By Mary Lendzion
The cars in the Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock category are celebrated across the country for their character and their competitiveness.
That certainly includes Brent Wheeler’s Coronet, which is powered by a 540 cubic-inch Wedge engine built by fellow racer Bill Boomhower with components from Indy Cylinder Heads, Comp Cams, MAHLE, Clevite and ATI, and complemented with a
727 transmission built by Tim Gibson.
With the number on the windows of his car, Wheeler went wide-open throttle into the 2021 season set on backing up his 2020 Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock championship. He
began by qualifying in the eighteenth spot with a break out time of 9.72 on a 9.77 index and went to the NMCA Winner’s Circle with a 9.77 at the Whipple Superchargers NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem presented by Holbrook Racing Engines in March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida.
After that, he qualified in the second spot with a 9.753 on a 9.75 index and lost in the semifinal round of eliminations with a break out time of 9.74 at the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport in April at Atlanta Dragway.
“I felt good about our chances and really wanted to win the last NMCA event at home track, Atlanta Dragway,” said Wheeler, of Watkinsville, Georgia. “It was not meant to be.”
He went on to qualify in the eighteenth spot with a 9.77 on a 9.75 index and lost in the fourth round of eliminations with a 9.77 at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing presented by HPJ Performance in May at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois, and he led qualifying with a 9.750 on a 9.75 index and lost in the first round of eliminations despite a 9.75 at the Inaugural Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival presented by Force Engineering in July at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Michigan.
Wheeler, who hadn’t gone rounds at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio in years past, managed to end that streak at the NMCA All-American Nationals in August. After qualifying in the third spot with a 9.754 on a 9.75, he wrapped up another win with a 9.78.
“The biggest hurdle for me at Summit Motorsports Park has been myself,” said Wheeler. “I have had opportunities to be successful there, but I just needed to get out of my own way.”
There was a massive Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock field at the final NMCA event of the season, the 20th Annual NMCA World Street Finals presented by Chevrolet Performance in September at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana, where Wheeler dipped under his 9.75 index by just a smidgen, a 9.74, and qualified in the seventieth spot. He got to the third round of eliminations before exiting after a red light, and that was more than enough for Wheeler to walk tall as the 2021 Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock champion.
“We put so much time into practicing, learning and preparation with the hope that opportunities present themselves and we can seize them and turn them into success,” said Wheeler. “I’m truly fortunate and grateful that things went our way again this year. It is an amazing feeling. I’d like to thank my father, Andrew Wheeler, who is my biggest supporter and fan, and my beautiful and forgiving wife, Jessica Wheeler. I couldn’t do this without the support from them. I’d like to thank my mother, Carolyn Wheeler, as well. Even if she doesn’t like racing, I wouldn’t be here to do this without her. I have to thank my mentor and friend, Bill Boomhower, and I can’t put into words what this man means to me. Thank you also to our traveling partners, teammates and family, including Chad Brewer, Ron and Robin Tiller and Bruce and Deb Lang, as well as Doug Duell for his friendship and everything he does for our class and for drag racing.”
Wheeler will be in the spotlight 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.