Miller, Puluse, and Russell take big wins at the Cecil Country Lucas Oil Divisional


Mike Ferrell’s sharp Mopar took Best Appearing at Cecil

Photos and Story by Phil Hutchison

The sixth of seven Division One Lucas Oil Series events was contested August 19-21 at Cecil Country Dragway near Rising Sun MD. For the most part the weather cooperated with sunny skies and temps in the 90’s. It wasn’t until the 11th hour on Sunday did Mother Nature affect the race with a short timeout during the finals with a quick shower. But that shower was followed by a major rain storm during the winner’s circle making for some wet Wallys being presented but the winners could have cared less.


It was two in a row for the S-10 of Miller

Recent Atco winner Tom Miller in his PSTA Chevy S-10 once again took the Competition Eliminator bracket beating Joe Carnasciale in the finals as Miller went 7.585 on his 8.14 index to beat Carnasciale’s 0.461 under 8.939 in his I/SMA Chevy Cavalier.


Earlier Miller defeated Jay Schonberger and Calvin Hill while Carnasciale took out Peter “Lucky” Luciano and Carl Miller to make it to the finals.


Doug Doll has the D1 Championship all but wrapped up

Doug Doll from Lancaster PA had the Charlie Greco E/DA on the pole with a 0.742 under 7.358 but fell to Calvin Hill’s D/EA in Round 3. Doll had an insurmountable lead coming into the Cecil event with only one race left in the 2016 season and Doug will be on the podium at Hershey in January getting this NED Wally.


Top Dragster went to multi time winner Bill Russell as Russell defeated the dragster of Paul Neal in the finals. Both drivers had identical 0.018 RTs but Neal broke out with a 6.806 on his 6.83 dial as Russell ran a 7.595 on his 7.57 dial.


Paul Neal gets his quick dragster slowed down after a qualifying run


Glen Puluse took his #1 Qualifying Pontiac GTO to the Winner’s Circle at Cecil defeating the redlighting Cobalt of Vonnie Mills in the finals of Top Sportsman. Puluse who was low qualifier with a 6.593 put Ray Bamond’s ’68 Camaro and Mike Kaufman’s ’67 Vette while Vonnie defeated Ray Thurston’s Avenger and Ed Foley’s Mustang to make it to the final round.


Vonnie got all the way to the finals but gave it away with an untimely red light

Other winners at Cecil County were:


Super Stock: Brad Huntzberry wheeled his GT/DA Camaro over the SS/EA ’69 Camaro of Marty Rinehart with a 10.04 (10.02 index) to Rinehart’s close 9.674 (9.65 index). Huntzberry’s better 0.026 light made all the difference



Todd Hoven

Stock: Todd Hoven took his D/SA Pontiac to a win over Adam Berberich’s FS/F COPO Camaro. Berberich ran closer to his 10.39 index with a 10.402 but Todd got the better light with a 0.036 RT and just like in Super Stock, it made all the difference.



Super Comp: Two of D1’s best faced each other in the final with Kevin Robb coming up the winner with a 8.914 to Chris DePascale’s breaking out 8.892 .


Super Gas: Ed Alessi had the Select Performance Pontiac running great all day defeating some of the best in the NED like Earl Nichols and Mike Sawyer to meet the Innovation Chevy of Dennis Allen in the finals. Alessi was not be headed as the NJ driver was off the line first with a 0.033 light to Allen’s 0.044 and ran a 9.928 to Allen’s 9.953 for the Cecil title.



Super Street: Taking his first ever NED win was second generation racer James Stack driving the ageless Mopar of Garbinski and Livezey and beating the Porsche of Keith Mayers in the finals. Both drivers ran identical 10.912 ETs but Stack’s better 0.021 light to Mayer’s 0.029 RT sealed the deal.




Low Qualifier in Top Dragster was the dragster of Al Kenny


Top Fuel Harley winner Tracy Kile


Pro Fuel champ Janette Thornley


Al Ackerman took the Best Engineered award home


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Miller, Riegel, and Musolino lead winners at the NHRA NED Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Atco Dragway


Travis Hess gets the wheels up on his Hemi powered Dodge. Hess took the Best Appearing award home to WV

Story Phil Hutchison  Photos David Smith, Diane Kubicke, and Phil Hutchison

Under beautiful New Jersey skies, the NHRA D1 Sportsman finals were held at Atco Dragway with winners crowned in all of the NHRA classes for the exception of the Alcohol classes which were decided Saturday night.


