NMCA NOS Hot Rod and Muscle Car Nationals - Bowling Us Over
The Drag Racing Action At NMCA's 7th Annual NOS Hot Rod And Muscle Car Nationals Was Outstanding.
From the September, 2008 issue of Popular Hot Rodding
By Johnny Hunkins
Photography by Johnny Hunkins
NMCA's Vortech Xtreme Street...
NMCA's Vortech Xtreme Street is a melting pot for a variety of power-adder combos. Xtreme Street features lots of wheel-standing action with a 10.6-inch tire on a 0.400-second pro Tree. We caught Carlo Rumbolo (52, Fort Myers, Florida) qualifying his nitrous-aided 400-inch small-block with both wheels up, but the '85 Pontiac Firebird was way off its best run of 8.70/154. Carlo went down in the first round against David Purlee's '95 Mustang. Carlo plans on running all seven NMCA races in 2008, and vows to get even at Atco.
Green rolling hills, horse farms, soft spoken words, kind manners, and loads of hospitality would lull most folks into letting their guard down. But don't let the calm faade of a sleepy southern town like Bowling Green, Kentucky, fool you. Big mistake, especially if you're there to race at the NMCA's Seventh Annual NOS Nationals at Beech Bend Raceway. Hot cars, fast times, and big-money racing are a large part of the fabric of this small town, which is about an hour's drive north of Nashville, Tennessee.
For a small town of around 50,000, Bowling Green has an unusually potent predisposition for horsepower. Besides Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green is home to GM's Corvette plant, the Holley Performance Group, and Quick Fuel Technologies. If that isn't enough, go eat a piece of cake-Bowling Green is also the hometown of confectionary magnate Duncan Hines, who also bears a striking physical resemblance to this author. Go figure.
Beech Bend Raceway is also a unique venue among dragstrips. It's the only one we've ever seen with an amusement park attached, so it prides itself on being a family friendly place to visit. It also boasts an eighth-mile paved bullring circle track right behind the dragstrip starting line, which was used as an overflow pit area. But of all the things that set Beech Bend apart from the others, it's probably the covered, theatre-style grandstand seating that keeps fans coming back. The spectators really enjoy the shade and welcome breeze that the wind-tunnel-like cover provides.
The NMCA provides a truly diverse cornucopia of racing ranging from heads-up 6-second Pro Street cars running speeds over 200 mph to stock street cars pocketing prizes in the grassroots True Street class. In between, you'll find the Super Street class, essentially the same as Pro Street, but running on narrow 10.5 "W" tires for more spectacular action. Nostalgia Pro Street is the ultimate heads-up, stock-body, door-slammer class, and Xtreme Street pits power-adder cars in a heads-up format with true 10.6-inch slicks. Pro Stock is racing like it ought to be with pure cubes, lots of revs, and small 10.6-inch tires. Street Race allows power-adder and non-power-adder street cars to compete heads-up with set weight breaks and cost-conscious combos. Mean Street is a budget-oriented, entry-level naturally aspirated street car class, and Nostalgia Muscle Car turns the clock back to index racing in the 1960s with our favorite musclecars. Nostalgia Super Stock takes it a step further with period-correct looks both outside and under the hood. And then our favorite class-True Street-keeps it real, with a 30-mile drive and three averaged back-to-back runs for King Of The Hill bragging rights.
The NMCA manufacturer's midway...
The NMCA manufacturer's midway at Bowling Green was a great place to get knowledgeable tech advice from the folks at Holley-which is exactly what Shawn Zubler (Newtown, Pennsylvania; left) is getting from Holley/NOS sales rep Kyle Smith. Kyle is explaining the benefit of NOS's new "Launcher" nitrous management system, which Shawn plans to use for a new radial-tire class car he's building. Shawn likes the Launcher's progressive control-perfect for the traction-limited class he's planning for, plus the data-logging feature he needs for proper fuel control and fine-tuning traction. The Launcher starts around $400 for a laptop-based system, but a handheld controller version is available for around $600, and a full-blown LCD touchscreen version for $800.
