Santa Ana, Calif. (August 5, 2016) - For the eleventh time, the NMRA Keystone Automotive Ford Nationalsand the NMCA Muscle Car Nationals presented by E3 Spark Plugs combined to create a wild weekend of drag racing with 24 categories plus QA1/Gear Vendors True Street. The event is called the Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing and it goes down every summer at Route 66 Raceway.
The massive weekend of competition includes over 800 vehicles on the drag strip and show grounds. Each series whittles down its respective eliminators and crowns an event champion before bringing them back around for the Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing—putting league versus league in a staggered start, no breakout eliminator. The winner of each pairing receives a cash bonus while the team with the most victories is crowned the winner and each racer receives a Nitto Tire Diamond Tree championship ring. Team NMRA lost its third Super Bowl of Street Legal Shootout in the eleven-year history of the unique shootout as the final pair determined the outcome.
The VP Racing Fuels/Wiseco Street Outlaw category brings together the fast 275 radial category from both NMRA and NMCA as the rules are a direct crossover. The 26-car field was whittled down to Charles Hull and Jacky McCarty—two of the category’s most prolific racers. It was all McCarty, with his new Ford engine, as Hull went red giving him the instant victory. The finale would’ve been epic as Hull posted a 4.438 at 172.14 mph to McCarty’s 4.436 at 167.47 mph, but the foul start by Hull prevented making a race of it.
It continues to be the year of the supercharger in Edelbrock Renegade as Aaron Bates and Adam Arndt met in the final round. It marked the first time these two racers faced each other in eliminations this season. Bates was out first and stayed there as he cruised to a 7.559 at 183.69 mph to Arndt’s 7.620 at 180.67 mph effort.
The final 275 radial category is a bit more restrictive than Renegade as ProCharger Coyote Modified caters strictly to the engine platform in its class title. With smaller power adders, it backs off the elapsed times to the low 8-second zone with the category’s top two racers, Joe Guertin and Jeff Polivka, dipping into the 7.90s. In the finals, Polivka got the jump on the tree and never looked back, as he cruised to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle with an 8.026 at 172.10 mph to Guertin’s traction-limited 15.274 at just 59.31 mph.
For the first time in nearly two years, there was a new winner in G-Force Racing Transmissions Pure Street that wasn’t Teddy Weaver or Jimmy Wilson. In his first career victory, Ron Cullember dominated the naturally aspirated elimination with 9.80 runs through every round of competition. He beat Shawn Johnson in the finals, 9.847 at 135.21 mph to Johnson’s 10.024 at 130.45 mph.
Race Pages Coyote Stock drama flowed on track with holeshot victories and bumper-to-bumper action. After Jacob Lamb and Drew Lyons exited competition it opened the door for a new racer to enter the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle in 2016. Tim Matherly scored his first Coyote Stock win on the one-year anniversary of joining the category. He beat Shane Stymiest thanks to a holeshot; 10.452 at 126.47 mph to a quicker—but losing—10.413 at 126.60 mph.
It was Ground Hog Day in the other 10-second heads-up class, American Racing Headers Factory Stock. James Meredith and Dan Ryntz met up in the final round in a repeat of the Super Nationals finale last month. The outcome was the same with Meredith preserving his perfect season thanks to a 10.760 at 124.27 mph, as Ryntz posted a 10.931 at 120.90 mph.
Danny Towe scored his third victory in the newly formed Race Pages Ford Muscle, as he defeated Bryan Parker in a double-breakout final. Towe ran 11.983 on his 12.00 index as Parker went deeper past his 12.50 index with a 12.460 performance. Most of the time, the Brenspeed customers are in the NMRA limelight with outstanding performances, event victories, and championships. This outing, it was Brent White’s turn to be the talk of the NMRA community. The owner of Brenspeed drove Four Leaf, the company’s 2013 Mustang GT, to the class win over longtime customer Marvin Knack in Roush Performance Super Stang. White ran 11.529 at an 11.50 index, which bested the 12.076 on a 12.06 effort by Knack.
The Detroit Lock Truck & Lightning was a story that could’ve been written by Hollywood as Jim Roberts in his first race back since heart surgery drove his granddaughter’s Gen-2 Lightning to victory! He topped Fallon Walker who went red with a -.101 reaction time in the final round.
The massively large field of Flex-a-lite Open Comp ended with Mike Olencheck and Rob Collum in a low 10-second battle. Olencheck ran 10.272 on a 10.18 index as Collum fell way off his 10.11 pace with a 10.300 run at 130.14 mph.
The turbocharged S197 of Don Jones Jr. captured his first Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle event when he knocked off a 9.840 on a 9.78 index, besting Jason Henson in the process.
In QA1 True Street, the spotlight was on Kevin McCotter of Clio, Michigan, who was the overall winner in his ’90 Mustang with a 9.67 average, and Michael Ciborowski of Trenton, Illinois, who was the runner-up in his ’14 Mustang with a 9.74 average. Ten-second-winner honors went to Rick Lapinski of Cheektowaga, New York in his ’14 Mustang Shelby GT500, while Bob Hochrader of Dundee, Michigan earned the 11-second win in his ’11 Mustang. Scott Gilbert of Elgin, Illinois grabbed the 12-second win in his ’89 Mustang, and Jeff Buch of St. Charles, Illinois muscled his ’12 Mustang to the 13-second win. Longtime NMRA competitor Chris Parisi of Jax, Florida flew his ’16 Mustang to the 14-second win, and Belinda Moore of Chicago Heights, Illinois, powered her ’95 Mustang to the 15-second win.
The next stop for the NMRA series is the Nitto Tire NMRA World Finals held at Beech Bend Raceway in scenic Bowling Green, KY over the weekend of Sept. 29 to Oct. 2, 2016.