Tom Miller from Nottingham PA took his PSTA S-10 Chevy pickup to a win in Competition Eliminator defeating the F/ED of Frank Aragona Jr in the finals running a 7.675 154.37 on a 8.21 index while Aragona, from Freehold NJ, trailed with a 8.158 163.73 on his 8.62 index in the loss. Earlier Aragona took a CIC hit in defeating NED points leader Doug Doll’s E/DA which cost the NJ racer nearly a tenth off his index going into the finals.  Miller earlier defeated Jay Schonberger I/A Oldsmobile and Carl Miller’s F/A Corvette to make the finals while Aragona defeated the aforementioned Doll and Greg Mannix’s dragster.



Carl Miller went a few rounds at Atco


In Top Sportsman, Ron Riegel from Fairless Hills PA defeated the similar ’68 Camaro of Ray Bamond from Patterson NJ in the finals as Bamond went to quick on this 6.76 dial running a 6.757 to Riegel’s 7.179 on a 7.16 dial. Both racers had excellent reaction times with Riegel’s 0.010 light a bit better than Bamond’s 0.019 RT.  Earlier in eliminations Riegel defeated Al Thomson’s Corvette and Ronnie Proctor’s Mustang to make the finals as Bamond took out Brian Conrey’s ’63 Corvette and Vonnie Mills’ Cobalt.  John Prime from Thomastown CT was Low Qualifier in his’68 Camaro with a 6.417 ET.


Ray Bamond


Vince Musolino from Bridgeport NY took the Top Dragster win at Atco over a red lighting Greg Kelley from Hainesport NJ. Kelley left 0.006 seconds too early handing Musolino the win. Musolino would have been tough to beat with a 0.007 RT.  Low Qualifier in Top Dragster was the blown car of Joe DeGuara from Nesconcest NY, running a 6.070 to lead the field. Unfortunately for DeGuara, he hurt the motor in the dragster and was unable to make the first round.

Other winners at the Atco Lucas divisional were:


Super Stock: Joe Lisa driving his GT/FA ’87 Camaro defeated Doug Linke in a heads up final with Lisa running a 10.131 to Linke’s 10.223 in his ‘00 Pontiac Firebird.


Stock: Anthony Fetch from Colonia NJ, driving the PC Richard and Son G/SA ’69 Camaro took the win as runner up Kyle Kohr, Myerstown PA, left too soon in his D/SA ’69 Camaro handing Fetch the win.



Super Gas: Ina double breakout Francis Ross defeated the Corvette roadster of Jason Kenny as Kenny went further below the 9.90 index running a 9.868 to Ross’ 9.878.


Super Comp: John Calo had a better package than David Long in the final running an 8.916 to Long’s 8.923 as both drivers had identical RTs.


Super Street: Local racer Steve Sisko defeated Bill Phillips in the finals as both racers were up to the task. Sisko had a 0.015 RT to Phillips’ 0.024 and ran a 10.916 to Phillips’ losing 10.918.

Next NED event will be the Cecil County Lucas Oil Divisional August 19-21



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Hart and Cox take Alcohol titles at Atco Lucas Oil Divisional


Story by Phil Hutchison  Photos Kubicke and Hutchison


Florida racer Josh Hart and Maryland native D.J. Cox Jr took their respective Alcohol Dragster and Funny car wins at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Northeast Division event at Atco Dragway.


The finals of TAD had the John Deere carol Josh Hart beating the Dan Page piloted A/FD of Art Gallant

Hart, from Ocala FL, took his John Deere sponsored A/FD from the #1 qualifying spot to a convincing victory over the similar dragster of Dan Page in the final running a 5.344 269.56 to the 5.401 270.16 of Page.


Page, who qualified the Art Gallant owned dragster in the #2 spot had earlier defeated the A/FD of point leader Rich McPhillips who was gunning for his third win in the East Region but came up short running a 5.420 to Page’s better 5.356 putting Page in the finals against Hart.


Hart who qualified his Gene Gallant tuned dragster with Low ET of the event @ 5.277 @ 272.01 MPH to got his final round spot by defeating the always tough A/FD of Nevada racer Duane Shields with a 5.337 to Shield’s 5.361 in Round 2. Both McPhillips and Shields are at the top of the points in the East Region with Atco being the last event in the East leaving the probable winner having to travel out of region to add to their points.


Cox, driving the East Coast Auto Electric Monte Carlo Alcohol Funny Car of John Andreka , had put the Chevy on the pole with a 5.642 in what was a short field with only 6 cars making the show. In the finals Cox was off the line way ahead of his competition, the Moduline Camaro of Matt Gill, with a 0.024 light to Gill’s 0.097 RT and ran a 5.782@ 254.18 to Gill’s better but losing 5.738 @ 258.37.


