19th Annual Whipple Superchargers NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem — Friday Coverage

With cooler air rolling into Bradenton Motorsports Park, the 19th Annual Whipple Superchargers NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem Presented by Holbrook Racing Engines picks up speed today as racers enter the first two rounds of qualifying. These runs will indicate who is on the right track and who needs more adjustments before the qualifying wraps up and eliminations begin tomorrow. Stay tuned to this page for more updates from the pits and the track, and for qualifying results as we get them, click HERE

Friday’s action at the 19th Annual Whipple Superchargers NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem Presented by Holbrook Racing Engines unfolds like this.

He’s been waiting a long time for the opportunity, but MagnaFuel Open Comp champion Cameron Bowles will finally get behind the wheel of his grandfather’s Dart NA 10.5 Mustang, which last competed in the class in 2015 with Don Bowles behind the wheel. Cameron’s father, Donnie Bowles, is acting as crew chief this weekend as the duo blows out the cobwebs on the FR9-powered machine. The Mustang last clocked 8.0s in the quarter-mile in competition, and Cameron will work toward that as he gets used to the Coal Digger VIII throughout the 2021 season.

Tom Blincoe is debuting his new David Monday Race Cars-built C7 Corvette, which has been equipped with a new DMRC big-block engine and twin turbochargers. Look for a full feature on the car in Fastest Street Car magazine and on Race Pages Digital.com.

We caught up with Scott Williams as he was draining the break-in oil out of the fresh, 588-cube engine in his ’65 Chevelle. In addition to the rebuilt engine, he made the switch to a Holley Dominator EFI system supported by an Accufab throttle body and a MagnaFuel fuel system. In testing on Thursday, the combination was definitely working as it delivered an unexpected wheelstand on a soft tune-up. Williams just got the car running at the beginning of the week, so he is still getting used to the new setup, but he expects it could eventually be capable of high sevens even though he can only run as quick as 8.50 in MagnaFuel Open Comp.

This unassuming 1994 Mustang Cobra stood out among the race cars in the pits, and it turns out that it splits duty between being a museum car and drag strip commuter. Formerly owned by Ron Woodard, a business partner of MagnaFuel Open Comp racer Susan Roush McClenaghan’s father Jack, it is a meaningful car to her. Woodward was always a supporter of her efforts to set up and maintain the Roush Automotive Collection museum, so Susan saved the car from the company car pool and now it enjoys a special place as part of the Roush Drag Team when it is not on display.

Over the offseason, Jeff Toepper stuck with the proven combo of his silver 1969 Camaro. Only adding a fresh set of Afco shocks and performing the usual maintenance before the season opener, the Eaton Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle racer was dialing in his combo to run high 11s. He was playing with the weight to get it closer to his ideal elapsed time and each change got it a bit closer to the target.

VP Racing Fuels is on the property supplying racers with the high-octane fuel they need to compete this weekend at Bradenton Motorsports Park. Much of the fuel on hand is preordered by racers in advance of the event to make certain they have just the right volume on hand for a full weekend of racing.

Running in the Bracket class at the 19th Annual Whipple Superchargers NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem Presented by Holbrook Racing Engines, Rene Meierhofer hadn’t raced his Banana Racing Bunch machine since last year’s NMCA season opener. Powered by a 406-cube engine backed by a Powerglide and a 9-inch rear, it should run mid-fives in the eighth as he dials in the suspension.

Noah Winters is carrying on a family tradition by racing the ’71 Nova that his dad used to race. Originally a Florida car, this is its first time back in the Sunshine State in decades, as it has been in his Michigan family for 25 years. Powered by a 396ci big-block supported by a Turbo 350 auto and a 12-bolt rear, the car is aimed at a 11-flat dial-in. Normally Winters only makes the races in the Midwest, but he’s been having good luck with the car lately so he decided to make the long trip down to compete in Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle at the 19th Annual Whipple Superchargers NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem Presented by Holbrook Racing Engines.

