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NMRA Stars Show Off at NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals at Rockingham

After bidding adieu to Atlanta Dragway in 2021, the 14th Annual Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals Presented by MAHLE Motorsport returned to its original home state of North Carolina for the 2022 Holley NMRA Ford Nationals. Hosted at historic Rockingham Dragway over the weekend of April 22-24, three hot days of competition culminated in new memories and new milestones.

In addition to the thrilling drag racing and coveted winner’s circle celebrations, the event hosted a the UPR Products Car Show with a diverse range of American muscle from classic to current. The busy vendor midway, which included the original Bigfoot 4×4 monster truck on display, kept fans and families entertained between rounds.

The Mickey Thompson Tires X275 category was run as a special event for the weekend, and some of the country’s top drivers came out to shoot for the win. In qualifying, Justin Palmer from Missouri was the quickest of the field with a 4.305 at 168.32 mph pass in his ProCharger equipped 1993 Ford Mustang while Ron Rhodes and his 1968 Camaro with its small block nitrous combination was just behind in second. The two men met in the finals and it was an incredibly tight race to the stripe with some dramatic side-by-side action. When the scoreboards lit, though, the win light was on in Palmer’s lane as his 4.352 at 167.93 mph blast just barely edged out Rhodes’s 4.356 at 169.08 mph effort.

Joel Greathouse

Blasting his way to the front of the pack in the combined NMRA VP Racing Madditives Renegade/NMCA Edelbrock Xtreme Street field, Alton Clements had a stellar run in his Vortech supercharged 1989 Ford Mustang the resulting 4.572 at 152.43 mph trip in qualifying set the pace going into eliminations. Sitting stealthily in second, the back-to-back champion Joel Greathouse quietly worked his way into the final round of eliminations where he took on Becki Cram. Greathouse’s entry, a turbocharged 1993 Ford Mustang managed by KBX Performance with Bennett Racing Engines power under the hood, proved to be unbeatable as its 4.619 at 155.90 mph trip put Cram’s Mustang on the trailer.

Once again, it was Vector Motorsports’ Samantha Moore who qualified number one in JDM Engineering Limited Street, this weekend with a record-setting run of 8.083 at 170.04 in her ProCharged 2014 Mustang California Special. Moore maintained her advantage through to the finals where she was paired with Del Holbrook who had qualified second. Both left the line in a hurry, but the woman from Michigan ran it out the back door to a winning 8.182 at 168.41 mph pass as Holbrook spun at the hit and tried to recover but wasn’t able to do so in time.

William Lujan

Gaining momentum and popularity, the new SunCoast Performance 8.60 Street Race group was extremely competitive in qualifying but it was William Lujan once again sitting in the top spot courtesy of his Vortech supercharged 1990 Mustang’s 8.616-second trip. Joining Lujan in the finals was the number six qualified driver, Terry “Beefcake” Reeves in his twin turbocharged and Gen 3 Coyote-equipped 2018 Mustang. Both men left the line strong but troubles plagued Reeves’s S550 in the left lane and he struggled to run the number while Lujan’s Fox body motored through the traps to pick up the win and the Victor award for the weekend.

The G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock class’s wild antics were in full swing as usual with a large group gunning for glory. Top qualifying honors, however, went to Charlie Booze Jr. and his 1990 Ford Mustang for producing a 9.684 at 138.71 mph time slip. Booze’s expertise helped him take down every other driver who lined up against him in eliminations, and he easily dispatched Shane Stymiest in the final round with a 9.764 at 137.27 mph run over Stymiest’s 9.821 at 137.32 mph hit.

For the second race in a row this season, Richmond Gear Factory Stock’s number one qualifier was Mike Bowen as his Gen 1 Coyote-powered 1971 Ford Maverick clocked a stout 10.066 at 133.38 mph trip. Not far off the pace in second, Chris Niebauer and his 1985 Ford Mustang went 10.153 at 131.50 mph. Similarly, and just as predicted on paper, the final elimination round once again hosted the two men from Girard, Pennsylvania but when Niebauer rolled through the beams at the start and turned on the red light, the win was gifted to Bowen who made it official with a 10.123 at 132.66 mph pass.

