The sun put the spotlight on commanding competition at the NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem presented by Holbrook Racing Engines, March 17-20, 2022 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida.
The first of six events on this year’s Red Line Oil NMCA Muscle Car Nationals tour excited every step of the way, as racers went all-out with their sights set on the NMCA Winner’s Circle and alluring Victor awards.
Most VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod racers recorded 3.60s and 3.70s in incredibly intense qualifying sessions, and among them was Robert Abbott. He rocketed to a 3.66 in his Camaro to earn the top spot. Though Abbott made it to the final round of eliminations, Scott Wildgust wheeled to the holeshot win with a 3.71 against Abbott’s 3.67.
All 19 Holley EFI Factory Super Cars racers were flying, including Jim Betz, who set the pace in qualifying with a 7.79 in his Mustang Cobra Jet, but the final round featured Mark Pawuk (feature image) and Jeff Bragg. Pawuk went to the NMCA Winner’s Circle with a 7.80 in his Challenger against Bragg’s 8.20 in his COPO Camaro.
Alan Drinkwater drove to a 4.31 to lead qualifying in ARP Nitrous Pro Street, but David Fallon Jr. and Nicole Liberty-Cach, both Michigan-based drivers, blasted all the way to the final round of eliminations. They were tight on the tree, and Fallon Jr. flew to the win with a 4.37 to Liberty-Cach’s 4.58.
Longtime racer Bill Trovato traveled to a 4.60 in his Camaro to lead qualifying in the always entertaining Edelbrock Xtreme Street, and the New Yorker nabbed a 4.67 to defeat another longtime racer, Tony Orts, who trapped a 4.70 in his Firebird.
High-winding engines sang in Dart NA 10.5, where David Theisen trapped a 7.78 in his fast Firebird to set the pace in qualifying. Later in the weekend, Leonard Long and Joe Clemente wheeled their Mustangs to the final round of eliminations, where Long earned another win with a 7.83 after Clemente lifted.
In Chevrolet Performance Stock presented by Scoggin Dickey Parts Center, Glenn Pushis powered to a 9.92 to lead qualifying in his Camaro. As he often does, Pushis ended up in the final round of eliminations, where he met Scott Brown. Their Camaros were nose-to-nose at the stripe, and Pushis picked up another win with a 9.87 against Brown’s 9.89.
The former Stock/Super Stock category, which was rapidly growing, was split into two separate categories this year. In Fastest Street Car Stock Eliminator, Dave Swanson sailed to a 7.95 on a 9.70 index to lead qualifying in his Mustang Cobra Jet, but the final round of eliminations saw John Astrab take the win with a lifting 10.80 on a 10.70 index after Rachelle Thibert went -.006 red.
In Fastest Street Car Super Stock Eliminator, Amy Faulk turned in a 9.46 on a 10.75 index to lead qualifying, and Mark Nowicki and Steven Hall made it past some seriously tough competition to earn a trip to the final round of eliminations. Nowicki won with a 9.55 when Hall had trouble and couldn’t complete his pass.
Quick Fuel Technology Nostalgia Super Stock saw Corky Bumpus cruise to a 10.75 on a 10.75 index to lead qualifying, and after several hard-fought rounds, Doug Duell and Bruce Lang duked it out in the final round of eliminations. Duell won with a 9.28 on a 9.25 index in his Fury, while Lang lapped a 9.57 on a 9.50 index in his Barracuda.
Andy Warren, who is always on his game, wheeled to a 10.00 on a 10.00 index in his Caprice to lead qualifying in Detroit Truetrac Nostalgia Muscle. He was wicked through the weekend and wrapped up another event win with a dead-on 10.00 after David Mormann turned on the red light in his Mustang Mach 1.
Denny Neighbor nailed a perfect .000 reaction time to lead qualifying in MagnaFuel Open Comp, but making it through several rounds of tough competition were Jon Pickering and Cody Poston. Pickering pedaled to the win with a 9.09 on a 9.07 against Poston’s breakout time of 9.21 on a 9.25.
Al Corda clocked a 10.01 on a 10.00 index in his Camaro to capture the lead in qualifying in LME Street King presented by Chevrolet Performance, but when the final round of eliminations rolled around, Cody Poston and Michael Pryka pulled up to the starting line. Poston, who had been running the 9.25 index, won and got off of the gas pedal in his Camaro after Pryka went -.001 red in his Nova.
Tim Poston, who was in his wife’s Corvette while work wraps up on his combination, led qualifying with a 12.01 on a 12.00 index in Proform LSX Rumble presented by Chevrolet Performance, but Regina Puckett pushed to the win with an 11.76 on an 11.75 index in her Camaro while DeWayne Massengale drove to an 11.65 on an 11.50 in his Camaro.
After a cruise on the roads around Bradenton Motorsports Park, TorqStorm Superchargers True Street drivers made their way back for three consecutive passes on the track. Chris Morris motored to the overall win with an 8.80 average, and Paul Buchanan belted in for the runner-up with a 9.17 average. Other standouts included Joshua Levin, the 9-second winner, Trevor Glasgow, the 10-second winner, Mark Colombini, the 11-second winner, Tom Calabrese, the 12-second winner, Chrystal Hunt, the 13-second winner, Rick Doern, the 14-second winner and John Sutton, the 15-second winner.
Challengers, Chargers, Demons, Durangos, and Hellcats showed strength for the Dodge // Mopar HEMI Shootout. Tony Demaio took the overall win with a 9.55 average, and Joshua Schwartz secured the runner-up with a 9.58 average. Lee Segars was the 9-second winner, Michelle Day was the 10-second winner, Bryce Rohrs was the 11-second winner and Jeff Keen was the 12-second winner. Others having a successful weekend were Clay Allison, the 13-second winner, Joe Giordano, the 14-second winner, and Brentyn Burnett, the 15-second winner.
The eight quickest drivers in the Dodge // Mopar HEMI Shootout made it into the HHP Racing HEMI Quick 8 on the final day of the event, and Joshua Schwartz secured the win over Michelle Day.
Also commanding attention at this event were extremely enviable cars of the Sick the Magazine Drag and Drive Invitational presented by Gear Vendors. Tom Bailey and Alex Taylor advanced to the final round of eliminations, where Bailey belted in for a 4.31 in his 1969 Camaro and the win after Taylor had some tire trouble at the hit and trapped a 4.91 in her 1955 Chevrolet.
Bracket racers were dialed in and ready for battle in Bracket Mayhem, including Tim Butler and Mickey Pearce, who went to the final round of eliminations. Butler was victorious with a dead-on 6.04 while Pearce ran a bit quicker than his 7.12 dial.
Additional activities over the weekend included an impressive car show and manufacturers’ midway.
The NMCA congratulates the winners, and thanks the fans and sponsors for the support of this fantastic event, which sets the stage for the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport, April 21-24 at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina. As the second event of the year for both series, racers will be ready and combinations will be combative.
For stories, photos, results, and more content throughout the year, check out the series’ recently revamped websites at NMCAdigital.com and Racepagesdigital.com.