Frank H. Cicerale
August 1, 2008
Photos By: Paul Rosner

Step By Step

View Photo Gallery
Mmfp_080800_nmra_01_z 2008_NMRA_keystone_ford_nationals_atlanta
Brandon Alsept made back-to-back wins to open the '08 campaign. After taking home the victory in Bradenton, he hung the hoops and the competition out to dry as he cruised to Victory Lane in Atlanta and widened his points lead at the same time.
Mmfp_080800_nmra_02_z 2008_NMRA_keystone_ford_nationals_atlanta
Bob Kurgan gave it all he had against John Kolivas in the Drag Radial final, but once again he came up just a bit short. The Bradenton runner-up also finished a tick behind Kolivas in Atlanta, though the pair of final-round finishes solidifies Kurgan's Second-Place position in the points standings.
Mmfp_080800_nmra_03_z 2008_NMRA_keystone_ford_nationals_atlanta
John Kolivas is two-for-two so far this season, as he gunned down Bob Kurgan in the Drag Radial final for his second straight win. The defending Drag Radial champ is giving the rest of the class' contestants fits again this season. This was with a turbocharged mod motor from Bennett Racing.
Mmfp_080800_nmra_04_z 2008_NMRA_keystone_ford_nationals_atlanta Mmfp_080800_nmra_05_z 2008_NMRA_keystone_ford_nationals_atlanta
Mike DeMayo left nothing to question in Hot Street as he checked in as the number-one qualifier and the eventual category winner. He took the easy win when final-round opponent Robbie Blankenship couldn't make the call.

Atlanta is known for many things. It's home to the New World of Coca-Cola, a permanent exhibition featuring the history of the Coca-Cola Company. It was also the site of the '96 Summer Olympics. During the Civil War, Atlanta was one of the locations descended upon by Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's destructive March to the Sea.

While Georgia was one of the Confederate states that eventually capitulated, today a war still wages there. This time, however, the warriors packed turbos, blowers, nitrous oxide, and flew the Blue Oval logo.

When the NMRA Keystone Ford National Series pulled into Silver Dollar Dragway in Reynolds, Georgia (100 miles south of Atlanta), a full weekend of racing was planned. Mother Nature had other plans, however, as water-laden clouds doused spectators and racers alike on Friday and Saturday. Everyone lucked out on Sunday, though, as the day dawned clear and bright. With that, all of the racers were afforded one hit at the quarter-mile before eliminations began.

For Conrad Scarry, it was worth the wait in Pro Outlaw 10.5, as the Bradenton event winner went two-for-two. After tiptoeing down the track in qualifying to a 7.02 to grab the top spot, Scarry and his twin-turbo Cobra squared off against Tim Essick's '03 Mustang in the final. Essick got the holeshot, but at the big end, Scarry's 6.94 at a slowing 194 was enough to gun down the 7.15/203-mph effort of Essick. Thanks to his second-straight win, Scarry opened a sizeable points lead in the standings.

Super Street Outlaw was just as wild as Pro Outlaw 10.5, but when the smoke cleared, it was Jarrett Halfacre and his turbocharged '93 hatchback standing proud. Halfacre, who qualified Second behind Phil Hines' 7.48-second pass, back-halfed to a booming 193-mph trap speed in qualifying, nearly cracking the 200-mph barrier in the class with a 198-mph moon shot in his second-round victory over John MacDonald. Regardless, his final-round tango with last year's points runner-up Don Burton and his nitrous-snorting Mustang wouldn't be easy. Burton left well ahead of Halfacre, but knowing he had the quicker car, Halfacre kept his foot pinned down and drove around Burton by a 7.47 to 7.82 count. Not only did Halfacre gun down the top speed and low e.t. of the event, but his win moved him into First Place in the points standings, as Bradenton winner John Urist suffered a first-round red-light loss.

Bob Cook went the opposite way of Urist, as he forgot about his first-round loss in Bradenton and handled the final-round challenge of Brian Mitchell in EFI Renegade. Cook ran the table, starting with a number-one 8.50-second qualifying effort. After winning a close race with Alton Clements in the semifinals, a contest in which both drivers were stellar on the starting line, Cook got the easy win when Mitchell fouled out in the money round. Cook motored to an 8.55 and to Second in the points standings to Mitchell, who coupled his runner-up in Atlanta with his win in Bradenton, keeping a stranglehold on the EFI Renegade field.

The Hot Street competition was smoking, as a mere 0.08 second separated top qualifier Mike DeMayo (8.80) from number-six qualifier Keith Courtney (8.88). When all was said and done, DeMayo took home the gold with a final-round triumph over Robbie Blankenship. DeMayo's '89 hatchback had a heck of a race with perennial tough customer Charlie Booze the round before, though. Booze left first by 0.04 second, but at the stripe, DeMayo's 8.743, which was the low e.t. of the event, held off Booze's 8.786 by a mere 0.03 second. The hard-earned semifinal victory was well worth it, however, as Blankenship broke after his semifinal win over Ben Mens, handing the uncontested win to DeMayo. DeMayo moved to Fourth Place in the points, although Booze, who scored the victory in Bradenton, kept the top spot.

Step By Step

View Photo Gallery
Mmfp_080800_nmra_06_z 2008_NMRA_keystone_ford_nationals_atlanta Mmfp_080800_nmra_07_z 2008_NMRA_keystone_ford_nationals_atlanta
With a pair of runner-up finishes, including one in Atlanta, Susan McClenaghan moved into the Modular Muscle points lead.
Mmfp_080800_nmra_08_z 2008_NMRA_keystone_ford_nationals_atlanta
Tom Motycka took home the cash and accompanying prizes in the Modular Muscle class when he got the better of Susan McClenaghan in the final. Both drivers went under their respective dial-ins, but in the end, Motycka was awarded the victory by a mere 0.001 second.
Mmfp_080800_nmra_09_z 2008_NMRA_keystone_ford_nationals_atlanta
Thanks to the rain on Friday and Saturday, everyone was forced to find a spot to hide out and await better weather.
Mmfp_080800_nmra_10_z 2008_NMRA_keystone_ford_nationals_atlanta
Conrad Scarry has been on a tear this year. After scoring a win in both the FFW and NMRA openers, he took trip number three to the winner's circle with a final-round triumph over Tim Essick in Pro Outlaw 10.5. The win also padded Scarry's sizeable points lead.

