The NMRA And NMCA Join For A Drag Race Event - Summer Super Bowl
The National Mustang Racing Association And National Muscle Car Association Join For One Of The Biggest Races Of The Year.
From the December, 2006 issue of Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
By Steve Baur
Aaron Stapleton drove the...
Aaron Stapleton drove the Sutton Performance modular-powered '05 Mustang to the number-one qualifying spot in ProCharger EFI Renegade. Its speed and e.t. were the subject of much speculation on whether or not the modular has a distinct advantage. Stapleton took down Bart Tobener and Zoop Zelonis to get a bye into the final against New Lenox, Illinois' Bob Cook.
The Super Bowl of street-legal...
The Super Bowl of street-legal drag racing saw the staging lanes swell with over 400
Jack Roush performed as the...
Jack Roush performed as the Grand Marshall of the event and sat down with the journalists for a little Q&A. While his good friend Don Bowles got him back into drag racing, Roush has been fostering a team that consists of his son, Jack Jr.; daughter, Susan; and his son-in-law, Dale McClenaghan.
When ProMedia, the folks behind the NMRA and NMCA sanctioning bodies, told us they were putting together a combined race for the '06 season, most everyone agreed it had the potential to be one of the biggest street-legal shootout drag race events ever. No one knew just how big, though, and what we found at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois, the weekend of July 27-30 was absolute insanity.
Hundreds of heads-up and bracket cars swelled the pits and provided relentless, back-to-back-to-back racing all weekend at the event sponsored by Motive Gear and Nitto Tire.
Racing began on Thursday with the first of three qualifying rounds. NMRA and NMCA classes were run staggered throughout the event, and while the latter half of Thursday was engulfed by a monsoon, racers fortunately avoided a subsequent tornado that touched down in the area during the evening hours. The rain cleared by Friday morning, but the temperature and humidity had risen to sweltering levels.
Despite the conditions, racers tore up the track and a couple of X Games-bound freestyle motocross riders entertained the crowd with wild, two-wheel antics. Round 1 of eliminations was held under the lights Saturday night, with the quarter-finals, semifinals, and finals coming on Sunday.
Sunday also brought the Super Bowl's Grand Marshall, Jack Roush, into town, and we got to sit and talk with him during a media-only discussion. Despite running five NASCAR Nextel Cup teams and flourishing businesses, he says that since his friend and former racing buddy Don Bowles got back into drag racing, he has decided to tag along. Roush says he goes to the quarter-mile (usually Milan Dragway in Michigan) every Wednesday night when he's home.
"What I learned from drag racing formed the foundation of my judgement and business case in every form of racing since," Roush says. "Right now, I'm having fun teaching the Roush engineers and my family what I know about drag racing." He looks at his six-car drag racing team as a way to build the Roush Performance Parts division.
Once Roush completed his ceremonial speech, he and Don Bowles got in Bowles' car and let it rip down the track to kick things off. From then on, the action was relentless as the NMRA and NMCA went class for class through their eliminations. At the end of the day, the winners from each class were paired up for an NMRA versus NMCA ultimate showdown.
Brookville, Indiana's Tony...
Brookville, Indiana's Tony Bischoff qualified number one in Pro 5.0 with his nitrous-sniffing, 646ci '02 Cougar. Bischoff received a bye in Round 1 and faced Joe Morgan's Motive Gear entry in the second frame. Morgan had replaced a burnt piston after qualifying, but the car had problems again, which set Bischoff against Michael Hauf in the final. Hauf was first off the Tree, but slowed to a 7.57 at 194 mph, while Bischoff rocketed to the win with a 6.63 at 211 mph. His day wasn't over, though, as he squared off against Brian Robbins in the Skinny Kid Oldsmobile during the showdown. Bischoff held off the hard-charging Cutlass at the stripe, thus sealing the team win for the NMRA.
Paul Miller's Danchuck Manufacturing...
Paul Miller's Danchuck Manufacturing jet car lit up the evening skies with a brilliant afterburner display and 260-mph trap speeds.
Michael Hauf squeaked past...
Michael Hauf squeaked past Pro 5.0 points leader Don Walsh Jr. when Walsh went -0.010 red on the Tree. It would have been a great race, with Hauf running a 6.76 to Walsh's 6.77.
The showdown, which used a handicap system to level the playing field, was a well fought battle, with the NMCA stepping up to three straight class victories before the NMRA's return volley served up a steady stream of five victories. Not going down without a fight, the NMCA guys came back with two more wins tying it up for the final round, which pitted the fastest cars from DiabloSport Pro 5.0 and Denso Pro Street. The NMRA's Pro 5.0 chalked up another victory to take the team win for 2006. Super Bowl class winners walked away with bonus cash and Nitto Diamond Tree championship rings.