For all its nail-biting race action, the NMCA offers the fan and racer plenty of non-race activity to fill out the Bowling Green experience. We always enjoy cruising through the manufacturer's midway, which is chock-a-block full of speed wares, apparel, savvy tech advice, tools, and good eats. Another destination the young and old will appreciate is the wide variety of cars in the NMCA Car Show field. It's not uncommon for fans to enter the car show, watch the race in covered comfort, and return to their ride to find a shiny plaque awaiting them on their way out.
For 2008, the NMCA turns 20 years old, and the Seventh Annual NOS Hot Rod and Muscle Car Nationals (held at Bowling Green May 2-4) was the second stop on the 20th Anniversary Tour. (The first event was the 6th Annual Ross Pistons Muscle Car Nationals in Bradenton, Florida, on March 28-30.) From there, the NMCA makes stops at Atco, New Jersey (1st Annual Kooks Custom Headers Muscle Car Nationals, June 6-8); Joliet, Illinois (the Motive Gear Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing, July 17-20); Milan, Michigan (2nd Annual NMCA Muscle Car Nationals, August 22-24); Commerce, Georgia (7th Annual Nitto Tire Muscle Car Nationals, September 19-21); and Memphis, Tennessee (7th Annual Nitto World Finals, October 9-12). Look for the PHR staff to cover the events in Atco, New Jersey; Joliet, Illinois; and Memphis, Tennessee! See you at the races.
"I didn't play sports as a...
"I didn't play sports as a kid," says Andrew Licktieg of Louisville, Kentucky, "I restored my Galaxie." The 21-year-old electrician (Local 369) says he did all the work himself, starting when he was 12. Andrew's '66 Ford Galaxie 500XL won the Ford Muscle Classic category, and has a .040-over 390 FE with stock heads, 10.5:1 compression, a Holley 650, and a four-speed Top Loader with a Centerforce clutch. The big Ford is just for cruising and shows, but Andrew also loves to watch the NMCA's drag action.
"It's a neat class, it really...
"It's a neat class, it really is," says Judson Massingill of NMCA's COMP Cams Pro Stock class. Judson is head master of Houston's School Of Automotive Machinists, which runs this '95 Cobra Mustang. The fast Ford features a 399-inch Windsor with 16.2:1 compression, Edelbrock Victor "Glidden" heads, Super Victor intake, Holley 1050 HP carb, and, what else, a COMP solid roller cam with 283/298-at-.050 duration and .940/.880 lift. The NMCA's top naturally aspirated class puts a 2,950-pound minimum weight on SAM's Mustang, which had run a best of 8.77/155 prior to Bowling Green. SAM driver Justin Curry piloted the Ford to the semifinal round, where he ran a new best (8.70/155.6) against Andy Schmidt's faster '85 Mustang.
Laguna Of The MonthWith a '75 Laguna S-3 waiting in the wings for a complete project car makeover, the PHR staff is now on high alert for really sorted-out examples of the breed. We found such an example in Keith Seymore's '74 Chevelle Malibu, which was running in the OPG Nostalgia Muscle Car A index (10.50). Keith is an engineer in GM's full-size truck program in Troy, Michigan, and his '74 has been in the family since new-and racing since 1978. The Colonnade A-body features a 13.2:1-compression 550-inch big-block with AFR heads, Dart intake, Cam Motion solid roller cam, Holley 950 HP carb, and 2 1/4-inch Hooker long-tube headers. A built Turbo 400 with a B&M manual valvebody feeds prodigious torque to a 10-bolt rear with Mark Williams 31-spline axles and spool, 4.10 gears, and 29.5x10.5-inch ET drag slicks. We pressed for more details, and discovered that the stock body and framerails can handle a rear tire size as large as 13.5 inches wide. In fact, Keith ran that size tire at one time. Keith says his best e.t. so far has been a 10.0/136 on motor. The 454-equipped '74 was originally special ordered by Keith's dad as a police package, and Keith reports that it ran 14.90s in stock trim back in the day.
