Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
August 1, 2002
Photos By: Michael Johnson

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The hot topic at the NMRA's Atco Raceway stop was exactly that - the heat. However, as hot as it was, it didn't keep the performances from reaching the boiling point. From top to bottom, just about every class experienced record setting performances, even if they were just for bragging rights and not official records.

In Mr. Gasket Pro 5.0, Don Walsh started where he left off from last year by qualifying in the top spot with a 6.92 at 198 mph. However, that run ended Don's weekend thanks to an engine failure. The only supercharged car left was that of Jim Briante, but he was disqualified before Sunday's eliminations, which left Bill Devine's old school Pro 5.0 ride to take on the tube chassis nitrous-assisted cars of Billy Glidden, Derrick Smith, and Jeff Allebach.

In round one, Billy lined up against one of his best customers Derrick Smith. Though Derrick was able to get a slight jump out of the hole, Billy reeled the southerner in and passed him with a 6.88 to a 7.03. Then Bill Devine had to shut it down against Jeff Allebach, which left two nitrous cars to battle for it all. Though Allebach had been running consistent 7.0s at Atco, he lost the grip needed to down Billy Glidden, who blasted out a 7.06 at 193 mph. Atco was Billy's 3rd NMRA victory in a row for 2002.

In MSD Super Street Outlaw, the racing was what we've come to expect from the 10-inch tire'd freaks. History was made by Bryan Sorby during qualifying when he became the first small block nitrous car in the 7s with a blistering 7.992 at 175 mph. Not to be outdone, though, the next car in line was Gary Rohe, who busted out his own 7.987 at 175 mph. In the cool night air, Vic Williams and Mike Smith climbed past the two small block nitrous cars to qualify in the first and second spots respectively. Williams ran a 7.981 while Smith joined the 7-second party with a 7.983. Randy Haywood almost smashed the 7-second window as well with an 8.03 at 174 mph.