There was everything from wild wheelies to close calls on Friday, the first day of qualifying, at the 18th Annual NMCA All-American Nationals presented by Whipple Superchargers at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. Among the drivers who set the pace in their categories was reigning Chevrolet Performance Stock presented by Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center champion Jesse Wilson, who wheeled his Camaro, pictured, to a 10.17 and 130 mph. The action is set to amplify today at the event also featuring the 50th Anniversary COPO Camaro Shootout presented by COPO Parts Direct and the Cobra Jet Showdown presented by Watson Racing.
The cars have fired and have taken to well-prepped track surface.
Switching gears from NHRA Pro Stock to the Holley EFI Factory Super Cars category is the Mountain View Tire & Auto Center team of Nick Mitsos. While the Pro Stocker currently sits, Mitsos has a couple of in-house engine builders looking for ever more horsepower from the LSX platform in order to push their 2019 COPO Camaro to the top of the sheets. Driving the purple machine is Ryan Priddy, with Bobby Warehan handling crew chief duties and Erik Jones performing the magic on the computer. We caught up with the team while they were finishing up swapping engines that they were comparing during testing.
While Ed Brady, right, has been driving a blue Mustang belonging to FST Carburetors NA 10.5 hot shoe Leonard Long, left, in Pro Stick Racing and bracket categories on the East Coast, he’s joining Long in FST Carburetors NA 10.5 competition this weekend. The car packs a 408 cubic-inch Ford which Jay Zolko helped them assemble. It’s topped with D3 heads massaged by Visner Engine Development, and a clutchless five-speed from Long’s company, G-Force Transmissions helps put the power down. “We did a lot of work to the combination to be ready for this weekend, and we’re hoping to run 7.90s,” said Brady, who is close with the 8.00 he ran yesterday. With that elapsed-time, he’s in the fifth spot going into today’s qualifying.
Among the many eye-catching cars here this weekend is the 1963 Pontiac Tempest owned by Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock driver Gary Beemer. It was a show car before it was a race car, and it boasts a 421 Pontiac Super Duty engine which helps Beemer dial into the category’s 11.50 index. When we asked Beemer what attracts him to the Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock category, he said it’s the cool, colorful, classic cars. “They’re all so badass,” he added.
FST Carburetors NA 10.5 driver John Langer ran into some trouble on the way to the race this weekend when a motorist on the freeway clipped another motorist who then came into Langer’s motorhome and trailer. Langer is sure that the motorhome and enclosed trailer would have tipped had it not been for the large freeway sign that they came to rest upon. The motorhome and trailer were damaged, but Langer’s 1969 Firebird was not, and after talking with police at the scene of the accident, he motored on to the race here in Norwalk, Ohio. It didn’t take his focus from the task at hand, as he flew to an 8.05 and is qualified in the seventh spot with more qualifying to come today.
NMCA MagnaFuel Open Comp competitor David Wilson pulled off a personal best of 9.26 and 143 mph in his 1993 Mustang yesterday, and is happy to report that the car powered by a small-block Ford and Turbo 400 is running well and ready for more qualifying today. The Inkster, Michigan resident hasn’t had very much seat time in MagnaFuel Open Comp, as it’s only his second time competing in the tough-as-nails category, but he’s hoping that he can get past the first round of eliminations and go from there. “There’s a lot of very tough competition in this class, and you really have to be on your game,” said Wilson.
Robbie Blankenship comes to this race eighth in FST Carburetors NA 10.5 points, and he’s ready, willing and able to move up. His Mustang is motivated by a 399 cubic-inch engine built by Bob Book, and it helped him readily handle a 7.83 to take the second spot in the first round of qualifying yesterday. Blankenship, of Florida, told us that he had recently replaced his ProFlite transmission with a Liberty’s five-speed transmission, but didn’t have time to test prior to this event, so he pulled it out and will give it another go as soon as he’s able.
Jeff Bourcier proudly powers his Arnie Beswick tribute car, a 1963 Tempest, in Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock. The North Branch, Michigan resident said his friend and fellow racer, Gary Beemer, encouraged him to join the class five years ago, and he’s been having a ton of fun ever since. The chock-full of character car has a 455 cubic-inch Pontiac engine under the hood, and Bourcier has chosen to compete in the category’s 10.25 index. When we stopped by his pit area, Bourcier, who earned a runner-up finish in the No Box category at the 28thAnnual Ames Performance Pontiac Nationals a few weeks ago at Summit Motorsports Park, was replacing a bolt that had broken on the harmonic balancer during the first round of qualifying, but said he would be ready to go for the next round of qualifying.
