Unlike any other race on the calendar, the NMRA's Milan, Michigan, dustup packs its power into two days. This year, due to the NASCAR event on June 17, Father's Day, Milan was a two-day event taking place June 15 and 16--a Friday/Saturday event instead of the usual Friday/Sunday routine.
Since it is a two-day event, everything is condensed into a tighter schedule. There are two rounds of qualifying on Friday, and a third round on Saturday morning before eliminations start Saturday afternoon. The NMRA even held a fourth round of qualifying on Saturday so competitors could fine-tune their racecars. The event culminates with a race into the night to crown event winners, which gives everyone a chance to use Sunday to get back home, or check out the nearby NASCAR race at Michigan International Raceway. Keep reading to see if your favorite NMRA racer took the win.
Horse Sense: The Coyote Stock class, sponsored by Strange Engineering and presented by your favorite magazine (the one you're holding!) is growing each race. Hopefully by the end of the year the class will equal some of the more-popular NMRA heads-up classes like Renegade and Factory Stock.
Leading up to the Milan event, the Super Street Outlaw boards, among other Internet outlets, were full of turbo-versus-supercharger talk. The lack of turbo cars at Milan tells the story of how those discussions went. Regardless, the race goes on, and once again John Urist was at the top of the qualifying sheet with Filthy Phil Hines and Larry Prykucki in hot pursuit. In the end, John Urist took the win over Larry in the final, but it came at a huge cost. After John went through the lights, his ‘chutes failed to properly deploy, sending him down Milan's short shutdown area with just the car's brakes to bring him down from over 200 mph. John tried to make the return-road turn but the car came around on him, damaging the whole driver side of the car. It's pretty much a total loss but John was OK, just really sore for a few days after the event. Word is John will finish out the year in one of his former cars, with the coupe's powerplant under the hood.
We'd hoped Brian Tuten would be at Milan after his win against Jason Lee at MIR, but it appears Brian wanted to go out on top, so that left Jason Lee to battle it out against Chris Malorano's turbocharged New Edge car. Even though Jason wasn't at his best, his ProCharger-motivated Four-Eye was still able to get the win.
While other classes seem to be struggling with car counts, Renegade keeps plugging along and with new racers practically at every race. Still, class stalwart Brian Mitchell keeps winning races no matter who's in the other lane. Brian used a couple 8.40s to get past the competition at Milan, including Chad Allmandinger in the final with an 8.42 at 159 mph to Chad's 8.62 at 160 mph.
The NMRA's premier naturally aspirated class, Hot Street has also been a source of online contention among competitors, which has ended with a few racers on the sidelines. At Milan, there were just two racers in competition with Max Gross and Don Bowles' Maverick to battle it out. Max runs the 400ci combo while Don's Maverick makes use of a 420ci combination. Parity is what is sought; it was achieved in the final round with an 8.76 against an 8.79. Max took the narrow win.
He's back! In the ultimate be-careful-what-you-ask-for scenario, Joe Charles awakened Justin Burcham (far lane), baiting the JPC Racing boss back into heads-up competition. At the wheel of Joe Marini's '12 GT, we asked Justin how long it had been since he won a heads-up race. He said it had been at least 10 years since his last victory. At Milan, he was able to get past Shane Stymiest's Fox coupe (near lane) before getting a shot at Joe Charles, who was able to get past Jacob Lamb's newly converted '86 coupe in the final. At the MIR event, Joe beat Justin and tapped the brakes to mimic hazards. Well, at Milan it was Joe's turn to view the hazards. In the staging lanes, that was the first indication of who won. Justin said once he shifted into Fourth gear, he knew the race was in hand, resulting in a rapid search for the emergency flasher button, which he found in time to show Joe the fast way down the track.
In the ever-popular Factory Stock class, Matt Amrine was trying to play the numbers game to give him the best shot at making it to the final round, until he put his '98 GT in the number one qualifying spot. That would give him a first round bye, but then he lost in a gear-grinder against Alan Cann in Round 2, who then redlit against Louis Sylvester in the semis. On the other side of the ladder, Carlos Sobrino took care of business to earn his place in the final round against Louis, where once again Carlos did his job with a 10.89 to Louis' losing 11.17.