The showdown was such a success, the ProMedia folks will offer trophies to the winners as well as a championship cup to the team that wins next year. And speaking of winners, check out the photos and captions we snapped to get the details on the Super Bowl of street-legal drag racing
|’06 Motive Gear Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag |
Racing Showdown Results, presented by Nitto Tire
|Vortech Modular Muscle vs. Original Parts Group Nostalgia Muscle Car |
|W ||Jeff Barr |
|R/U ||David Beyer—NMRA |
|Detroit Locker Truck vs. Motive Gear Super Truck |
|W ||Michael Roup |
|R/U ||Dave Cole—NMRA |
|Toyo Tires Open Comp vs. Superchips Racing Open Comp |
|W ||Ron Arbogast |
|R/U ||Robert Motycka—NMRA |
|ProCharger EFI Renegade vs. GMPP Nostalgia Pro Street |
|W ||Johnny Baio |
|R/U ||Bob Cook—NMRA |
|MSD Super Street Outlaw vs. Nitto Tire Super Street 10.5W |
|W ||Bill Glidden |
|R/U ||John Urist—NMRA |
|K&N Filters Factory Stock vs. Hamburger’s Performance Nostalgia Super Stock |
|W ||Shawn Johnson—NMRA |
|R/U ||Bud Cochran |
|BF Goodrich Drag Radial vs. Vortech Xtreme Street |
|W ||John Kolivas—NMRA |
|R/U ||Cameron Coble |
|Tremec Pure Street vs. BFGoodrich Mean Street |
|W ||Ron Anderson—NMRA |
|R/U ||Jeff Swanson |
|5.0 Real Street vs. Car Craft Street Race |
|W ||Bruce Hemminger—NMRA |
|R/U ||Tim Meagher |
|Edelbrock Hot Street vs. TCI/Pro-X Pro Stock |
|W ||Charlie Booze—NMRA |
|R/U ||John Langer |
|Diablosport Pro 5.0 vs. Denso Pro Mod |
|W ||Tony Bischoff—NMRA |
|R/U ||Brian Robbins |
Albuquerque, New Mexico's...
Albuquerque, New Mexico's John Urist flew into Joliet on Saturday and laid down an off-the-trailer 7.68 to grab the number-three qualifying slot in MSD Super Street Outlaw. He took the fire out of Don Shobe's Mustang in the first round and sailed past Ed Imhoff in the second for a trip to the final against Billy Laskowsky. Laskowsky had dropped several passes in the 7.70 range, but a cam bearing failure proved destructive in the final round, giving Urist the win.
Outlaw competitor Jarrett...
Outlaw competitor Jarrett Halfacre was down on his luck before the race, but thanks to his grandmother, he was able to make it to Joliet. Flying the Betty Boop character on his '93 Mustang, he qualified number two with a 7.64 e.t., but went down in the first round with an 8.17 against Zack Posey.
Another new ride in Outlaw...
Another new ride in Outlaw belonged to Strictly Performance's Richard Lelsz. Lelsz has stepped up quite a bit from his low-9-second Terminator Cobra, first with a naturally aspirated combo in this new car and then converting it to Outlaw specs along with a turbocharged 385ci engine. Lelsz qualified Sixth with a 7.88 (yes, the competition was that tough), but the team found bearing material in the oil after the last qualifying run and called it a weekend.
Debuting a brand-new Outlaw...
Debuting a brand-new Outlaw ride in NMRA competition was Jefferson, Louisiana's Carlo Catalanatto. The turbocharged, 347-cube machine fried a transmission on Friday night, and although the crew got it back up and running in the morning, the Pony came up short in Round 1 competition against Phil Hines.
Ashland Mississippi's John...
Ashland Mississippi's John Kolivas entered Joliet having never run in the 8.20 range, and he left having knocked down eight straight runs in that zone, along with the win in the BFGoodrich Drag Radial class. Kolivas faced stiff competition from the 16-car field, including a tight race in the semifinal against Chris Tuten. His win over Mauro Vitale in the final was equally dramatic in the 8.23 to 8.27 final round. Kolivas also helped the NMRA achieve a team victory by taking out Xtreme Street winner Cameron Coble in the Super Bowl showdown.
Chad Doyle of Holland, Ohio,...
Chad Doyle of Holland, Ohio, posted the fastest qualifying time in BFGoodrich Drag Radial with an 8.22 at 171 mph, but he broke in the first round.
A racer's career begins when...
A racer's career begins when he learns how to drive, and Nitto Tire had the hot setup at its lavish booth on the manufacturer's midway. Here, Nino Catalanatto sharpens his skills on Nitto's drag-racing video game.