Steven Wardlow and Dan Kroll decided two weeks ago to go Xtreme Street racing, and quickly began converting Wardlow’s 1969 Chevy Nova from Hot Rod Drag Week spec to NMCA trim. Between the fenders of the all-steel machine is Kroll’s 582ci big-block, which Kroll had to buy back after recently selling it. With PKRE nitrous equipment on board and Wardlow’s daughter, Nicole, and nephew, Tristan, helping with crew duties this weekend, the Steven Wardlow Racing team will start creeping up on the combination this weekend.

Holley EFI Factory Super Car competitor Jesse Alexandra went for a wild ride Thursday in testing. His COPO Camaro carried the front wheels off the starting line, and as he approached the eighth-mile, the car suddenly reached skyward and then pivoted off of the wheelie bar, which sent it onto one back wheel, and then no wheels. A post-run inspection revealed no damage to the car, but Alexandra took the opportunity to pull a header off and have a crack near the EGT bung repaired so that he can get accurate data from the Ray Barton Racing Engines power plant.

Jeff Bragg used to run his 2017 COPO Camaro in the Holley EFI Factory Super Cars class, but decided that the Coan Stock/Super Stock Combo class was a lot less work and a lot more fun. The Fort Myers, Florida-based general contractor relies on Patterson Elite for his engine work, and the addition of a Magnuson supercharger has the COPO turning high 7s in the quarter-mile.

Wayne Roberts, who has earned a runner-up finish in All Motor at his home track, Milan Dragway in Michigan, has been working toward a final round appearance in Dart NA 10.5, and decided that he wanted a bit more power under the hood of his GSX. So, he recently replaced his Buick engine with what he referred to as a “big-block GM race engine” built by fellow racer — and reigning ARP Nitrous Pro Street champion — Vince Khoury. “We made a couple test passes with the new engine late last year, and we had it on the dyno, but we haven’t had any full pulls yet,” said Roberts. “Hopefully it will get us to our first 7-second pass and help us go rounds in Dart NA 10.5. Our Buick enthusiasts might be sad that we’re not running a Buick anymore, and I’m a little sad about it, too, but we wanted to try this.”

Glenn Pieschke has run a best of 8.60 with a supercharged 350 cubic-inch engine is his COPO Camaro in Holley EFI Factory Super Cars, but the Ocala, Florida-based driver who also comptes in NHRA Factory Stock Showdown, recently swapped to a smaller supercharger pulley and performed some chassis work, and he’s hoping to pick up to 8.50s as a result. That’s proof that Pieschke — who joked that he’s just here to help other racers move up in points — has competitiveness mixed in with his modesty.

Bryan Williams only got to race once in 2020 at the NMRA/NMCA event in Commerce, Georgia, but he hopes to make all of them in 2021, starting here at Bradenton Motorsports Park. Williams has been putting laps in behind wheel of his Pontiac Firebird to get back in fighting form for LME Street King eliminations on Saturday.

Local Florida resident Fred Rowntree normally runs the Stock Eliminator circuit, but decided to stay close to home and try out his first NMCA race here at Bradenton Motorsports Park. Rowntree has owned his 1968 Camaro SS for 11 years and has been racing it ever since. The E-Stock Automatic machine sports a 350ci small-block and metric 200 transmission and runs low 11s consistently. He also has a 2014 Camaro SS that he added performance mods to that runs low 11s as well, but with air conditioning on the ride home.

Does it have a HEMI? Yes it does! Dan Zrust has only been a spectator at NMCA events until today, as he entered his 1968 Plymouth Barracuda in the Coan Stock/Super Stock Combo. “Dyno” Dan drove down from his home in Minnesota, quite possibly taking the long-haul award, and his 426-HEMI-powered machine runs 8.80-8.90s. Dyno also built a 2019 1320 Scat Pack Challenger out of a flood car, but will have to just drive one until he gets a two-car trailer.

