2018 NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem Race Coverage From Bradenton


Dwayne Lang, Kyle Lang and Starter Jake Green (middle) get started on this foggy Sunday morning here at Bradenton Motorsports Park.

Tim Frees runs Nostalgia Super Stock/B and qualified third out of twenty cars in class with his ’63 Savoy wagon. He was up early sweeping water from his pit mat and is here with his brother Jeff who qualified seventh with his AFX 1968 Cuda and is also entered in the Stock Super Stock Combo with his 2010 Challenger.

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Team DSR is having a rough week with two engine swaps under their belt. The team will face eliminations today with their fingers crossed as driver Leah Pritchett is set to face off with Eric Bardekoff’s 2016 Cobra Jet in round one. Team DSR and most of the other Supercar teams will be moving to Gainesville, Florida’s Gatornationals for next weekend.

Ted Brignano, who has been with the Baker Racing team going on twenty years, is preparing to cook breakfast for the crew this morning. Joe Baker is qualified eighth with his Joey Martin-built 2015 Corvette in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod, running a 3.82 with power from a BAE Hemi and backed by a Ty Drive, a Lenco transmission, and NCRC converter with Chuck Ford as a big sponsor. Baker hails from Milton, Florida and plans a full season with NMCA this year with this being his first event with the series.

Dwayne Barbaree is here representing for the Dirty South this weekend and has Eric Laferrier assisting with tuning. He is set to face off with Andrew DeMarco in round one and has lane choice though it has not been much of a factor in qualifying the sun is out a little more today compared to yesterday and may play a factor as we move through eliminations today.

John Langer had issues with fuel pressure traced to a worn return spring in the regulator so was off pace in qualifying for NA 10.5 and spun in the second session but got back in the throttle to test the top end charge on his BES-powered Trans Am. All is well there now and he did have two good runs with his best 60′ and 330′ here so should be running right with the top cars in class if he gets a good run in round one this morning against Leonard Long. This engine is new since Joliet last year where he cracked his block after the timing belt jumped time causing severe engine damage. BES prepped the Indian Adventures II block with a bigger bore to un-shroud the intake valve which significantly increased the average horsepower compared to the previous build.

Ron Fisher has made significant changes since Lights Out 9 in his ’68 Chevelle with a new three speed transmission and new converter from Neal Chance. Shock settings have played a big part in tuning these Radial Wars cars and the team figured that out some more scoring a 4.50 up at SGMP after struggling with the car applying the tire at the hit. He made a solid pass in qualifying with a 4.91 at 163 after the trans and converter changes just to make sure to get down the track and will face number two qualifier James Lawrence in round one today.

We kicked off VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod eliminations with Jackie Slone and Joe Baker (pictured at right). Baker advanced on his 3.94 at 187 with Slone having an issue staging the car and rolling though the beams.

Greg Seth Hunter wouldadvance to round two with luck on his side as top qualifier Randy Adler had to pedal the out-ofshape Chevy and ran over the eighth-mile timing blocks and getting the DQ, putting half the MMR team on to round two. Mark Luton would also advance over Chris Patrick scoring a 3.83 at 202, who went red on the tree ending his day. Mark Luton shown.

Don Walsh Jr. would put up his best run of the weekend in his match with Eric Gustafson, earning his way to the next round with a 3.73 at 209 with a .983 60′ on the run.

Jason Hamstra put up a 3.79 to get by Benny Strand, seen here being put in the beams by his mother Patsy.

Team Mopar started off well in Holley EFI Factory Super Car with Geoff Turk scoring an 8.08 on his earned single at top qualifier and Leah Pritchett earning her way to round two with an 8.20 at 165 win over Eric Bardekoff. Third qualifier Joseph Welch also advanced with an 8.09 over Kevin Skinner's Cobra Jet Mustang.

Pete Gasko Jr’s car faltered at the line allowing a big advantage to Carl Tasca who put up an 8.24 at 164 on the go ahead win. A tough break for team Gasko.