As did Scarry in Pro Outlaw 10.5, John Kolivas went two-for-two in Drag Radial when he overcame the challenge of Bob Kurgan in a rematch of the Bradenton final. Kolivas, whose 8.17-second effort in qualifying put him more than 0.2 second ahead of the rest of the field, proceeded to obliterate the competition when eliminations began. After running an 8.24 in Round 1, he ripped off a pair of 8.12-second passes in Round 2 and the semifinals, before recording an 8.20 in the final for the win. While the outcome was the same as in Bradenton, both Kolivas and Kurgan are neck and neck in the points race, with their pair of final-round battles distancing them from Third-Place Phil Clemmons.

The final round in Real Street was a repeat of the Bradenton event, as Tim Matherly once again squared off against Jim Breese. As in Bradenton, it was Matherly coming out on top when he overcame Breese's final round holeshot to take the win by a 9.74 to 9.81 count. Breese got the best of Matherly in qualifying as his 9.76 earned him the number-one spot, but it was Matherly extending his points lead, albeit slightly, with the final-round win.

The Pure Street cars were purely spectacular, as most everyone in the class spent time on the bumper and looking at the sky. When battle was done, it was Brandon Alsept's '98 Mustang laying down the gauntlet and winning from wire-to-wire. Alsept ripped off a 10.29 to nab the number-one spot in qualifying, and then gunned down the '99 Mustang of Ryan Hecox in the final. Alsept left first and never looked back, as his 10.38 was more than enough to handle the 10.39-second effort of Hecox. The win in Atlanta, coupled with a semifinal finish in Bradenton, pushed Alsept into the points lead for the category.

The Factory Stock final was also a repeat of the Bradenton race. Bradenton winner Steve Gifford lined up against the '89 Mustang of that event's runner-up, John Leslie. According to the qualifying sheet, Leslie had a sizeable advantage, as he was the number-one qualifier with an 11.36, while Gifford settled into the three hole with an 11.60. The thing is, races are run on the track and not on paper, and for Gifford, that's a good thing as his 11.46 gunned down the 11.60 by Leslie for his second-straight win. Both Gifford and Leslie have distanced themselves from the rest of the Factory Stock field, as the two reside First and Second in points, respectively.

In the Modular Muscle final round, a pair of '01 Mustangs duked it out for the win, with the steed belonging to Tom Motycka coming out on top over the ride of Susan McClenaghan. Both drivers were nearly perfect on the starting line, as McClenaghan's 0.017 reaction time was just a tick behind Motycka's 0.005 light. At the stripe, both drivers went under their respective predictions, but after the computer did the math, it was Motycka's 12.45 (12.47) earning the decision over McClenaghan's 10.67 (10.69) by a scant 0.001 second. With her second-straight runner-up finish, though, McClenaghan moved past Reggie Burnette for the top spot in the points standings.

It was the other Motycka scoring the win in the Truck category, as Mike slipped past the '99 Lightning of Johnny Lightning for the conquest. Motycka left on Lightning, and then used a 12.07 pass on his 12.03 dial-in to handle the 11.50-second effort (11.45 dial-in) of Lightning for the victory.

Michael Olencheck gave everyone in Open Comp a driving lesson on his way to a final-round slam-dunk over Danny Towe. After recording a 0.088 reaction time and running a 10.35 on his 10.26 dial-in in the opening round of competition, Olencheck, who never changed his 10.26 prediction all day, ran a 10.261 in Round 2, a 10.265 in Round 3, a 10.263 in the semifinals, and a 10.262 in the final. Towe made it easy on Olencheck in the final as he fouled out by a miniscule 0.003 second, handing the easy win to Olencheck.

Although the rain wiped out Saturday's action, the MM&FF True Street competitors stayed until Sunday to compete. After finishing the required 30-mile cruise, the surviving cars attempted to run their required three quarter-mile passes, and it was Stephen Posenau and his '02 Mustang, a former MM&FF feature car, taking home the win. Posenau opened with the only 9-second run seen in the category, a 9.82, and then matched it up with a 10.19 and a 10.66 to seal the deal with a 10.27 average. Larry Waters Jr. ended the day as the runner-up after averaging a 10.62 in his '88 Mustang. Rounding out the top three was Elton Pearman, who also made it into the 10-second zone with a 10.87-second average, placing himself Third on the results sheet.

The NMRA crew has some time off before the next event at Milan Dragway in Milan, Michigan, in June. Since it will take place in the backyard of Ford Motor Company, expect everyone to have his or her entries set on kill as the season nears the midway point.

Atlanta NMRA true Street troopers
DriverAverage
1.Stephen Posenau10.227/Winner
2.Larry Waters Jr.10.627/Runner-Up
3.Elton Pearman10.873/Third Place
4.Justin Burcham11.238/11-Second Winner
5.Bill Unkel11.455
6.Carole Lissy11.778
7.Jeff Fisher12.063/12-Second Winner
8.Andy Hudson12.879
9.Wayne Davis12.{{{924}}}
10.Michael Young12.947
11.Clinton Roberts13.061/13-Second Winner
12.Reginald Batts13.319
13.Brett Ray14.{{{300}}}/14-Second Winner