Fresh off a runner-up finish in Edelbrock Renegade at the BMR Suspension NMRA Spring Break Shootout a few weeks ago at Bradenton Motorsports Park, as well as a runner-up and semifinal finish at two recent Ultra Street events, Bill Gregan has his sights set on going rounds in Edelbrock Xtreme Street and getting to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle this weekend. He has a very solid shot at success given his skills and his stout small-block Ford built by his son and crew chief, Tyler Gregan, with machine work by Hameetman Racing Engines. It’s fronted by a ProCharger F1A-94 and backed by a FTI Powerglide and ProTorque converter, and the Gregans know exactly how to coax as much horsepower as possible from the powerplant.

When we stopped by Alan Felts’ pit, he had yet to make a pass in his clean Fox Mustang prepped by Jessie Coulter at Jessie’s Garage. His team was dialing in the suspension improve the traction and account for some minor transmission upgrades. The Mickey Thompson Street Outlaw racer is running a freshened, 400-plus-cube engine based on a seasoned block that should deliver even bigger four-digit horsepower at the wheels. The Felts crew feels confident about the combo this weekend, and after one round of qualifying he notched the second spot with a 4.38 at 164.15 mph.

While he awaits his new car, Craig Sullivan borrowed this beautiful ride from Chip King and bestowed it with the engine from his infamous Barn Burner. His team is getting a handle on a reformed Roots-blower car that hadn’t run for four years. As his crew told us, “They are all puzzles, sometimes they are puzzling and sometimes they are easy.” Part of the puzzle this weekend is a busted transmission, and they are waiting on parts to get it back in VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod action.

Looking for a bit of success this weekend after what he described as two bad weekends in a row, Bill Skillman is running a backup engine in his Holley EFI Factory Super Cars Cobra Jet. In testing he clicked it off early but was pleased with the run based on its 1.18-second 60-foot sprint in testing.

The first time out with this new ride, Anthony Manna pilots a Camaro sporting a 363-cube LSX engine boosted by an 88mm Works turbocharger and backed by a Proformance Turbo 400 transmission. Running under the control of a Holley Dominator EFI system, the car delivered a 4.35 at 165 in the first round of qualifying and the team hopes to shave some time off that this evening in the cooler air during Mickey Thompson Street Outlaw qualifying.

Staying steady with a proven combo in VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod is Randy Weatherford and his 2017 Camaro. Based on a Jerry Bickel chassis and running FuelTech EFI, this car only has about a season under its belt, but it has proven capable of running in the mid-3-second range. After the first round of qualifying, he topped the charts with a 3.66 at 207.21 blast.

Adapting from running a radial-tire to the big tires under this Fletcher Cox Racing 2020 Camaro is Shawn Ayers. Powered by a screw-blown, DiSomma Racing Engines 526-cube HEMI the car only had 15 runs on it before arriving at the 19th Annual Whipple Superchargers NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem Presented by Holbrook Racing Engines. Ayers says he is used to pedaling the radial tires and says he is learning to trust the big tire and ride it out. It ran a 3.69 in testing, but shook the tires in the first round of qualifying.

There are more than 90 drivers taking part in the Dodge//Mopar Hemi Shootout this weekend, and Michelle Day is one of them. While she has tested at various tracks, along with her husband and crew chief, Jon Day,  she has never taken part in the Dodge//Mopar Hemi Shootout, and she’s raring to rack up some more low 9-second passes in her Charger powered by supercharged Hemi, and maybe make it into the Arrington Performance HEMI Quick 8 presented by Red Line Oil, featuring the eight quickest drivers in the Dodge//Mopar HEMI Shootout, on Sunday. “I’m a big  Dodge Hemi fan, and I’m really  excited about this weekend,” said Michelle.

Here’s the schedule for tomorrow’s action at the 19th Annual Whipple Superchargers NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem Presented by Holbrook Racing Engines.

FOR QUALIFYING RESULTS AS WE GET THEM, CLICK HERE

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