2009 NMRA ATCO New Jersey - Web Extra!
From the September, 2009 issue of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
By K.J. Jones
Photography by K.J. Jones
With Atco being only 45 minutes...
With Atco being only 45 minutes away from the Atlantic City casinos, we weren't surprised to see race fans wagering on such minutia as which racer would get the holeshot, the red light, or anything else that can happen in a drag race besides simply winning and losing. We saw a lot of friendly exchanges on Sunday.
Max Gross proved NMRA's Hot...
Max Gross proved NMRA's Hot Street eliminator is appropriately named. Just before Max pulled into the burnout box for his final qualifying pass, a fuel leak in the Team Powerhead '89 Mustang GT ignited and sent smoke and flames billowing into the Atco sky. Max escaped uninjured, and the trio of Max, Mike, and Pops DeMayo worked overnight to have repairs made and the 'Stang ready for battle when the first-round call was made on Sunday.
New Jersey racer, Anthony...
New Jersey racer, Anthony DiSomma's all-new, Methanol-drinking, big-block Mustang is not legal for NMRA competition. However, Anthony and his team were on hand at Atco to get in a few practice laps, as preparation for upcoming events in which the 'Stang is eligible to compete in 10.5W Outlaw classes.
Note the missing piston/rod...
Note the missing piston/rod assembly in the Number One cylinder of Jim Breese's injured engine. When a valvetrain problem prompted its removal (and replacement with Tim Matherly's spare) on Saturday, the short-block served as a piston donor for the modular bullet in teammate Bart Tobener's Renegade coupe. Jim made the call for eliminations and won in the first round, but his refreshed rocket couldn't keep up with Tim Matherly in the semifinals.
Pure Street "Retirement"...
"Retirement" apparently is treating Ryan Hecox well. During the off-season there was widespread speculation that the '08 Pure Street points runner-up would not race this season. At Atco, Ryan proved rumors of his retirement greatly exaggerated, as he stamped his official return to Pure Street in his own car (Ryan "raced" in Bradenton using Associate Editor Mike Johnson's '95 Slowbra--Ed.) with a decisive win over Steve Gifford in the final. "I've been doing a lot of local testing, but racing in an event is much different," says Ryan. "Testing's easy. It's having someone in the next lane who is running as hard as you are (for the same prize) that makes things come together. I started getting back in my racing rhythm as the weekend went on and it all worked out." Ryan's 10.12 e.t. in the final was the quickest lap in Pure Street history.
If there's any consolation...
If there's any consolation for Steve Gifford in his runner-up finish to Ryan Hecox in Pure Street, it has to be the 10.22 qualifying e.t. that earned him the pole, and the "personal best" 10.20 and monster 133-mph speed that Steve bagged in the final round.
Factory Stock "Some things...
"Some things are more important than racing," said Tommy Godfrey (who sat atop the qualifying pole in Factory Stock with a wickedly quick 11.10 e.t.). The reigning class champion actually skipped Saturday's second and third qualifying sessions to attend his daughter's Pre-K graduation exercises, but Tommy was back in the zone on Sunday and guided his coupe to the Promised Land on race day, with conquests over Jim St Charles, Matt Armine, and hard-charging John Leslie Jr.
John Leslie Jr's pursuit of...
John Leslie Jr's pursuit of a Factory Stock world title remains steady, as he scored his second runner-up finish this season. John defeated Charlie Rankin and class-newcomer Zane Reed before reaching--and losing--a final-round showdown with Tommy Godfrey.
Open Comp Don Bowles' Maverick...
Don Bowles' Maverick wasn't the only "Super Ford" to take top honors in eliminations. David Woodside wheeled this hard-leaving, big-block-powered, 10-second '84 Thunderbird to the win in Open Comp, over Tom DeMalto's '89 'Stang.
Modular Muscle Racing for...
Racing for the first time without his ever-present and popular dad (Reggie Burnette Sr), Reggie Burnette Jr ripped the tree down (.007 reaction in Round 3) and ran pinpoint close to his dial (10.88 on a 10.87 in the final) to claim the Modular Muscle title at Atco. "My crew got me this win," says Reggie.
Super 'Stang Chris Parisi...
Chris Parisi qualified third in the 17-car field of '05-'10 'Stangs, and emerged on top after five rounds of racing. Chris' win makes another statement for V6-powered S197s (remember his dominance with a six-banger in 2008?), as he showed that good reactions and e.t. consistency (Chris ran 15.27 on his 15.27 index in the final) are all a racer needs to be successful in the class. Photo by Paul Rosner.
Truck & Lightning Thanks...
Truck & Lightning
Thanks to its uniqueness and impressive wheels'-up launches, Bob Cochran's 1941 F-100 has been a crowd-favorite in the Truck and Lightning category for many years. On race day, the two "old timers" showed the youngsters exactly how it's done, by cutting through the field and defeating the always-tough Johnny Lightning in the final round.