The resumption of eliminations at this fourth of six events in the NMCA-NMRA season began bright and early on Sunday morning at Route 66 Raceway, after the first round was completed under the lights on Saturday night. And with the weather conditions predicted to improve from the previous day, the remaining competitors in a staggering number of categories were eager to get it on. Xtreme Pro Mod




Don Walsh Jr. is hungry for an NMCA Xtreme Pro Mod Championship. And with Sunday's convincing win over local favorite Randy Adler, Walsh is well on his way to achieving that goal. On the way to victory, Walsh, the number 1 qualifier, dispatched Brad Berkshire, Eric Gustafson and Kyle Megginson before squaring off against Number 3 qualifier Adler in the final.

Adler had one of the most consistent cars of the weekend, clicking off 3.70's with ease all weekend, and scored wins over Jackie Slone Jr., two-time champ Steve Summers, and Jim Widener before earning the right to race Walsh for the trophy.

In the final round, Walsh had Adler covered at both ends of the track with his turbocharged Corvette, with a .039 reaction time and 3.729 ET at 211. Walsh's final round pass was also low ET of the meet. Adler, of Tinley Park, IL drove his '57 Bel Aire to a 3.770 ET at 201.40 and left with a .063 RT. A notable fact about Walsh's points lead and apparent domination this season. He did not race at NMCA's season opener in Bradenton, FL, but has won at Commerce, GA, then runner-upped in at the third event in Memphis, TN. With his win at Joliet, Walsh could very well be on his way to securing his elusive first championship.

Factory Super Car

In a Factory Super Car field filled with the latest and greatest from Ford and Chevrolet's crafty racecar engineers, Bill Skillman's 2014 Mustang Cobra Jet can be considered vintage by today's standards. Despite that, Skillman and his CJ were the class of the field all weekend. In securing the Number 1 qualifying position, Skillman earned a bye in Round 1. Instead of taking it easy, he ripped off another 7.90. That earned him lane choice and the win over Paul Roderick in round 2. In Round 3, Skillman raced the only COPO Camaro consistently in the 7.90's, Wilmington, IL's Leonard Libersher. Libersher would bank .012 on the tree in this semi-final round, but Skillman would drive around him and take the win, 7.946 to 7.971.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ladder, 2019 COPO driver Terry Monroe was quietly dispatching opponents Randy Eakins and Scott Libersher before getting a semi-final bye and the right to race Skillman in the final. While Monroe would get a .008 advantage on the starting line, category points leader Skillman went on to win his second NMCA FSC race of the season. Skillman recorded a 7.981 at 171.77 to Monroe's 8.065 at 169.00 MPH.

Nitrous Pro Street

Unconventional thinking earned Nitrous Pro Street's Number One qualifier Tony Gillig the victory in Nitrous Pro Street. Unconventional because his '96 Olds Cutlass is essentially an era-correct Pro Stock car with a clutch, a manual transmission and a naturally aspirated 632 CID Madcap Racing engine. Gillig defeated Scott Masielski and Randy Dolensek before getting semi-final bye.

In the final, the Huntley, IL resident would race 2018 NPS Champion Jason Ennslin. Ennslin would win defeat Ryan Wurst, Don Baskin and Trici Musi in the first three rounds. In the exciting final, this race was won on the starting line with both drivers carding identical ET's to the eighth-mile finish line. 4.411. Gillig posted a 159.17 MPH speed, while Ennslin's Firebird recorded a 161.63 MPH trap speed. The reaction times. Gillig, .034. Ennslin .064.