Cedra, Puerto Rico-based Waldemar Rodriguez qualified eleventh in class with an 8.13 and was matched against Richard Bierie for round one. Both racers slowed down but Rodriguez came away with the win to move ahead in eliminations.

Jordan Ensslin (at left) earned his way to round two of ARP Nitrous Pro Street over Matt Salminnen with a 4.39 at 162 MPH. Jennifer Rice ran a 4.61 taking out the new guy Craig Cerniglia's Chevelle.

James Lawrence put up a 3.95 in Radial Wars competition, taking out Ron Fisher who improved slightly to a 4.88 at 165 in his Chevelle.

Marty Stinnett earned the win over Josh Klugger, taking a starting line advantage and stretching it out with a 3.92 at 191 to Klugger’s consistent 3.99, also at 191 MPH. DeWayne Mills had a competition single and repeated his qualifying time of 3.88.

Charlie Cooper faced off with Brian Criste in Vortech Superchargers Street Outlaw and struck the tires at the hit. He tried to play catch up against the slower Criste to no avail running a 5.74 to Criste's winning 5.06 and losing the engine in the lights. A hard way to end the weekend for Cooper and Co.

Shawn Ayers had to pedal Fletcher Cox’s Gold Dust against Rob Goss just a little bit as it was trying to shake the tires but still managed a 4.75 at 158 to take the round.


Jamie Stanton is the number one qualifier in Xtreme Street, now behind the wheel of Scotty Guisler’s Olds after assisting with Jake Holdridge from Pentagon Race Cars with tuning via phone calls for some time now. He also drives Scotty’s No Prep Camaro and came down to Emerald City to test with the team in person preparing for the 2018 NMCA season. Guisler made a few hits in the car before giving the order for Jamie to take the wheel and here they are this weekend as top qualifier. He put up a 4.78 at 150 on his earned single. The team is using an Edelbrock 24-degree head with a 46 jet combo topping BES-built 582 Chevy.

Brian Keep laid down a 4.80 in his match with Tony Orts earning the win. Teammmate Bill Gregan also made it to round two, winning his match with Mike Wabuda running a 4.83.

John Langer made his way to round two in NA 10.5 with an 8.03 over Leonard Long, who spun the tires.

Final results sheets. Elimination editorial and photo coverage still to come. Thanks for visiting Dragzine.com.

Don Walsh Jr. had a great weekend coming into the season opener, running consistently all weekend, save for round two today where he spun the tires against Andrew Handras. Luck went Walsh’s way, however, as both cars struggled and he was able to recover quicker and earn the round with a 4.05 at 199. Joe Baker had problems keeping the car running once engaged in gear in the semi-final and was unable to make it to the line. Number two Jason Hamstra went 3.77 at 203 to take out Robert Abbott then faced off with Mark Luton in the semi-final going a 3.73 at 204 as Lutton shook hard near the 330′ and slowed to a 4.28 to set the final with Walsh.

The pair left together in the final, with Walsh scooting to a 3.705 at 208.96 and low ET of the event — below the 3.729 2017 record actually –to earn the win over Hamstra’s 3.747 at 204. I am not sure of the official policy for ProMedia event records but Walsh did not claim any runs for record consideration this weekend, not aware they reset upon a new season with the NMCA series.

“I am ecstatic that we ran the 3.70. We had a really consistent race car and got lucky one round where we spun the tires and so did our competitor and we got it gathered up and got the win. I really want to thank my wife Ashley Walsh, my daughters Kaylee and Page, my crew Justin Haddon, Chris Church and Mike Begley and all the people that make this happen, Precision Turbo, Pro Line Racing, Brad Anderson Enterprises, Afis plug wires, Brisk spark plugs, HPL and Cool Solutions for the trans cooler. I can’t say enough about everybody that’s involved in this. There is a lot of people that have worked hard to be here, and have us here, and I feel very fortunate to be in the winner circle tonight.” – Don Walsh Jr.

