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."

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 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
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