Pete Epple Technical Editor
July 5, 2011

When the NMRA and NMCA team up for a dual event, the show is always exciting. An amazing mix of Ford and Brand-X race cars combine to equal blistering-fast on-track action, a packed manufacturer's midway, and an amazing array of flawless show cars, which made the 3rd Annual Nitto Tires NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals the Southeast's Mustang and muscle car event of the year.

But frankly, just saying excitement doesn't begin to describe the energy level and the quality of the show put on at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia, on the third weekend of April. Multiple wrecks, insane side-by-side racing action, and a huge fireball were just a few of the sights the fans got to see, and we were there to catch it all.

Qualifying was rough on more than a few teams. Turbosmart Pro Outlaw 10.5 racer Mike Murillo got crossed up passing through the lights, and lightly caressed the wall. Afco Xtreme Drag Radial favorite, Jason Lee also had a run-in with the barrier due to a flat tire. "We broke a control arm mount," explains Lee. "When the mount broke, the rearend shifted about 6 inches under the car. By about half-track, one of the tires went flat and I went for a ride." Luckily for both drivers, and teams, the damage was minimal, and both made the call for the first round.

ProCharger SuperStreet Outlaw hosted the quickest and fastest field in the history of the class. Coming off his record-setting weekend at the Spring Break Shootout, Chris Tuten blasted down the quarter-mile in a lightning-quick 7.08 seconds at 202 mph, but was not able to back it up to take the record. John Kalivas, Samuel Vincent, and Andrew Demarco, who all qualified quicker than 7.20, followed Tuten closely.

When it came time for eliminations, oil downs and lengthy clean-ups extended the race schedule well past its normal run time. Many of the final rounds did not run until after 9 p.m., which made for some tricky track conditions as the temperature dropped. Needless to say, the racing was extremely exciting, right down to the last pass.

When the NMRA and NMCA come together, True Street is contested on Sunday's schedule instead of its normal Saturday spot. Fifty-nine cars took to the streets of northern Georgia, and the Mustangs ruled the road taking 42 of the 59 spots in competition. A Blue Oval did not hold the top spot, unfortunately, but Ford drivers did capture every other winning position with the exception of the 11-second spot.

Atlanta Dragway was alive with an amazing array of muscle Mustangs, fast Fords, and muscle car iron from all over Detroit. From the track to the car show, to True Street, to the midway, the 3rd Annual Nitto Tires NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals was truly a sight to behold. This kind of excitement leaves you wanting more, and we can't wait to head to the next event in Atco, New Jersey!

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