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2022 Red Line Oil NMCA Muscle Car Nationals Mid-Season Report

Posted By: Steve Baur
Now at the mid-point of the 2022 NMCA drag racing season, racers new and old continue the chase for valuable championship points as the last three races of the Red Line Oil NMCA Muscle Car Nationals season kicks off.
 
VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod
 
Two newcomers kicked off the 2022 VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod points chase as Scott Wildgust took the win at the season opener in Bradenton, while Derek Ward grabbed the Victor award at the newly relocated Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport at Rockingham Dragway.
 
2021 Xtreme Pro Mod champion Chip King has struggled to get a handle on his championship-winning Mustang, though rumors are that he has been testing top secret new parts. Likewise, second-place points finisher in 2021 Craig Sullivan has had issues with his El Mero Mero Mercury, and recently dropped it off at Larry Jeffers Race Cars for some updates that will hopefully get him back in contention.
 
As the points stand at the mid-point of the season, Ward holds First Place over Tom Blincoe, 
who has consistently gone rounds in his David Monday Race Cars-built and PTP Racing-tuned Corvette and currently holds the same points tally as King in Third.
 

ARP Nitrous Pro Street

 
Debuting his new Camaro last year, David Fallon Jr. kicked off the 2022 NMCA season with a win at the season opener in Bradenton, and followed that up with a win at the next race in Rockingham, North Carolina. Hot on Fallon’s heels, however, is the naturally aspirated machine of Nicole Liberty-Cach who drove to two final rounds before taking the class win at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing in Madison, Illinois and now leads Fallon by just 60 points.
 
Just 60 points separate the top two contenders, with Fallon taking low ET and top speed for the past two events. Defending Nitrous Pro Street champion, Vince Khoury Jr. sits a distant third in points, but don’t count the champ out just yet.
 

Holley EFI Factory Super Cars

 
With Dodge//Mopar offering $10k to any Drag Pak driver who wins an NMCA or NHRA event, it was no surprise to see an all-time high number of Drag Paks in attendance for the Holley EFI Factory Super Cars class at the first couple of NMCA events. And indeed it was the Drag Pak of Mark Pawuk that collected the cash and the class win at the season opener in Bradenton, Florida.
 
Engine issues plagued numerous Cobra Jet racers at the beginning of the season, and that left the door open for COPO Camaro drivers such as Jeff Bragg, who took runner up in Bradenton, to charge ahead.
 
Defending class champion Bill Skillman logged the top speed of the class at the first two events, but his Cobra Jet encountered engine troubles that kept him from advancing through eliminations. The Watson Racing team members, however, have seemingly solved the engine problem, with Jim Betz qualifying number one in Florida, and Chuck Watson II claiming wins in Rockingham and Madison. As well, Tripp Carter currently sits in second place with two runner-up finishes in his Ford Performance Cobra Jet.
 

Dart NA 10.5

 
The high-revving machines in Dart NA 10.5 offer some of the best sounds in drag racing, and defending champion and current points leader Leonard Long and his small-block, stick-shifted Mustang offer just such an experience. 
 
Looking to dethrone the champ Joe Clemente, who logged low ET at the season opener and went to the final round against Long, but lost due to a broken transmission. At the second event of the season in Rockingham, it was Robbie Blankenship’s turn. The Florida native qualified number one and claimed low ET for the weekend as well, but ultimately Long claimed victory number two in North Carolina.
 
At the Super Bowl, Clemente was the number-one qualifier, but it was David Thiesen who grabbed low ET for the event, and Rocko Khoury who took the trip to the NMCA’s Winner’s Circle after the final-round victory. With three races left in the season, it’s Long, Theisen, Khoury and Clemente, all within a few hundred points of each other.
 

Edelbrock Xtreme Street

 
New combinations were put to the test at the NMCA season opener, but it was two veteran racers that found themselves in the final round of Edelbrock Xtreme Street. Bill Trovato grabbed top qualifying honors amid the tightly contested field, and it was he who edged out veteran Xtreme Street racer Tony Orts in the final round of competition. 
 
In Rockingham and amid the combined Xtreme Street/NMRA Renegade/RTRA Ultra Street racers, it was NMRA Renegade champion Joel Greathouse who fought off valiant efforts by Alton Clements and Becki Cram to take the win in North Carolina. Greathouse went on to thwart the attacks by Clements and Keith Ciborowski in Madison, Illinois, at the Super Bowl to grab his fourth win of the season. Greathouse leads the points in the NMRA series, and sits just 20 points behind Trovato going into the next NMCA race, the combined event in Martin, Michigan.
 

Chevrolet Performance Stock

 
After collecting the inaugural and subsequently additional championships in the NMCA and Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series, Glenn Pushis is once again in championship form, having won the first two races of the season in his new 6th-Gen CRC Camaro.
 
The competition in the class is tight, however, with Scott Brown going to the final round of the season opener and Haley Burkhammer claiming number-one qualifying honors at Rockingham and Madison. Burkhammer also was runner up to Pushis in North Carolina to put her second in the championship points chase behind Pushis. 
 
