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AJ Berge Races Challenger Drag Pak to Back-to-Back NMCA Final Rounds

AJ Berge of HEMI Tuner Performance drove his Whipple Supercharger, Security Dodge Power Brokers-sponsored 2021 Challenger Drag Pak to another final round finish in the Holley EFI Factory Super Cars class during the 21st annual NMCA World Street Finals at the historic Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP). The 47-year-old Bayshore, New York resident came up just short in the final round against eventual 2022 NMCA World Champion Chuck Watson Jr. in his 2019 Cobra Jet Mustang. 

During qualifying, Berge piloted his Drag Pak to stout 7.734-second run at over a 180 mph to secure the number two spot among the 14 competitors in the Factory Super Cars class. During round one and two of Sunday’s eliminations, Berge squared off against two fellow Drag Racers (Carter and Nash). Berge would face Tony Scott’s COPO Camaro in the semi-finals but Berge’s lighting quick reaction time of .014 seconds and solid 7.753 ET run had no problem defeating Scott’s Chevy. This set up the final round match-up between Berge and Watson as a classic Dodge verse Ford battle was about to unfold. Both drivers and their crews were ready also throw-down on IRPs famous starting line were drag racing legends are made. Despite running his fastest time of the weekend with a mind-numbing 7.720 ET, Berge, and his crew (led by former multi-time world champion Kevin Helms), came up just shy as Watson’s put down a 7.659-second run in the finals. Despite the loss, Berge’s Challenger Drag Pak gain enough points for a third-place overall finish in the chase while collecting invaluable run data that he’ll share with the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Drag Paks he a Kevin Helms tune during NHRA events.  

“We had a great weekend, and I had no idea I’d end up finishing third in points in the NMCA Holley EFI Factory Super Cars class! I’m so happy because it proves our hard work is paying off and we’re heading in the right direction with our Challenger Drag Pak,” said Berge. “The Cobra Jet Mustangs and COPO Camaros have stepped up their game, but we’ve also made great strides in our Whipple Superchargers/Security Dodge Power Brokers sponsored Drag Pak. We’re squeezing more power out of the HEMI engine while refining the rear suspension of our car, so it hooks even harder when the track surface is marginal. Now it’s on to Dallas for the Texas NHRA FallNationals and put what we learned this past weekend to work on the DSR Drag Paks.”

This story was originally published on September 29, 2022. Drag Illustrated

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