NA 10.5 - Multi-time NA 10.5 champ, season points leader, and Number 1 Qualifier Leonard Long gave a lesson as to why he has earned the accolades. The transmission and shifter manufacturer and his trusty 1995 Mustang turned on the win light over TJ Strange and Matt Wuertz before getting a bye in the semi-finals and date at the starting line in the finals with Dwight Ausmus, another past champ in the category. Long prevailed over Ausmus and his Firebird on this day, posting a .040 RT, 7.965 ET and 170.7 MPH to Ausmus' .047 RT, 8.102 at 166.3.
Street Outlaw - The Street Outlaw category is one of two where the normally separate NMCA and NMRA pool their entry lists. And despite an entry list of 10 strong the quality of the racing was first-rate, with DeWitt Arkansas' Shane Fisher racing to the win over Shawn Prevlor of Cleveland, OH. Fisher, the Number 3 qualifier would dispatch Todd Bennet on Saturday night, then Mike Cerminaro, and Dom DiDonato before going against Pevlor in the final. Points leader Pevlor would win over Vinny Polazzolo and the formidable Rob Goss before earning a bye to the finals. There both drivers posted nearly identical reaction times with the advantage to Fisher's turbo Fox Mustang. However, Prevlor lost traction enabling Fisher to sail for the win with a 4.454 ET at 158.89.
Xtreme Street/Renegade - The other combined category, with Xtreme Street on the NMCA side and Renegade on the Ford only NMRA side. And it was all NMCA in this final with first-time entrant Mike Thompson of Oswego, NY defeating Paul Smith of Bowling Green, KY. Thompson qualified his 1980 Camaro No. 2 and defeated Tim Kneiriem, Scott Guilerand Nick McGrath before earning a semi-final bye into the finals. Smith qualified his '91 Camaro 10th in the order and defeated Keith Ciborowski, Number 1 Qualifier Joel Greathouse, before getting a third-round bye. He went on to beat Jesse Coulter, earning his way to the final with Thompson. Thompson's winning numbers: .095 RT, 4.728 ET at 150.20. Smith posted a .115 RT, and 4.839 ET at 143.70. Stock/Super Stock Combo
Stock-Super Stock Combo - Jeffery Frees (near lane) 2010 Challenger Drag Pak (9.86 Dial, .020 RT, 9.844 ET) defeated Terry Knott 1973 Dodge Dart (11.20 Dial, 079 RT, 11.177 ET)
Nostalgia Super Stock - Kevin Gass 1966 Chevy Chevelle (9.75 Dial, .091 RT, 9.778 ET) defeated Tim Frees 1963 Plymouth Savoy (10.50 Dial, .055 RT, 10.568 ET)
Nostalgia Muscle Car - Andy Warren 1) Andy Warren 1971 Chevy Caprice (10.25 Dial, .065 RT, 10.235 ET) defeated Audrey Baize 1969 Dodge Dart (11.75 Dial, .054 RT, 11.725 ET)
NMCA Open Comp - Kurt Anderson (near lane 1969 Chevy Camaro (10.01 Dial, .007 RT, 9.987 ET) defeated Scott Williams 1965 Chevy Chevelle (8.53 Dial, .004 RT, 8.483 ET).
Truck & Lightning - Bob Dill, 2001 Ford F-150 Lightning, far lane (9.240 ET at 136.87 MPH) defeated Keith Choburko, 2001 Ford Ranger (Broke) (Bob Dill photo)



NMCA and NMRA invaded Route 66 Raceway for the 14th edition of the Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing, its second of two combined events of the 2019 season. From Pro Mod to True Street, hundreds of cars have entered the gates of the world class race facility in Joliet, Illinois.

Thursday began with two rounds of Test-N-Tune and a Racer Appreciation Party to conclude the day.

Friday the action began in earnest with all categories getting two rounds of qualifying.

