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.
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.