Joey Winick was one of the few racers to figure out Atco's horrendous traction problem ear
The southern pine barrens of New Jersey are hardly what you envision when you think of that state. You won't find Tony Soprano popping a cap into anybody's skull near Atco-you'd swear you were somewhere in rural Pennsylvania if you were dumped off there blindfolded. As someone who's raced at Atco Raceway many times before, I can say that Atco is "da bomb." A combination of sea-level air, a tailwind, a downhill run, and being nestled amongst thousands of oxygen-producing pines, Atco Raceway is the stuff e.t. dreams are made of.
As NMCA class racers prepared for the 1st Annual Kook's Custom Headers Nationals on June 6, they were surely rubbing their hands in anticipation. A new concrete surface had been laid down the previous fall, and had been sufficiently broken in to produce earth-moving launches. But Mother Nature had other plans in store.
A cruel heat wave swept over the East Coast, producing record temperatures and excruciating humidity. No living thing remained unscathed from nature's ravages. As racers made their way to the staging lanes, hopes for low e.t.'s were dashed. Crews worked overtime to dial down the power in hopes of gaining purchase on the hot, oily starting line. With clutches softened, nitrous pills dropped down, and turbo wastegates cranked wide open, there was at least one positive benefit: Engine and powertrain breakage was remarkably absent from the NMCA's Atco event.
The oppressive conditions, however, took an equal toll on all racers, which provided a small measure of comfort for those chasing points. The real race would not be on the track, but in the pits. First on the agenda: kill the power. Second: find some traction, and fast. The guys who do that first and best will come out winners.
If you haven't attended a National Muscle Car Association event in a while, we think you'd be pleasantly surprised. This marks the NMCA's 20th anniversary, and its dedication to preserving the rich history and tradition of muscle car drag racing. Even the Atco heat couldn't keep thousands of fans and racers from enjoying the variety that epitomizes an NMCA event. Besides the NMCA's regular 10 head's-up and index drag racing classes, the Atco race also featured a late-model EFI index eliminator (Eaton Posi Late-Model EFI), LSX Shootout, Ford Modular Madness Shootout, and the first-ever NMCA Late-Model Hemi Shootout. Of course, there was plenty of action in the Tremec True Street Shootout, which incorporates a 30-mile street cruise, then three back-to-back passes.
Spectators could watch the intense racing on track, or cool off in the manufacturers' midway looking at speed goodies. And now at all NMCA races-including Atco-is a laid-back car show for those who want to get involved in the NMCA without risking breakage on the track. Who knows, maybe the NMCA car show is the first baby step toward getting that classic down the track!
Beauty And The Beast
You don't see many 8-second '70 AMXs, and you see even fewer of them driven and worked on by attractive females, but that's exactly the story line behind Ann and Steve Erb's Gold Lime Metallic AMX. Ann drives the AMC in COMP Cams Pro Stock, and has blasted off a best e.t. of 8.88/152. A Barry Allen-built 435-inch AMC mill with Indy block, heads, and intake feeds a JW Powerglide and a Dana 60 loaded with 4.88 cogs. After seeing the AMX hoist the wheels, we made a beeline for the pits to check it out. We made the same mistake a lot of guys do, and went straight up to Steve Erb to ask our questions. He just pointed at Ann and said, "Why don't you just ask her? She's the one driving it."
(Not John Langer!)
John Langer For President!
COMP Cams Pro Stock is full of nice guys, and on the weekend of the Atco race, no one was nicer than John Langer, an engineer from Philadelphia. John's '69 Trans Am clone has a Bischoff-built 525-inch Pontiac based on an AllPontiac block and heads. (We're guessing Bischoff made at least one phone call to Jon Kaase to get some details!) John's Poncho did find grip- as our photo shows-but was unable to make the finals. And the nice guy part: On Saturday evening, John threw a big party in his pit area. He catered a cheese steak stand from Philly to come out and serve all comers- even his competitors. The grub was great, too. Thanks, John.
The Queen Of True Street
We leave you this month with 29-year-old Melissa Elswick, of Chesterfield, VA. She's a full-time mom of two boys (Trevor, 7; Dylan, 11), and she also happens to be the registrar of Tremec True Street. If you run True Street this year, chances are you'll get to meet this wacky, fun young lady. Melissa is also a racer. She's currently building an Outlaw 5.0 car for NMRA competition.
NMCA's Atco, NJ, race marked the first running of its new Late-Model Hemi class. Like the
Tremec True Street was dominated by a couple of giants in the field of head's-up street ca
Yikes! It was 100 degrees in the shade at Atco. Don't let the camera's pop flash fool you-
Carl and Donna Moore (Wilmington, DE) chose to enjoy the NMCA's car show, and entered thei
All street-legal cars shouldn't have a parachute, but they should need them! Here's Craig
Bob Smith of Fort Montgomery, NY, told us he's a powerplant supervisor. Yeah, we guess so!