The win at Atco puts Cox in the lead in the Eastern Region as Phil Burkart, who was tied with Cox going into the event, lost in round 1 experiencing major tire shake in the Follow a Dream Camaro losing to Dan Pomponio’s Monte Carlo.


The A/SA Mopar of Travis Hess was selected Best Appearing at the Atco event


Al Ackerman had his dragster on the pole of Comp but broke during his last qualifying pass and could not make round 1


David Barton was low qualifier in Stock driving a Ford?

Eliminations in the remaining Sportsman classes continue Sunday with all classes completing at least one round of eliminations Saturday night.


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D’Aprile, Franklin, Strickland and McKinney Pick Up PDRA North-South Shootout Titles


Story Courtesy of Nate Van Wagnen Photos by Phil Hutchison and Geoff Sculley


NAS Racing Pro Extreme veteran Tommy D’Aprile and Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle rider Eric McKinney earned their first Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) wins of the season last weekend, joining repeat winners Tommy Franklin (Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous presented by MoTeC) and John Strickland (GALOT Motorsports Park Pro Boost) in the PDRA North-South Shootout winner’s circle. The fifth race on the PDRA 2016 tour was finished on Sunday due to rain that moved into the Maryland International Raceway area near the end of first round on Saturday night.



Maryland’s own Mo Hall claimed the DiSomma Racing Engines Outlaw 10.5 win in the class’ second stop with the PDRA. Number one qualifier John Montecalvo won in PDRA Extreme Pro Stock, adding to his event titles in two other major series.

In the PDRA sportsman classes, the titles went to Glenn Butcher in Ronnie Davis Top Sportsman presented by MagnaFuel and Travis Laster in Lucas Oil Top Dragster. Second generation driver Cory Gulitti scored the Talbert Pro Junior Dragster win and half-scale dragster phenom Mia Schultz added another win to her tally in MegaCorp Top Junior Dragster.


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Lang, Donhauser win emotional “Pig Roast” at Cecil County

Photos and story courtesy of Rob Keister

Winfelder (F) vs. Kreiger (N) in Top 8 SC Final

The Mid Atlantic .90 Association invaded Cecil County Dragway in Northeast, Md for the 23rd annual “Uncle Buck” Pig Roast & .90 Race. Local racer George Donhauser & Mike Lang came in on a mission and both left with a special commemorative trophy designed for this event by S&W Race Cars. Donhauser who is from nearby Bel Air, Md calls Cecil County Dragway his home track and added a win at the event that is named after his old Crew Chief Ronnie “Uncle Buck” Harple who passed away in 2012. Lang, on the other hand claimed his first Super Gas win and along with his son Sean dedicated it to his wife, Barb who also passed away suddenly in April of this year.

Donhauser CC Winner

Temperatures in the mid 90’s greeted racers for Race #3 of the season and it would be a battle of endurance to see who would be holding the trophy at days end. Surrounded by friends and family, Donhauser marched his way through a tough field of Super Gas cars to claim his first victory in a few years. In round 1 his took down Lang who went red, current points leader Don Miller in the 2nd, Marc Marcuso in the 3rd and Mike Lauria in the semis. Awaiting Donhauser was George Smith and his “Livewire” 67 Camaro. In that final, Smith took the jump at the green (.008 to .018) but, pushed his Chevy a little too hard and broke out 9.845 to Donhauser’s winning 9.854. Other winners joining George on Saturday were Danny “Mr. Happy” Bisbano in Super Comp and Kelli Barbato in Super Street.

Barbato Sat Win

Once the dust had settled from Race # 3, a special event was held for selected competitors put on by Autometer, ATI Performance, Lantier Constuction & Ed Quay Race Cars. The Top 8 Shootout enabled twenty-four drivers who earned qualifying points through the 2015-16 seasons to battle it out for cash and prizes. In the end three new drivers added their names to the trophy and received an automatic birth to the 2017 event. Winners included Randy Winfelder Jr. (SC), George Stack (SG) & Martie Ganjoin (SST).

Lang vs. Stack

On Sunday, following a great pig roast on Saturday Night the drivers turned their attention to claiming victory. As previously mentioned, Mike Lang and his 1968 Camaro took the win in Super Gas. This was Mike’s first victory and he did so by taking down Jake Barbato, Earl Nichols Jr, a competition single in the 3rd and Hank Smith in the semi’s. In the finals Lang matched up with recent Top 8 winner George Stack and his 99 Monte Carlo. At the hit Lang took the advantage (.004 to .039) and never looked back with a 9.944 to 9.948 decision for Lang. Joining Lang in the winner’s circle were Frank Genovisi in Super Comp & Martie Ganjoin in Super Street who prevented Kelli Barbato the double-up.

