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It’s Raining Nitto Rings at the NMRA/NMCA Testo Shootout

Posted By: Evan J. Smith
It’s Raining Nitto Rings at the NMRA/NMCA Testo Shootout
One of the most coveted awards in all of drag racing is the Nitto Diamond Tree ring that is awarded to racers in the Holley All-Ford NMRA Series and the Redline Oil NMCA Series. There are only a couple of ways for racers to earn one and none are easy. 
A the recent NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Muscle Car Drag Racing at Worldwide Technology Raceway in St. Louis, racers in the got an opportunity to earn one of the treasured rings as part of the Testo Shootout.
This year the Shootouts returned in grand fashion with a new twist and backing from portable test and measurement instrumentation specialists, Testo.
The new format pitted the low qualifier in each class with the incoming points leader with the winner earning cash, bragging rights, and of course an exclusive Nitto Diamond Tree ring. Not surprisingly, with so much on the line, the new format produced some of the best side-by-side racing of the season. In addition, the Shootouts took place in the heart of Saturday’s action with fans and the NMRA/NMCA “Ring Girls” holding the fight cards.
In the VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod class, incoming leader Ty Tutterow was also the low qualifier, so he took on No. 2 qualifier Billy Banaka, and emerged as the champion after a thrilling 3.680 to 3.705 battle that was typical of the high quality of competition that kept fans mesmerized for the duration of the event.
The format was slightly different for competitors in Edelbrock Xtreme Street and VP Racing Maditives Renegade as the top point earner in each series raced for the ring. That honor went to Martin Connelly, who used a starting line holeshot to stop Terry Wilson in the all-Mustang final, 4.612 to 4.603.
Chuck Watson came through in Holley EFI Factory Supercar when he wheeled his Cobra Jet Mustang past the CJ of points leader and teammate Jonathan Allegrucci, 7.677 to 7.789.
Low qualifier David Fallon Jr. prevailed in ARP Nitrous Pro Street when he overcame a starting line holeshot by opponent Kyle Salminen to win by a 4.275 to 4.455 count on the eighth-mile course.
Joe Clemente has been the class of the field so far this year in the Dart N/A 10.5, and he proved it again in the Testo Shootout with a 7.798 to 7.880 victory against Leonard Long, who was inserted into the field as the No. 2 qualifier since Clemente was both the championship leader and the low qualifier.
Samantha Moore continued her dominant season in the Whatever It Takes Transmission Limited Street class when she topped Stacy Roby in the final round. Moore remained perfect on the season after Roby slowed in the final giving her the coveted ring.
Not surprisingly, the Coyote Stock class offered one of the best races of the day with championship leader Ed Bennett III holding off low qualifier Vincent Dastra in a side-by-side battle of wheelstanding Fox Mustangs. Bennett squeezed out the win by a 9.754 to 9.814 margin.
Leader Mark Anderson was the low qualifier in Richmond Gear Factory Stock at the first two events of the season and was pushed to second in St. Louis by Mike Bowen. Naturally, they met in the race for the ring with Anderson snaring the title, 10.071 to 10.187.
In the Suncoast Performance 8.60 class, low qualifier Paul Sienkiewicz wheeled his ’98 Cobra past the ’18 Mustang of championship leader Leticia Hughes in the final. Hughes left first, but Sienkiewicz was able to rally for an 8.665 to 8.714 victory.
Kevin Lumsden kicked off the season with a win and a runner-up in the SDPC Chevrolet Performance Stock class, and he’s now added the Testo Shootout title to his resumé. Lumsden, in his ’69 Camaro, needed every bit of his 9.799 to hold off the 9.802 of opponent Ronnie Hackelton. 
Brody Daugherty’s reward for qualifying No. 1 in the Micro Strategies Super Stock class was a race against incoming leader Joe Ewing and he made the most of by wheeling his ’08 Mustang to an 8.525 against his 8.50 dial-in to stop Joe Ewing, who was close behind with a 10.505 against his 10.47 dial.
The Micro Strategies Stock class was no less competitive with leader Bruce Boyle stopping low qualifier Dave Swanson in the final. Boyle, in his I/SA ’85 Chevy, got a huge head-start of nearly four seconds and held on for the title with an 11.648 on his 11.63 dial. Swanson in his FS/AA Cobra Jet Mustang, trailed with a 7.986 against his 7.91 dial.
The Quick Fuel Technologies Nostalgia Super Stock final featured Brent Wheeler and incoming leader David Horton in a battle of vintage Mopars. Horton now has a shiny new Nitto Tire ring thanks to a run that include a 10.800 on his 10.75 index. Wheeler ran closer to his 9.50 index with a 9.522, but was .022-second behind at the finish line.
Johnny Lightning once again reigned supreme in the CJ Pony Parts Truck and Lightning class after topping low qualifier Bob Dill in the race for the ring. Lightning posted an 8.693 on his 8.66 dial for the win against Dill’s 9.027 on his 8.89 prediction.
Kevin McKenna was both the low qualifier and the incoming leader in HP Tuner Super Stang, which meant he had to race reigning world champ and No. 2 qualifier Marvin Knack in the final round. That race ended quickly as Knack fouled at the start, handing McKenna the victory and the ring.
In Erson Cams Nostalgia Muscle presented by World Products, Danny Towe used a quicker reaction time to get the best of low qualifier Audry Baize. Both racers were competing on an 11.75 index with Towe taking his’70 Mustang to an 11.791to hold off an 11.831 for Baize.
In the NMCA Magnafuel Open Comp final, low qualifier Steve Satchell stopped class champion Susan Roush McClenaghan in a very competitive bout. Satchell left first by .02-second and drove to a 9.594 against his 9.52 dial while McClenaghan broke out by carding a 9.322 against her 9.36 dial.
Roush-McClenaghan didn’t have to wait long for redemption as she earned the Nitto ring in the Exedy Racing Clutch Mod Muscle category when she stopped Gary Parker in the final. McClenaghan posted a 9.414 on his 9.39 dial for the win, holding off Parker’s 10.057 on his 9.90 dial.
The NMRA ARP Open Comp final was no less competitive as Terry Haynall was nearly perfect off the starting line and ran an 11.251 on his 11.19 dial to stop Jon Pickering, who trailed with a 9.097 on his 9.04 dial. 
Andy Ransford won his second Nitto ring after claiming victory in the Fastest Street Car Ford Muscle category. Ransford, the low qualifier, got the best of championship leader Cindee Hall in the final with a 13.351 on his 13.25 index against Hall’s 12.834 on her 12.75 index.
Cody Poston claimed another title in the LME/Chevrolet Performance Street King class when he beat low qualifier Bryan Williams in the final. Poston left with an almost perfect .009 reaction time but didn’t need it after Williams fouled.
The final in Proform Chevrolet Rumble was also decided on the starting line as Keith Vaughn left ahead of the green light, allowing Dewayne Massengale to claim the victory. 
“Testo is defined by precision in engineering and reliability,” said Michael Ficacci, VP Testo North America, after racers received more than 20 new pieces of valued hardware. “Partnering with NMRA/NMCA makes all the right sense to us as we expand our support within the racing community.”

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