By Mary Lendzion
It was clear from the moment Brad Schehr rolled his beautiful blue Mustang out of the trailer at the first race of the season that he was going to be captivating in competition.
In the car flying J. Crompton Electric banners and packing a small-block Ford fronted by a ProCharger D-1X, Schehr signed up for NMRA ProCharger Modified Street, qualified in the second spot with an 8.08 and soared to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle with a 7.95 against Bob Cook at the 25th Annual Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout in March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida.
“The 2019 season started with Chet Caminita from CRE Performance assembling the motor five days before Bradenton,” said Schehr. “With the help of Mike Dez, who provided a few secrets, my only wish was to go A to B without cylinder head failure. Our expectations were extremely low, and we never expected to be in the winner’s circle come Sunday night. From that point on, we knew we had a horse that could run. When the Bradenton race was over, Robert Rhoden, a chassis builder at BP Fabrication who has helped build and crew-chief this car for a long time, committed to helping me run the full 2019 series. We immediately went testing knowing the competition (at the NMRA race in) Atlanta would only be tougher.”
The testing was worthwhile, as Schehr qualified in the second spot with a 7.83 and wrapped up another win with a 7.84 against Martin Connelley at the 11th Annual Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by Mahle Motorsport in April at Atlanta Dragway.
The Florida resident went on to qualify in the second spot with a 7.88 and finished as runner-up after being forced to lift against Connelley in the final round of eliminations at the Inaugural NMRA Ford Gateway Rumble presented by HPJ Performance in May at Gateway Motorsports Park in Illinois. He landed the lead in qualifying with a 7.81 and another win with a 7.84 against Eric Bardekoff at the 19th Annual NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals in June at Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania, and he landed the lead in qualifying with a track-blistering 7.70 and another win with a 7.93 over Connelley at the 14th Annual Nitto NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing in July at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois.
Schehr set the pace in qualifying with a 7.70 and won with a 7.74 against Connelley at the 21st Annual Nitto NMRA All-Ford World Finals in September at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky, and with that, he ceremoniously claimed the 2019 NMRA ProCharger Modified Street championship.
Schehr, who also holds the category’s elapsed time and top speed records with a 7.703 and 177.18 mph, and his fellow champions will be celebrated at the NMRA Muscle Car Nationals presented by E3 Spark Plugs Awards Ceremony presented by Aerospace Components, Dec. 13 at the Indiana Convention Center.
“Winning a championship with the NMRA is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done,” said Schehr. “I’m so excited to stand on the very same stage that some of my heroes, including Billy Glidden, John Urist and Don Walsh Jr., have stood on so many times. I couldn’t have done it without the help of all my friends and family, (including) my wife, Brooke, mother and stepfather, Donna and Joe, AJ, Mike, Bobby, Scoty, Kenny, and anyone else who put a hand on this car, and of course the awesome vendors we have in the drag racing community.”
(Please watch for stories on all NMRA champions to be posted on the NMRA and Race Pages Digital websites and in Fastest Street Car in the days to come.)