Stack Top 8 SG Win


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Fahnestock, Holcomb become 1st time winners at Maple Grove

Photos and story courtesy of Rob Keister


The Mid Atlantic .90 Association finally got its 2016 season underway after weather forced the cancelation of its season opener in May. Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa played host to the series under clear, sunny skies. In the end two new faces graced the winner circle at the end of the weekend.

Chase Fahnestock was a busy man during the weekend as he found himself wheeling his DWI Construction / Yards Brewery Dragster in two different states and two different dragstrips. At the beginning of the week, Fahnestock was in Norwalk, Oh for the Summit Equipment National Event. After a tough first round loss, the team packed up and headed east to Maple Grove for Race #2 of the 10 race series. The long trip paid off for the team as Fahnestock found himself in the finals against a familiar opponent and Lee Ream. Fahnestock and Ream were no strangers to each other in finals at Maple Grove as the two lined up for the finals of the 2013 Lucas Oil Division 1 event that saw Ream come out on top. This time around Fahnestock has different plans in the rematch as he strapped a 2 thousandth package on Ream. Chase took the starting line advantage (.002 to .015) and parlayed that into a perfect 8.900 to Reams game 8.907. Fahnestock wanted to thank his sponsors & friends and of course his parents, Crystal and Joel for all their hard work and effort to get him to Maple Grove.


The other first time winner came from the Super Gas ranks as Dover, Pa’s Jerry Holcomb wheeled his 2002 Chevy Camaro to victory. In the finals, Race # 1 winner Don Miller turned on the dreaded red-light handing the victory to Holcomb and preventing Miller from Doubling-Up. Holcomb stayed in it and ran it out to a 9.885. Jerry, celebrated in style with his wife April, two puppies, his dad and Team Hookdaddy Motorsports.


Other event winners over the weekend included Jack Donnelly taking down 2015 MASCA Champion Ash Senft in Super Comp, Keith Mayer’s over Bill Trum in Super Street and as mentioned before Don Miller took down Don Knocklick in a battle of “The Don’s” in Super Gas on Saturday. Joining Fahnestock and Holcomb in the winner circle on Sunday was once again Mayers as he took down a red-lighting Dom Burgese. Not only did Mayer’s sweep both MASSA events he picked up a third trophy by winning the Nostalgia Stk/SS Race in his 67 Dodge Cornet.

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No. 1 Qualifier Cary Goforth Takes Pro Stock Title and Claims Points Lead; Bob Malloy Wins Nitro Motorcycle and Sets National Record at the IHRA Presidents Cup at Budds Creek