A super quick 0.002-second reaction time put John Rusch on top of the Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle qualifying list, as his 2006 Mustang proved to be a potent partner. Rusch went out in round two of eliminations, but two Tennessee-based racers Shane Williams and Dean Snow hung on until the end. Williams staged his 1999 Ford Mustang and Snow did the same with his 2004 model, but Snow tripped the red light at the start and made Williams, who continued on to run 11.705 at 111.35 mph on his 11.70 dial in, the undeniable winner.

Chris Parisi had his super-sponsored 2020 Ford Mustang tuned up just right in SCT Ford Muscle qualifying and proved it with an 11.753-second run on his 11.75 index, closer than any other driver. Parisi took an early exit in eliminations and opened the door for Danny Towe and David Mormann to contest the finals with their pair of 1970 Ford Mustangs and 393 ci engines. A double break out scenario, though, ultimately enabled the reigning champion, Towe of South Carolina, to capture the win with his 11.733 at 112.38 mph pass on an 11.75 dial in over Mormann’s 10.480 at 122.90 mph run on his 10.50 goal.

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Chris Rusch

Pulling double duty in two classes this weekend and showing consistency both as a driver and with his 2020 Mustang’s tune up, Parisi also led the field in HP Tuners Super Stang qualifying with a nearly perfect 0.001-second reaction time. In the finals, Pennsylvania’s Chris Rusch staged his 2018 Ford Mustang up against the young gun Logan Day and his 2021 Mustang. Day dialed in quicker at 11.03 to Rusch’s 11.90, but Day left the line a touch too early and Rusch was able to run to the stripe with the win light already illuminated in his lane.

Both Ray Williams Sr and Joe Hutchins had 0.001-second reaction times in ARP Open Comp qualifying, but Williams did the deed first in his 1979 Ford Mustang and was awarded the top spot as a result. After surviving four grueling rounds of eliminations, the final pair of Kentucky-based racers to run on Sunday included Terry Haynal and his 1995 Ford Mustang and Gordan Harlow and his 1989 Mustang. Running on an 11.19 dial in, Haynal held the advantage from start to stripe and captured a 11.211 at 120.24 mph winning time slip to Harlow’s 10.008 at 129.13 mph pass on his 9.99 dial in.

Chopping down the tree during Detroit Locker Truck & Lightning qualifying, Gregory Collins left the start in his 1991 Ford Ranger just 0.002-seconds after the green light lit and he qualified number one for the weekend as a result. Johnny “Lightning” Wiker (feature image), however, improved his number five qualifying position to a first-place finish overall with an 8.520 at 163.06 mph pass from his trusty 1999 Ford Lightning while Bob Dill did the same as he moved from sixth in qualifying to the runner up with an 8.769 at 155.06 mph on his 8.69 dial in his 2001 Lightning during the finals.

Showcasing street-legal power in TorqStorm Superchargers True Street, drivers completed the requisite 30-mile cruise before hotlapping down the drag strip. Overall, it was Florida’s William Lujan who captured the win when he averaged an impressive 8.673-seconds across three runs in his 1990 Ford Mustang. Scott Oshinski averaged 9.207-seconds in his TorqStorm supercharged 1972 Oldsmobile to take home the runner up honors. Capturing the win for the 10-second group was Gilbert Correa driving his 1986 Mustang, while Keith Lankheet took top honors in the 11-second category. Additional winners included Dale Aldridge (12-second), Rodney Ward (13-second), Jonathon Baker (14-second), and Timmy Thornburg (15-second).

Sunday evening saw the 14th Annual Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals Presented by MAHLE Motorsport wrap up with Victor awards being awarded to each of the class winners.

As the NMRA and NMCA’s inaugural race at Rockingham Dragway, the weekend marked the start of a successful stint at the event’s new home. Next up on the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals tour, it joins forces with the Red Line Oil NMCA Drag Racing Series for the 17th Annual NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing Presented by FuelLab at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis, Missouri, on May 13-15, 2022. For more information and advance tickets, visit NMRAdigital.com.

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