We’re now three races into the 2020 Holley NMRA Drag Racing season and with the completion of the Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing presented by HPJ Performance at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, the NMRA has now filled the first four spots in the GForce Performance Engineering King of the Street ladder for the heads-up eliminator that is to be held at the Nitto Tire NMRA World Finals and Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival at Beech Bend Raceway Park in October.
It was at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in 2019 that Paducah, Kentucky’s Randy Thomas secured his 2019 King of the Street spot and he continued his domination of the region in 2020 after taking the overall QA1 True Street win there again in August of this year.
Thomas drove his supercharged Shelby GT500 to an 8.82, an 8.73 , and an 8.68 to collect the winning 8.78-second average, just a tick quicker than the stick-shifted Fox-Body Mustang of runner up Mike Niehaus and his 8.87 average.
While Thomas is a multi-time True Street champion, he’ll have his work cut out for him come October if last year’s results are any indication. In 2019 competition, Thomas fell in round two to eventual runner up Mike Jovanis, and his 7-second Mustang. Jovanis secured the first spot on the 2020 ladder after his win in QA1 True Street at the season opener in Bradenton, Florida. Donato Sierchio, who also has a 7-second machine, grabbed the second spot, and if Canada’s Jeff Bloem can make it to the next race at US 131 Motorsports Park or the finals in Kentucky, he’ll be poised to defend his 2019 crown.
One thing Thomas has going for him is that his Shelby is incredibly reliable and repeatable, and the higher-powered, quicker cars are often on the knife edge of traction as they push their turbocharged machines to the limit. However, both Jovanis and Bloem are very experienced True Street racers and know their cars well. It should all make for an excellent show come October at Beech Bend Raceway Park.