Story courtesy IHRA  Photos by Phil Hutchison



MECHANICSVILLE, Md. (June 18, 2016) – The record-setting trend set on Friday continued Saturday at the IHRA President’s Cup Nationals.  Cary Goforth (Pro Stock), Bob Malloy (Nitro Motorcycle), Tim Boychuk (AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car) and Kevin McCurdy (Pro Mod) took their respective titles at Maryland International Raceway.
Goforth entered the event three markers out of the points lead and dominated the day.  He was the No. 1 qualifier, ran the table in eliminations and took the points lead after the season’s third race.  He defeated Brad Waddle, John Pluchino and Trevor Eman on his way to the winner’s circle.  Goforth was the only No. 1 qualifier that advanced past the first round of eliminations; it was his second win in three races this season. Texas Nationals winner and previous Pro Stock points leader John Konigshofer did not qualify for eliminations.
“I think a big advantage today was having lane choice,” Goforth said. “The right lane was just a little bit better, and it was very important to keep lane choice.  Our car’s had issues; we’re just now kind of figuring out what it wants so we can make some passes.  Our team’s been in a little bit of a slump; we’re gonna fight our way out of it.  We’re happy, and I’m really appreciative.  It’s a good Father’s Day gift for my Dad so we’re really happy.”
Malloy set the IHRA elapsed time national record on his way to the winner’s circle.  After defeating Jake Stordeur in the first round, he posted a 6.204-second pass, the quickest in IHRA history, to defeat Jay Turner and advance to the finals.  To leave Maryland International Raceway with the national record, he needed to make a run within one percent of his record mark in the final.  He did just that taking out Tii Tharpe with a 6.259-second effort to win the race and back up his national record.  Although he lost in the semifinals, Jay Turner took the Nitro Motorcycle points lead after Randall Andras, who led the points entering the weekend, lost in the first round.
“It hasn’t hit home yet; I needed that win bad – what a day,” Malloy said.  “It couldn’t have worked out any better.  We’ve been creeping up on it, but it’s been giving us trouble.  I had my mind made up that if I didn’t do well here, I was gonna stay home and test.  We’ve been right on the edge for the last couple of races so it came through today.  We were trying to win the race – not set the record.  This is the only high-gear-only bike out here, naturally aspirated. So I think I proved a point here today.”
Tim Boychuk became the third AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car winner in the season’s first three races.  He defeated Paul Romine, Steve Nichols and Mike McIntire, Jr. on his way to the winner’s circle.  The top two drivers in the AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car point standings entering the weekend, Shawn Bowen and Jason Rupert, were defeated in the first round of eliminations.
“This is excellent; we got rid of our old tune-up and put a new tune-up in it,” Boychuk said.  “We tested in Phoenix in February.  The car was running like it was today, but then we changed something.  Now we put it back to the new setup, and the car was like a bracket car today – three 5.71s in a row and a 5.72 in the final round.  The car’s just right on rails and running good so everything’s just perfect.”
In Pro Mod, McCurdy raced past Fredy Scriba, Angela Kinson, Steve King and Mac McAdams on the way to the first IHRA victory of his career.  Pro Mod No. 1 qualifier Billy Harper broke and was unable to compete in eliminations.
“It’s been a good weekend,” McCurdy said. “We battled the track a little bit trying to get wheel speed – the track was a little bit tight. Other than that it was a really good weekend.  This was the first IHRA race I ever entered; I enjoyed the whole thing – it was great.”
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Cayuga Dragway Hosts Northeast National Open

Photos and Story by Bruce Biegler  Drag Race Canada


NHRA Divisional level racing was welcomed back to Cayuga Dragway at Toronto Motorsports Park last weekend for the first time in a very long time.


The fabled Canadian race track hosted their first ever NHRA Northeast Division National Open (presented by PC and good swath of Canadian and American racers went head-to-head in competition under pretty much ideal weather conditions.


There is no denying that the weekend’s marquee and top attraction was a much touted and lucrative Stock/Super Stock Shootout – which was presented by Montreal’s John Scotti and his Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame ventures.   John’s innovative drag racing initiative attracted the largest field of Stock and Super Stock cars seen in Canada in a very long time – with some 80 teams being pre-entered – and 71 different cars making qualifying runs.


The John Scotti Stock/Super Stock Shootout was in fact two separate races – one event each on Saturday and Sunday. That produced wins by both a very wily Canadian racer (Chuck Nagy) and a national champion caliber racer (Dan Fletcher) who both pocketed the majority of the $10,000 prize money offered each day.


On Saturday, it was Niagara Falls area racer Nagy who prevailed over a fierce field – winning seven gruelling rounds driving his GT/TA Chevy S-10 truck.   For Nagy, who is the defending 2015 Can-Am Stock/Super Stock series champion for the area, it was a most rewarding win right in his own back yard.


In the final round he took out the Super Stock Pontiac Grand-Am raced by Indiana’s Scotty Stillings – which marked the first time in his racing career he had beaten that U.S. class heavyweight racer head on and with the win light, Nagy collected about $5800 of the day’s purse.


“It’s pretty nice to win the inaugural Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame Shootout,” said Nagy. “For whatever reason when I’m amongst tough competition that seems to bring the best out of me. I needed a really good light (.004) in the semi finals to get by Guy Desjardins and when I beat Stillings in the final – that felt great because I’ve never been able to do that before – despite racing him many times.”


Chuck was also very appreciate of the overall effort that NHRA Division One, Cayuga Dragway and particularly John Scotti’s people put in to presenting the racing event.


“I know I speak for all the class racers when I say we appreciate it,” he added. “This took a ton of work to organize and finalize – and it was pretty successful as you could see. Having two separate days of competition for lucrative purses is pretty much a racers dream at our level. I think that now once the word gets out – the next race will be even larger for the next one. I can see 100+ cars being entered.”


Sunday’s win went to Dan Fletcher, who lives about 90 minutes away from Cayuga at his hometown in Western NY state (Churchville). Racing his FS/F late model COPO which features sponsorship from PEAK, Fletcher too had to run through 7 hard rounds to take the win. In that final round he topped the GT/GA Camaro raced by Pennsylvania’s Bryan Worner who had a foul start.