A hotly contested 16-car EFI...
A hotly contested 16-car EFI Renegade field saw Bob Cook secure the victory by taking a couple of easy wins in the first two rounds before moving past Scott Lovell on a holeshot in the semis. The final paired him with number-one qualifier Aaron Stapleton who fell off the pace, giving Cook the win.
This freestyle motocross rider...
This freestyle motocross rider had one of the best views of the strip. We should have strapped a camera to him, but then if he bit it, so would our camera.
Just two-thousandths of a...
Just two-thousandths of a second kept Charlie Booze Jr. out of the top qualifying spot, but it mattered little, as he was quick and consistent on the Tree moving past Robert Blankenship and Judson Massingill in Hot Street eliminations. Booze faced a tough Leo Johnson in the next round, but got by him to meet top qualifier Bob Hanlon for the money. He won the final on a holeshot, running 9.06 to Hanlon's quicker-but-losing 9.04. Booze went on to defeat Pro Stock competitor John Langer in the showdown.
Bob Hanlon's '83 GT has become...
Bob Hanlon's '83 GT has become a fixture in Edelbrock Hot Street. Hanlon came out swinging with 9.0s to dismiss the likes of Randy Henry and Max Gross.
Bruce Hemminger hung the front...
Bruce Hemminger hung the front wheels of his '86 Real Street entry all weekend long and qualified number one with a 9.99 e.t. He was the only Real Street racer to visit the single digits, but he met stiff competition from Robin Lawrence and Brian Meyer. He defeated both of them, and along with Mark Magnuson, provided an all-nitrous final round. Hemminger's horsepower and quick reaction time prevailed, and he also took the showdown win for the NMRA over Street Race driver Tim Meagher, who redlighted.
Driver distraction or driver...
Driver distraction or driver aid? You decide.
Mark Magnuson of Barrington,...
Mark Magnuson of Barrington, Illinois, was at the helm of the JPC Real Street machine of Justin Burcham. While Magnuson qualified Fifth in the nine-car field, he proceeded through to the final round.
The naturally aspirated Tremec...
The naturally aspirated Tremec Pure Street class featured a tough 13-car field of which Lexington, Illinois' Ron Anderson sat on top. Competitors came and went, and eventually Brad Meadows gave Anderson the final-round victory with a red light. Anderson also tied up the NMRA/NMCA showdown with a win over former Stock Eliminator racer turned Mean Street runner Jeff Swanson and his '93 Cobra clone.
The '99 Mustang Cobra of Byron...
The '99 Mustang Cobra of Byron Center, Michigan's Shawn Johnson sliced and diced the Tree against top-seated Mike Washington with a 0.075 reaction time versus a 0.176. Washington's quicker-but-losing pass was not enough to overcome the starting-line advantage. Dennis Merrow had also been chopping down the Tree as well, but slowed in the F/S final to hand the win to Johnson, who also prevailed against Nostalgia Super Stock champ Bud Cochran in the NMRA/NMCA showdown.
Back in Factory Stock after...
Back in Factory Stock after a brief hiatus was Mike Washington and his '93 Cobra. The snake posted the quickest qualifying time with an 11.76 at 115 mph, but fell to Shawn Johnson in the quarter-finals.
There was plenty of competition...
There was plenty of competition in the Vortech Modular Muscle group. David Beyer of Royal Palm Beach, Florida, piloted his '05 Legend Lime Mustang to the final round where he squared off against '06 WFC winner Paul Svinicki, whose Ford GT-powered Mustang left 0.002 second before the green light came on.
Toyo Tires Open Comp saw Robert...
Toyo Tires Open Comp saw Robert Motycka of Lawton, Michigan, take the win over a tough-to-beat Larry Geddes with a 10.05 on a 10.01 dial in.
Jason Slawecki from Burbank,...
Jason Slawecki from Burbank, Illinois, won the burnout contest hands down.
Former Pro 5.0 racer Bill...
Former Pro 5.0 racer Bill Glidden cut through the Nitto Tire Super Street contingent with surgical precision. In the final, Glidden faced Livernois Motorsports' Dan Millen in a nitrous versus turbo final. Reaction times were nearly identical, but Glidden edged out Millen at the stripe with a 7.04 to 7.13 effort. Glidden also took down John Urist in the showdown.
Damon Dais took his '79 Indy...
Damon Dais took his '79 Indy Pace Car Mustang to the True/Wild Street top spot, posting a 9.40, a 9.58, and a 9.75 for a 9.58 average. Dais was the only contestant of the 46-car field to average in the 9s, with Steve Critchlow taking the runner-up spot with a 10.14 average.