According to OPG Nostalgia Muscle Car racer Keith Broyles (Beech Bluff, Tennessee), his '69 Dodge Coronet isn't a Super Bee, it's a "Wanna Be." Keith's Dodge has run a best e.t. of 10.74/124 on motor with help from a .055-over 440 with Indy SR-1 heads, Edelbrock TM7 intake, a .650-lift COMP mechanical flat-tappet cam, and a Holley 950 HP carb. Power gets channeled through a built 727 with a 5,000-stall Turbo Action converter, then to an 8 3/4-inch rear with a Strange spool and 4.30 gears. The B index Keith runs in has an 11-second breakout-just perfect for him. The naturally aspirated OPG NMC class allows liberal engine mods; racing is kept tight with a class index handicap.
The Superchips Open Comp class is a racer favorite, because it combines the best of heads-up racing with the fairness of bracket racing in a format that doesn't break the bank. Here, street cars qualify all-out; their best e.t. becomes an index (similar to a dial-in), and eliminations are run off a handicapped 0.500-second pro Tree. Racers are allowed to go up to 0.10 quicker than their qualifying index without breaking out. The first one to the finish line wins. John "Chilli" Chaille (an Allison Transmission Service Engineer from Plainfield, Indiana) won in a full field with his '81 Chevy Malibu. It's run a best of 10.0/133 with a 511-inch big-block with Dart 320 heads, Victor intake, COMP solid roller cam, a Pro Systems Dominator, and a TCI 'Glide with an 8-inch converter. The stock-style suspension hooks hard with upper and lower control arms from Southside and a TRZ rear swaybar.
Bowling Green is also home to carb manufacturer Quick Fuel Technologies. Here, QFT tech Derrick Borders is helping potential customer Matt Logan (31, Louisville, Kentucky) select a carb for his 383-powered '66 Impala. "I'm definitely gonna get one." says Matt, "It just all depends on the size recommendation. QFT is a local company and everybody says good stuff about them." If you're looking for solid tech help, you'll find it at any of the NMCA event manufacturer's midways.
When Only A Hemi 'Cuda will Do
We leave you this month with this shot of 21-year-old Shaina Lewis. We found Shaina (along with boyfriend, Jacob Hall, not shown) at the NMCA's Power Mall booth in the manufacturer's midway. Shaina is a landscaping student at Western Kentucky University (Glasgow, Kentucky) and told us she's on the prowl for a nice '70 Hemi 'Cuda. We recommend to her boyfriend that he start looking now for a good doctorate program in neurosurgery, aeronautical engineering, patent law, or anything else that will allow him to pull down a six-figure salary upon graduation.
Barry Shepard video tapes his wife, Roxanne, as she leaves the line in her '04 Mustang GT. Roxanne runs in the highly competitive Superchips Open Comp class. Roxanne would lose in the second round against eventual winner John "Chilli" Chaille, in spite of running only 0.050 under her 9.52 index. It was Chilli's better reaction time that sealed the deal.