The NHRA indexed class cars (Super Street – Super Gas – Super Comp) were combined into a single eliminator for each day of racing. On Saturday it was Brad Redford (Colborne ON) winning in his S/ST Nova over Tom Coonley’s S/ST Nova. On Sunday it was the S/C dragster raced by Ed McCleaft (from PA) topping the S/ST Monte Carlo of Chris Vanbaalen for the title.


The Race Cayuga Series was also in full action mode over the weekend. Competition there in those ET racing categories was highlighted by a strong “double up” event effort by K.C. Kovacs (Windham Center ON) driving his great looking dragster which won in Quick Sportsman both days.


Saturdays other winners were Shawn Booth (Modified), Pete Stewart (Pro Bike/Sled), Buster Cherry (Super Pro), Darrel Fraser (Street) and Drew Greschuck (Junior Dragster).


On Sunday wins went to Ian Stirk (Super Pro), John Chittendon (Modified), Brad Talbot (Street), Pete Stewart (Bike/Sled) and Ryan Pettit (Junior).


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McPhillips and Bartone lead winners at Lucas Oil Divisional at Maple Grove

Story Courtesy NHRA Photos Phil Hutchison and Diane Kubicke


Having a $10 a carload on Saturday night didn’t hurt attendance as the stands were packed

Rich McPhillips and Tony Bartone took home wins in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car at this weekend’s NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and the Showdown at Sundown event at Maple Grove Raceway outside Philadelphia.


McPhillips made it two years in a row with his PA based A/FD

McPhillips, Phoenixville, Pa., qualified No. 5 and took out Dan LaPrairie in round one with a 5.387 second lap at 269.40 mph then ended No. 1 qualifier Richard Bourke’s day in the semifinals with a 5.371, 262.26 run. In the final it was McPhillips and former Lucas Oil World Champion Duane Shield out of Boulder City, Nev. with McPhillips taking the win in 5.410 seconds, 268.49 mph as Shields had problems and lifted off the throttle. This is the second win in three final rounds for McPhillips having won in Gainesville, Fla., earlier this year and losing to Shields in the Richmond, Va., final in early May.


Shields (near lane) started smoking the tires right after this shot and McPhillips took advantage


It was a great final in Alcohol Funny Car with T Bone (near lane) beating the Camaro of Matt Gill in the final under the Maple Grove lights

Bartone met up with second generation driver and defending event champion Matt Gill in his final round making his quickest run of the day to defeat the Broxton, Mass., racer in 5.545 at 266.88 mph as Gill clocked in at 5.627, 252.80. Bartone, Long Island City, N.Y., ran quicker in each round posting a 5.614 in round one against John Headley and a 5.606 over DJ Cox Jr. in round two.


Matt Gill is having a great start to the 2016 NED season


Doug Doll took his second Lucas Divisional win in a row with Charlie Greco’s E/DA

In Competition Eliminator, local runner Doug Doll out of Lancaster, Pa., ran down Peter Luciano, Malvern, Pa., who left first with a stellar .007 second reaction time. Doll went 7.455 at 174.10 in his ’15 dragster for his second divisional win of the year.


In addition to winning Comp, the Greco dragster also took home Best Engineered at the Grove!


Zeffiro (far lane) had to race #2 qualifier Alan O’Brien in the final and won with a near dead on 6.092 on a 6.09 dial!

Defending event champion Frank Zeffiro and Ronald Proctor each scored in the MXI/Magnaflux Top Dragster and Top Sportsman classes. Zeffiro, Torrington, Conn., used a hole shot to knock out Alan O’Brien with a near perfect 6.092 on a 6.09 dial with a .010 second reaction time. O’Brien, Roncerverte, W.V., ran dead-on his dial at 6.270 but was a tick slower at the start.


Zeffiro who was defending Champ also was low qualifier in Top Dragster on his way to the Maple Grove win


It was Proctor (near lane) over Puluse in the Top Sportsman final

Proctor, Harpers Ferry, W.V., out ran Glen Puluse with a 6.834, 202.67 in his ’09 Mustang. Pulse slowed to a 7.244, 151.87 with his ’06 GTO.


Allison Smyth gets the wheels up during Saturday night’s Top Eight shootout which she won and later on Sunday took the Stock trophy home to MA

The Stock and Super Stock titles went home with Allison Smyth, Uxbridge, Mass., and John Armstrong, Kingston, N.S. Smyth covered the quarter-mile in 10.206 at 129.32 mph with her ’98 Firebird to defeat Brian Martel, Fredericksburg, Va., and Armstrong drove his ’69 Corvette to a lap of 8.873, 150.83 against Charlie Bubka, Manorville, N.Y.


