Maple Grove 2009 Recap
This time out, the other guys won. Two Mustangs made it to the finals, but all is not lost. The Chevy combatants are ready to make a 7-second assault at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl race, the next stop on the tour.
This year NMCA went back to Maple Grove for its stop in the Northeast. Forecasted rain and competing events in the area kept the car count lower than normal. Only eight entries showed up to compete. To put that in perspective, the NMCA at Bowling Green saw 27 entries pass through tech inspection. What the Maple Grove field lacked in size it made up for in competition, as there was no sure bet and any of the eight could emerge as the winner.
NMCA races are contested in quarter-mile format, but thanks to the torrential rain on Friday, water was still seeping through the cracks of the track on Saturday. That forced NMCA officials to move qualifying to just an eighth-mile format. The shorter track brought the crazy eight even closer in qualifying. Bill Trovato drove his fan-favorite Oldsmobile Starfire to the top spot with a 5.11 at 138 mph. A small-block Oldsmobile engine powers the Starfire too, adding more flavor to its uniqueness. Jamie Stanton held down the backside of the ladder with a 5.44, as the team fought some bugs in the new ride.
By Sunday the quarter-mile track had dried and was declared safe and clear by Maple Grove Raceway officials. The elimination rounds were run on the full quarter-mile. The Mustang racers picked apart the Chevy and Mopar entries. Cagle and Jamie Stanton went out first, while Bunn managed to escape the opening round unscathed. Bunn was paired with Chris Singleton in Round 2, and he knew he had to get some sort of advantage. Singleton had just unleashed an 8.22 in the first round, while Bunn's best time of the weekend was an 8.30. The blue Camaro driver was too quick on the tree and lit the red-light with a minus 0.01 reaction time. That handed the win over to Singleton, who cruised to the final round. Chuck Bartholme also found himself in the final round after beating number-one qualifier Bill Trovato in Round 1. In Round 2, Bartholme dispatched fellow Mustang racer Jason Lee with a quick 8.25.
The final round matchup was a tight one, with Singleton taking the victory by way of an 8.15 to Bartholme's 8.16. Singleton would walk away with the class win and the quickest run of the weekend.