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NMCA Drag Racing - Civil War

It’s an American Muscle Car Civil War as NMCA Racers Take on the Pony Cars of the NMRA

Michael Galimi Nov 1, 2011
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The sixth annual NMCA/NMRA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing returned to Route 66 Raceway (Joliet, Illinois) this past summer. The two sanctioning bodies once again pitted the class winners of the NMCA-Flowmaster series against the Mustang class winners of the NMRA-Keystone sanctioning body in a staged index-based dual. The situation is this: both racing series run separately all weekend long and on Sunday, once the eliminations are over, all the class winners head back to the staging lanes. NMCA and NMRA officials pair the categories against each other in a pre-determined listing. Essentially the officials pair up the corresponding classes, like Pro Street against NMRA’s Pro Outlaw. The cars are run off using staggered starts based on an index but there is no breakout like in index or bracket racing. The index for each racer is their quickest pass of the weekend.

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The announcers keep score as each pair heads down track—if you win your pairing you win a cash bonus prize from NMRA/NMCA. The team who collects the most wins is declared the Super Bowl winner and each competitor on the team gets a Nitto Tire Diamond Tree gold ring. These are the same rings that are issued to the class champions in both NMRA and NMCA at the end of the year. This year, unfortunately, the Mustangs were on their game and took home the team challenge. But fear not, there was plenty of other action in which the Bow Tie brigade flexed its muscles.

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We’ve been on the 5-Second Pro Street watch since Atlanta and we almost saw it go down at the Maryland event this past spring. The NMCA racers, unfortunately, rolled out of Illinois with a vacant spot on the inaugural line of the 5-Second Club. The historic barrier might not have been broken but the packed field of 17 entries trying to get into the 16-car qualified field offered exciting and tight racing. Sitting on top of the ladder was legendary racer Randy Adler and his A-Team Speed Shop–backed ’57 Chevy. The slick-looking Tim McAmis constructed machine is owned by Lynwood Wood and A-Team supplied the 521ci Hemi engine, complete with a massive Roots supercharger. Adler ran a career best of 6.001 at 237 mph but he was in tight company as the next five entries were within a few tenths of a second of his record run.

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Adler took on the nitrous-gulping competitors and turbocharged onslaught as he snagged his first NMCA victory in 2011. The local hero would face Dan Stevenson and his Reher-Morrison–powered ’70 Camaro in the final round. Stevenson shook hard and lifted while Adler manhandled his ’57 to the stripe; taking the victory with a 6.30 at 228 mph. Chris Rini drove the ATI Performance–backed ’69 Camaro into the semifinals and ran consistently in the 6-teens all weekend long. Joe Dunne and Vincent Demieri both had a weekend they would like to forget. Demieri had a problem with an O-ring on his cylinder head and it wouldn’t remain sealed under pressure and Dunne fought tire-shake.

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A familiar face reached the pinnacle of the Super Street 10.5 category—otherwise known as Outlaw 10.5 to the rest of the world. The rules are a little tighter than the outlaw sanctions and the NMCA racers knock down 6.60-6.80 performances as the norm. Legendary street-legal drag racer Nick Scavo drove a ’92 Camaro Z28 to victory. He co-owns the purple turbocharged entry with Jeff D’Agostino, and they ruled the roost of turbo, nitrous, and supercharged competitors. Scavo qualified second with a 6.76 at 224 mph but hurt a piston, forcing an overnight thrash to get it fixed. The team survived to make it to finals and Scavo was more lucky than good in the big money round. He snapped the input shaft of the Lenco transmission and rolled to a 10-second run but his competitor, Brian Hicks, also encountered drivetrain problems but didn’t roll quick enough to catch Scavo.

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The weekend also included the rest of the NMCA heads-up lineup, including our favorites Nostalgia Pro Street and Xtreme Street, a heavily packed car show grounds, huge manufacturer’s midway from local speed shops to big corporate displays, and packed Index, Open Comp, and bracket racing categories. Here are highlights from the Chevy machines that ruled the asphalt this past summer.

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