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Race Wrap | Scoggin Dickey NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem

Posted By: Ainsley Jacobs

The Red Line Synthetic Oil NMCA Muscle Car Nationals returned to Kentucky’s beautiful Beech Bend Raceway Park for the first time since 2017 for the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem Presented by Scott’s Trailer Sales + Saturday Thrill Festival over the weekend of May 31-June 2, 2024.

 

Qualifying kicked off on Friday and two sessions were completed for all classes while the Dodge Direction Connection Shootout cars made their time-trial test passes. Although inclement weather threw a wrench in the plans for Saturday and the entire day’s schedule was scrapped, the ProMedia event team pushed hard and prevailed as the event was ultimately run to completion on Sunday.

 

And, making the weekend even more special, the race also featured huge purse increases and top-qualifier cash courtesy of the generous Jack Roush as a tribute to his dear friend and former series racer, Don Bowles Sr.

 

With $10,000 on the line in VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod, the biggest and baddest doorslammers duked it out in the eighth mile. Jeff Rudolf was the quickest in qualifying, as his 3.652 at 205.29 mph trip in hisGhetto SleighProCharger-supercharged 1969 Chevrolet Camaro gave him an advantage going into eliminations. Rudolf held on through to the finals and met with Ed Marx and his blown 2023 Camaro for a quintessential battle of classic versus modern muscle. In a hurry to get to the stripe first, it was a case of premature acceleration for Marx who triggered the dreaded red light and let Rudolf wrap up his picture-perfect weekend.

 

In Nitrous Pro Street, Kyle Salminen led the way after the qualifying order was finalized thanks to his 2003 Chevy Cavalier’s 4.231 at 169.27 mph run. There was $4,000 up for grabs to the winner in eliminations, and both Salminen and the number two qualifier, Lenny Grawburg of Bradenton, Florida, each fought hard to make it his own. The two ran head-to-head in the finals, but it was Grawburg who swiped the success for himself with a winning 4.241-second pass in his 1969 Chevy Camaro over Salminen’s close but no cigar 4.262.

 

A large field of nearly two dozen NMCA Edelbrock Xtreme Street racers vied for a $5,500 payday, but it was Camren Massengale whose 2001 Chevy Corvette topped the qualifying sheet with a class-leading 4.530 at 158.45 mph pass. In eliminations, experts in the category Joel Greathouse and Dave Fiscus lined up their 1993 Ford Mustangs for a final round featuring Ford versus Buick power underhood. Nearly identical 0.03-second reaction times in both lanes made for a thrillingly close matchup, and it was multi-time champion Greathouse who eclipsed the eighth-mile mark first, posting a time of 4.561 at 161.88 mph on the scoreboards to edge out Fiscus’s 4.594 at 156.66 mph in the other lane.

 

Holley EFI Factory Super Cars hot shot Jason Dietsch clinched the number one qualifier bragging rights once again with his trusty 2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet, as his 7.781 at 180.36 mph run was the best of the bunch before eliminations began. Hot on his heels in second was Tony Scott with his 2020 COPO Camaro, and they made for a timeless Ford versus Chevy final-elimination face-off. Scott got the jump on Dietsch at the start and maintained his advantage to the big end where his 7.881 at 174.19 mph pass won over Dietsch’s quicker 7.855 at 177.91 mph trip and Scott captured the $4,000 winner’s purse on a hole shot.

 

Hopes were high for Dart NA 10.5 driver John Langer, as his leading performance in qualifying of 7.677 at 179.18 mph with his 1969 Pontiac Trans Am put him in a good position to start eliminations. Langer took three round wins and earned a spot in the finals against Leonard Long and his 1995 Ford Mustang. Long had the quicker reaction time of the two as well as the quicker elapsed time, and his 7.846 at 174.46 mph pass held strong over Langer’s 7.875 at 177.04 mph. For his performance, Long was awarded the substantial $6,000 winner’s paycheck.

