The coveted Nitto Tire Diamond...
The coveted Nitto Tire Diamond Tree ring was awarded to the winning team members. Nitto also presents a version of this ring to the class champions at the conclusion of the racing season.
It's called the Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing and pits the best of the best in heads-up drag racing competition. Many know it as the NMRA against the NMCA, and there are huge bragging rights at stake.
This year marks the fourth time the Pro Media gang (promoters of both the NMCA and NMRA) has held this party at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois. Once again Nitto Tires was onboard to back this prestigious event, providing its coveted Diamond Tree ring and bonus money for the shootout champions.
The format is simple-each organization competes separately with qualifying and eliminations over three days. On Sunday, after each racing class crowns an event winner, the NMRA/NMCA officials pair each class with the corresponding one in the other organization. Obviously the rules and performances are different, so the racers run off an index using their best run in competition. The heads-up classes don't have to worry about a breakout.
Mark Anderson goes wheels...
Mark Anderson goes wheels up against his NMCA rival, Don Baskin in his Mean Street Chevy II. Anderson was spotted 0.19 in his match race against Baskin. Anderson couldn't hold off the hard-charging Baskin and lost the pairing. It would be one of eight losses Team NMRA suffered in the Super Bowl shootout.
This year, officials decided to award the rings to the organization with the most wins in the 12-pair match race. The bad news is that Team NMRA lost-Team NMCA won its first Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing. The final tally was eight wins for the NMCA versus the NMRA's four. In years past, the team challenge was close. The NMRA usually squeaks out the win with the last pairing.
Despite Team NMRA losing the Super Bowl challenge in 2009, the event is a must-see-fans get two events for the price of one with over 500 cars in competition, and a massive car show and manufacturer's midway.
Dyno Joe entered Super Stang...
Dyno Joe entered Super Stang with his Edelbrock-supercharged '07 Saleen-clone. The class is designed for S197 Mustangs only, and racers dial-in an index for Sunday's eliminations. Joe, unfortunately, went out in the first round.
Jon Huber was on his way to...
Jon Huber was on his way to giving Chad Slattery some tough competition in True Street. Unfortunately, the car started leaking fluid on the track and he was pulled out of competition. Huber was off to a great start with a couple of 8.80 runs with his four-cylinder powerplant. It boasts a new ARCA cylinder head, Jesel valvetrain, and a billet torque converter. Huber said it laid down 890 rwhp on the chassis dyno.
Roush Competition's Ben Mens...
Roush Competition's Ben Mens has been a frequent flier lately with his naturally aspirated ride. He normally competes in Hot Street but chose to run on the NMCA side of the program in the Pro Stock class.
We know Jeff Schmell-he always...
We know Jeff Schmell-he always goes to the outside! Schmell makes a move on a big Mopar with his '07 Shelby GT500 during the 30-mile cruise.
William Hochfellner leads...
William Hochfellner leads a few Gen 2 Lightnings through turn three in a scene that is more like a Camping World Truck series race than a True Street cruise.
At first glance we thought...
At first glance we thought a Shelby GT500KR was competing in True Street. With further inspection and investigation, Jason Lestarge told us it is a clone car that used to be a V-6 ride. He converted it to Shelby looks and added a 4.6L Three-Valve engine with a Vortech V3 H.O. blower. All told, the car produces 460 rwhp.
The True Street champ was...
The True Street champ was Chad Slattery in his '88 coupe. The notchback relies on a Fast Times 427, with Edelbrock Victor Jr. heads and an Induction Solutions fogger system. It runs on pump gas and has been as quick as 8.77 at 155 in testing.
Team NMRA was comprised of winners in the sanctioning body's 12 eliminators. Numerous records fell due to favorable weather conditions and a stellar track surface. We witnessed four record-breaking performances by Dan Millen (Pro Outlaw 10.5), John Kolivas (Super Street Outlaw), Dan Rawls (EFI Renegade), and Dave Guy (Drag Radial).
Quick times weren't the only highlight-the racing was tight as well. Dan Millen might have walked away with the record in Turbonetics Pro Outlaw 10.5, but he wasn't the only fast car in attendance. Doug Sikora made the long haul from Barstow, California, to compete in the NMRA's quickest category. Sikora made waves by qualifying number one with a 6.69-under the national e.t. record held by Mike Murillo at 6.72. By the end of the weekend, Millen secured the record with a 6.69 (thanks to the required back-up). Millen faced Sikora in the finals and walked away with his first '09 NMRA win with a 6.72 to Sikora's impressive 6.76.
Ryan Vitiritto brought out...
Ryan Vitiritto brought out his gorgeous Terminator Cobra-clone for a little fun in True Street. It boasts a Four-Valve engine with a Hellion twin-turbo system onboard. He had the second quickest Ford average with an impressive 9.75.
