Today the racing gets underway at the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals Presented by MAHLE Motorsport with a quick round of test passes before the heads-up and index categories move into the early rounds of qualifying. The Circle D Specialties True Street racers continue with test hits.
For updates on the action at Rockingham Dragway, stay tuned to this page and our social channels for updates throughout the day.
Here is how the action is set to unfold today at the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals Presented by MAHLE Motorsport this weekend.
Suncoast 8.60 class racer Autumn Schwalbe emerged unhurt from a spectacular accident during Thursday’s testing runs at Rockingham Dragway. Schwalbe, who was a quarterfinalist at the season opener in Orlando, had just completed a run when her Own Boss Supply Company Mustang made an abrupt turn and contacted the retaining wall before flipping several times. Schwalbe was transported to a local hospital for observation but later posted the following on her Facebook page: “God is good and I’m alive. My safety equipment saved my life yesterday. Please cage your cars. This car cage and my safety equipment saved my life. I went to the hospital yesterday and I’m okay. I’m bruised up but OK. This car has been such a huge part of my life but cars can be replaced, people cannot," Schwalbe said. "I want to thank the whole NMRA / NMCA staff. The team got to me right away and made sure I was okay. Thank you to the Rockingham Dragway staff. The tracks first responders were with me and pulled me out of my windshield to get me out asap. I cannot thank the track staff enough..."
Through no fault of his own, reigning Ford Muscle champion Danny Towe was forced to miss the season opener in Orlando so if he’s going to defend his title, he’s got some work to do. “I blew up a turbo in my truck about 50 miles from home,” said Towe. “I had about 8-10 people offer to help me, but I just couldn’t make it. I hated to miss the first race, but it is what it is. I missed the first race a couple of years ago and still won the championship so it can be done. I’m just going to have to get on a roll.” Towe will not only compete in the NMRA Ford Muscle class. He’s also looking forward to the Nostalgia Muscle vs. Nostalgia Super Stock All-Star Shootout, a special event paying $1,000 to the champion.
After struggling with a taller tire setup on his S550 Mustang, HP Tuners Super Stang regular Chris Parisi switched back to his familiar 26-inch-tall Nitto NT555RII setup mounted on fresh wheels from JMS. He hopes to find his comfort zone at the light and put the car back in a familiar spot high atop the qualifying sheets this weekend, where he is running in multiple classes to stay busy and hone his skills.
You could say that Ray Roman has a thing for the ocean’s most notorious killing machines. He named his S550 stallion after one of the largest known sharks in the ocean — Deep Blue. This 20-foot, 4,000-plus-pound fish inspired the graphics on the car, which his young son also loves. A tech at Competition Auto, Roman upgraded his Mustang with a Whipple supercharger, Baer drag brakes, Weld beadlock wheels, and more. It is currently good for 9.7-second passes and 775 rear-wheel horsepower. He is running it this weekend in Circle D Specialties True Street class this weekend.
Brandon Styles bought this 1991 Mustang LX as a turnkey ride with a 357-cube ROUSH crate engine based on a Dart block. Percolating to the tune of a classic Ford Performance F303 camshaft, the car runs a turbocharger and breathes through a Trick Flow Box R intake manifold. With a PA C4 in the tunnel and riding on custom Holeshot wheels, Styles is ready to run in ARP Open Comp this weekend.
The Bigfoot Monster truck already ascended to high above the racetrack at Rockingham Dragway in advance of the Innovation Performance Technology Top Of The Rock Fan Appreciation party this evening. Hosted by Clarence Barnes & Chris the Car Guy the party will feature music, spin-to-win prizes, automotive trivia, snacks, drinks, and more, so don’t miss it. Until then, Bigfoot perched atop The Rock is the ultimate photo opportunity.
Race fans figure to see a lot of “Silent Lloyd” Mikeska’s this weekend since he’s pulling double-duty with his two Texas-based Mustangs. Miskeska is racing in the HP Tuners Super Stang class with his black 2016 Mustang and he’s sharing the car with Maci McKenna, who will race in the Circle D Specialties True Street class on Saturday with her eye on the top prize in the 12.00 class. McKenna, the daughter of Becki Cram, won the 12.00 title in Florida last season. Mikeska will also drive his blue 2008 model Mustang in the Ford Muscle class. “I hope we make a lot of runs this weekend,” said Mikeska. “That’s the plan anyway. We have a lot of fun racing with Maci. She’s becoming a pretty good driver and it’s a nice challenge to see if we can get the car to run 12.00.”
Putting the testing time in ahead of the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals Presented by MAHLE Motorsport, Richmond Gear Factory Stock racer Mark Anderson had time to doll up his four-eye Fox before the race. He also had the transmission refreshed by Grant Scott (crew chief for Coyote Stock racer Aaron Worstell), and he says it has never shifted smoother. Much of his prerace testing involved getting the car’s wheelies under control with the suspension, and felt good about being able to dial in the hook this weekend. For the first time, he also plans to run every event on the series calendar this season.
Allen Hurley brought out his beautiful 1967 Ford Fairlane powered by a TKM Performance-built Coyote engine. Always boosted by two turbos, his combo now benefits from a pair of Hellion Power Systems’ latest snails designed by John Urist himself. These ultra-efficient boostmakers shined on the dyno, putting a smile on tuner Chase Driskell’s face. In testing it ran its quickest to the 60- and 330-foot marks, so Hurley has high hopes for it this weekend in Circle D Specialties True Street, where its two big rear trans coolers that bring the trans temps down at speed with come in handy on the 30-mile cruise.
Richmond Gear Factory Stock regular Damien Stephens is shaking it up this weekend with a new transmission in the tunnel. After running an automatic he made the move to a G-Force Racing Transmissions G101 manual. Team Dirty Bird fixed a long-standing issue that resulted in a power increase, so they are feeling good about the combo this weekend.