Joliet is not a place that most people want to go and race in the middle of end of July, but for NMCA and NMRA racers that is exactly what they have been doing for well over a decade. This time was different though, this time the expectations were huge, and the event delivered in every aspect
For those of you that might not follow the NMCA or NMRA, they are two of the most well-respected and longest running drag racing organizations in the United States. The NMCA gives you a mix of everything Chevy, Ford, Mopar, etc. while NMRA gives the bleeding Ford Blue fans a place to call home. There were enough classes at this event that no one was getting left out and there was certainly something for every spectator to enjoy.
Obviously, I am not going to do a breakdown of every class, because you would be reading a small book at that point, and I know there is other news on E3xtreme that you want to take a glance at. With that in mind, I am going to touch on some of the highlights.
While I am not one to harp on the diversity in drag racing (though we are the most diverse sport in the world), Sunday at Joliet was about the ladies. In Nitrous Pro Street, it was the young lady, none other than Tricia Musi that took home the win over the points leader, Jennifer Brooke Rice. Adding to the winner circle of ladies, NMRA didn’t want to get left out of the show and it was Sondra Leslie in the Strange Engineering Mustang that took home the win in Limited Street. This was Sondra’s first win of her career. If you thought we couldn’t top that, Sondra and Tricia then had to face off in the Superbowl shootout, which Tricia got the win there, but NMRA won the overall.
Pro Mod is an NMCA fan favorite class and Joliet was no exception. There are a good number of drivers that reside closer to Joliet as well. Some of the NHRA drivers like Dan Stevenson and Michael Biehle came over to Joliet to compete and test since the have another month off before going back to the NHRA grind. It was Jason Hamstra with his beast of a Camaro that got the job done. He faced off against Billy Harper in the finals. Harper fell well off the pace and Jason busted off another stellar number. In fact, he managed to reset the NMCA World Record in Joliet, and that was after Don Walsh Jr. had done it earlier in the weekend. Congratulations to the Hamstra family on a hard-fought victory.
Street Outlaw is a headlining class as well, and at Joliet they combined both the NMRA and NMCA version. That was the last think that Shawn Ayers and the Bruders were concerned about. Shawn was behind the wheel of Golddust and seeking revenge for the final round loss they suffered at the hands of Daniel Pharris in Bowling Green at the last race. Shawn is in the points lead and had won two of the three prior events this season before Joliet. Happenstance saw Shawn and Daniel against each other in the finals at Route 66 as well. This time it was the points leader Shawn Ayers taking the win over Daniel. That is the third win in four events, and Shawn has appeared in every final. Daniel has appeared in all bout one final as well. It looks to be a great race to the end of the season between these two.
Coyote Stock is a class that we discussed on here about two weeks ago, and yet again it lived up to the hype that I talked about. You just never know what I going to happen with a sealed engine, a bunch of RPMs, and a stick shift. Well when all was said and done it was former NMRA Hot Street World Champion Charlie Booze that took the win over the points leader Darin Hendricks. Charlie couldn’t seem to keep his car off the back bumper all weekend, which made for a great show, and certainly didn’t seem to affect his ability to run the number. We will next see the Coyote Stock crew at Bowling Green for the World Finals at the end of September, when Darin Hendricks will try to seal that deal and take home that championship, while Jacob Lamb, last years World Champion will be doing everything is the known universe to repeat as champion.
Who can have a race without a touch of controversy as well. We certainly had that at Joliet, as I could hear the rumblings about the Florida winner in Nitrous Pro Street, Jordan Ensslin just took a damn whipping stick to the class. He showed up and gapped the class by a tenth and a half. His car was like a damn freight train that no one was going to stop. Unfortunately, it stopped itself, but not before putting a lot of people up in arms and an entire class on notice.
There were over 600 race cars on the property last weekend in Joliet, over 250 cars in the car show, and there were plenty of fans to witness the action. Honestly, if you didn’t bring your ass out to Joliet for the Superbowl of Street Legal Drag Racing, you missed out on one hell of a time. The weather was amazing, the track was great, the racing action was unparalleled, and the results were fantastic.
Later this month NMCA rolls into Norwalk, while NMRA takes a little break. There are some fights for points championships right now, including Jennifer Brooke Rice, who is going after the NPS championship and could become one of the first women in current NMCA history to win a heads-up championship.
And you know I can’t leave this out, since the NMRA and NMCA pit class winners against each other in the Superbowl shoot out, I figured I would let you know that the NMRA kicked the shit out of the NMCA yet again. If you don’t believe me just ask Rollie Miller.