the the FAST Factory Stock category. This year, he’s joined by his brother Owen Simpson (at right) whose Hugger Orange 1969 COPO Camaro has been fitted with the old drivetrain out of the white car. The brothers, who hail from Glencoe, Ontario, Canada, duplicated the FAST tricks that get the cars to hook on the bias-ply Goodyear Polyglas tires, and they hope to get an 11.50 out of it before the weekend is over.
Rich Rinke of COPO Parts Direct is not only the presenting sponsor of the COPO Camaro Shootout, but he’s also racing a pair of COPOs this weekend. One is the 427 car in the foreground, and the car in the back is a 302-spec ride with Direct Injection.
Eric Beauch of Temperance, Michigan, is competing in Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle Car this weekend with his 1969 Buick Gran Sport 400. He’s owned the car for 17 years and pulled the original drivetrain out as he began racing it right away. It’s now packing a 462ci Buick powerplant breathing through an old Quadra-Jet carburetor and Beauch will be running on an 11.75 index.
Having experienced the NMCA All-American Nationals as a spectator last year, Bob Schmalz of Poland, Ohio, is hoping to get a handle on his 1969 Corvette, which he’s had for just a couple of years. It’s naturally a G Stock Auto machine, but he’s running with the F Stock A class this weekend in Coan Engineering Stock/Super Stock Combo category, and hopes to have the bugs worked out of his 350ci combination.
We weren’t able to find the owner of this Burnished Brown DZ302 Camaro, but there can’t be a whole lot of these cars in existence in this color. It sure was mint and we’d like to give the four-speed a good work out.
While we’re used to seeing Mike Moistner mash the pedal in his 1967 Mustang fastback in Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle Car, he has been in his 1985 Mustang, which has plates and is insured, since spring. That’s because he’s in the process of freshening the 390 cubic-inch FE engine from the 1967 Mustang fastback, and upgrading its factory suspension to include CalTrac bars. “I needed to tighten up the suspension to help me stay competitive,” said Moistner, who is dialing into the 12.00 index. “I should have the car back out next spring.”
Fresh off a win in the R&R Auto Body, DeCerbo Construction and P2 Contracting Rumble Wars Extreme 8 at the 42nd Annual Kelly Night Under Fire two weeks ago at Summit Motorsports Park, Jason Kelso of Clarkston, Michigan is preparing to pound some pavement in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod in his 1970 ‘Cuda-bodied car, and he’s packing a lot of power with a 521 cubic-inch Hemi by Level Performance and a supercharger by Al Billes. Kelso, who stopped the clocks at 3.82 and 195 mph in the eighth-mile at the 42nd Annual Kelly Night Under Fire and has run 5.86 and 244 mph in the quarter-mile, said the car is currently set up in quarter-mile trim even though VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod competes on the eighth-mile, and that he’s making a few adjustments, including to his converter, with the intention of being competitive in the category where the current elapsed-time record is a 3.700 held by fellow Michigander Don Walsh Jr. “I need to find 3.70s somewhere this weekend,” said Kelso, as he looked over his car.
Randy Dolensek comes to this race ninth in ARP Nitrous Pro Street points, and has every intention of moving up in his green machine of a 1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II. His chances are good, as he has a very energetic nitrous-enhanced 632 cubic-inch Ford engine built by legendary NMRA Pro 5.0 driver Chuck Samuel, who also is laying the tune for the Wisconsin-based driver, and he has been picking up pass after pass. He recently clocked 4.50s, but 4.40s could be coming this weekend.
Scott Williams, who has been racing his 1965 Chevelle for 23 years, used to compete in the no-longer-contested NMCA Pro Stock category, and now competes in the series’ MagnaFuel Open Comp category. The car packs under its pretty hood a naturally aspirated big-block Chevy, and in it, Williams has wheeled to 8.0s, but slows it to 8.50s to be in the allowable elapsed-time range for the category. The Armada, Michigan resident, who earned a runner-up finish at the 14th Annual Nitto NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing presented by FST Carburetors at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois last month, is also competing in his 2019 COPO Camaro — number 18 off the assembly line — in the 50th Anniversary COPO Camaro Shootout presented by COPO Parts Direct this weekend.
Dave Watt made the trip from Indiana — with his super-cool 1971 Duster — to take part in the Cor-A-Vent and Autorama Auto Sales Factory Stock category, which is running in conjunction with the Factory Appearing Stock Tire (F.A.S.T.) group this weekend. Watt shared that he bought the car in 2015, and recently completed a total rotisserie restoration himself before putting a 340 cubic-inch engine under the hood.
Jim Boburka of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has been around the NHRA Factory Stock FS/C block and is a two-time NHRA Super Stock champion, but he jumped into the 50th Anniversary Chevrolet Performance COPO Camaro Shootout presented by COPO Parts Direct this weekend, and it marks his NMCA debut. His car — number 007 off the assembly line — features a naturally aspirated 427 cubic-inch engine, but it’s not the same one that came with the car, as he wanted to keep that one as-is. “Everyone here has been really nice, and everyone has made it easy for the racer,” said Boburka. “I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend, and I want to win.”
Daren Poole-Adams brought out his fleet of COPO Camaro and is racing one of them in the COPO Shootout. His friend Rodger Johnson is piloting another as is Holley EFI’s own Robin Lawrence.
Here at Summit Motorsports Park, the venue’s famous $1 per pound of ice cream is a hot commodity. The Ford Performance team made sure it was first in line to grab some of the delectable treat.
Terry Pennington of the Baskin Truck Sales Factory Appearing Stock Tire racers clicked off a 9-second pass in his L-88 Corvette last year at this event, and went on to claim the class record at the NMCA finals in Indiana a month later. With good, cool weather this weekend, he just might be able to lower that record.
Famed LSX racer Mark Carlyle has branched out with the cars coming out of his Carlyle Racing stable, and is competing this weekend In the Dodge // Mopar Hemi Shootout with a Plum Crazy Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye that has run deep in the 9s.
Don Walsh Jr. rocketed to the top of the VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod round one qualifying sheet with a blistering 3.68 at 214 mph from his twin-turbocharged C7 Corvette.
Qualifying is underway, and it’s good. For results as we receive them, click HERE
Here is Saturday’s schedule