By Mary Lendzion
Through the years, Andy Warren has become a bit of a wonder in NMCA Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle.
He knows the ins and outs of the category, and he is incredibly competitive in it.
In fact, he has earned thirty-three event wins, and is still the NMCA’s winningest driver.
Soon after the Kentuckian earned his ninth championship in 2020, he set out to back it up in 2021 in his fan-favorite Caprice cruising with a small-block Chevrolet by Knieriem Racing Engines backed by a Turbo 350 by RPM Transmissions and a converter by Ultimate Converter Concepts.
He qualified in the eighth spot with a 10.04 on a 10.00 index and exited eliminations in the second round with a break out time of 9.96 at the Whipple Superchargers NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem presented by Holbrook Racing Engines in March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida. He then qualified in the sixth spot with a 10.01 on a 10.00 index and exited eliminations in the first round with a 10.06 at the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport in April at Atlanta Dragway.
“We started the year by finding out that we are expecting our first child, so win or lose, the year was going to be special,” said Warren, whose wife, Shelby, accompanies him to all of the races.
Warren went on to qualify in the thirteenth spot with a 10.03 on a 10.00 index and went to the NMCA’s Winner’s Circle with a 10.00 at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing presented by HPJ Performance in May at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois.
“Each year, Nostalgia Muscle gets tougher and tougher,” said Warren. “Everyone is stepping up their game, and I haven’t seen qualifying so tight before. When Brenda Blair won in Florida, I knew she would be one to watch out for. Chad Brewer is always a threat, and Noah Winters as well. The group of regulars continue to grow, and they’re all getting so good. That being said, I have to step my game up as well.”
Warren then qualified in the eighth spot with a 10.009 on a 10.00 index and went to the NMCA’s Winner’s Circle at the Inaugural Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival presented by Force Engineering in July at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Michigan
“It was a highlight to be able to win at U.S. 131 for the first time,” said Warren. “That has me with an event win at thirteen out of the fifteen tracks NMCA has been to since 2004.”
After qualifying in the fifteenth spot with a 10.03 on a 10.00 index, he and his opponent both recorded good reaction times and ran on their index in the first round of eliminations, and Warren narrowly lost at the NMCA All-American Nationals in August at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio.
To cap off his season, he qualified in the fifteenth spot with a 10.02 on a 10.00 index and lost in the semifinal round of eliminations with a break out time of 9.98 at the 20th Annual NMCA World Street Finals presented by Chevrolet Performance in September at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana. While he was at it, he captured his tenth Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle championship.
“I was only able to lock the championship up by a round and a half this year, which says a lot about how tough the competition has gotten,” said Warren, who also competed in Coan Stock/Super Stock Combo in the Libersher Racing COPO Camaro and finished in the thirteenth spot in points in that category after taking part in five of six races. “I would like to thank TRZ Motorsports, Fuelab, Ron Francis Wiring, Lucas Oil, Kicker, Panduit, Air Flow Research, Mickey Thompson Tires, VP Racing Fuels, RPM Transmissions, Ultimate Converter Concepts, Fast Shafts, Strange Engineering, Ross Pistons, Comp Cams, Competition Products, Knieriem Racing Engines, Moroso Performance Products, Powermaster, XS Power, Sutton Tire, #NeverADoubt, John Warren, Jeremy Lyons, Craig Watson, Tim Knieriem, Steve Dowell, Richard Deaver, Denny Pett, Adam Cox, Jason Grimes, Anthony Phillips, Libersher Racing, Scott, Dan, Al, mom and dad, and mostly Shelby for taking care of me and being there through this journey.”
Warren will be honored at the NMCA Muscle Car Nationals Champions Ceremony, which will be held during the PRI Show on Dec. 10 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, and in the upcoming Champions Issue of Fastest Street Car Magazine.
“Unfortunately, we lost so many friends and family members in nine months, and I want to dedicate this championship to Uncle Billy, Uncle Ralph, Ronnie Boone, Nanny Billie, Aunt Jenny and Tedd Braasch,” said Warren.