Friday Coverage—2021 NMCA All-American Nationals + COPO Shootout + Cobra Jet Showdown

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Racers have arrived for the NMCA All-American Nationals, this weekend at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. With a forecast calling for very hot and very humid weather, they will be working very hard to coax as much horsepower as they can out of their combinations, while also trying to stay as cool as possible. In addition to all of the captivating NMCA categories, this event features the Cobra Jet Showdown presented by Watson Racing, the Chevrolet Performance COPO Camaro Shootout presented by COPO Parts Direct and much more. Stay tuned for news, qualifying results, elimination results and a race wrap this weekend.

The burnouts have begun for today’s running of the NMCA All-American Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park, and here’s the jam-packed schedule through tonight.

Brian Brown has been a spectator at NMCA events for a while, and now, he’s officially a racer in the series, as he’s competing in the Cobra Jet Showdown presented by Watson Racing this weekend. The Clinton Township, Michigan-based driver who also competes in NHRA Division 3 Stock Eliminator, has a 302 cubic-inch engine and a Whipple supercharger under the hood of his Mustang Cobra Jet, and data he has collected recently indicates he should run 8.80s in the hot and humid weather this weekend. “I’m really looking forward to racing in the Cobra Jet Showdown this weekend,” said Brown. “It will be nice to be among all of those Cobra Jets.”

We couldn’t help but notice Brad Spires’ wicked 1970 Nova in the pit area today, and we definitely weren’t the only ones checking out the clean machine. Spires has owned the car for fourteen years, and has been racing it in NMCA Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle, as well as the NDRL and Goodguys series. He relies on a 400 cubic-inch Chevrolet engine by Dennis Woody and a Powerglide to get from the starting line to the finish line, and while he usually dials in for the 10.50 index, he has entered the 10.75 index this weekend as the car has slowed down just a bit in the heat and humidity. “Nostalgia Muscle has a lot of tough racers, and they are always on their game, but I would really like to earn a win in the category, and I’m shooting for that,” said Spires.

Edelbrock Xtreme Street racer Tony Orts has had a ton of success in his years of racing, and the issues that he’s having right now will not hold him back for long. Orts, who recently paired his longtime nitrous-enhanced Precision Engine Rebuilders-built small-block Chevrolet with a new Holley EFI system, is trying to find the perfect amount of power to apply at the hit. “I’m applying too much power right now, and not getting down track the way I want to and need to,” said Orts. “But, if you don’t apply as much power as you can at the 60-foot with a small-block, you will be behind.” Keep an eye on Orts. While he described himself as ‘a loose nut behind the wheel,’ he also has what it takes behind the wheel.

Pat Musi 632David Fallon Jr. kicked off his 2021 NMCA efforts last event, the NMRA/NMCA Power Tour, with his gorgeous 4th Generation Chevy Camaro in the ARP Nitrous Pro Street category. The new build is a former NHRA Pro Stock chassis, originally built by Jerry Bickel Race Cars, and eventually found its way on to the grudge-racing scene. Famed racer JR Gray was first to run it before Justin Swanstrom of the Swan Gang grabbed it. Cameron Race Cars updated the chassis to a double frame-rail and perform other modifications to get the chassis super-light. Fallon has bolted in a bunch of weight to meet his 2,650 pound minimum in the Nitrous Pro Street class. Under the hood sits a Pat Musi Racing 632ci big-block that features a set of Big Chief cylinder heads, custom intake with Speedtech nitrous systems, and an EFI Technology engine management system. The team has been 4.40s on a single kit, a performance they expect better by the end of the weekend.

Mike Alsop was driving his motorhome to the NMCA All-American Nationals, this weekend at Summit Motorsports Park, when another driver crossed the centerline and hit him head-on. Very sadly, Mike sustained injuries to his face, and the motorhome as well as the Dodge Demon he was pulling on a trailer for his daughter, Morgan Alsop Myers, to race in the Dodge // Mopar HEMI Shootout, are a loss. Mike’s wife, Dana, witnessed the incident from behind, and surprisingly, Mike and Dana came to the race anyway, and together with their daughter, Morgan, they are cheering on their daughter/sister, Lindsay Wheelock, who will race her Hellcat in the Dodge // Mopar HEMI Shootout, and her husband, Dustin Wheelock, who will race his COPO in Holley EFI Factory Super Cars. It’s all about family, they told us.

Leonard Long came to this event with the lead in Dart NA 10.5 points, and he’s well aware that his fellow racers are hot on his heels, including David Theisen, Joe Clemente and Rocko Khoury, who are currently in second-, third- and fourth-place in points respectively. The Pennsylvanian is prepared with his 415 cubic-inch small-block Ford which he put together with help from Jay Zolko and Dave Barton of Barton Racing Engines, plus a GF2000 five-speed clutchless from his company, G-Force Racing Transmissions, and he’s working with his Holley EFI to find the best tune. But, still, he’s mindful that weather conditions are not ideal. “Whoever can get the tune right in their car and combination in this heat, and with the humidity and water grains being what they are, can win this race,” said Long. “It’s going to take some work. I’ll tell you that.”

Sage “Donkmaster” Thomas of the National Donk Racing Association, and multi-time NMCA Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle champion Andy Warren, are preparing to put on a show for fans in the form of a grudge race at around 12 p.m. tomorrow at the NMCA All-American Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park. For those wondering, a Donk is a customized 1971-1976 Caprice or Impala, and Thomas has on-site his customized Impala, featuring an LS engine with a 124mm turbo, while Warren has on-site his race-ready Caprice, featuring a small-block Chevrolet by Knieriem Racing Engines. Of racing Warren, Thomas said “My car makes 1,600 rear-wheel horsepower at 24 pounds of boost, and I’m going to give Andy buckets of gap sauce.” And, of racing Thomas, Warren said “Sage tagged me on my Instagram and said he was coming for me, so we set up this grudge match for fun,” said Warren. “While the body style of our cars is the same, our combinations are completely different, but it should still be fun to do this with him.” Tickets are available at the gate.

Doug Hamp is debuting a new 350 cubic-inch engine built by Barton Racing Engines and topped with a Magnuson supercharger at this event. In testing, he pulled off an 8.11 in his COPO Camaro, and while he had an off-pace qualifying effort today in Holley EFI Factory Super Cars, he’s in the very early stages of shaking down his new engine and will be worth watching this weekend in the category where Bill Skillman holds the elapsed-time record with a 7.56 and Gardner Stone holds the top speed record with a 184.42 mph. “We’re chasing the new tune-up, and this is the strangest weather we’ve raced in all year, so it may take a little time, but we’ll get there,” said Hamp, who also competes in NHRA Factory Stock Showdown.

 

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