Aaron Stapleton drove the Sutton Performance modular-powered '05 Mustang to the number-one
The Super Bowl of street-legal drag racing saw the staging lanes swell with over 400
Jack Roush performed as the Grand Marshall of the event and sat down with the journalists
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 Bischoff qualified number one in Pro 5.0 with his nitrous-sniff
Paul Miller's Danchuck Manufacturing jet car lit up the evening skies with a brilliant aft
Michael Hauf squeaked past Pro 5.0 points leader Don Walsh Jr. when Walsh went -0.010 red
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 John Urist flew into Joliet on Saturday and laid down an off-the
Outlaw competitor Jarrett Halfacre was down on his luck before the race, but thanks to his
Another new ride in Outlaw belonged to Strictly Performance's Richard Lelsz. Lelsz has ste
Debuting a brand-new Outlaw ride in NMRA competition was Jefferson, Louisiana's Carlo Cata
Ashland Mississippi's John Kolivas entered Joliet having never run in the 8.20 range, and
Chad Doyle of Holland, Ohio, posted the fastest qualifying time in BFGoodrich Drag Radial
A racer's career begins when he learns how to drive, and Nitto Tire had the hot setup at i
A hotly contested 16-car EFI Renegade field saw Bob Cook secure the victory by taking a co
This freestyle motocross rider had one of the best views of the strip. We should have stra
Just two-thousandths of a second kept Charlie Booze Jr. out of the top qualifying spot, bu
Bob Hanlon's '83 GT has become a fixture in Edelbrock Hot Street. Hanlon came out swinging
Bruce Hemminger hung the front wheels of his '86 Real Street entry all weekend long and qu
Driver distraction or driver aid? You decide.
Mark Magnuson of Barrington, Illinois, was at the helm of the JPC Real Street machine of J
The naturally aspirated Tremec Pure Street class featured a tough 13-car field of which Le
The '99 Mustang Cobra of Byron Center, Michigan's Shawn Johnson sliced and diced the Tree
Back in Factory Stock after a brief hiatus was Mike Washington and his '93 Cobra. The snak
There was plenty of competition in the Vortech Modular Muscle group. David Beyer of Royal
Toyo Tires Open Comp saw Robert Motycka of Lawton, Michigan, take the win over a tough-to-
Jason Slawecki from Burbank, Illinois, won the burnout contest hands down.
Former Pro 5.0 racer Bill Glidden cut through the Nitto Tire Super Street contingent with
Damon Dais took his '79 Indy Pace Car Mustang to the True/Wild Street top spot, posting a