 

The NMRA’s popular SunCoast Performance 8.60 Street Race category got to enjoy an extra outing as part of the NMCA family this weekend, and Rick Baum’s 2000 Ford Mustang GT put down an impressive 8.602 at 160.56 mph run in qualifying to secure the top spot. The final elimination round, however, saw Casey Flora and Barry Cook fighting it out for $2,000 with Flora sealing the deal at the stripe from the driver’s seat of his 2016 Ford Mustang GT as Cook was just one-thousandth too quick.

 

The Scoggin-Dickey Street Warrior 10.10 Presented by Chevrolet Performance class has been steadily growing in popularity since its introduction, and this weekend’s running of the category saw Bill Wittenauer put down an impressively perfect 10.100-second pass to qualifying in the premiere place with his 1989 Ford Mustang. Wittenauer exited in round two of eliminations, but the number-five and -six qualified drivers, Mike Winters and Paul Hosick, respectively, were the last two men left standing as the night wound to a close. Both aiming at the elusive 10.10 target time, it was a double-breakout scenario with Winters having the lesser of two evils on a 10.098-second pass to take the $2,000 cash for his win.

 

LME Street King Presented by Chevrolet Performance veteran Keith Vaughn once again put his capable 1987 Chevy Corvette in the top qualifying spot, going 10.009 on his 10.00 index. When eliminations began, the excitement was amped up by a $1,800 check for the last man standing. Nearly nailing their dial-ins of 9.00 and 10.50, respectively, Cody Poston went 9.034 and David Rickey ran 10.554 in the final match-up and it was Poston’s lane that had cause for celebration.

 

Al Corda was the number-one qualifier in Proform Rumble Presented by Chevrolet Performance, as he coaxed a nearly-perfect 10.002-second pass from his 2014 COPO Camaro. When three rounds of tire smoke had cleared, Nicholas Massengale and Kevin Rowand emerged from the fray to fight in the fourth and final round. Both were close to their dial-ins, but Massengale had the winning package when he went 14.007 at 97.17 mph on his 14.00 index over Rowand’s 11.038 at 125.80 on an 11.00 index. As the winner, Massengale went home with an extra $1,800 to his name.
 

Gunning for an impressive $4,500-to-win payday, the Micro Strategies Stock category hosted 35 contestants and Dave Swanson positioned himself at the top of the order as eliminations began. After five rounds of racing, the sixth and final brought together TC Morris and Doug Duell. An uncharacteristic -0.021-second reaction time from Duell, though, turned the win light on in Morris’s lane and he cruised on to an uncontested victory.

 

Meanwhile, with $4,500 also on the line for the winner in Micro Strategies Super Stock, reigning class champion Mark Nowicki piloted his 1998 Dodge Avenger to the front of the field in qualifying. Nowicki hung out to the semifinals, but Knox Blincoe and Kevin Gass surpassed him on their way to the finals with their '60s-era Camaros. Running on a 9.54 and a 10.01 dial-in, respectively, Blincoe’s 9.593 stole the show over Gass’s 10.008.

 

In Erson Cams Nostalgia Muscle Presented by World Products qualifying, Jeff Toepper stayed closest to his index with his 1969 Chevrolet Camaro and went 11.277 to claim the top spot as his own but Noah Winters brought the heat in the finals after Jacob Weigl left the line to soon and Winters celebrated to the tune of $1,750.

 

With almost fifty racers trying their luck in Fastest Street Car Nostalgia Super Stock, Glenn Willett had his 1964 Plymouth Savoy expertly dialed in and qualified first overall as he produced a 10.001-second time slip. Round after round, each racer gave it their best shot but Doug Duell went home $5,000 richer when he put together a nearly perfect package with a 0.004-second reaction time and a 9.002-second run on his 9.00 dial-in; Donnie Wilson took the runner-up honors with a valiant effort.