|NMCA DRAG RACING RESULTS BOWLING GREEN, KY |
|SCORPION PERFORMANCE PRO STREET |
|Driver: ||Hometown: ||Car: ||R/T: ||E.T.: ||Speed: |
|W—Vinny Budano ||Hicksville, NY ||’68 Camaro ||0.08 ||6.318 ||223.06 |
|R/U—Mark Micke ||Jefferson City, MO ||’67 Camaro ||0.196 ||7.636 ||131.33 |
|NITTO TIRE SUPER STREET |
|W—Bill Glidden ||Whiteland, IN ||’90 Mustang ||0.058 ||6.999 ||186.98 |
|R/U—Jim Blair ||Ft. Lauderdale, FL ||’01 Mustang ||0.072 ||8.095 ||118.16 |
|ARP NOSTALGIA PRO STREET |
|W—Kevin Parent ||Rochester Hills, MI ||’69 Nova ||0.016 ||7.618 ||181.3 |
|R/U—Jim Widener ||Batesville, IN ||’86 Mustang ||0.035 ||DNF |
|VORTECH XTREME STREET |
|W—Cameron Coble ||Lewisburg, TN ||’04 Mustang ||0.089 ||7.969 ||177.32 |
|R/U—Aaron Stapleton ||Plainfield, IL ||’93 Mustang ||0.055 ||8.256 ||170.73 |
|COMP CAMS PRO STOCK |
|W—Andy Schmidt ||Highland, IN ||’85 Mustang ||0.015 ||8.658 ||157.17 |
|R/U—Jeff Chandler ||Decatur, AL ||’87 Mustang ||0.029 ||8.707 ||156.7 |
|CAR CRAFT STREET RACE |
|W—John Macaluso ||Port St. Lucie, FL ||’93 Mustang ||0.073 ||8.985 ||154.32 |
|R/U—Tim Hendricks ||Sterling, IL ||’94 Pontiac ||0.073 ||12.919 ||70.24 |
|BFGOODRICH TIRES MEAN STREET |
|W—Jeff Swanson ||Arlington, TN ||’88 Mustang ||0.049 ||10.073 ||133.03 |
|R/U—Jeremy Gillam ||Schererville, IN ||’91 Mustang ||0.08 ||10.083 ||133.92 |
|HAMBURGERS NOSTALGIA SUPER STOCK |
|Driver: ||Hometown: ||Car: ||R/T: ||Index: ||E.T.: ||Speed: |
|W—Skip Koester ||Columbia Station, OH ||’64 Thunderbolt ||0.084 ||10.5 ||10.80 ||103.79 |
|R/U—Holland Huntington ||unknown ||’68 AMX ||-0.034 ||10.5 ||12.055 ||80.98 |
|OPG NOSTALGIA MUSCLE CAR |
|W—Ken Weilbrenner ||Loganville, GA ||’70 Chevelle ||0.043 ||10.0 ||9.878 ||134.55 |
|R/U—Ed Becker ||Southaven, MS ||’71 Duster ||-0.003 ||11.0 ||10.95 ||122.89 |
|SUPERCHIPS OPEN COMP |
|Driver: ||Hometown: ||Car: ||R/T: ||Index: ||E.T.: ||Speed: |
|W—John Chaille ||Plainfield, IN ||’81 Malibu ||0.144 ||10.13 ||10.135 ||132.93 |
|R/U—Don Bowles ||Madisonville, KY ||’06 Mustang ||0.053 ||9.10 ||9.205 ||119.97 |
|EATON POSI LATE-MODEL EFI |
|W—Michael Stephens ||Columbus, OH ||’01 Corvette ||0.163 ||13.50 ||13.65 ||85.5 |
|R/U—John McPartlin ||Frankfort, IL ||’98 Trans Am ||0.082 ||12.50 ||12.499 ||87.48 |
|TREMEC TRUE STREET RESULTS |
|Driver: ||Run 1: ||Run 2: ||Run 3: ||Average: |
|Winner-Jeff Knox ||8.68 ||8.16 ||8.20 ||8.34 |
|Runner Up-Mike Brown ||8.70 ||8.31 ||8.62 ||8.55 |
|10-Second Winner-Travis Smith ||10.29 ||9.82 ||9.912 ||10.00 |
|12-Second Winner-Robert Olive ||12.44 ||12.85 ||12.74 ||12.68 |
|13-Second Winner-Chris Lowe ||12.88 ||12.95 ||13.48 ||13.10 |
|14-Second Winner-Tim Pittman ||14.01 ||13.91 ||14.20 ||14.05 |