When Jeff Toepper was performing a complete restoration on his beautiful 1969 Camaro several years ago, he was planning to drive it only on the street, but then he discovered NMCA Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle Car and decided that racing the car on the strip would be just as nice, if not even better. The car gets from the starting line to the finish line with a 383 cubic-inch Chevy engine on a block which he decked for more compression last winter, and Toepper fits nicely into the category’s 11.75 index. “I’m qualifying well, and I’m working on going more rounds,” said Toepper.
The car show here at Summit Motorsports Park has some super clean and beautiful cars today. Check out this Boss tribute pro-tourer that’s packing a 4-valve Mod motor with a supercharger.
Edelbrock Xtreme Street champ Jessie Coulter had the replacement motor in the foreground in his Camaro for the last race in Joliet, but for this race he dropped in another LSX bullet. Unfortunately he and his team didn’t like the performance and were swapping motors back between rounds.
Zach Ross of Belmont, Ohio, ran this event last year and he’s back trying his hand at Coan Engineering Stock/Super Stock Combo with his 2010 Dodge // Mopar Drag Pak. Ross has owned the car for 4 years and is competing in the class along with his father, who’s driving the classic Challenger in the background.
Rich Concato excised the transmission from the Clemente/Concato Mustang as it wasn’t working correctly during the second round of qualifying for Fuel Systems Technology NA 10.5. The team suffered an engine failure on the dyno prior to the race, and are hoping to turn things around this weekend with a new bullet between the front fenders.
Mickey Thompson Tires’ Tommy Kundrik (at left) is getting to drive one of Scott Libersher’s (at right) COPO Camaro in the Chevrolet Performance 50th Anniversary COPO Camaro Shootout. Kundrik had a close race in the first round of eliminations, but came out on top.
Leah Pritchett is normally wheeling this Dodge // Mopar Drag Pak, but she other obligations. The team, however, has parts to test, so crew chief Kevin Helms jumped behind the wheel and qualified the machine 18th with an 8.02 at 171.05 mph.
Engine builder Chris Holbrook topped the time qualifying sheet of Holley EFI Factory Super Cars after clocking a 7.786 at 174 mph from the Varsity Ford-sponsored machine.
The FAST racers have been making plenty of hits this weekend, and it’s taken its toll on a number of them. Front runner Terry Pennington suffered a broken rearend in his C3 Corvette and Don Giannone had his starter hang up on his 1966 Chevelle. Luckily GM starters are still easy to come by and easy to replace, and he had it repaired in short order.
Also competing in FAST’s Factory Stock category are the father and son team of Bruno and Adrian Beltrame. Bruno owns a number of low-mileage classic muscle cars and his L-78 1969 Camaro has just 20,000 miles and still wears the original paint. Adrian’s 1969 Firebird is still a spring chicken, no pun intended, with 87,000 miles on the odometer. The Firebird is originally a 350 H.O. car that has been updated to Ram Air IV specifications with a 400ci engine. Both cars are stick shifts, with the Camaro having a face-plated Liberty box, and the Firebird a Richmond four-speed.
Doug Duell is pulling double duty this weekend, as he’s driving his 1969 Barracuda in Coan Engineering Stock/Super Stock and his 1964 Fury wagon in Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock. The Barracuda is busy making power with a new 383 cubic-inch Wedge engine by Jeff Taylor. It only has a few passes on it, but it’s working well, as the Indiana resident is currently qualified in the third spot in Coan Engineering Stock/Super Stock with a 10.70. Over in Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock, Duell a multi-time champion in the category, is currently qualified in the tenth spot with a 9.52 on a 9.50 index in the Fury wagon with a 540 Indy Wedge, which he referred to as Steady Eddie. From here, he and his Facebook famous dogs, will head to the NHRA Chevrolet Performance US Nationals.
Tony Patterson owns this 2019 COPO Camaro that was painted in GM Sandalwood Beige, a color from an early Chevy Monte Carlo that ended up being sprayed on Patterson Elite’s first race car, a ’66 Chevy Nova that started it all, according to Allan Patterson. This car is powered by the 427ci LSX engine and Tony’s nephew Todd Patterson has driving duties this weekend.
John Stanley and his Stanley & Weiss Pro Mod team have been killing it this weekend, setting personal bests every time out in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod. In the final round of qualifying, Stanley drove his blown Cadillac to number two on the sheet with a 3.688 at 191.51 mph, making him the only other car to run in the 3.6s right behind pole sitter Don Walsh who clocked 3.66 in his Precision turbocharged Corvette.
Matt Keiser was wowing the crowd on Thursday and Friday, as his new Ford 428 FE engine in his ’68 1/2 Mustang was loving the sticky track and the cool crisp air. Unfortunately, the wheels-up antics claimed some headers tubes that jammed the steering, and some tie rod ends that became less than straight. Repairs were made, however, and Cobra Jet is back in action today.
For qualifying results as we receive them, click HERE.
For elimination results as we receive them, click HERE