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Race Wrap — Holley NMRA/Red Line Oil NMCA Race for the Rings & Saturday Thrill Festival

Posted By: Mary Lendzion
Written by Mary Lendzion
Photos by Rudy Rouweyha and Evan Smith
Despite damage from severe storms before and during the Holley NMRA/Red Line Oil NMCA Race for the Rings & Saturday Thrill Festival, May 3-5, 2024 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois, perseverance prevailed and the exciting event ended on a high note.
In addition to the Saturday Thrill Festival with hot jet cars, high-jumping FMX Motocross, beastly BIGFOOT monster truck, UPR Products Car Show and a manufacturers’ midway, there was awe-inspiring racing all around.
The Race for the Rings added an extremely exciting element to the event, as it allowed points leaders to race against qualifying leaders for a chance to earn Nitto Diamond Tree Rings, which were definitely designed with racers in mind.
“After we were hit with the storm on Saturday, we concentrated on clean-up efforts so that we could produce this event as promised for our racers and race fans,” said Rollie Miller, General Manager and National Event Director for NMCA and NMRA. “Our NMCA Starting Line Team, TVC Track Prep Team and Brad Cannon of World Wide Technology Raceway were at the track late after the rain passed to dry the track and they were back well before dawn to prep the racing surface in time for an 8:30 a.m. start on Sunday. That led to some of the most amazing racing we have seen so far this season.”

The track was certainly working well for VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod racers, including Craig Sullivan, who led qualifying with a 3.66 in El Mero Mero, but making it to the final round were Bob Glenn and Ed Marx. Glenn went through the traps at 3.645 with Marx right on his heels with a 3.646, making it impossible to tell who won until Glenn’s win light illuminated.
Jason Dietsch led qualifying in Holley EFI Factory Super Cars with a 7.79 shot in his Mustang Cobra Jet, and on race day, he picked up to a 7.69 to defeat Marc Heidings who stopped the clocks at 8.10.
There were plenty of nitrous plumes in ARP Nitrous Pro Street, where Leonard Grawburg led qualifying with a 4.26 in his Camaro. He met fellow Floridian Kyle Salminen and his Camaro in the final round of eliminations, and after a tight race, Grawburg won with a 4.24 to Salminen’s 4.26.
Nearly 30 NMCA Edelbrock Xtreme Street and NMRA VP Racing Lubricants Renegade racers shared the stage at this event, giving race fans an extra dose of excitement. Joel Greathouse set the pace in qualifying with a 4.49 in John Kolivas’ Mustang, and got to the winner’s circle with a 4.62 after Ray Cox turned on the red light.
Everyone expected a close and captivating race when David Theisen and Leonard Long lined up against each other for the Dart NA 10.5 final round, and they did not disappoint. The racers left the line together and Theisen’s Firebird made a move toward the wall, but the Michigan-based racer felt confident about keeping his foot planted on the gas pedal. He was side-by-side with Long through the traps, and Theisen went to the winner’s circle with a 7.82 to Long’s close 7.83.

Keith Vaughn and Bryan Williams worked hard to get to the final in Scoggin Dickey Parts Center Street Warrior 10.10 presented by Chevrolet Performance, and Vaughn won with a 10.13 to Williams’ 10.14.
There is always a cool collection of cars in Micro Strategies Stock Eliminator, and at this event, they included Bruce Boyle’s championship-winning 1989 Camaro and Denny Hillman’s classic 1967 Camaro. Boyle belted in for the win with a good reaction time and an 11.63 on an 11.56 and Hillman turned in an 11.27 on an 11.26.
Multi-time champion Mark Nowicki and Jeremy Duncan had business to handle in Micro Strategies Super Stock Eliminator, and Nowicki — who got engaged to Jen in front of his fellow racers at the NMCA Awards Ceremony last December in Indiana — won with a quick reaction time and a 9.55 on a 9.54 to Duncan’s dead-on 9.37.
Classic cars were commanding attention in Nostalgia Super Stock, and among them were Greg Deaton’s 1965 Belvedere and Doug Poskevich’s 1966 Fairlane. Deaton earned the event win with a 10.00 while Poskevich turned in a 10.64.
It was the battle of the beautiful cars in Erson Cams Nostalgia Muscle presented by World Products, where Jeff Toepper took the win with an 11.25 right on his 11.25 in his 1969 Camaro, while David Mormann broke out with a 10.73 on a 10.75 in his 1970 Mustang.
Successful racer Dennis Corn pulled off another win in MagnaFuel Open Comp, where racers are dialed in quite tightly on both ends of the track. This time, it was against another successful racer, Frankie Radake, who turned on the red light.

