KJ Jones
February 11, 2014
Photos By: Steve Turner

Factory Stock

Drama was high in the Nitto Tire Factory Stock class, as the question of who will be the 2013 champion would be answered by the end of the Nitto Tire NMRA World Finals. Matt Amrine qualified on the pole and proceeded to win the event, putting a stamp on his claim of the points title with a 10.77/123 in the final over his season-long points-nemesis rockstar John Leslie Jr.

Modular Muscle

Gary Parker’s victory seemed to come straight from the pages of a Hollywood script. Still recovering from a broken back (suffered in a home accident), Gary capped a triumphant return to NMRA competition at the World Finals beating 2013 Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle champion Susan McClenaghan, who redlit in their final-round matchup.

Super 'Stang

Pistol Pete Espeut is getting this racing thing down with wins coming more often these days. At Bowling Green, Pete pulled the trigger quicker than any of his competitors, which put them in catch-up mode, and they either broke out or ran way slower than their dial-ins. Pete, however, was out of the gate with a quickness and kept the hammer down, rowing the gears to take the win. Pete beat 2013 Super ’Stang champion Dave Liechty in the final.

Open Comp

While Donald Carver and his star-spangled ’76 Mustang II may have missed winning the 2013 Open Comp points title to Randy Conway, the man and his machine definitely got the upper hand on Randy as far as this event was concerned. In the final, Donald coupled a lights-out, 0.000 perfect reaction with a 10.35 e.t. (on his 10.33 index) to send Randy home without the double triumph (world championship and event win) he was hoping for.

5.0 Shootout

A precursor to the new Coyote Modified class for 2014, the World Finals had a 5.0 Shootout class like the Norwalk event. Though it was at two different races, the same result occurred, with Nelson Whitlock taking another win at Bowling Green at the wheel of Justin Cyrnek’s Green Goblin GT. Nelson even ran an 8.10 at basically 170 mph in the process. Nelson beat Justin Cyrnek driving his other car in the final. If the 5.0 Shootout match-ups are any indication, we can’t wait for Bradenton.

Terminator/GT500 Shootout

While it’s only held at select events, the VMP Tuning Terminator/GT500 Shootout is proving to be an extremely popular sidebar to the NMRA’s regularly scheduled racing. At Beech Bend Raceway, more than 20 late-model SVT ’Stangs convened to make a run at earning bragging rights (the Shootout doesn’t offer a true payout of any sort—only a contingency prize to the winner provided it’s equipped with a VMP supercharger). The final round fittingly pitted a Terminator, Cliff Buerger’s ’03, against the ’08 GT500 of Dom Didonato, with Dom’s 8.89/158 proving to be too much for Cliff’s Snake.

Truck & Lightning

Truck & Lightning is another category in which the season’s points champion was defeated in the final round at the NMRA World Finals. Minneapolis, Minnesota’s MJ “Ranchero” Smith drove his big-block-powered, big-tired ’62 Ranchero around Robert Churan’s ’99 Lightning, scoring a long overdue and moral victory for the non-traditional Ford pickups and their fans everywhere.