By Mary Lendzion
With all of its nitrous purges and neck and neck racing, NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street is as commanding as it is competitive, and as intense as it is impressive.
Among the drivers diving into the class for the first time at the 18th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem presented by Holbrook Racing Engines in March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida was Rob Orofiamma of Bolton, Ontario.
The Canadian, who had been competing in the Ontario Street Car Association’s EZ Street class, began paying attention to NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street when he and his wife, Alesandra, and daughter, Milena, would watch all of the action at the NMCA event at Bradenton Motorsports Park as part of their annual vacation in Florida.
“It quickly became a goal of mine to enter an NMCA race in the United States, and then more specifically, to enter an NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street race and compete against those drivers,” said Orofiamma.
Fortunately, he didn’t have to do much to the Mustang he pilots, which is owned by the DiRienzo Brothers, to prepare it for NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street. With a chassis built by LE Chassis Engineering, it’s powered by a 565 cubic-inch Chevy engine built by Phillip Oakley of Oakley Motorsports which is topped with conventional ProFiler 174X heads and enhanced by an NOS fogger system plumbed and flowed by Monte Smith. It used to receive fuel from a carburetor, but a Holley EFI system, which Oakley and Orofiamma’s brother, Tony Orofiamma, use for tuning, was installed a few years ago. A Powerglide by Hutch’s Transmission Service is underneath to help plant power in the car which rolls on Mickey Thompson 29X10.5 slicks.
Orofiamma and his crew chief, Frank DiRienzo, who have a huge amount of help from crew members Dom and Anthony DiRienzo, Sam Iaboni and Julio Ricci, received a lot of attention as they rolled the Mustang out of the trailer at the 18th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem presented by Holbrook Racing Engines, and even more attention when Orofiamma was able to get back on the straight and narrow when the car made a monstrous move in the second round of qualifying.
“We had added more power because we knew we needed to have a more aggressive tune, but the car made a hard-left turn on me,” said Orofiamma.
In front of bleachers packed with fans, he went on to post a 4.83 to qualify in the fourth spot, and after pulling a little power out of the tune-up and making some adjustments to the shocks, he recorded a .010 reaction time and another 4.83 in the first round of eliminations, but it wasn’t quite enough to hold off eventual event runner-up Craig Cerniglia and his Chevelle.
“The air and altitude were a lot different from what we’re used to, and we had never raced at Bradenton Motorsports Park, so tuning was a little challenging, but we were still very happy with the weekend,” said Orofiamma. “The cars were great, the competition was great, and it was something special.”
Something special, indeed, and now, Orofiamma is gearing up for the Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA Power Festival presented by HPJ Performance, May 28-31, at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.
“The border from Canada to the United States has been closed because of the Coronavirus, and as long as they open it soon, our goal is to run as many NMCA events as possible, before our second child arrives at the end of July,” said Orofiamma, a diesel mechanic at a Ford dealership. “We’re anxious to get the car dialed in for all of the tracks on the NMCA circuit.”