It’s one thing to call your shot, but actually doing it, that’s a whole different story.
Like Babe Ruth standing at the plate pointing to the outfield and calling his shot in the 1932 World Series before smacking the ball some 490 feet into the center field grand stands, Xtreme Street racer John Warren made his words come alive at the NMCA World Street Finals in Indianapolis title sponsored by his sponsor, Fuelab.
Warren, from Vine Grove, Ky., had been quoted in an NMCA article as saying “tell the boys to watch out, because I’m coming.” Warren had missed the first half of the season as his ’72 Nova went under the knife to replace the mild steel cage with a lighter chromoly cage and add a TRZ nine-inch rear, make some changes in the leaf spring suspension, and install a fire suppression system. The changes resulted in a reduction of more than 100 lbs. and made his 523-inch, nitrous-fed combination much more potent.
Warren struggled at the Bowling Green event but had a positive outing at local races in the ensuing weeks, and was prepared to make a splash at the NMCA’s season-ending race at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.
Warren wasted little time making his presence known, carding a 7.94 in the opening qualifier that trailed only Phil Smith’s 7.88 and Paul Smith’s 7.89. By Saturday’s second qualifier, Warren wasn’t just a threat, he was the benchmark. that session, Warren ripped of a 7.827 at 174.96 mph, which put a leg up on a national record in the class.
Warren proceeded to card low elapsed time of the first two rounds — a 7.868 to send Steve Cagle packing in round one and another nearly identical 7.865 in a round two defeat of Paul Smith. That 7.86 also backed up the earlier .82 for a new national record. That set up a final round bout in the early hours of Sunday morning with the racer known as “Corndog”, Phil Smith. Unlike the previous rounds, Smith was quicker on the race track, but reaction times win drag races, and Warren had .038 in his back pocket as the pair left the starting line, which equated to an incredibly tight .011-second margin at the stripe.
The win marked Warren’s first in the Xtreme Street division, and it fittingly came at Fuelab’s race. For more information on Fuelab, log on to fuelab.com.