With one round of eliminations completed the 14th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing Presented by FST Carburetors hits the home stretch as racers battle it out for a shot at a trip to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle.
Once the two series complete their programs the fastest racers from each series will clash in the Bob Curran Memorial Super Bowl Shootouts. These match races were renamed to honor the late ambassador for both series, and the Curran family boosted each purse by $500 in his honor. To raise the stakes, the winning team members will each earn a prestigious Nitto Tire Diamond Tree ring.
You can keep up with all the action right here and live over on SpeedVideo.com.
This is the plan for today’s NMRA and NMCA eliminations action, as well as the titanic clash between the two series’ quickest racers known as the Bob Curran Memorial Super Bowl Shootouts.
A stunner in the UPR Products Car Show is Rick and Lori Black’s 199 Mustang LX. It features a Coyote 5.0 engine swapped from his own 2011 Mustang GT, which received a built engine. His Kona Blue Fox rides on a full Maximum Motorsports suspension and stops with Cobra brakes. Ric told us he used a Team Z K-member and a Stifflers transmission crossmember and his Coyote/T-56 combo dropped right in. Next on the project list is hooking up the air conditioning, but this Fox is already way cool in our book.
We bumped into QA1/Gear Vendors True Street overall winner Eric Olson at the convenience store this morning. His 1983 Ranger went to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle yesterday based on an 8.54-second. This morning, however, it served as a grocery-getter as he drove from the track to get provisions. Powered by a small-block and boosted by twin turbos in the bed, the Danger Ranger is a truck he loves to drive. Sadly, he won’t be able to make it to Bowling Green, but that opens up another slot in the IDIDIT Performance King of the Street class for one of the QA1 True Street competitors at the 21st Annual Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals Featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival.
A regular in QA1 True Street competition as well as NMRA Stick Shift Shootouts, Mike Niehaus and twin-turbo Mustang have been a top contender at every event they go to. While he narrowly missed grabbing the 9-second average this weekend in Joliet, he did finally break into the 8s with an 8.99 pass at 160 mph. Niehaus had changed to a radial tire for this event and that seems to have done the trick.
The vehicle that turned our Fastest Street Car editor into the cars was the 1982 Mustang GT, and Dave Piontkowski is the original owner of this clean example on display in the UPR Products Car Show. The hatchback has 94,000 miles on the clock and he drove it daily for the first six years. It is all original except for some minor paintwork and he ordered it with a hardtop rather than the popular sunroof and T-top options.
Jacob Lamb of NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock fame has been in a slump lately and can’t quite seem to figure out why. It’s frustrating, but at least the car is consistently running 10.3X-second runs. He’s changed the transmission ratios, gear ratios, rear ends, and more all in an attempt to figure out why he isn’t as fast as he would like. A small clutch adjustment and trying to be quick on the tree is all Lamb’s got planned for the second round of eliminations, as he took out his friend and teammate Tim Matherly in a bittersweet pairing in round one.
JPC Racing mastermind Eric Holliday (left), 2018 NMRA Limited Street champion Mike Ciborowski (right), Ciborowski’s son, Keith (second from left), and Tony Hobson (second from right) had a bit to celebrate this weekend as Keith clicked off his first-ever 4-second pass when he went 4.957 at 145.61 mph in NMRA Edelbrock Renegade qualifying with his ’03 Cobra. Dave Klaput and Doug Skinner from Proformance Transmissions have helped out making some tune-ups, and it paid off. Additionally, Mike went number one once again in NMRA Advanced Fuel Limited Street qualifying with his ’14 Mustang’s 8.794 at 153.16 mph trip.
Martin Connelley’s ProCharged 363 ci Ford-powered ’86 Mustang may be finicky, and the guys claim they may be struggling, but the results show otherwise as Connelley qualified number two in NMRA ProCharger Modified Street and then got a first round win over Bob Cook by a 0.002 margin of victory. It appears that the team’s testing and chassis tune ups after the Maple Grove race in an attempt to calm down the wheelstanding pony car have worked, and Connelley will be heading to the finals with his RPM Transmissions TH400 with ProTorque converter.
Fellow NMRA ProCharger Modified Street contender and the other half of the final round pairing, Brad Scheher was deciding what tune up to put in his ProCharged Fox body early this morning, as the car has been running strong with no significant changes. A hurt rear end in Maple Grove prompted him to pull the Trick Flow-headed CRE Performance engine and ATF trans and freshen the entire drivetrain, and Scheher rocketed to the number one spot earlier this weekend in qualifying with a new personal best of 7.703 at 177.18 mph.
Reigning champion Darin Hendricks is holding court in NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock, although the Indiana resident only qualified fifth in the field on a 10.303 at 130.39 mph hit. He put Nathan Stymiest on the trailer in eliminations last night, and a quick clutch adjustment this morning should help stack the deck in his favor for round two.
He’s running without a trans cooler this weekend, because reasons, but Charlie McCulloch is through to the finals in NMRA Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle and doesn’t plan to let anyone get around him.
Birthday boy Kevin McMullin is having a great weekend in NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock so far, as he ran a new personal best on Saturday during qualifying when he went 10.231 at 129.70 mph in his ’94 Cobra. McMullin picked up the win that night, too, taking down Andy Johnson in the first round of eliminations and representing well for his Bennett Performance and Donathen Racing team.
Over in NMRA Richmond Gear Factory Stock, defending class champion Dan Ryntz has been dealing with transmission changes and converter swaps galore as it’s basically been a nonstop thrash session since Wednesday of this week with his ’89 Mustang. Things just weren’t working as expected but it seems the third time was the charm for Ryntz, who ultimately went 10.449 at 127.23 mph in qualifying for the number two spot and won his first elimination round pairing against John Leslie Jr with a 10.412-second blast, the quickest of the round.
The big news in NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock today was the massive upset in round one of eliminations when the number fifteen qualifier, Randy Soper of Edwardsburg, Michigan, defeated his good friend and the number two qualifier, Clair Stewart II, on a massive holeshot victory. Soper ran Pure Street back in ’03-’06, but is back after a long hiatus and was only using this weekend as a test and tune session for his new ’04 Mustang Mach I build. Soper was 0.088 on the tree last night while Stewart was uncharacteristically slow with a 0.338-second light, and even though Stewart was a tenth quicker, Soper got to the stripe first. Soper runs a Team Z Motorsports cage and suspension, Gen 2 Coyote engine with a G-Force 101A transmission which was fixed up on-site over the weekend by Paul Long of G-Force himself. Things are all coming together for the returning racer who is enjoying the weekend with his girlfriend, Toni Harbin, and is especially thankful to the support from his friends, Team Timmy teammates, Bennett Performance, and Donathen Racing.
Massachusetts resident Walter Baranowski III has had his share of issues this weekend, including a broken clutch fork and slider after the first NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions qualifying session on Friday. He’s good to go now, though, and while his ’86 Mustang has been consistently in the 10.40-second zone, he’s trying to pick things up for the second eliminations round where he will face off against the Joker, Carlos Sobrino.