Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
December 26, 2013

The 2012 NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing was epic. For the uninformed, the Super Bowl event operates as follows: After each sanctioning body goes through eliminations, the winners of individual classes from the NMRA and NMCA line-up against each in a team format.

In 2012, it came down to two Mustang heroes in Mike Murillo and Donnie Walsh Jr. to decide the overall winner. Mike was able to take the win when Donnie ran into transmission issues. The NMRA squeaked out the victory. It was one for the history books.

This year, it once again went down to the wire with Phil Hines this time playing the role of Blue Oval hero. If there's ever one NMRA event you want to attend, do it like Tech Editor KJ Jones. Take some vacation time, and get there. You won't be sorry. Just bring cool clothes, and sunscreen.

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Tech Editor KJ Jones and this author often have arguments on who is the most hardcore drag-racing fan. KJ may be one up now. He took vacation time to attend the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing. Not only that, but he was able to make some laps in this Boss 302. KJ was offered a camera if he became bored, but somehow he was able to handle chillin’ out at a race for once. Good for KJ.


Street Outlaw

In Street Outlaw, the tire is the class' limiting factor. You hear of guys trying both drag radials and slicks to arrive at the quickest combination. A couple guys did just that at Joliet. With the limited tire, and the amount of power on board these cars, it's pretty difficult for racers to string together a run of quick passes. Inevitably, power gets applied too soon, and the tires go up in smoke, or a transmission failure ends someone's weekend. Good for Sean Ashe he has ATF Speed's Jason Gatlin in his corner, along with Danny Fernandez. With ProCharger power under the hood, and a TRZ Motorsports suspension setup, Sean's coupe was on rails at Joliet. Pass after pass he was unstoppable, even running a 7.25 in Sunday's heat on his way to the win over Phil Hines in the final. Unfortunately, Sean couldn't win his Super Bowl match-up against the NMCA's Steve Wardlow.

One thing you'll notice with the top racers in any class is their consistency. Phil Hines is probably the most consistent racer in Street Outlaw. His ProCharger-motivated ‘01 Mustang qualified with a 7.29 at 194 mph, just behind Sean Ashe's 7.26. On his way to the final against Sean, Phil ran a 7.311, a 7.325, and a 7.37. In the final Phil ran a 7.38, but it wasn't quite enough to beat Sean's 7.33. With the number of NMCA classes, Phil had a second chance at winning one for the NMRA, and it came down to him against the NMCA's Jim Widener, but Jim got loose down track, enabling Phil to get the win, and seal a Super Bowl win for the NMRA—again!


Renegade

Once again, Adam Arndt put his revamped GT at the top of the Renegade class with an 8.45 at 163 mph. We think so much of it we shot it for a feature at Joliet, but unfortunately, as is usually the case, that didn’t translate into a successful Sunday. Still learning what his GT likes, Adam played with the tune on his car, but came up short against his buddy Brian Mitchell. His hard work should pay off with victories soon once he’s able to get that first one under his slicks.

Quick to help his fellow Renegade racers, Brian Mitchell is still at the races to win. The Wizard II is starting to look a little rough around the edges.However, it's been a workhorse and championship-winning whip. It looks like he'll add a championship in 2013, as well. At Joliet, he had a few struggles in qualifying with “only” an 8.51 at 160 mph. His buddy Adam Arndt once again took the top spot, and Valerie Clements jumped in to take the second spot with an 8.50 at 158 mph. However, once eliminations came around, Brian put his Vortech-supercharged '04 Cobra to work with consistent passes in the 8.50- range to take the win. For his Super Bowl race, Brian lined-up against Skip Baskin, and scored one for the good guys.

Tim Matherly has steadily made progress in lowering his ‘10 Mustang's times in Renegade. A mid-season weight break helped, too, but he's progressively run quicker times each race in 2013. It further helps that he's pretty good on the Tree, too, when it counts. At Joliet, Tim had a rather easy time in eliminations, making it to the final against Brian Mitchell. Of course, Brian has the field covered most every race, and Joliet was another example of this. However, with the number of NMCA classes, Tim had another chance to race in the Super Bowl against NMCA Super Street racer Mark Micke, and he was able to get the win for the good guys.