Michael Galimi
November 1, 2008
Photos By: Paul Rosner
This is the contrast of style that fans witnessed during the NMRA vs. NMCA Shootout at the Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing. In the near lane, Ron Lummus of Garrett Turbo represented the NMRA in his Pro Outlaw 10.5 machine. The Sport Compact-turned-Mustang racer squared off against NMCA Pro Street badass Mark Micke in his ProCharger-blown ride. Unfortunately, Micke won this pairing as Team NMCA trounced Team NMRA 8-3.

Three years ago, the NMRA and NMCA sanctioning bodies spent one weekend at Route 66 Raceway (Joliet, Illinois) battling it out to see who was the leader in street-legal drag racing. The parent company of the two racing organizations, ProMedia, called it the Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing, and the winners received a special Nitto Diamond Tree ring and a bonus check.

The first two years, Team NMRA dominated Team NMCA by taking more class wins. This year, things were different, as Team NMCA kicked Team NMRA to the curb in a harsh fashion. NMCA racers took the first five pairings before an NMRA racer grabbed a win light. In the end, Team NMRA lost 8-3 as Team NMCA took its first shootout title.

The concept is simple-run each sanctioning body separate all weekend long. Teams consist of the class winners from each organization. Racers are paired according to class, for example, NMCA Pro Street vs. NMRA Pro Outlaw 10.5, NMCA Super Street 10.5 vs. NMRA Super Street Outlaw, and so on. Since the rules are radically different from series to series, the race director uses the racer's quickest pass (during qualifying and eliminations) as his or her index. Index/Open Comp-style classes can't break out, but the heads-up pairings are allowed to break through the index.

Last year, the Shootout was dramatic, as it came down to the final pairing between Pro 5.0 and Pro Street, with Team NMRA taking the overall victory. This year, the three NMRA wins came from Drag Radial, Super Street Outlaw, and Hot Street. Tony Akins (Drag Radial) beat NMCA Xtreme Street racer Tony Orts. John Urist (Super Street Outlaw) took out local hotshot Tony Nesbitt driving his six-second Super Street 10.5 Corvette. Finally, Charlie Booze Jr. eliminated Andy Schmidt in the NMRA Hot Street vs. NMCA Pro Stock battle. Schmidt runs both H/S and P/STK classes, but he chose the NMCA category since he was doing better in the points.

Aside from the shootout, spectators and racers received twice the fun for one ticket. The NMRA and NMCA completed four days of racing and showing. We saw everything from old muscle cars to brand-new Mustangs, as well as a new '08 SRT8 Challenger. A combined NMRA/NMCA True Street Competition had 63 cars compete, and the NMRA staff even paired a few racers to give the fans a good show when the fast cars pulled to the starting line.

Nearly 500 cars showed up to compete in the NMRA and NMCA race and show classes-there was no bracket racing this weekend. Tight racing action combined with a Team NMRA vs. Team NMCA twist makes this one of the can't-miss events of the year.