Street Outlaw Winner Phil Hines - All Photos Courtesy NMRA
The NMRA‘s third stop of the season at Maryland International Raceway this past weekend was full of drama and tension as the MIR crew prepped their legendary facility for legendary traction. The combination of quality track conditions and favorable atmospheric circumstances provided the opportunity to set records and break barriers in numerous classes.
The racers in the Street Outlaw class have been chasing the coveted six-second elapsed time that would cement the first racer to do so into history as the number-one badass in the class. It didn’t take long at MIR. Dwayne Barbaree’s Russell Stone-owned turbocharged 1990 Mustang made took a single in round one qualifying, hiked the wheels, and streaked to the big end of the track, lighting the clocks with the first-ever six-second blast, 6.976 at 199.82 MPH. In the third round of qualifying, Barbaree would do it again, this time carding the first side-by-side “Six” against John Urist, with both racers running 6.98 elapsed times. Barbaree’s machine spun the tires in the second round of eliminations, opening the door for Phil Hines to go on and take the event win over Urist in the final round.
The first-ever side-by-side six-second passes in Street Outlaw - Barbaree on the left, Urist on the right.
The Renegade class saw racers looking for the class’s first ever seven-second pass. Bad Bart Tobener, who crashed his machine just a few short weeks ago at the Atlanta Dragway race, repaired his ProCharged, Modular-powered Mustang just in time for the race, and qualified at the top of the field with an 8.02 blast - followed closely by Johnny Lightning, Brian Mitchell, and Alton Clements, all of whom ran quicker than 8.20 during the qualifying rounds. For the previous two races, Tobener had been predicting the seven-second run, and it finally came to fruition during the semifinal round of eliminations with a stunning 7.943 at 172-plus MPH as he took out Charlie Cooper there, and subsequently Johnny Lightning in the final for the event win.
The Coyote Modified class has seen “Friendly” Frank Varela take home the event win at the first two events, but it wasn’t to be in Maryland. Although Varela reset the class record yet again to an 8.48 during qualifying, in eliminations it would be Terry “Beefcake” Reeves that took the win light in the final round. Facing off against Varela, Beefcake ran a strong 8.81, while Varela had to pedal the car in the opposite lane. Varela remains the solid leader in points heading to next month’s stop at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio.
Coyote Modified Winner “Beefcake”
With a number of competitors in the process of building their engines to 2014 rules, Maryland saw only two Pure Street racers to take the starting line. This set up the first round of competition as the final round, where Teddy Weaver continued his dominance of the season with his third win in a row by taking out Tommy Godfrey easily when Godfrey turned on the red bulb at the starting line.
Coyote Stock Winner Joe Marini
Shane Stymiest has been dominant in the Coyote Stock class since the beginning of last season, but this weekend he fought transmission woes through all three days of competition. Despite qualifying at the top of the field with a 10.42, Stymiest was forced to swap transmissions on Sunday morning. That trans failed in the semifinal against Darin Hendricks. On the other side of the ladder, Joe Marini cruised through Joe Charles and Chalie Rankin, Jr. to meet Hendricks in the final. Marini took the holeshot win, outclassing Hendricks on the starting line by .122-second and carrying the advantage through to the win light.
Matt Amrine has been on a tear lately in the Factory Stock class, resetting the ET record down to a 10.71 during the course of qualifying. More importantly, he eked out a win over Sondra Leslie in round one, then beat Jay Dold in the final round with a strong 10.77, cementing his third win of the season heading into Ohio.
At this event, the GT500/Terminator crowd had a chance to hold their own heads-up race in conjunction with the NMRA’s festivities, and in the final round, Scott Waters’ 2010 GT500 turned in an incredible 8.35 to take out Nelson Whitlock’s shutdown pass. Waters qualified at the top of the field with an 8.25 elapsed time, with a best during the weekend’s testing sessions of 8.18 - if you can believe it, this car still uses a stock GT500 powertrain computer.
Modular Muscle became a battle between Roush Performance teammates Susan Roush-McClenaghan and Donnie Bowles. Roush-McClenaghan turned in her second perfect reaction time in two races to sit on top of the ladder entering Sunday, while Bowles’ .005 qualifying reaction time put him in the second spot. During eliminations, Roush-McClenaghan beat up on the Garys - Windsor and Parker - on her way to meet Bowles in the final. Bowles, on his side of the ladder, took out Jason Henson and Greg Durm. In the final, Roush-McClenaghan won by going just a little bit less under her index in the double-breakout race as both racers tried to drive the stripe.
Modular Muscle Winner Susan Roush-McClenaghan
Open Comp saw the Roush gang continue their dominance, as Dennis Corn took home the cheese despite qualifying fourteenth. Corn faced off against number ten qualifier Milton Grow in a near heads-up race, taking the win on the strength of a .035 reaction time.
The Truck and Lightning class had Nina Gusler in her second final round in as many races, matched up with perennial contender Randy Conway. Gusler left with a holeshot and continued her advantage through the big end, sending Conway home and taking her first NMRA win.
In Super Stang, Miles Wagoner took on BMR Suspensions’ Rockin’ Al Miller in the final round, with Wagoner taking home the win on a huge holeshot - nearly a full tenth on the starting line.
The NMRA’s next event is at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, June 12-15, 2014.