K.J. Jones
November 1, 2007
Photos By: Paul Rosner

Pro 5.0
Michael Hauf made up for his loss to Tony Bischoff in the Reynolds final by out-dueling Joe Morgan in the money round of the Milan event. With the win, Michael maintains a strong points lead going into the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl at Joliet as the team prepares to make a hard second-half charge for a back-to-back championship.

"We went through a lot this weekend, and I'm just happy we made it to the final," says Joe Morgan immediately after his runner-up finish in Pro 5.0. After spending the night between qualifying and eliminations repairing a cylinder-and watching John Urist create a new head stud for their nitrous-pumped big-block-the Motive Gear team had plenty to be proud of; its road to the final also included a dramatic win over Tony Bischoff's Cougar.

Outlaw 10.5
While Brian Carpenter drilled in the Tree with a 0.004 reaction in his semifinal pairing with a quicker, faster Keith Neal, he mustered up a wicked holeshot and managed to keep electrical gremlins in check long enough to capture his first NMRA 10.5 Outlaw title in a runaway victory over Greg Blevins Jr. in the final round. Brian thanks Luke Huber, Mike Daniels, and Dean Sibik for helping him nail down the win and post the class' quickest/fastest lap of the weekend (7.17/206) in the final.

Despite knocking off the Reynolds 10.5 Outlaw champ in the first round, Greg Blevins Jr. couldn't duplicate another big round win when he met Brian Carpenter in the final. "We borrowed a turbo from Manny Buginga on Friday after hurting ours, and that's what helped us get to the final," says Greg. "We had to gamble and turn it up in the final." The move proved to be in vain, as Greg's GT blew the tires away at the hit, leaving Brian an easy cruise down Broadway to the win light.

Super Street Outlaw
While racers' roads to victory often appear to be easy on the surface, there's usually a lot more to an NMRA win than what meets the eye. In Sam Vincent's case, his Milan triumph came without track-side assistance from his always-present crewchief, Steve Matukas, who wasn't able to attend. Sam's high-7.40 e.t.'s were phenomenal for the small-block/nitrous combination in his 'Stang, given the 90-degree weather and considering he had to hustle his engine block and a cylinder head to Tony Bischoff for repair-240 miles from his Kentucky home-one week before the Milan event.

Don "Burndown" Burton fell just short of earning the nickname Double-Down Don Burton at Milan. Extensive testing after WFCX and a fair amount of racer's luck helped him capture the Reynolds win during qualifying, enabling him to capitalize on a holeshot against John Urist in the semis on Sunday. The victory over John set the stage for a landmark battle of "Steve cars" (Steve Matukas also helps Don with chassis calls) in the Milan final, in which Sam Vincent emerged the victor.

EFI Renegade
First-time NMRA winner Joel Howard refuses to take credit for his win in Renegade. "The car and my crew (Chris, Angie, Tyler, Steve, Lisa, and Lance) did all the work this weekend," he says. "I certainly didn't do my job." In the first three rounds, Joel's super-sano '86 hatchback overcame poor starts and stormed from behind to take out Randy King, David Guy, and Bart Tobener. Joel's reactions improved after that, and he ran away from fellow nitrous competitor Brian Tuten's coupe in the semis, and then covered fellow first-time finalist Chris Beary's Cobra by a full second in the money round.