NMRA Hot Street regular Rick Riccardi had quite the outing at last weekend’s 16th annual World Cup Finals Import vs. Domestic spectacular at the Maryland International Raceway, powering his screaming, high-winding ’81 Ford Capri to the final round in the Street Fighter category.
Riccardi, Manger of the Motorsports Division of Downs Ford in Toms River, N.J., qualified second in the Street Fighter category with an 8.514 at 157.25 MPH, trailing leader Avon Thorpe’s 8.31 from his ’87 Buick. Riccardi drew John Stants and his ’94 Supra in the opening stanza, clicking off his then-best run of the event at 8.48 to advance onto round two. Riccardi then met No. 10 qualifier Felix Medina in round two, where his quicker 8.47 easily disposed of Medina’s 9.12 from his ’01 Integra.
In the semifinals, the Downs Ford Capri lined up alongside of Kevin Kempf’s ’92 Civic, with a trip to the final round on the line. Riccardi grabbed an .043 to .087 advantage out of the gate, and as Kempf’s machine spun the tires, was never headed as he banged through the gears to his best run of the weekend, an 8.46. Unfortunately, the final rounds in ever category went uncontested due to the time and cool temperatures, leaving Riccardi without the chance to give Thorpe a run for his money in the finale.