For the past six years, the next to the last race of the NMCA Flowmaster Drag Racing Series has been contested at Milan Dragway, which has always offered plenty of twists as the season winds down. This year’s JE Pistons-sponsored affair was no different as racers competed not only for points, but also a shot at an NHRA Wally as part of Aerospace Components NHRA Unleashed.
In Kooks Custom Headers Pro Street, Chris Rini and his Camaro visited the winner’s circle for the third time this season after beating first time Pro Street finalist Jim Widener in a wild finish that saw Widener’s Cougar make a hard move towards the centerline at the start, forcing him to abort the run as Rini ran an of-pace, but winning 6.72 at 216 MPH.
In Mickey Thompson Super Street 10.5 W Tim Essick, who just a couple of months ago wasn’t even sure he’d be returning to racing after an accident, earned his first Wally by beating Mike Murillo, who redlit putting Essick and his 2003 Mustang in the winner’s circle.
Dave Beeson, who for the longest time, went winless in ARP Nostalgia Pro Street, won his second consecutive event after beating Kevin Parent in a very close 7.31 to 7.35 race.
Another racer to grab his second win of the year was Phil Smith, who piloted his 2002 Trans Am to victory over the ever-improving David Hutnick, in Aeromotive Xtreme Street. The final round saw Smith run 7.95 at 176 MPH to Hutnick’s 8.33 at 173.
Despite his early dominance in Stainless Works Drag Radial 275 Drag Radial, Jason Lee said that he could be beaten and that has proven true a couple of times this season; both times at the hand of Dan Kroll, who beat him at Milan in the semis. In the final however, it was Sean Ashe who drove his ’85 Mustang to its first class victory with a 7.45 to 11.12 thrashing of Kroll.
In B & B Mean Street Brandon Alsept took an easy win over Brian Campbell after Campbell’s car couldn’t complete the run, slowing to a 14.38 as Alsept stopped the clocks with a 9.95/134 MPH run. Earlier in the weekend, class point’s leader Jeremy Gillam was disqualified after the engine in his Mustang was found to not meet the class rules, which resulted in a six-month competition suspension for Gillam.
In TREMEC True Street, Tanner Bosnali drove his ’96 Camaro to a 9.63 three-lap average to beat Josh Otting and his Camaro’s 9.76 average for top honors.
In the index categories Jim Netherland and his Buick bested Joe Midile in the final of Indy Cylinder Heads Nostalgia Super Stock after Netherland posted an index- matching 10.50, beating Midile’s five-over 9.80.
Defending Eaton Nostalgia Muscle Car champion Andy Warren, finally ended his winless streak, by beating Don Fotti and his original ’68 Mustang Cobra Jet. Warren didn’t have to work to hard to get the win after Fotti’s Mustang lost power down the track, allowing Warren to coast to the win.
In Hawk Performance Open Comp, Jon M. Pickering waded his way through the field to eventually face former NMRA champ Larry Geddess. In the battle of two Mustangs, Pickering saved his best run of the weekend for when it really mattered, posting a perfect .000 reaction time on the front end of the race and finishing the run with dead-on (with a nine) 9.47.
In Lakewood EFI action, Al Corda and his Corvette put a stop to Bobby Barrick’s Mustang in a double break out final that saw Barrick dip .029 under his index, while Corda took the win, running only .018 under his.
This event also played host to the Ford Racing Cobra Jet Showdown, featuring three classes designed for the new Cobra Jet. Winners included: Ray Skillman in the 4.0 class, Chris Holbrook in the 2.3 class. Both Skillman and Holbrook then faced off in the CIC showdown, which was won by Skillman.
In bracket action, Bob Payton won Super Pro, Micky Adams took the Pro win, while Bud Baclom won Sportsman and Billy Stetz took the win in Motorcycle.
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