Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
NMRA vs. NMCA Super Bowl - Route 66 Dragway - Joilet, IL
Event - Battle Of The Bowl
If there's one thing that non-Ford guys and gals love, it's whooping up on Mustangs. And every July, the ProMedia group gives them the opportunity to do so (or at least try) at the Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing at Route 66 Dragway in Joliet, Illinois. Sometimes the NMRA wins, and sometimes the other guys do. Last year, team NMRA took the win, so team NMCA was out for blood. And if you think this is just another yuk-yuk, "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday," drag racing over-hype, then you've got another thing coming.
The Super Bowl has been run at Joliet since 2006, and team NMRA has taken five of the previous seven matchups. And most of the time, it comes down to the last pairing to decide the winner. Teams consist of the class winners from each series' classes, which run parallel throughout the weekend. After the NMRA and NMCA finals run and winners are decided, the winners head back to the staging lanes to face the opposing series' class winners.
"This is one of only two events that NMRA and NMCA can be seen at the same track on the same weekend," said Steve Wolcott, CEO of ProMedia, the parent company of both series. "There's some crossover between the series, and everyone enjoys sharing the venue."
Since not all of the classes are fairly matched, the Super Bowl is run on an index format, which is determined by each racer's best pass of the whole weekend. The only difference is, heads-up racers don't risk breaking out. But before the running of the Super Bowl, it's business as usual in each respective camp, battling for points and fighting for the top qualifying spot.
With only one race remaining after Joliet, many were trying to make up points before the finals in Bowling Green. After losing to Phil Hines in the finals at the season opener in Bradenton, seven-time Street Outlaw champ John Urist has been struggling to keep up. After his win in Bradenton, Hines told us he was just getting started and it wouldn't be the last we hear from him this season. He leads SO points and made it to the final, but lost to Sean Ashe.
In Renegade, veteran Real Street racer Tim Matherly improved drastically, making it to the final against five-time champion Brian Mitchell. Mitchell took the win with an 8.48 at 159.14 mph over Matherly's 8.64 at 156.41 mph. The win solidified Mitchell's sixth championship (his third in a row) in the class that he's been running since 1999.
In Coyote Stock, points-hog Shane Stymiest continued to dominate at Joliet. He qualified first and took out Jacob Lamb in the final with a 10.64 to Lamb's 10.93. In Factory Stock, John Leslie Jr. took the win over Matt Williams. "Matt took us out in Ohio, so mad props to him," said Leslie after his win.
In Mod Muscle, Susan McClenaghan and teammate Donnie Bowles found themselves battling for the win in the final. McClenaghan took the win after Bowles broke out. Jim "JR" Roberts of Largo, Florida, took the win in Truck and Lightning over Brad Gusler. Roberts went on to coast to a victory in the Super Bowl after thinking he went red and his challenger breaking out. And in Super Stang, Terry "Beefcake" Reeves took the win with his brand-new '14 Mustang GT over Todd Zeplin.
After all final rounds were run, the matchups were set and the all-stars from both series lined up. It came down to the final pairing, but the NMRA reigned victorious again. "The NMRA has developed a dynasty at the Super Bowl," said Wolcott. "But it's only a matter of time before the NMCA builds one of its own."
We hope not. We like watching our Ford and Mustang racers take home the big win and championship rings.