For years now the NMCA and NMRA have been two of the gold standards when it comes to door slammer racing in a series. Last weekend at Atlanta for the 11th Annual Allstar Nationals they showed yet again why they deserve that recognition.
Now I could sit here and type a book regarding who won what class and what numbers were run, but let’s face it, most of you would check out of reading that crap in the first paragraph. What I want to talk about is how the NMRA/NMCA staff, fans, racers, and media accomplished last weekend.
As someone who has not only covered both series since the inception of our outlet, but as raced in the NMRA, I speak from personal experiences with the entire thing. Last weekend in Commerce, GA. I witnessed something that nothing short of amazing. This was a race that was filled with doubt early in the week though.
The 21st century has turned into keyboard meteorologists that spend more time telling us how the race won’t happen or how they aren’t going because it may sprinkle instead of taking their asses to the event and supporting it. Commerce was no different in that aspect, I saw all week how terrible the weather was going to be and how no one should come to the event. I pretty much tell those idiots to piss off and stay in their mom’s basement while using the internet to tear down our sport.
In Commerce it is a combined event with both series competing for wins, points, and a run at a championship. This means every race is just as important as the next, and with some classes that are very close in rules, they actually combine the classes at these joint events. The only other combined race that NMCA and NMRA do is in Joliet, IL. At the end of July.
Now that you know what we are looking at, let’s talk about what happened last weekend. The race is actually a four-day event that features damn near every type of door car class you could imagine. Pro Mods, radial tire cars, factory super cars, open comp, index, and even True Street were all on the property. Hundreds of cars invaded Commerce, and only a select few can call themselves national event champions.
Weather plays a huge part at every event, whether it is hot, cold, rain, wind, or even snow. No worries, we didn’t get any snow in north Georgia this time, but what we did see was an abundance of rain, and some fog. Rain threatened to put this event in jeopardy, but due to the experience and commitment of people like Rollie Miller, Steve Wolcott, Jake Green, Michael Washington, and so many more that make up the staff at NMRA & NMCA we weren’t going to be defeated. Adjustments were made, and they kept trucking along.
So normally on a joint event we would have multiple qualifiers, and then start eliminations on Saturday night, with completion about 6pm on Sunday evening. Rain was not going to allow that to happen as scheduled though. Thursday night and Friday morning race meant that were got a very late start on Friday afternoon. It was determined on Friday night that we would not go into eliminations on Saturday, and instead have two full rounds of qualifying. Mind you this decision in itself could have bit Rollie and the staff right in the ass if we got bad weather on Sunday. Sunday was going to be the day that we ran all of eliminations.
Saturday night rolled around, and even I had my doubts that we would finish this race. In fact Michael Washington and I discussed this after dinner on Saturday night, and I told him “there is no way we complete this event” and Michael assured me that we would. In fact he was so confident in that, he thought we would finish by 6pm on Sunday. Fact is that we were both wrong, only I was a hell of a lot more wrong.
Sunday rolled around, and I kept thinking, there is just no way we get this all in. There is just too much to do, and early in the morning it looked like we would have a noon to 7pm window before the rain came back. The True Street brackets were cancelled in an effort to fit everything in, which in my opinion was absolutely the right decision. The further the day went on, the more the rain pushed to later in the evening. It was like someone was watching the race and pushing that rain off just long enough to let us finish the event. The is exactly what happened too, by about 9pm or so we were running the last final of the event in Coyote Stock.
You read that right, we had hundreds of cars on the property, lost most of Friday, and didn’t start any eliminations until Sunday. Despite all those obstacles, the NMRA/NMCA 11th Annual Allstar Nationals crowed champions and completed the race before anymore rain fell on our heads. So a huge congratulations to all the class winners, the shootout winners, and the staff that made it all possible. I always give huge props to the vendors that stuck it out, along with the droves of cars and trucks that rolled in for the car show.
I have been going to NMCA and NMRA for just 20 years now, and this was an amazing event. The crowds were bigger than I have seen in years, the racing was great side by side matchups. Every final was worth sitting your ass down and watching. There is nothing more that the NMCA and NMRA could have done to make this a better event. If you haven’t been to an NMRA or NMCA in years, you need to stop staring at your damn weather apps and take yourself to the track. NMCA will be in Memphis the first weekend of May, and the NMRA will visit Gateway in Madison, Il for the first time the third week of May. I will cover close to 40 races this year, and there are very few that I am looking forward to as much as May at Gateway, which is scheduled for the same weekend as the historic World Ford Challenge used to be on there.
It’s time to go to the track and support these races, series, and racers. Weather is always going to be there, so stop letting it make the decision for you. Some of the best times you will ever have at a race track are during a rain delay in the pits!