A new player in ProCharger Super Street Outlaw made the most noise in Joliet, despite a quiet turbocharged combination. Two-time NMRA Drag Radial champion John Kolivas stepped up with a new Bennett Racing 427ci engine and a Precision 94mm turbo. He ran on rather small Mickey Thompson 275/60 drag radials, despite the rest of the class relying on 28x10.5-inch slicks. Kolivas ran the tables by qualifying number one (7.36), turning a new class record (7.32) and beating four-time SSO champ John Urist in the process.
Consistent 7s was the theme in BFGood-rich Drag Radial, and Dave Guy of SGS Automotive topped the list. After hitting the wall a month earlier at the NMRA-Milan event, the team was back on track, setting the record with a 7.97 and going as quick as 7.91. Guy had good company in the 7s, with Sean Lyons running a 7.95 and qualifying number one. Both exited competition early.
Consistency wins, and Enzo Pecchini won over Jason Lee, who went red in the final. Pecchini streaked to the winner's circle with a career best 8.02 at 176 mph.
Jeff Schmell had Paul's High...
Jeff Schmell had Paul's High Performance tune up his Shelby GT500 with a built engine (billet rods, steel crank, forged pistons, and ported heads) and a Whipple 3.4L blower. His Shelby cranked out 875 rwhp on race gas. It was backed down for pump gas use and still blisters 780 rwhp. That kind of power led to drivetrain problems. He only averaged low 12s in True Street, but he vows to be at the next NMRA event in Charlotte, North Carolina, with low 10-second timeslips in hand.
Jim Pickel has dedicated his...
Jim Pickel has dedicated his Real Street entry to our nation's troops. He promotes Eternal Valor Foundation, a non-profit organization that honors fallen soldiers. Unfortunately he was unable to make the lane call in the final round.
Pete Vitiritto brought his...
Pete Vitiritto brought his yellow SN-95 ride out alongside his brother's Cobra clone. Pete left soft with his 17-inch drag radials and clipped off low-12/high-11-second runs for an average of 12.11 in True Street.
This is the maiden voyage...
This is the maiden voyage for Chris Lund's ride, which he built for his wife. The New Edge car is in need of some suspension tuning, but it still ran high 10s with its turbocharged 331ci pushrod engine.
Dan Millen and Doug Sikora...
Dan Millen and Doug Sikora had the two quickest cars in Pro Outlaw 10.5 competition. Both racers ran in the 6.60-range, with Millen taking the record and victory back home to Livernois Motorsports. Sikora can keep his head high-the team made the haul from Barstow, California, and showed everyone that West Coast racers can compete with the East. He set the record for the quickest ProCharger-powered Outlaw 10.5 ride with a 6.69, and qualified in the top spot.
Mike Murillo had a tough weekend...
Mike Murillo had a tough weekend as the team struggled with broken rear gears and chassis adjustments. But he was still smiling as he and his wife, Lisa, hung out with all five of their kids. They were dubbed the Murillo 5 and kept the Pro Outlaw 10.5 point's leader happy despite the tough luck on track.
Bob Kurgan chose to compete...
Bob Kurgan chose to compete in NMCA Xtreme Street rather than Drag Radial. It was a wise choice as he took home three victories in one event! He won a rain-delayed final from a previous NMCA race, the class victory for the Chicago race, as well as his pairing against Team NMRA racer Enzo Pecchini in the Super Bowl portion of the weekend.
Nitrous ruled the roost in DiabloSport EFI Renegade as Dan Rawls of PT Race Engines won his second straight event. He endured four rounds of action against some of the quickest supercharged cars in the category's history. Rawls stuck to his guns and blasted to an 8.52 in the finals, beating Bart Toebner, who suffered engine problems.
NMRA's quickest naturally aspirated eliminator, Edelbrock Hot Street, mimics the old days of NHRA Pro Stock, and the action was just as tight. Charlie Booze Jr. in his high-flying Fox GT took the win over Don Bowles in his Coal Digger IV Maverick, 8.64 to 8.68.
Class winners include Bruce Hemminger-Real Street, Mark Anderson-Eibach Springs Pure Street, Tommy Godfrey-ACT Clutch Factory Stock, Scott Mistro-Roush Modular Muscle, Paul Leaman-Steeda Open Comp, Rick Devito-Detroit Locker Truck and Lightning), and Ken Nine-JDM Engineering Super Stang.
Tremec True Street Presented by MM&FF
The National Lightning Owner's...
The National Lightning Owner's Club held a get-together at this event, and here Dale Reibel heats the hides of his Gen 2 Lightning. Reibel made the long haul from Las Vegas, Nevada, to participate in True Street.