Canadian racer Armstrong (far lane) beat Charlie Bubka in the finals of Super Stock

Rounding out the winners on this Memorial Day weekend were John Bruzzo, Oceanside, N.Y., over Walter Olt, Medfore, N.J., in Super Comp.


Bruzzo (near lane) over Olt in the finals of Super Comp

Francis Ross, Milford, N.H., beat Mike Sawyer, Leominster, Mass., in Super Gas



Rick Mattioli, Middlesex, N.J., held on to beat Casey Cole, Lexington Park, Md., in Super Street.


Tyler Small, South Berwick, Maine, took the Ultimax Pro Stock Snowmobile trophy in beating Frank Berard Jr., Troy, N.Y.

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Commisso wins Pro Mod, Massel tops Holley EFI field and Rini goes for a wild ride at the 14th Annual NMCA Ross Racing Pistons Muscle Car Mayhem at Bradenton Motorsports Park



Photos by Phil Hutchison Story by Phil Hutchison and courtesy of NMCA

During the off season, the NMCA made major changes to their VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod series with blown, nitrous, and turbocharged cars running side by side in the 1/8 mile. Twenty of these beasts made it through tech and only 16 would be racing on Sunday, which made for some wild qualifying.


Tinley Park, Illinois’ Randy Adler put his ’57 Chevy Pro Mod on the top of the qualifying sheet with a 3.80, and he would wade through the field to meet Raymond Commisso of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The two supercharged cars lined up and at the hit, Adler’s Chevy broke traction, allowing Commisso to streak to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle.


The finals of Pro Mod had Adler (far lane) up against the Camaro of Commisso

Earlier in the second round, Commisso was up against Chris Rini’s beautiful ’69 Camaro and as the cars went down the Bradenton track, Rini’s Chevy went toward the centerline, corrected and contacted the wall heavily damaging the new car. Chris was transported to the local hospital with several broken ribs on his left side, bruised lung and a bruised knee but is expected to recover fully.


All hell broke loose for Chris Rini (far lane) during his first round race with eventual winner Commisso as Rini’s Camaro hit the guardwall hard sending the Northeast driver to the hospital with a few broken ribs and a punctured lung


In Mickey Thompson Radial Wars, it was Keith Berry that laid down the first 3-second pass (3.89) in the class’ history during Friday night’s first qualifying session. The rest of the field wasn’t far behind with the next three cars logging 4.0-second runs. Berry fell to DeWayne Mills in the semis, where Daniel Pharris had a bye run. As the air began to cool, the setting was ripe for quick times and we were in for a show. Pharris got off the line first and the holeshot would pay off as he took the win with a 3.99 to Mills’ quicker 3.97.


Daniel Pharris (far lane) used a holeshot to take the Mickey Thompson Radial Wars over the quicker Camaro of DeWayne Mills

Wiseco Performance Products Street Outlaw, now in its second year in the eighth-mile format, began with a field separated by just 3 tenths of a second after qualifying. Last year’s NMCA Finals runner-up,


Jarod Wenrick

, took the top qualifying spot in his Chevy II Nova with a 4.458 lap. The Deuce made its way to final round where it would face off against the late-model Mustang of Phil Hines. Hines had low ET of the weekend with a 4.451, and the final was an awesomely close race. Wenrick left first by just .02 seconds, and at the stripe, it was Wenrick first with a 4.506 to Hines’ 4.511.


ARP Nitrous Pro Street saw 2015 champion Joe Bucaro pick up where he left off last year, dominating the field once more. While he missed the Florida race last year, his car was ready and took the number-one qualifying spot with a 7.34. Bucaro would meet John Trobiani of Romeoville, Illinois, in the final, which ended with Bucaro’s victorious 7.37 over Trobiani’s 9.52.


The Edelbrock Xtreme Street field was chock full of heavy hitters like 2015 champ David Hutnick, Tony Alm, Bill Trovato and Eric Kenward, but several newcomers posted quick times in qualifying that shook up the contingent. Kenward and his newly painted Wheelie Wagon set the bar in qualifying with an untouched 7.67 elapsed time, and he lowered that to a 7.65 on his first-round bye run. In true champion form, Hutnick made his way round after round until he landed in the finals against newcomer Martin Connelley. Connelley’s Mustang got off the line first, but Hutnick’s nitrous-fed Camaro edged past the Fox body running a 7.73 to Connelley’s 7.82.

