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Race Wrap | NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals

Posted By: Ainsley Jacobs
The Holley NMRA Ford Nationals and Red Line Oil NMCA Muscle Car Nationals returned to North Carolina’s Rockingham Dragway for the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals Presented by Sipple’s Speed & Performance and Top of the Rock Thrill Festival Presented by Innovation Performance Technologies on April 12-14, 2024, and fans were treated to a full weekend of automotive awesomeness.

Qualifying kicked off for all drag racing categories on Friday morning and on Saturday, the fun festivities were amplified as both the 60th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang and the Top of the Rock Thrill Festival were in full swing.

From Bigfoot, the world’s largest monster truck, on display to the wild, flame-throwing Dawn Perdue vs. Larry Aldrich Jet Car Shootout, freestyle BMX stunt shows featuring Alex Johan doing a trick off of the back of Bigfoot, TV personality and DJ Clarence Barnes, Miss NMRA/NMCA, 704 Exotics supercar display, Innovation Performance Technologies “Laps of Honor” custom Mustangs, meet-and-greet sessions with No Prep Star George Cunningham of Bad Apple Racing, massive car show featuring the best in American-made muscle, a huge vendor midway, and so much more, the atmosphere was absolutely electric.

The baddest boosted and blown doorslammers came to battle in VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod, and Canada’s Scott Wildgust was the quickest of them all in qualifying with a 3.641 at 208.04 mph trip from his supercharged Ford Mustang. In eliminations, Wildgust met with the number-two qualifier, Bob Glenn, for a showdown of epic proportions. Incredibly, both men ran identical 3.667-second passes at 200+ mph, but Glenn’s -0.003 second reaction time made his moot as the red light defaulted the win to Wildgust instead.

The nitrous-infused entries of ARP Nitrous Pro Street were running flat-out all weekend long, and Kyle Salminen qualified number one when he ran 4.236 at 167.72 mph. Salminen maintained his lead all throughout eliminations as he took round win after round win before staging his car against Nicole Liberty in the finals. It was an incredibly close race with both running 4.26 and 4.27, respectively, but the hundredth of a second advantage resulted in the win lights illuminating in Salminen’s lane.

NMCA Edelbrock Performance Xtreme Street/NMRA VP Racing Lubricants Renegade
brought together two fields of fast cars for one big throwdown, and Cameron Massengale held the advantage going into eliminations as he had the quickest qualifying time of 4.522 at 158.84 mph. After a year away from competition, multi-time champion Joel Greathouse was on a winning streak in eliminations until his Fox Mustang exited the chat when it mattered most — the finals. As a result, Josh Hutnick, who had worked hard all weekend to stay in the game, was able to run uncontested and enjoyed an easy win as he broke the beams to solidify his success.
Holley EFI Factory Super Cars contender Jason Dietsch conquered qualifying when he coaxed a 7.752 at 177.51 mph run out of his KSR Racing ride, but it was his teammate, Jonathan Allegrucci, who took top honors for the weekend. After dispatching the competition in rounds one and two, Allegrucci did the same for Mike Clark in the finals; although Clark left the starting line first, Allegrucci was able to drive around him and found success at the stripe for the second year in a row here at Rockingham Dragway.

John Langer topped the list with his 7.714 at 174.96 mph pass during Dart NA 10.5 qualifying and stayed in front of the pack as eliminations progressed. A bye in th first round led to a win in the second, and Langer lined up against Rick Hornback in the finals. Although Hornback had a big holeshot advantage, Langer blasted past him at the top end to take the win with a 7.791 at 178.43 mph time slip in his hand.
The hot new Scoggin-Dickey Street Warrior 10.10 Presented by Chevrolet Performance class saw James Meredith running as close to the 10.10 goal as possible during qualifying, only .004-seconds over. Meredith went out in the semifinals, but Mike Winters and Gary Parker were both still in the running as the sun began to set on Sunday. Although both men broke out with 10.07-second passes, Winters was three-thousandths closer to the 10.10 mark and snatched the victory from Parker’s grasp at the last second.
Longtime LME Street King Presented by Chevrolet Performance racer Keith Vaughn qualified first after running 10.005 on his 10.00 index. Vaughn put up a valiant effort and earned a place in the finals, but his 9.981 on a 10.00 dial-in left the door wide open for David Rickey in the opposing lane to wrap up the win with his 10.519 on a 10.50 dial.
Richard Mace was the number-one qualifier in Proform Rumble Presented by Chevrolet Performance as he was aiming for an 11.00 and went 11.030, but Tim Poston was the last man standing when it came time for eliminations. There, Poston bested Regina Puckett and he wrapped up his weekend with a winning 10.069 trip on his 10.00 index.
The Micro Strategies Stock category had a strong showing, and Dave Swanson ranked at the top of the order as eliminations began. The competition was cutthroat as the number of hopeful drivers was cut in half with each passing round. Ultimately, it was Rodney Ward and Rodney Worrell who hung on until the bitter end, but Ward found sweet success when his 12.492 at 99.14 mph run on his 12.30 dial in bested Worrell’s 9.466 on an 8.89 target.

