Pete Epple Technical Editor
February 1, 2010
Photos By: Michael Galimi

With his Edelbrock Hot Street championship hopes still alive, 70-year-old former two-time NHRA national event winner Don Bowles came into Bowling Green with his '72 Maverick running well. Bowles was a mere 70 points behind '08 title-holder Robbie Blankenship, so Bowles needed a little help; he got it in Round 2 as Ken Gross took out Blankenship. Don Bowles then put Bob Hanlon on the trailer, and in that moment locked down the 2009 class championship. "It feels great," said Bowles, "I didn't expect it at all, especially with a new car, but things went our way." But the race didn't end there. As the rounds progressed, Bowles found himself in the final against top qualifier Charlie Booze Jr., who set the class record at 8.53 in the previous two rounds. When the Tree turned green, it was all Booze Jr. with an 8.56-second pass to take the event win.

The excitement of the BFGoodrich Drag Radial class is rarely equaled. Making over 1,000 hp and running on DOT tires makes this one of the wildest classes in drag racing, and the 12-car field took to the strip at Bowling Green, offering another dramatic season finale.

After dominating the first half of the season, Jason Lee came into the final stop of the NMRA points season having been in almost every final round in 2009. But as the ladder was set for eliminations, Sean Lyon found himself not only in the top spot, but the new Drag Radial record holder with a blistering 7.95. Lyons had worked all season to perfect his bright yellow LX, and he wanted to walk away with the trophy as well.

Final elimination were plagued with parts failure, however, as Steve Thompson, Jeff Reed, and Orson Johnson couldn't make the call. Once again, the second round was the magic round as Jason Lee lined up against Enzo Pecchini-a win for Lee would secure the championship. At the hit, both drivers left hard, but a serious wheelstand forced Pecchini to lift, handing the round win and the 2009 BFGoodrich Drag Radial Championship to Lee. The final round found Lee against Lyon. Both DR Mustangs left in a blur and amazingly ran identical 7.97-second passes, but Lyon moved first off the line and took the win on a holeshot by just inches.

The Real Street, Eibach Springs Pure Street, and ACT Factory Stock classes along with Roush Performance Modular Muscle, Detroit Locker Truck and Lightning, and JDM Engineering Super Stang all had exciting finishes to the 2009 season as well. Bowling Green was the Tim Matherly show in Real Street as he took the top qualifying spot with a 9.47-second pass. The battle wasn't as dramatic, because the high-flying GT driver clinching the championship at the Columbus race. Matherly would go on to win the race, nevertheless, with a lightning-fast 9.43-second blast.

In Pure Street, Mark Anderson mowed through the field on his way to the final, where he met Ryan Hecox. As the pair staged, Anderson needed to set the class record and take the win to seal up the championship. He cranked out a 10.17 to take the win, but he fell short of the record, handing the 2009 Pure Street Championship to Hecox.

Tommy Godfrey, the 2008 ACT Factory Stock Champion, came into Bowling Green looking to repeat. The weekend started off strong, as Godfrey qualified No. 1 with an 11.14. After working his was to the final, Godfrey lined up against Matt Armine. Armine left first, but Godfrey drove around him to take the win and the 2009 Factory Stock title.

In typical NMRA fashion, Saturday was the stage for Tremec True Street Presented by Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords magazine. The ultimate street car class was hoppin', filling much of the pits with a total of 92 cars and trucks. It was the second largest field of the year, and we would like to thank everyone who came out.

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