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Roup Races to Truck and Lightning Championship

Posted By: Mary Lendzion
By Mary Lendzion
Photos by NMRA Staff 
Mike Roup is very careful and calculated when it comes to racing in NMRA Detroit Locker Truck and Lightning.
He thinks things through, and he explores all of his options before engaging and giving it everything he has.
That served him well in 2021 when he drove to the Detroit Locker Truck and Lightning championship, and he set out to achieve another championship in 2022.
The racer from Lockhart, Texas began by qualifying in the sixth spot out of 12 competitors with an .066 reaction time at the NMRA Spring Break Shootout in March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida. He chose an 11.16 dial for his Ranchero powered by a 427 cubic-inch engine on a Dart block and backed by a C4 built by Ricky Scheulen and 4500 stall converter by TCI, and he won the first and second rounds of eliminations when his opponents went red and exited in the semifinal round of eliminations with an 11.20.
Roup went on to qualify in the second spot with an .011 reaction time at the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport in April at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina, where he uncharacteristically lost early.

Determined to go rounds at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing presented by Fuelab in May at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois, Roup qualified in the lead spot with a nice .009 reaction time and chose a 11.32 dial for the weekend. He made a solo pass in the first round of eliminations, won the second round of eliminations with a dead-on 11.32 and finished as the runner-up with an 11.38 against Gregory Collins.
At the crucial midway point of the season, Roup, whose rear tires were losing air while his Ranchero was stored in his trailer between races before Mickey Thompson Tires helped him with a new pair of tubes, led qualifying with .002 reaction time at the NMRA Ford Performance Nationals in June at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio. He decided on an 11.27 dial, and won the first round of eliminations with an 11.31, and recorded an 11.26 on a solo pass in the second round of eliminations before packing up for the weekend after breaking out in the third round of eliminations against Gregory Collins.
With just two races remaining on the annual tour, Roup qualified in second spot with a sensational .001 reaction time at the Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival presented by TorqStorm Superchargers in July at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Michigan. With an 11.32 dial on the windows of his Ranchero, he won the first through third rounds of eliminations with an 11.37, 11.40 and 11.36. When rain rolled in, he put his Ranchero in his trailer and hoped for an outstanding outcome at the last race of the year, the Whipple Superchargers NMRA Ford World Finals presented by Competition Clutch featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival in late September, early October at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky. There, in addition to winning the rain-delayed makeup Michigan race, he qualified in the fifth spot with an .015 reaction time, chose an 11.28 dial and won the first through third rounds of eliminations with an 11.38, 11.32 and 11.31. Roup carefully creeped into the beams for the final round of eliminations against tough racer Johnny Lightning, and pulled off the win with an 11.29.

With that, he was crowned the 2022 NMRA Detroit Locker Truck and Lightning champion.
“Truck and Lighting racers are tough,” said Roup. “I was able to earn this championship by winning the last two races. It came down to Bob Dill, Johnny Lightning, Greg Collins and me at the end of the season. I consider myself lucky to have won. Bryan Parker did a great job helping me as crew chief and setting up my car to run its dial again this year, and my friends, Doug Cash and Ricky Scheulen, helped me work on my car.” 
Additionally, Roup thanks his wife, Susana, with whom he shares beloved pets, and his sister, Toni, for finding a place to keep his rig between races and picking him up from the airport to take him to his rig.
The NMRA will applaud Roup and his fellow champions at the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals Awards Ceremony, held during the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, Dec. 9, 2022, at the Indiana Convention Center.
Please watch for upcoming stories about each of our champions on and as well as in Fastest Street Car magazine.

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