Story and Photos by Bill Swanson Tue, 2017-08-01 18:01
FINAL NOTEBOOK -
The NMRA-NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing at Route 66 Raceway can best be described as epic. Epic in the number of classes, the quantity of entrants, and the level of competition. Topping it off is the Super Bowl finale that features 13 rounds of NMCA vs NMRA team completion at the Super Bowl conclusion. This year it was team NMRA representatives that took home the Nitto Tires Diamond Tree Ring, with 8 wins to NMCA’s 5.
Billy Banaka qualified 9th in a very tough Xtreme Pro Mod field. The Bankston Boyz team then outlasted the rest to earn the win when his final round opponent, Jason Hamstra was not able to get his blown Camaro to fire. Billy recorded a 3.934 ET at 194.74 MPH in the solo pass.
The Mickey Thompson Tires Radial Wars class is defined by tough competition and the unpredictable nature of the high horsepower small tire cars that take part. Marty Stinnett got a handle on both when he defeated four other competitors before securing class honors in the final over Isaac Preston, 3.970 to 4.072.
Jeff Rudolph sat atop the qualifying order in Nitrous Pro Street throughout. Jill Hicks returned to racing after a two year hiatus. They met in the final and it look like it would be Hicks when Rudolph was left at the starting line. He finally stepped on the gas and recorded a 1.789 second reaction time. Hicks’s car then started to loss power by 330’ and “Rudolph’s Sleigh” stormed by for the win, carding a 7.779 ET to Hicks’ 10.919.
Both NMCA and NMRA feature their own Street Outlaw classes. For this event they combine, and as luck would have it the final featured a representive from each with NMRA’s Manny Buginga in a Ford facing NMCA’s Robb Goss in a Dodge Challenger. Buginga took the win light 4.504 to Goss’ 6.632. They raced against each other again in the team competition with Buginga again winning, and clinching the Super Bowl for Team NMRA. Buginga’s Super Bowl 4.363 was the best elapsed time of six winning rounds of competition.
Past class champion Leonard Long and his Mustang earned the Boninfante Friction NA 10.5 class win over Marty Theisen.
Factory Super Car features today’s factory hot rods, and this final was a classic Ford vs Chevy battle. Scott Libersher in the COPO Camaro got the jump on Charles Watson’s FR500 Cobra Jet Mustang. The superiority of Libesher’s reaction time of .048 (8.286 ET) to Watson’s .108 RT assured victory despite Watson’s quicker ET of 8.286.
Stock-Super Stock Combo is a new NMCA class. It featured 24 entries at Route 66 Raceway, evidence of its potential for the future. Daryl Bureski is a two time Stock Eliminator winner in NHRA National Event competition. He decided to check out NMCA and entered the race with his 1970 Olds Cutlass F/SA car. And he ended up winning it all, over Fred Bartolli’s GT/IA Sper Stock Camaro. Then representing NMCA, Bureski won again in the Super Bowl over NMRA’s Gordon Harlow.
SATURDAY NOTEBOOK -
The day’s big news was the crash of Pro Mod racer Adam Flamholc in round 1 of eliminations. The number one qualifier was paired last with Mark Wells. Flamholc’s Corvette started moving around the lane before 330’ and just after the 1/8th mile finish line the car made a hard left in front of Wells’ slowing car. Wells’ quick reflexes avoided sure collision. Flamholc refused medical attention at the scene.
Carl Tasca of Providence, RI is racing in the Factory Super Car class with a 2016 Cobra Jet Mustang. Tasca qualified in the 7th position and advanced over Paul Roderick. He fafaces Number 1 Qualifier David Barton in Round 2 on Sunday.
Patricia Musi is racing Michael Bankston’s 1966 Chevy II in Nitrous Pro Street. Qulified 9thwith a 7.999, Musi took a bye in Round 1 when Dave Harris failed to make the call. She will race Jill Hicks in Round 2.
In other Pro Mod news, past class Champ Steve Summers of Utica, IL advanced out of Round 1 with an impressive run of 3.816 at 214.66. Summers races Larry Higginbottham first thing Sunday.
Besides drag racing, the Super Bowl boasts an impressive car show. Among the beautiful rides was the 1933 Ford 5 window coupe of Marty Bachand. Built from a gennie car, it features a host of vintage and owner fabricated parts. Bachand also happens to be 1997 class champ in NMCA’s former Modified Street.
This dragon fly discovered a well prepared Route 66 Raceway racing surface is no place to land. Its fate is unknown.
FRIDAY NOTEBOOK - THE BIG SHINDIG GETS UNDERWAY
Sweden’s Adam Flamholc moved up in the Extreme Pro Mod order in session 2, taking the Number One spot with a 3.807 ET at 196.56 MPH on the eighth-mile course.
Pennsylvania’s David Barton wheeled his 2017 COPO Camaro to the top of the Factory Super Car order in the 2nd qualifying session, running 8.270 at 164.21 MPH.
Qualifying for Mickey Thompson Radial Wars was dominated by DeWayne Mills. He and the “Golden Gorilla” Camaro bettered their early top of the sheets performance with a 3.916 ET at 197.68 MPH.
The 1964 Plymouth Fury station wagon of multi time class champ Doug Duell leads the Nostalgia Super Stock field.
Chicago area Pro Stock racer Kevin Lawrence has moved from NHRA competition to NMCA’s Dart Pro Stock 400 CID format. He and the familiar Cobalt ran a 7.197 ET in Q1 and remain in the provisional number 1 spot.
Raymond J. Matos has moved into Pro Mod competition with an ex-Rickie Smith Camaro. In Q1, and oil line fitting broke loose on launch and sent the racer from Puerto Rico on a wild ride. Spinning in his own oil, Matos brought the car to rest with only wheelie bar damage. And credit to Dan Stevenson in the other lane for avoiding Matos.
FRIDAY QUALIFYING -