 

Always a cutthroat category, the competition in MagnaFuel Open Comp was heightened even further than usual thanks to the addition of a $3,750-to-win incentive. In a group of nearly 30 racers, Phil Wrobleski’s 0.005-second reaction time in qualifying was the quickest overall and placed him in the most advantageous qualifying position before the start of eliminations. The battle of attrition in eliminations ultimately whittled the field down to just two, Will McKay and Susan Roush McClenaghan. Going almost dead on his dial-in of 11.40 with an 11.407-second pass, McKay relegated Roush-McClenaghan to the runner-up position as he and his 1985 Ford Thunderbird headed straight for the Winner’s Circle.

 

Bracket racing is alive and well in the NMCA and at Beech Bend Raceway Park, as a big bunch ran for glory on Sunday in Bracket Open 1 and Bracket Open 2. In the B1 Super Pro/Electronics category, Justin Wright and Braden Sloan were both on point with their tune-ups to turn up in the finals, and each man ran close to his intended mark. It was Wright, however, who captured the Victor Award. In B2 Pro/No Electronics, Rodney Ward worked hard to arrive in the finals where he was rewarded with an easy win when David Moorman accidentally fouled at the start.

 

Delayed until Sunday due to Saturday’s rain, the area’s toughest street-legal racecars showed up to show off Circle D Specialties True Street. After three back-to-back blasts down the drag strip, Tennessee’s Barry Cook was the only driver to break into the 8-second zone and as his 2002 Pontiac Trans Am’s average of 8.728 seconds was the quickest of all, he was awarded the overall win and a $1,000 prize. Bradley Stimson’s 9.386-second average gave him the runner-up honors, while Marshall Meyers won the 10-second group, Rhys Duncan won the 12-second group, Brody Walker won the 13-second group, Daniel Huth won the 14-second group, and Mike Baker won the 15-second group.

 

Sunday’s Dodge Direct Connection Shootout put Mopar’s latest and greatest Hurricane- and Gen III Hemi-powered machines to work. John Johnson of Alabama proved he had the quickest of them all when his 2016 Dodge Challenger clocked a three-run average elapsed time of 8.814 seconds to take the overall win and $1,000 in pocket change, while Josh Schwartz earned the runner-up honors with his 9.082 average. Additional category winners included Tommy Falk (10-second), Dan Koehne Jr. (11-second), Alan Scanlan (12-second), Ken Mason (13-second), Nicole Ratliff (14-second), and Daniel Koehne Sr. (15-second).

 

On Sunday, the quickest eight entries from the Dodge Direct Connection Shootout took part in the exclusive HHP Racing Quick 8 Presented by Scoggin-Dickey competition. Racing on a handicapped staggered start to level the playing field, Dodge Direct Connection Shootout winner John Johnson turned on the win light when he defeated Bryce Rohrs in the final round.

 

For Friday’s special Dave Schultz Memorial Nostalgia Muscle vs. Nostalgia Super Stock Shootout, five tough rounds of competition whittled the field down to just two men: Noah Winters and Geary Bates. With both men running on an 11.00 dial-in, Winters’s 1985 Chevy Camaro and 1969 Mercury Cougar were evenly matched and it all came down to driver skill. Both showed their prowess by putting down 11.0X-second passes, but Bates unexpectedly triggered the red light by a mere one-hundredth of a second and handed the win over to Winters. Schultz was honored on Saturday when his ashes were driven down the dragstrip during a special ceremony.

 

Finally, the special $250 Hard Luck Award from Jack Roush was presented to FSC Nostalgia Super Stock competitor Tim Frees; on his way to Kentucky from his home in Wisconsin, the battery in his 1963 Plymouth Savoy exploded while the car was in the trailer and Frees narrowly escaped catastrophe.

 

Racing wrapped up on Sunday evening with celebrations in the Winner’s Circle and Victor Award presentations for all the successful drivers and teams. The Red Line Oil NMCA Muscle Car Nationals will continue its 2024 season tour with the 4th Annual TorqStorm Superchargers NMRA/NMCA Power Festival Presented by Nitto Tire & Thrill Festival at US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan, over the weekend of July 19-21, 2024. For more information and advance tickets, visit NMCAdigital.com.


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