We hear the Milan race was Modular Muscle competitor Dennis Duval's first in the NMRA. Maybe it's beginner's luck or he's been practicing, but what a way to make an entrance. Dennis' 10-second New Edge took on a strong field, but when it counted in the final round against Tom Motycka, Dennis cut a 0.512 light and ran right on his 10.55 dial to get the win.
Mike Buczynksi runs one of the fastest cars in Open Comp. We've always thought the faster the car, the harder it is to run the number run after run. However, Mike made it look easy at Milan, but he did most of his work at the tree in his big-block-powered Fox. Mike had his Open Comp index at 9.31 at Milan, and the slowest he ran during eliminations was a 9.40--except when his semifinal round competitor redlit, meaning Mike was in no hurry to get to the other end on that run. He beat Dennis Corn in the final to take the Milan win.
Brenspeed's Brent White brings his '13 Roush RS3 into NMRA Super Stang competition with a 5.0 Aluminator engine and TVS 2300 supercharger backed by a factory 6R80 transmission. Brent uses SCT software to make sure the car runs the number, which at Milan was 10.80. To get the win, Brent outlasted all comers, including Miles Wagoner in the final.
Growing up in the Dukes of Hazzard era, we can't help but love Mike Motycka's '79 F100, lovingly nicknamed Uncle Jesse. We're sure Mike's fellow Truck and Lightning competitors don't like seeing Uncle Jesse in the other lane, though. Everyone knows Mike's gonna be on the Tree, and at Milan it was no different. He even took out our boy Gary Windsor in the semis before beating Bob Cochran in the final. You really should respect your elders a little more, Mikey.
Alton Clements’ little sister...
Alton Clements’ little sister Valerie has joined the Renegade foray with the former Sutton High Performance S197, running Alton’s previous modular combination with a Vortech supercharger. Valerie jumped from a junior dragster into the car, so she’s still getting her slicks heated, if you will, but at Milan she showed steady improvement. The bad thing for Valerie is that she was paired against Alton in Round 1, and since Alton has been at this game for a while, he was able to get the win. This is the first time we can recall that a brother and sister has faced each other in NMRA heads-up competition.
One of the good things about...
One of the good things about attending the Milan event is that we know the Motycka family racing team will be there in full force. Brothers Mike, Tom, and Robert compete in three different classes, so there aren't any family arguments about who's the best Motycka racer. Plus, that gives the boys a better chance to win without having to face each other. After the Milan event, it looks like brother Robert was on dishes duty since he bowed out first. Brother Tom (pictured) made it to the Modular Muscle final round, but brother Mike should be free of chores since he won Truck and Lightning, which you'll read about later in this report.
CJ Pony Parts brought a pair...
CJ Pony Parts brought a pair of '13 Mustang GTs to Milan to do battle in Super Stang. CJ's Bill Tumas is usually one of the pilots, but he was scheduled to pilot this particular GT on the Dixie Rally North America to raise money for the Accelerated Cure Project for multiple sclerosis. Rick Moyer drove this car at Milan but bowed out in Round 1 of Super Stang.
Of course, we have our favorite...
Of course, we have our favorite NMRA cars, and for this author's money, Kermit Buffington's Factory Stock '92 LX coupe ranks right up there. The Bimini Blue coupe boasts one of our favorite Mustang colors, and Kermit obviously believes his coupe needs to be both fast and clean. Unfortunately for Kermit, he was unable to power past Alan Cann's modular machine in Round 1, sending the Trenton, Georgia-resident home earlier than he had hoped.
As NMRA fans, we love to see...
As NMRA fans, we love to see side-by-side racing. We don't want to see one racer run away with win after win--we don't think anyone really wants that. To that end, the Renegade class is shaping up to be one of the more competitive classes, especially with Scott Grove coming into the picture. Scott's nitrous-motivated, drag-radial-wearing Four-Eye is just what the class needs to add even more excitement. Scott busted off an 8.48 to qualify on the heels of class standout Brian Mitchell, but he was never able to duplicate that number in eliminations. He appeared to limp his way into the semi-final round against Brian, and that's where Scott's weekend ended.