Similarly, in Micro Strategies Super Stock, the number-one qualifying honor went to Brian Oakes but Mark Nowicki and Jeff Ross captured the limelight in the last round of eliminations. There, both men ran close to their dial-ins, but Nowicki put together a better package for the win when he went 9.542 on his 9.51 to Ross’s 10.580 on a 10.58.

In Erson Cams Nostalgia Muscle Presented by World Products qualifying, Jeff Toepper was closest to his index of 11.25 and slipped into the number one spot as a result but it was Dan Sisson who ultimately came out on top. In the finals, Sisson dispatched Jeff Toepper into the runner up position when Sisson turned the win light on in his lane by running 10.197 on his 10.25 dial while Toepper went 11.178 on his 11.25 expectation.
TD Holland qualified first in the Nostalgia Super Stock field, but ended his weekend in second overall after scoring the runner up spot due to an unfortunate red light of -0.002 in the finals. Tim Frees, on the other hand, was clean and green as he left the line running on a 10.50 dial in, and Frees’s 10.46 at 128.83 mph pass was inked in the books as a winning one.
Two top MagnaFuel Open Comp racers cut incredible, perfect 0.0000-second lights in qualifying, but Scott Williams’ overall performance entitled him to the higher ranking over Will McKay. The five rounds of eliminations reshuffled the field with advances and upsets alike, producing a final round featuring Taylor Dietsch and Gordon Harlow. The heavy hitters were both going for it, but Harlow left the line just six-thousandths of a second too soon so Dietsch was able to easily cruise to an uncontested conquest.
A bunch of bracket racers ran for bragging rights on Sunday in Bracket Open, but only the best of the best got to hang around until the evening. As the rest packed up to head home, Rodney Ward and Dell Britt had one last chance for glory – and Ward seized not only the moment, but also the win as he captured his third Victor Award of the weekend as he had won in Micro Strategies Stock and NMRA HP Tuners Super Stang as well.
The new eighth-mile bracket category for drivers ages 13-16 in full-size vehicles, Innovative Performance Technologies Jr. Street, had a handful of hopeful youngsters hustling down the dragstrip. The final two, though, were Hunter Marshall and Justin Jones, both trying their luck at a win but it was Marshall who triumphed with a 9.08 second run on his 9.00 dial as Jones ran a touch too quickly.

On Saturday, the region’s raciest street cars converged on Rockingham Dragway for a 30-mile cruise around the area to before taking to the track to make three back-to-back quarter-mile in Circle D Specialties True Street. When the results were tallied, New Jersey resident Mark Sordato had averaged 9.517 seconds with his Pontiac GTO and was officially awarded the overall win. Shelly Schwemley took second, while Tyler Thomburg won the 10-second group, John Harrell Jr. won the 11-second group, Jerry Jones won the 12-second group, Daniel Huth won the 13-second group, Paul Falcon won the 14-second group, and Mike Baker won the 15-second group.

Also on Saturday, the Hemi-centric Dodge Direct Connection Shootout showcased more than three dozen modern Mopars, but it was Bryce Rohrs of Hicksville, Ohio, who had the quickest of them all. His 2020 Dodge Challenger clocked a three-run average elapsed time of 9.265 seconds to take the overall win, while John Johnson earned the runner up honors. Additional category winners included Michelle Day (9-second), Roberto Vera (10-second), Mike Brice (11-second), Harry Lubitz (12-second), and Ryan Walton (13-second).

The eight quickest Dodge Direct Connection Shootout finishers were welcomed back on Sunday to compete in the exclusive HHP Racing Quick 8 Presented by Scoggin-Dickey competition on a handicapped staggered start and Tripp Carter swept the field. Not only did Carter capture the victory, he also had the lowest elapsed time of each of the three rounds, and the top speed and best reaction time in both the semifinals and the finals for a truly epic weekend.

For the special Open Comp All-Star Shootout, NMCA’s best and brightest took on the top talent from the NMRA. After whittling down the 16-car field, both Jim Johnson and Terry Haynal broke out in the final round but Johnson had the lesser of two evils and was deemed the winner.

Racing wrapped up on Sunday evening with celebrations in the Winner’s Circle and Victor Award presentations for all the successful drag race drivers. The Red Line Oil NMCA Muscle Car Nationals will continue its 2024 season tour with the 19th Annual NMRA/NMCA Race for the Rings & Thrill Festival at World Wide Technology Raceway just outside of St. Louis in Madison, Illinois, over the weekend of May 3-5, 2024. For more information and advance tickets, visit

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