The rain was persistent yesterday morning, but racers were more persistent as they waited it out and then turned up the wick for the first round of qualifying at the Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA All-American Nationals presented by Force Engineering at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan. Despite high heat and humidity, there were plenty of personal bests on the well-prepped track, and while heavy rain, thunder and lightning preceded a power outage overnight, it was restored just as NMRA ARP Open Comp racers fired their engines for today’s qualifying.
The on-track action was intense and incredible for the first round of qualifying yesterday, with Jim Widener driving to a 3.75 to set the pace in VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod, and Dom DiDonato, pictured, driving to a 4.41 to set the pace in Mickey Thompson Tires/VP Racing Madditives Street Outlaw, and so much more.
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With much better weather conditions — sunny, dry and a high of 75 — on tap for today, we’re sure to see even quicker and faster elapsed-times from racers, who have just this event, and the Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals and Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival, Oct. 1-4, at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky, to chase championships and top ten finishes in points. Here’s today’s schedule.
The mighty-mighty Two-Valve is the provisional number one qualifier in Richmond Gear Factory Stock. Mark Anderson’s weekend didn’t start smoothly when he encountered a steering issue somewhere above 120 mph during the opening round of qualifying on Friday. The team fixed the issue prior to the second round of qualifying. He took the top spot in the second round of qualifying with a 10.29 at 126 mph.
Nate Stymiest had a busy week before his trip to Michigan when the team discovered a torn torque box after a decade of hardcore NMRA drag racing. Stymiest said they patched up the torque boxes to make it through this weekend and showed up yesterday morning. The first round of qualifying revealed another rear suspension problem, a bent control arm bolt. Tim Flanders from MAF Racing jumped into action and made a set of oversized bolts to get Stymiest back on the fast track.
Martin Connelley came out swinging in Edelbrock Renegade/Xtreme Street with his 1986 Mustang and went to the top of the ladder in the first round of qualifying but fell back to the second position with a best of 4.68. Brian Keep and his small-block Chevy powered Camaro took the top position with a 4.66 effort and there is one more round to go. The team dominated the now-defunct Modified Street last year and converted to Renegade for 2020. The engine checks in at 363ci while most boosted combinations are in the 400ci range. The ProCharger D-1X was swapped out for a gear-driven ProCharger F-1A-94.
Justin Fogelsonger has swapped back and forth between a G-Force G101A and a C4 automatic transmission in his Richmond Gear Factory Stock racecar. This weekend he elected to run the automatic and they had some issues on the first run but pulled together for the second round with a 10.39 at 126 mph.
The JDM Engineering crowd said a collective “Welcome to the Party” to the nitrous combination in one of NMRA’s most competitive categories. Mike Lewandowski pushed his Fox Mustang to the third position with a stout 8.627 at 155.28 mph with his nitrous combination. The field has tightened up in the second round with Bill Putnam sitting on top with an 8.60, Samantha Moore slipped into the second spot thanks to an 8.624 from her VMP supercharged combination. Lewandowski’s is third and he is followed closely by Chad Wendel who posted an 8.652 at 154 mph.
Is anyone surprised that Frank Paultanis marched his way to the top of the qualifying sheet? There is one more round of qualifying to go and Paultanis pushed his New Edge Mustang to a best of 10.20 at 128 mph, edging out Drew Lyons (10.23 at 129 mph) for the top position. The final round of qualifying will be under the lights with very favorable conditions, which could produce 9-second times; Paultanis is the only legal Coyote Stocker to hold a time slip with that number.