Bill Lewis of Wilmington, DE, had his hands full in Superchips Open Comp. Well off his bes
Tremec True Street winner Paul Ferrucci shows his brand allegiance! True Street racers tak
As if seeing Ann Erb's '70 AMX wasn't enough, we also got a chance to jawbone with Steve S
Bill Trovato of Rochester, NY, is arguably one of the fastest and most knowledgeable Oldsm
|NMCA Drag Racing Results ATCO, NJ, June 6-8 |
|Scorpion Performance Pro Street |
|Name: ||Car: ||Engine: ||R/T: ||E.T.: ||MPH: |
|W-Mark Micke ||'67 Camaro ||Chevy 526 ||.069 ||6.498 ||220.3 |
|R/U-Chris Rini ||'07 Stratus ||Hemi 737 ||.055 ||6.522 ||217.6 |
|Nitto Tire Super Street |
|W-Tommy Mauro ||'02 Cobra ||Ford 449 ||.132 ||8.071 ||178.21 |
|R/U- Jim Blair ||'01 Mustang ||Ford 400 ||.170 ||11.391 ||77.56 |
|ARP Nostalgia Pro Street |
|W-Jeff Colletta ||'00 Camaro ||Chevy 632 ||.006 ||7.714 ||182.77 |
|R/U-Jim Widener ||'86 Mustang ||Chevy 525 ||.049 ||7.688 ||181.15 |
|Vortech Xtreme Street |
|W-Danny Shemwell ||'00 Mustang ||Chevy 524 ||.074 ||8.392 ||173.14 |
|R/U-Cameron Coble ||'04 Mustang ||Chevy 522 ||.050 ||9.517 ||111.28 |
|COMP Cams Pro Stock |
|W-Michael DeMayo ||'95 Mustang ||Ford 420 ||.033 ||8.77 ||156.59 |
|R/U-Andy Schmidt ||'85 Mustang ||Ford 401 ||.139 ||8.703 ||153.35 |
|Car Craft Street Race |
|W-John Macaluso ||'93 Mustang ||Ford 373 ||.148 ||8.978 ||155.06 |
|R/U-Tim Hendricks ||'94 Pontiac ||Chevy 358 ||-.033 ||12.781 ||78.17 |
|BFGoodrich Tires Mean Street |
|W-Jeremy Gillam ||'91 Mustang ||Ford 348 ||.172 ||10.165 ||133.14 |
|R/U-Alan Von Ahnen ||'79 Mustang ||Ford 358 ||.141 ||11.529 ||106.94 |
|Hamburgers Nostalgia Super Stock |
|Name: ||Car: ||Engine: ||R/T: ||Index: ||E.T.: ||MPH: |
|W-Joey Winick ||'63 Tempest ||Pontiac 412 ||.068 ||9.75 ||9.807 ||130.29 |
|R/U-Douglas Poskevich ||'66 Fairlane ||Ford 390 ||.082 ||11.50 ||11.577 ||116.64 |
|OPG Nostalgia Muscle Car |
|W-Ralph Seran ||'70 Super Bee ||Dodge 440 ||.026 ||12.00 ||12.046 ||107.99 |
|R/U-Andy Warren ||'71 Caprice ||Chevy 406 ||.077 ||11.00 ||11.084 ||122.93 |
|Superchips Open Comp |
|W-Duane Grow ||'70 Maverick ||Ford 302 ||.085 ||12.14 ||12.161 ||107.02 |
|R/U-Jack Uhlano ||'71 Camaro ||Chevy 460 ||.090 ||10.70 ||10.881 ||124.89 |
|Eaton Posi Late-Model EFI |
|W-Michael Stephens ||'01 Corvette ||Chevy 350 ||.302 ||13.50 ||13.621 ||86.08 |
|R/U-Joshua Schwartz ||'08 Jeep ||Hemi 426 ||.268 ||12.00 ||12.511 ||107.62 |
|LSX Shootout |
|W-Edgar Perez ||'99 Corvette ||Chevy 402 ||.119 ||11.00 ||11.038 ||118.66 |
|R/U-John Mondrous ||'02 Camaro ||Chevy 402 ||.201 ||10.50 ||10.705 ||128.01 |
|Ford Modular Madness |
|W-James Damore ||'06 Saleen ||Ford 4.6 ||.090 ||12.00 ||12.053 ||110.48 |
|R/U-Steve Powell ||'00 Mustang ||Ford 4.6 ||.075 ||10.50 ||10.819 ||123.35 |
|Late-Model Hemi |
|W-Christopher Dufresne ||'05 300C ||Hemi 5.7 ||.131 ||12.50 ||12.616 ||110.78 |
|R/U-Chris Janczy ||'06 Charger ||Hemi 5.7 ||.315 ||13.50 ||13.476 ||97.87 |
|Tremec True Street |
|Name: ||Car: ||Pass 1: ||Pass 2: ||Pass 3: ||Ave.: ||Notes: |
|Paul Ferrucci ||Chevy Malibu ||8.940 ||8.528 ||8.609 ||8.692 ||King of Atco |
|Marc Schankweiler ||Chevy II ||8.756 ||8.622 ||8.764 ||8.714 ||Runner-Up |
|Craig Cusamano ||'70 Chevy Chevelle ||10.151 ||10.018 ||9.921 ||10.030 ||10-sec. winner |
|Steve Powell ||'00 Ford Mustang ||10.846 ||10.946 ||11.240 ||11.011 ||11-sec. winner |
|Jeff Lowry ||'97 Chevy Camaro SS ||12.831 ||11.719 ||11.506 ||12.019 ||12-sec. winner |
|Donald Insley ||'06 Dodge Charger ||12.737 ||12.898 ||13.987 ||13.207 ||13-sec. winner |
|Gary Nielsen ||'07 Dodge Daytona ||13.486 ||13.677 ||15.083 ||14.082 ||14-sec. winner |