Xtreme Pro Mod - In total, 23 Pro Mod cars made qualifying attempts in the two sessions. When the day was over Jim Widener held on to the top spot when he drove his nitrous assisted 2017 Corvette to a 3.3.767 ET at 201 MPH. Number two Qualifier Don Walsh Jr. (3.780 ET) ran the provisional top speed  of 211 MPH, also in session1. The bump spot is occupied by Scott Christoffel's 4.070.
(Bradley Berkshire photo)
Factory Super Car - After a couple of drivers dipped into the seven second zone during Thursdays' test sessions the Factory Super Car contingent felt more was out there. Yet with warmer conditions on Friday, only one carded that type of performance. Bill Skillman recorded a 7.909 ET at 172.23 MPH in Q1. with his '14 Cobra Jet. Those numbers held in the even warmer late afternoon session. Ted Hughes in the 2016 COPO brings up the rear of the field.
A regular and past champion on the Chicago Wise Guys Pro Mod Match Racing Circuit, Oakbrook, Illinois' Bradley Berkshire made a full quarter mile pull (6.132 at 234MPH) in session 1 to upgrade his license. Berkshire's eighth mile numbers of 4.033 at 184.80 earned him the provisional 14th position. 



Bob Tasca III isn't the only member of the Tasca family racing this weekend. His uncle Carl Tasca is at Route 66 Raceway and drove his 2019 Mustang Cobra Jet to an 8.011 ET at 173.78 MPH in Q1. These numbers kept Tasca in the Number 2 spot and earned him top speed through Friday. Effusive in praise for others and constructive in criticism when needed, Carl Tasca has a deep sense of drag racing history and may be even more passionate than his nephew when it comes to racing Fords.
Nitrous Pro Street - Tony Gillig of Huntley, IL has raced with his family for many years, including in NHRA Pro Stock in the early 2000's. Today he competes regularly in PDRA's Pro Outlaw 632 category, and this weekend in NMCA's Nitrous Pro Street class, and on Friday he drome the 1996 Cutlass to a 4.380 ET at 161.25 MPH to earn the provisional number 1 qualifying position.
(Kevin Lawrence photo)
With roots in fast street car racing, Kevin Lawrence is another local with decades of experience. He is also another former NHRA Pro Stock competitor. At the Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing Lawrence is competing in NPS and is driving what some consider to be the most iconic cars in the Chicagoland area, Dick Messino's "Shake Rattle and Run" 1957 Chevy. This car has undergone many transformations since first raced in the late 1950's, but the basic steel body it was born with is still intact. With Lawrences capable hands steering it and tuning guru Adam Drzayich call the shots, the "Messino Boys" will be one to watch.
Street Outlaw - Dom DiDonato is far and away the class of the Street Outlaw drag radial category this weekend. He recorded a 4.467 ET at 163.57 MPH in his bright red GT00 Mustang. Shane Fisher is second in the order, while Mike Kostick is in the final position on Friday's sheets.
Xtreme Street-Renegade - In the combined NMCA Xtreme Street/NMRA Renegade class, past champion Joel Greathouse may have silenced some critics (or not) by racing to the provisional number one spot. The turbocharged Mustang notch put a 4.708 ET and a speed figure of 150.06 MPH on the board to led Friday's qualifiers.
Truck & Lightning - Run on a dial-in format, NMRA's Truck and Lightning features the quickest drag race vehicles that have a bed, rather than a trunk. Keith Chobirko towed his white 2001 Ford Ranger in from White Oak, PA and went to the number one spot when he recorded an ET that was only .005 over his prediction. 
Among his numerous accomplishments, Pat Musi is an icon in the Fastest Street Car movement. He is at Route 66 Raceway with a full plate, calling the shots on "Popeye II" with daughter Tricia in Nitrous Pro Street, Mike Bankston in NPS, as well as Jackie Sloan and Kyle Megginson in Pro Mod.
Seeing Larry Morgan in the lanes was a surprise to some, but not to those that he is a valuable source of knowledge. PTP Performance's Patrick Barnhill is one that recognizes Morgan's talents and brought him on this weekend to assist in tuning PTP's customer, including David Cox and the David Monday Pro Mod teams.

Racing resumes at 9:00 AM Saturday in all twenty four categories with the final qualifying and time trials session. Eliminations begin Saturday night at 5 PM.