We’re greeted with a great weather forecast on this final day of the Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA All-American Nationals presented by Force Engineering at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan. Temperatures will be in the 60s all morning and in the low to mid-70s all afternoon, with blue skies beaming. There are more than 600 race cars on the property known as “The Fastest Track in Michigan,” and there will be some stellar passes from racers aiming for the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle.
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Here’s a schedule for today’s action at the Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA All-American Nationals presented by Force Engineering.
The Blower Wars are heating up in Michigan as the weather is cooling off. Chad Wendel dropped a career best time of 8.55 at 156 mph with his ProCharger-powered, Moser Engineering sponsored 2007 Mustang GT. The S197 Mustang carded a stout 1.21 sixty-foot time as Wendel rolled into the second qualified position in the fast field. Both Wendel and Bill Putnam (8.525) have run under the national record and filed paperwork as each looks to back it up today.
NHRA National Dragster’s Senior Editor, Kevin McKenna, has become a regular on the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals tour this year. He drives his 2013 Mustang GT to all of the events and competes in ROUSH Performance Super Stang. This weekend he nailed down the top qualifier position with an impressive .012 reaction time, off the foot-brake! McKenna traversed the straight line in just 10.88 seconds at 125 mph, impressive for the stock engine that features bolt-on parts and a VMP Performance Gen 3 supercharger.
Eric Bardekoff and tuner Nicky Notch have been killing the game in Edelbrock Renegade with the EB Custom Works 2015 Mustang Cobra Jet. They stepped up this year to the quicker category and the other day Bardekoff pushed the hot rod to a 4.77 at 146 mph. The put him 13th in arguably one of the toughest Xtreme Street/Renegade fields of all-time. They were aiming for bottom 4.70s/high 4.60s last night in the final qualifier with favorable weather conditions. The car was on a good run until the rear-end broke, most likely a result of too many hard launches. Fellow racer Tony Hobson lent the team his back-up center section to keep them in the game. As most of the field relies on boost, Bardekoff runs a Whipple 3.0L supercharger instead of the typical centrifugal blower or turbocharger. (Photo Courtesy of Nick Purciello)
It has been hailed as the most unique car in the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals series, the 1973 Mercury Capri is affectionately known as “CoyoteCapri” and it belongs to James Meredith. We’ve seen this hot rod run deep into the 9s with nitrous when he ran in JDM Engineering Limited Street. This year he pulled off the nitrous and is running bottom 10s in Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle. Meredith’s cat-like reflexes with the transbrake button earned him the top qualified position after three rounds thanks to a near-perfect .0007 reaction time! The AccuTime computer system utilized at US 131 Motorsports Park pushes R/T out to the fourth digit, otherwise Meredith would’ve knocked off a perfect .000 reaction time at other tracks. He had a bye run in the opening round of competition and tuned up the CoyoteCapri to a 9.93 run.
It has been a busy 24 hours for NMRA drag racing’s latest power couple, Haley James and Keiffer Simpson, as they stayed up until 4AM swapping engines in the Hellion Racing B-Team #WarEagle. One of the chains on the Coyote engine jumped off the sprocket during the second qualifying run, causing the team to scramble to get their back-up engine that was located at their shop in Indianapolis! They met a friend halfway between the two locations to take delivery of the bullet. Spending a better part of the twilight hours working hard on the racecar paid off as James took down Jeff Kinsler in the opening round with a 4.775 to the Pontiac’s 4.776! Edelbrock Xtreme Street/Renegade has been insane this weekend with tight racing across many combinations.
Drivers in NMCA TorqStorm Superchargers and NMRA QA1 True Street had nice scenery for their 30-mile cruise before returning to the track for their three passes. Rick Baum earned the overall win with a 9.23 in his Mustang, while Shawn McAlees earned the runner-up finish with a 9.75 average in his Firebird. Other successful racers included Jason Wagoner, the 10-second winner in his GT500, Bob Hoffman, the 11-second winner in his Buick, Billy Meier, the 12-second winner in his Mustang, Michael Town, the 13-second winner in his Challenger, Cody Dronkers, the 14-second winner in his Mustang and Rodney Ward, the 15-second winner in his Fusion.