Michael Galimi
October 1, 2008
Steve Matusek of Aeromotive squared off against David Schorr in a best-of-three match race. Matusek ran a best of 6.47 at 219 mph to grab one round win, while Schorr had a best of 6.60 to take the other round. The third round was cancelled when Matusek's tire developed a strange bubble on the sidewall.

It was mid-June when the NMRA opened the gates at Milan Dragway (Milan, Michigan) for the third race in the seven-event Keystone Ford Nationals racing and car-show series. The racers headed to Ford Motor Company's home state as championship hopes were starting to take shape. While the rest of the nation has certainly been effected by the enormous price jump in gasoline and diesel, the NMRA racers showed up in large numbers, as prestige and bragging rights were still on the line for anyone to grab.

NMRA officials packed the Milan stop on the tour (which was sponsored by Aeromotive Fuel Systems) with extra classes and features for racers and fans. In addition to the normal line up of bracket racing, index racing, heads-up competition, a manufacturers' midway, and the car show, the organization debuted its latest class-JDM Engineering Super Stang. It's a bracket racing category that attracted 21 competitors during the kick-off event. Milan was the first stop on a four-race schedule for JDM Super Stang, and it was a wild shootout between 10-second, $100,000 Saleen race cars to bolt-on V-6 cars and everything in between. Larry Russell Jr. took the inaugural win over JDM's Paul Gamino driving the shop's new race car.

Power-Adder Heads-Up Classes
Conrad Scarry drove Ken Seeger's '02 Mustang GT to its third-straight NMRA victory in the Turbonetics Pro Outlaw 10.5 ranks. The Florida-based racing team was paired against local favorite Dan Millen of Livernois Motorsports. Both racers rely on turbochargers-Millen prefers to run a single 106mm unit while Scarry has two 88mm turbochargers- and both utilize small-block Ford engines. Millen went red, in what was suspected to be a problem with the starting-line lights. Scarry blasted to the win with a 6.96 to Millen's 7.03. Both racers screamed to the finish line at a terminal speed of 207 mph.

The ProCharger Super Street Outlaw ranks saw extremely tight competition as racers jockeyed for the top qualifying position. Don Burton was crowned at the top of the ladder with a 7.49 but lost in the third round of competition. That left the door wide open, and AJ Powell rushed through it with an impressive display of consistency. Powell drove his ProCharger-powered ride to the winner's circle with a string of 7.50 runs. He took out local favorite John MacDonald in the final round with a 7.58 at 185 mph.

It was a wild weekend in BFGoodrich Drag Radial action, with John Kolivas firing off a 7.99 run during test and tune. Kolivas didn't come close the rest of the weekend, largely due to the heat and track conditions. He also had to repair his engine Saturday night when the Four-Valve modular engine dropped a valve. The shining light in Drag Radial belonged to the other modular-powered Stang, driven by Joey Bridge and owned by Sonny Biggs. The Mississippi racers blasted to a win over Kolivas, 8.17 to an 8.20.

Former True-Street-standout-turned-heads-up racer Joel Howard was credited with the DiabloSport EFI Renegade win. Howard's sanitary '86 Mustang GT is one of the most popular cars in the class due to its street looks and mid 8-second performances. In addition to Howard's nitrous victory, Bruce Hemminger scored another class victory for the giggle-gas crowd, as he took home the Real Street title with a commanding final-round performance. Hemminger beat defending series champion Tim Matherly, 9.74 to Matherly's 9.77.

Naturally Aspirated Heads-Up Classes
The top-ranking naturally aspirated class, Edelbrock Hot Street, is the NMRA's version of NHRA Pro Stock. The high-winding, free-breathing entries were stacked up against each other in the high-eight-second zone. It was anyone's battle, and the championship is wide open.

The packed house watched Robbie Blakenship run the tables. The Roush-powered '03 Cobra clone blasted to victory with consistent 8.80s. He took out Mike DeMayo for the final act when the black LX went red. Blakenship unleashed an 8.83 on the freebie.