The Tremec/MM&FF True Street participants were treated to a special cruise at the Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing. The NMRA/NMCA officials brokered a deal with the Route 66 Raceway staff to open the gates to the Chicagoland NASCAR track across the street. The staff pulled out a few of the NASCAR pace cars, and the competitors paraded around the famous raceway to prove the street worthiness of their machines.
Once back on the property, the 39 Ford entries were paired against the Brand X machines for an honest street car shootout. Our money was on Jon Huber and his wild turbocharged four-cylinder LX, but he bowed out when he dropped fluid on the track.
Bill Glidden showed up with...
Bill Glidden showed up with his tube chassis Pro Stock car to compete in Pro Street. The car might have a Pontiac body, but a 384ci small-block Ford engine powers it. Glidden was testing a new Speedtech fogger nitrous system on top of his tried-and-true bullet. He ran mid-6s and seemed pleased with the results.
That left the door open for Chad Slattery and his '88 Mustang LX coupe. The nitrous-injected coupe blasted to a 9.16 average, besting Lou Iacopetti for top honors in True Street, but Slattery made it interesting. After clicking off an 8.87 and 8.89, his M/T drag radials spun hard on the last run and he slowed to a 9.72. Lucky for him, Iacopetti ran into trouble with his Buick Grand National (running a big-block Chevy with a ProCharger F2 blower) and fell off pace with a 9.51 in the third round (9.17 and 9.15 in the previous two rounds). Slattery was crowned the King of Chicago with a 9.16 average; Iacopetti finished with a 9.28.
Susan Roush-McClenaghan (far...
Susan Roush-McClenaghan (far lane) was competing in two categories-NMRA Modular Muscle and NMCA Open Comp. She did better with her NMCA car and won Open Comp. Here she represented NMCA and squared off against Paul Leaman's wild '32 Ford NMRA Open Comp entry. Roush-McClenaghan showed her prowess as a racer and took down her NMRA competitor.
Bruce Hemminger hangs the...
Bruce Hemminger hangs the hides in the finals of Real Street. The nitrous racer went uncontested in the final round, as Jim Pickel was unable to make the round call due to engine carnage. Hemminger ran a 9.47 at 141 mph with his coupe.
MV Performance's Bart Toebner...
MV Performance's Bart Toebner stood his car on the bumper several times over the weekend. Toebner was a consistent mid-8 player and faced Dan Rawls in the finals, but lost due to engine troubles. Toebner utilizes a Four-Valve modular engine with a Vortech YSi-trim blower.
This is the contrast of style...
This is the contrast of style when Team NMRA lines up against Team NMCA. Renegade winner Dan Rawls (near lane) goes mid-8s using stock suspension, true 10.5-inch slicks, and a 364ci engine on nitrous. Kevin Parent (far lane) has a '70 Nova featuring a 530ci engine on nitrous with a four-link suspension and giant tires. Thanks to an index system, Rawls was spotted nearly a second head start and held on for the Super Bowl win, only one of four wins for Team NMRA.
Dave Guy bounced back after...
Dave Guy bounced back after tagging the wall a month earlier at the NMRA-Milan event. He set the record in Drag Radial with a 7.97 but lost in the semifinals to Jason Lee. Guy ran as quick as 7.91 but wasn't able to back it up within one percent.
It doesn't happen often but...
It doesn't happen often but John Urist was outrun. The Nitto Tire-backed racer ran consistently in the 7.30s but was no match for Kolivas, who was a half a tenth quicker with a best of 7.32.
In addition to the overall winner, NMRA gave out other awards in the True Street challenge. Ford racers won all but one of the index categories, the 12-second bracket. Eric Lozowski took the 10-second zone with an average of 10.05. Robert Davis Jr. drove his '93 Stang to an 11.00 average using a 10.94, 11.01, and 11.06. Vernon Jones delivered his '93 SVT Lightning to victory in the 13-second bracket (13.01 average). Oliver Marianne was the only competitor in the 14-second zone, so he won by default with his 14.09 average. The final winner in True Street was Greg Tomczyk with a 15.02 three-run compilation.
|MM&FF True Street Top 25
|1. Chad Slattery
|2. Ryan Vitiritto
|3. Eric Lozowski
|4. Robert Reffiey
|5. Bill Unkel
|6. Chris Lund
|7. Robert Davis Jr.
|8. Chad Creamer
|9. David Neivert
|10. Kurt Kreisz
|11. Pete Vitiritto
|12. Jack Caldwell
|13. Jeff Schmell
|14. Justin Oberg
|15. Michael Tomczyk
|16. Tony Semo
|17. Dale Reibel
|18. Vernon Jones
|19. William Gehrky
|20. William Hochfellner
|21. Dave Patterson
|22. Chris Eaton
|23. Jason Lestarge
|24. Matt Belt
|25. Steve Raue