KJ Jones Senior Technical Editor
November 1, 2008
Photos By: Dale Amy, Paul Rosner, KJ Jones, Courtesy Of Mike Grosso, Outlaw Photo

Robbie Blankenship's new, Ben Mens-built engine certainly proved itself at the Aeromotive NMRA Ford Nationals with a runner-up finish in the Edelbrock Hot Street Shootout on Saturday and the win in class eliminations a day later. "We were hard at it on the dyno Wednesday and Thursday," says Robbie. "We couldn't be happier about this win. I just wish that Ben could've been out here racing with us." Ben was unable to finish repairs on his own Hot Street LX and had to take on the role of spectator at his home track.

"There's always the next race," was the only sentiment Mike DeMayo could express when we caught up with him after the Hot Street final round. A transmission problem was the apparent cause of his -0.026 red light against Robbie Blankenship. "The transmission surged when I got on the transbrake," says Mike. "It did the same thing on Saturday against Charlie Booze." The final-round appearance was Team Powerhead's second this season in the NMRA.

Bruce Hemminger remembered to bring last season's consistency with him in his return to Real Street. He used steady low-9.70s to earn his spot in the final round and ruin Tim Matherly's day in the last stanza. "I'm racing against 9.50 cars here-I can do the math," says Bruce when asked whether his comeback is long- or short-term. "I came here just to show the NMRA that I could tell them exactly how fast my car will run under the current rules for nitrous-injected Real Street cars. I told them it would go low 0.70s consistently. Did I lie? Given good weather and the right track conditions, I know I can go high 0.60s, but that's it. So even though Joliet's my home track, I just might miss it. We'll have to see what happens."

With Bruce Hemminger's return to Real Street after a two-race absence, the final round at the Aeromotive NMRA Ford Nationals must have felt like old times for Tim Matherly. For the handful of readers who don't know their NMRA history, Tim and Bruce engaged in an exciting battle for the class championship, rules adjustments, and power-adder supremacy (nitrous versus supercharger) in 2007. This year, the competitive rivalry continues with Tim having to settle for runner-up to Bruce at Milan. It's the second time this has happened-Bruce beat Tim in the '07 final-and we're sure that doesn't sit too well with Tim.

Even though Kevin Scott's '86 LX doesn't post the 9-second e.t.'s that have become the norm for competitive Real Street 'Stangs, the four-eyed Fox sure does leave with attitude.

Dave Ginter owns the lone SN-95 that competed in Real Street at Milan. Despite having a 2-mph advantage over Brian McCormick (133.91 to 131.18), Dave's yellow '98 Snake could only muster a 10.18 e.t., which was no match for Brian's 9.94 in their first-round duel.

Although Ryan Hecok didn't do anything to his car other than routine maintenance during the long break between the Reynolds and Milan events, the driver and his '99 Cobra once again managed to reach the final, and once again their opponent was Brandon Alsept. Ryan avenged his runner-up finish at Reynolds with more than just the Aeromotive NMRA Ford Nationals Pure Street title. On Saturday, he also finished in front of Brandon's 'Stang in the B&M Pure Street Shootout; in doing so, Ryan pocketed another $800.