Dennis Pearson and Steve Satchell were featured for the LME Street King presented by Chevrolet Performance final, and Pearson picked up the win when Satchell illuminated the dreaded red light.
Proform Rumble presented by Chevrolet Performance saw Bryan Benge and Kevin Rowand roll up to the starting line, and Benge beelined to the win with a 12.15 on a 12.00 over Rowand’s 11.17 on an 11.00
Circle D Specialties NMCA/NMRA True Street drivers went for a 30-mile cruise around World Wide Technology Raceway before returning and ripping down track in the street-driven cars. Tim Gehrs was the overall winner with an 8.20 average and is now the owner of a Nitto Diamond Tree Ring, and Willie Lujan was the runner-up with an 8.75 average. Also standing out were Bob Hoffman (9-second winner), Ricky Holcomb (10-second winner), David Schuler (11-second winner), Elaine Moistner (12-second winner), Trey Hamlin (13-second winner), Victoria Riehle (14-second winner) and Joe Parisi (15-second winner).
Drivers of Chargers, Challengers, and other cars faced off for the Dodge // Direct Connection Shootout. JJ Johnson was the overall winner with an 8.62 average, and earned a Nitto Diamond Tree Ring. Bryce Rohrs was the runner-up with a 9.39 average. Other winners including Dale Arnold (9-second), Joe Ed (10-second winner), Adam Hicks (11-second winner), Robert Skalecki (12-second winner), Eddie Schoenfeld (13-second winner), Nathan McMaster (14-second winner) and Dan Koehne Sr. (15-second winner).
The eight quickest drivers in the Dodge // Direct Connection Shootout earned entry into the exciting HHP Racing Quick 8 presented by Scoggin Dickey Parts Center on Sunday. Bryce Rohrs, who is no stranger to going rounds, won with a 9.06 on an 8.99 over Tripp Carter, who broke out with a 9.19 on a 9.21.

The Race for the Rings is a very special component of this annual event, and this year, it was every bit as exciting as expected. These winners will soon be sporting Nitto Diamond Tree Rings as a reward: Bob Glenn (3.71) over Craig Sullivan (4.92) in VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod; Leonard Grawburg (4.32) over Kyle Salminen, who did not record a time in ARP Nitrous Pro Street; Dwight Ausmus (7.80) over John Langer (7.87) in Dart NA 10.5; Marc Heidings (13.38) over Jason Dietsch (red light) in Holley EFI Factory Super Cars; Mike Winters (10.10) over Brad Cail (10.24) in Scoggin Dickey Parts Center Street Warrior 10.10  presented by Chevrolet Performance; Joel Greathouse (4.56) over Josh Hutnick (4.60) in NMCA Edelbrock Xtreme Street/NMRA VP Racing Lubricants Renegade; Taylor Dietsch (8.94) over Phil Wrobleski (9.64) in MagnaFuel Open Comp; Jeff Dona (9.51) over Mark Nowicki (9.57) in Micro Strategies Super Stock; Rodney Ward (12.54) over Dave Swanson (8.08) in Micro Strategies Stock; David Rickey (10.51) over Keith Vaughn (9.99) in LME Street King presented by Chevrolet Performance; Dan Sisson (10.32) over Don Fotti (11.49) in Earson Cams Nostalgia Muscle presented by World Products; Tim Poston (10.30) over Kevin Rowand (11.13) in Proform Rumble presented by Chevrolet Performance; Mike Moss (10.28) over Tim Frees (10.56) in Nostalgia Super Stock.
“We were ecstatic to see so many fans come out to enjoy racing and the Saturday Thrill Festival,” said Steve Wolcott, president and CEO of NMRA and NMCA. “We are working hard to enhance our fan experience, and to see people of all ages awestruck by the racing, FMX Motocross, BIGFOOT, Jet Cars and our other features inspires us to continuously come up with fresh ideas.”
A separate story with NMRA results is posted at

The NMCA congratulates the winners, and thanks race fans and sponsors for their support.
The chase to the championships in the Red Line Oil NMCA Muscle Car Nationals continues at the 22nd Annual Scoggin Dickey NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem, May 30-June 2, 2024 at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky.
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