Dwight Ausmus and his Pontiac Firebird grabbed the number-one qualifier position in Quick Lane of Downs Ford NA 10.5 with a 7.92. After dispatching newcomer Richie Nye, Ausmus met 2015 champ Leonard Long in the final. The lights were near identical, and it was a tight race down to the finish line where Long squeaked past with an 8.02 to Ausmus’ 8.03.



New this year is the Holley EFI Factory Super Cars class, which is a heads-up eliminator pitting Mustang Cobra Jets, Chevrolet COPO Camaros, and Dodge Challenger Drag Paks. The class was dominated by supercharged entries, and Kevin Skinner’s CJ Mustang sat on top after qualifying with an 8.41. Whatever advantage the Mustangs of the class had faded round after round until the COPO Camaros of Glenn Pushis and Bruno Massel were the only ones standing in the final round. Pushis grabbed a slight advantage at the start, but Massel’s COPO pulled ahead to take the win, 8.55 to 8.82 in the all-Chevy final.



Holley EFI winner Bruno Massel and family in the Winner’s Circle

With a successful start in 2015, Chevrolet Performance Stock presented by Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center picked up where it left off last year with Hazen, Arkansas’ Ronnie Hackelton qualifying number one with a 10.35—slightly quicker than last year’s debut performance. As the rounds passed, it would be Hackelton meeting last year’s Florida winner, Kevin Lumsden in the final. Their lights were near even at .092 to .093, and that slight advantage is all that remained for Ronnie Hackelton, but it was enough to give him his first win of the year.


As happened last year, the NMCA hosted a round of the local Ross Racing Pistons Outlaw 632 class. In the final round, it was a familiar site as last year’s winner, Ken Quartuccio, lined up next to the Corvette of Curt Steinbach. At the end of the eighth-mile contest, it was once again Quartuccio taking the victory with a close 4.42 to 4.45 Win.


The 2015 E3 Spark Plugs Top Sportsman champion, John Lynch, arrived in Florida ready to defend his title. He and his father had made some changes to the suspension of their Third-Gen Camaro that allowed it to run solid, straight runs in the low 7-second range. Lexington, Kentucky’s Greg Cason was the number-one qualifier with a 7.02, but in the finals, he did not make the lane call and Lynch took the easy single en route to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle.


As with many of the other classes, ATI Performance Products Nostalgia Super Stock welcomed new racers to the group. Class regular Mike DeChicco had put his ’65 Dodge on pole by the end of qualifying, with newcomer Robert Killian and his ’69 Dart right behind him. In the final, however, it was Joe Midile Jr. facing Ron Tiller. Midile left the line and something immediately broke in the car, but the win was his as Tiller was a heart-breaking -.003 red.


With his ’71 Caprice not quite ready for the first race of the year, 2015 Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle Car champion Andy Warren called up Jason Rollins to borrow a ride. The wild-launching Malibu wagon worked well for the champ, and he drove it to the final round where he defeated Mike Roup and his ’66 Mustang. Warren had the starting-line advantage and went 11.01 on his 11.00 index while Roup was 13.84 for his 14.00 index.

Kelly Pierce

Kelly Pierce

Kurt Neighbor sat on top of the Magnafuel Open Comp qualifying list in his ’79 Mustang with a .002 reaction time. As often happens with Open Comp, though, the good qualifiers don’t always make it to the late rounds. This year, it was

Susan McClenaghan

Susan McClenaghan

facing the Kelly Pierce in his wheel-standing Chevy Malibu. The race was over at the start, though, as McClenaghan’s propane-fueled Mustang left .004 seconds before the green light said go.

Gear Vendors True Street featured two very fast Mustangs, but a faster Pontiac Firebird that topped them all. Stephen Smith of Loxahatchie, Florida, carded a 7.81-second three-run average to claim the True Street crown, while the twin-turbo Mustang of Randy Seward runner’d up with 8.44 effort. Closely behind him was the Coyote-powered machine if Justin Jordan, who has gone 7s before, but gathered an 8.47-second average on Saturday. Taking the 9-second award was Mile French with a 9.20 average, and Jesse Schmitt rounded up the 10-second win with a 10.68. Bill Locke averaged 11.06 in his ’72 Buick Gran Sport for the 11-second award, and Grant Martin in a much newer ’86 Buick Grand National gathered the 12-second win with a 12.006. Jerry Morse averaged 13.02 for the 13-second win, and Wyatt Morse drove his ’71 Ventura to a 14.06 average for the class win. Rounding out the Gear Vendors True Street winners was Burtt Greiner with a 15.02-second average.

The NMCA heads north to Georgia next for the 8th Annual NMRA/NMCA Borla All-Star Nationals Presented by Miller Welders April 7-10, 2016.

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