Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
December 1, 2006

Step By Step

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Mmfp_0612_0z 2005_ford_mustang Drivers_side
Aaron Stapleton drove the Sutton Performance modular-powered '05 Mustang to the number-one qualifying spot in ProCharger EFI Renegade. Its speed and e.t. were the subject of much speculation on whether or not the modular has a distinct advantage. Stapleton took down Bart Tobener and Zoop Zelonis to get a bye into the final against New Lenox, Illinois' Bob Cook.
Mmfp_0612_02z Drag_racing_event Hoosier_daddyMmfp_0612_03z Drag_racing_event Car_show_lineup
The Super Bowl of street-legal drag racing saw the staging lanes swell with over 400
Mmfp_0612_04z Drag_racing_event Jack_roush
Jack Roush performed as the Grand Marshall of the event and sat down with the journalists for a little Q&A. While his good friend Don Bowles got him back into drag racing, Roush has been fostering a team that consists of his son, Jack Jr.; daughter, Susan; and his son-in-law, Dale McClenaghan.

When ProMedia, the folks behind the NMRA and NMCA sanctioning bodies, told us they were putting together a combined race for the '06 season, most everyone agreed it had the potential to be one of the biggest street-legal shootout drag race events ever. No one knew just how big, though, and what we found at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois, the weekend of July 27-30 was absolute insanity.

Hundreds of heads-up and bracket cars swelled the pits and provided relentless, back-to-back-to-back racing all weekend at the event sponsored by Motive Gear and Nitto Tire.

Racing began on Thursday with the first of three qualifying rounds. NMRA and NMCA classes were run staggered throughout the event, and while the latter half of Thursday was engulfed by a monsoon, racers fortunately avoided a subsequent tornado that touched down in the area during the evening hours. The rain cleared by Friday morning, but the temperature and humidity had risen to sweltering levels.

Despite the conditions, racers tore up the track and a couple of X Games-bound freestyle motocross riders entertained the crowd with wild, two-wheel antics. Round 1 of eliminations was held under the lights Saturday night, with the quarter-finals, semifinals, and finals coming on Sunday.

Sunday also brought the Super Bowl's Grand Marshall, Jack Roush, into town, and we got to sit and talk with him during a media-only discussion. Despite running five NASCAR Nextel Cup teams and flourishing businesses, he says that since his friend and former racing buddy Don Bowles got back into drag racing, he has decided to tag along. Roush says he goes to the quarter-mile (usually Milan Dragway in Michigan) every Wednesday night when he's home.

"What I learned from drag racing formed the foundation of my judgement and business case in every form of racing since," Roush says. "Right now, I'm having fun teaching the Roush engineers and my family what I know about drag racing." He looks at his six-car drag racing team as a way to build the Roush Performance Parts division.

Once Roush completed his ceremonial speech, he and Don Bowles got in Bowles' car and let it rip down the track to kick things off. From then on, the action was relentless as the NMRA and NMCA went class for class through their eliminations. At the end of the day, the winners from each class were paired up for an NMRA versus NMCA ultimate showdown.

Step By Step

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Mmfp_0612_05z 2002_ford_cougar Front_view_passengers_side
Brookville, Indiana's Tony Bischoff qualified number one in Pro 5.0 with his nitrous-sniffing, 646ci '02 Cougar. Bischoff received a bye in Round 1 and faced Joe Morgan's Motive Gear entry in the second frame. Morgan had replaced a burnt piston after qualifying, but the car had problems again, which set Bischoff against Michael Hauf in the final. Hauf was first off the Tree, but slowed to a 7.57 at 194 mph, while Bischoff rocketed to the win with a 6.63 at 211 mph. His day wasn't over, though, as he squared off against Brian Robbins in the Skinny Kid Oldsmobile during the showdown. Bischoff held off the hard-charging Cutlass at the stripe, thus sealing the team win for the NMRA.
Mmfp_0612_06z 2002_ford_cougar Interior_view_gaugesMmfp_0612_07z Jet_car Passengers_side_view
Paul Miller's Danchuck Manufacturing jet car lit up the evening skies with a brilliant afterburner display and 260-mph trap speeds.
Mmfp_0612_08z Ford_drag_race_car Drivers_side_view
Michael Hauf squeaked past Pro 5.0 points leader Don Walsh Jr. when Walsh went -0.010 red on the Tree. It would have been a great race, with Hauf running a 6.76 to Walsh's 6.77.

The showdown, which used a handicap system to level the playing field, was a well fought battle, with the NMCA stepping up to three straight class victories before the NMRA's return volley served up a steady stream of five victories. Not going down without a fight, the NMCA guys came back with two more wins tying it up for the final round, which pitted the fastest cars from DiabloSport Pro 5.0 and Denso Pro Street. The NMRA's Pro 5.0 chalked up another victory to take the team win for 2006. Super Bowl class winners walked away with bonus cash and Nitto Diamond Tree championship rings.

The showdown was such a success, the ProMedia folks will offer trophies to the winners as well as a championship cup to the team that wins next year. And speaking of winners, check out the photos and captions we snapped to get the details on the Super Bowl of street-legal drag racing

’06 Motive Gear Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag
Racing Showdown Results, presented by Nitto Tire

Vortech Modular Muscle vs. Original Parts Group Nostalgia Muscle Car
W Jeff Barr
R/U David Beyer—NMRA
Detroit Locker {{{Truck}}} vs. Motive Gear Super Truck
W Michael Roup
R/U Dave Cole—NMRA
Toyo Tires Open Comp vs. Superchips Racing Open Comp
W Ron Arbogast
R/U Robert Motycka—NMRA
ProCharger EFI Renegade vs. GMPP Nostalgia Pro Street
W Johnny Baio
R/U Bob Cook—NMRA
MSD Super Street Outlaw vs. Nitto Tire Super Street 10.5W
W Bill Glidden
R/U John Urist—NMRA
K&N Filters Factory Stock vs. Hamburger’s Performance Nostalgia Super Stock
W Shawn Johnson—NMRA
R/U Bud Cochran
BF Goodrich Drag Radial vs. Vortech Xtreme Street
W John Kolivas—NMRA
R/U Cameron Coble
Tremec Pure Street vs. BFGoodrich Mean Street
W Ron Anderson—NMRA
R/U Jeff Swanson
5.0 Real Street vs. Car Craft Street Race
W Bruce Hemminger—NMRA
R/U Tim Meagher
Edelbrock Hot Street vs. TCI/Pro-X Pro Stock
W Charlie Booze—NMRA
R/U John Langer
Diablosport Pro 5.0 vs. Denso Pro Mod
W Tony Bischoff—NMRA
R/U Brian Robbins

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