At the Super Bowl at World Wide Technology Raceway just outside of St. Louis in Madison, Illinois, Pushis qualified a second car and handed the keys to his main Camaro to Jason Dietsch, as Pushis had to leave the event early for a family event. Dietsch gave it a valiant effort, but too little time in the Camaro prevented him from extracting the maximum out of it, and that opened the door for Kevin Lumsden to grab his first event win in his 1969 Camaro. Dietsch’s efforts behind the wheels, though, certainly helped to keep Pushis’ main competition back in points.


MagnaFuel Open Comp

 
As crazy as the competition is in MagnaFuel Open Comp, it’s no surprise that there is no dominant front runner in the class going into the second half of the season. Jon Pickering claimed the win in Florida at the season opener with Cody Poston grabbing runner up.
 
The following race in Rockingham saw Anthony Lupinacci visit the NMCA Winner’s Circle with class newcomer Jared Noel coming in second during the final round. And at the Super Bowl in Madison, Illinois, it was Open Comp veteran Scott Williams collecting the win and the Super Bowl ring over John Hixon.
 

Stock Eliminator

 
For the 2022 season, The NMCA split up its successful Stock/Super Stock Combo class into separate Stock Eliminator and Super Stock categories. The change has proven to be successful, with growth in both classes.
 
John Astrab has proven to be the one to beat, taking wins at the season opener in Florida, and at the Super Bowl in Madison. But Astrab currently sits second in the points chase, as it’s been Dave Swanson who has been collecting round wins and enough points to put his Cobra Jet at the top of the Stock Eliminator championship points.
 
NMCA newcomer Bryce Rohrs lays claim to third, currently, and also pulls double duty as he competes in the Dodge//Mopar HEMI Shootout between Stock Eliminator rounds in his COPO Camaro. From there, the competition is tight with Randy Eakins and Daren Poole-Adams less than 100 points away. 
 

Super Stock Eliminator

 
In the class debut in at Bradenton Motorsports Park, Mark Nowicki drove his Dodge to victory, and followed that with a win at the third race of the season at World Wide Technology Raceway to get himself an NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl ring. Nowicki holds a 440-point lead over the very capable Steven Hall, with Amy Faulk taking up third and 2021 Stock/Super Stock Combo champion Bruce Lang lurking in Fourth.
 

Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock

 
We can’t remember the last time a Pontiac lead the Nostalgia Super Stock ranks, in points, but that’s exactly what Mike Davis and his GTO are doing going into the second half of the season. Doug Duell claimed victory at the season opener, but Davis grabbed the win in Rockingham, and has collected enough round wins to lead the points.
 
Defending class champ Brent Wheeler takes up the second spot in points, with round wins and a runner-up finish at the Super Bowl. Former class champion Doug Duell sits just five points behind Bruce Lang who is in Third.
 

Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle

 
Defending and multi-time Nostalgia Muscle champion Andy Warren traveled to Florida during Spring break, but he was busy putting in work at Bradenton Motorsports Park and took home the Victor Award at the conclusion of the NMCA season-opening event.
 
Since then, though, Warren has faced stiff competition during eliminations, which has allowed David Mormann to take the points lead at the half-way point of the 2022 season. Mormann took runner up to Warren in Florida and has continued to accrue points in the following events to lead Ralph Trimmer by 15 points. Warren remains in Third place, followed by Danny Towe in Fourth.
 

LME Street King presented by Chevrolet Performance

 
In a sea of race cars, it’s Michael Pryka’s registered and insured, Chevy Nova street machine that currently holds the points lead in LME Street King. Pryka kicked off his 2022 racing season with the Sick Week Drag and Drive event in January, logging hundreds of miles, racing at several drag strips, and hitting a deer somewhere in between. Since then, the LS-powered Nova has soldiered on—without a hood and in need of some body work—but the driver as done his job and the car has proven to be a consistent performer on track, taking runner up at the season opener and collecting round wins and points.
 
Right on Pryka’s heels and less than 50 points away is defending class champion Kurt Anderson, who claimed victory in Rockingham. While Anderson focuses on the lead driver, he has Casey Martin, Cody Poston, and Al Corda less than 100 points behind him.
 

Proform Rumble presented by Chevrolet Performance

 
After finishing second in points in 2020, Regina Puckett tumbled down the Proform Rumble points order in 2021, but this year she is on a tear, with wins in Florida and North Carolina putting her in the points lead going into the second half of the season.
 
Defending class champion DeWayne Massengale grabbed runner up at the season opener, but an engine failure at the third race in Madison, Illinois, has likely sidelined the champ for the rest of the season and left the door open for Bobbie Strong and Tim Poston, who currently sit second and third respectively. And with Keith Vaughn’s win in Madison, it may be tempting for the Chevrolet Performance Stock racer to continue in the class this season since he sits fifth in points with only one race under his belt.
 

Mickey Thompson X275

 
While not an NMCA points class this year, Mickey Thompson X275 largely follows the previous year’s Street Outlaw rules, but is part of the Radial Tire Racing Association points series for 2022. The class will run with the NMCA at the three NMRA/NMCA combined events this year and racers will collect points at these races. At the two events the NMCA has hosted the class, Justin Palmer and Eric Moore have taken victories with their Ford-powered, Fox-Body Mustangs.
 
The second half of the 2022 Red Line Oil NMCA Muscle Car Nationals series picks up in July in Martin, Michigan, with the NMRA/NMCA Power Festival at US 131 Motorsports Park. 

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