Commack, New York’s Eric Bardekoff has been working towards an NMRA event win for several years now, and his hard work and perseverance paid off as he brought home the Edelbrock Renegade class win during the Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport at Atlanta Dragway in April.
Bardekoff came into the weekend hoping to get his Whipple-supercharged S550 Mustang into the 4.50s, and he did just that, posting a 4.57 in the first round of qualifying to take the top spot. His next few attempts, however, results in wheel spin and Bardekoff dug into the S550 Mustang looking for the culprit, while Dave Fiscus bumped him down a spot by the time qualifying had concluded.
In the 25-car field, Bardekoff took an easy first-round over Becki Cram and enjoyed a competition bye in the second. With an improved 4.555, he narrowly won the third round, as Nick McGrath cut the better light, but trotted to a slower 4.653. With a bracket-like 4.555 again in the fourth round, Bardekoff defeated Jimmy Dahl who clocked a 4.846. In the finals, Bardekoff faced the reigning and defending Renegade champion, Joel Greathouse, who saved his best run of the weekend for the last round of competition. The champ edged out a slight head start (.062 to .078), but ultimately lost as Bardekoff steamed ahead with his Whipple-supercharged Mustang, 4.538 to 4.579 for the win.
“We took it all the way,” said Bardekoff. “I’m still in shock that we took home the victory with an insane 4.53 pass! I can’t thank my team enough for the help and support this weekend. I would like to thank the best tuner/crew chief/friend, Nicky Notch, for keeping this thing on rails this weekend. Despite the struggles we encountered this weekend, we got through them like a team! Thank you to Whipple Superchargers, Dustin Whipple, Nick Purciello, and Stacy Reynolds for being an unbelievable company to work with. You guys make state-of-the-art superchargers and never stop innovating—that 3.8-liter is one bad mofo!”
“Thank you ididit steering for trusting me to represent and showcase their unbelievable product at the races—yes, this car has one of those gangster steering columns! ProTorque, you guys built me one killer converter! We are finally headed in the right steps with this thing. I can’t wait to see what the future brings! Thank you to the NMRA for the incredible events! This organization is one of the best in the business! I need to give a big shout out to my wife, Steph Bardekoff, for stepping out of her comfort zone this week and picking up the slack. I’m truly proud of you, and you keep on amazing me. And I can’t forget about my Mom and Pops; I couldn’t do it without you guys.”
Bardekoff heads to Madison, Illinois, next for the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing presented by HPJ Performance at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, May 13-16. For more information on the event, click here.