James Lawrence is running very well in the new PMR Race Cars Corvette after two events in 2018, scoring the Mickey Thompson Radial Wars win here this weekend. He would meet Marty Stinnett in the final. Stinnett pulled the upset win over DeWayne Mills’ 3.889 repeat in round two with a 3.871 at 197 head-turner coming from the number four qualified position into the final. But he was a little too anxious in the final going .075 red against Lawrence but scoring a 3.858 at 198 MPH pass to back up his run from the prior round to make it official.

The new car is certainly a team effort with Pro Line Racing, Fuel Tech and Procharger a huge part of the program. “The car has been phenomenal and we are fighting a little bit to get a new car down the race track and we have a lot of work still to go. Our job is to outrun the guy in the other lane and we put ourselves in a position to be there and came up short on that but still came away with the win on Marty’s red light. We have Dean as crew chief, with David Lucason and Brian Petty, and my lovely wife Melissa on the crew and my children Taylor, Jordan and Bradley my youngest girl here this weekend I couldn’t do it without these guys, they are the ones that put us in the winner’s circle.” – James Lawrence

The final of Vortech Superchargers Street Outlaw pit number one and three qualifiers together with Shawn Ayers having lane choice over Pharris. It would be Ayers away first putting up a .031 tree to Pharris .077 reaction with both cars leaving clean. It was tight to the stripe with Pharris' turbo car pulling hard on the top end to 170 MPH and both racers improving to 4.33's. Ayers was able to stay in front earning his way to victory at the Muscle car Mayhen 2018 season opener here in Bradenton, Florida.

Shawn Ayers and the Cox Racing camp are the Vortech Superchargers Street Outlaw winner. Fletcher Cox, Ayers, Nick and Rich Bruder and crew started testing here earlier in the week and had some good runs early but fought some complications and had to work hard to keep the car running in top performance. The team has a new combination this week after moving from the Limited Drag Radial class to a Procharged combo from DiSomma Racing Engines tuned by Bruder Brothers to run Street Outlaw for 2018. “The whole team came together in a huge effort to fight though our complications and it’s the best feeling ever to pull the win out after the week that we’ve had getting every thing to sync together,” said Ayers The engine is a 440 cubic inch Ford fed by an F1X Procharger and backed by a Mark Micke transmission and Chance converter. Some of the other integral people involved with the program are Billet Atomizer Injectors, Menscer Motorsports, Mac Fab, VP Racing Fuels and Mickey Thompson.

Bill Trovato has ran well this weekend running a 4.75 on Saturday and a 4.83 earlier today saying “I just went on a bye run and took it to the 330′ equaling the numbers on my .75, I feel the lanes are equal so gave up lane choice and keep the engine happy.” He will face his old nemesis Jamie Stanton in the semis.
Stanton scored a 4.79 W over Bill Gregan to earn his place against Trovato where he put an .058 tree on Bill and needed the advantage as Trovato improved to a 4.731 at 149 to Stanton’s winning 4.738 at 151. Bart Tobener put his 2016 GT Mustang in the semis after getting by Brian Keep in round two on a hole shot, 0.50 to .117 reaction and have the single to the finals where he also ran to half track testing the surface, and his tune up.

It would be Tobener away first in the Edelbrock Xtreme Street final with an .045 light and running hard to a 4.75 at 147. Stanton’s .081 reaction put him behind by a significant margin that would make it just to hard to catch up despite his 4.72 at 151.31 MPH pass with Tobener getting the event win in the Diablosport, MPR Race Engines, Race Parts Solutions, US Shift, UPR sponsored ride.

First to the sevens Geoff Turk waded his way through the field to meet with number three qualifier Joseph Welch in the Holey EFI Factor Super Car class in the first of it's kind all Dodge final round, guaranteeing a Mopar win for another first here at the NMCA 2018 Muscle Car mayhem season opener. Twenty six cars made it for round one and it was certainly a tough field as many big name teams were on the property. Welch took out David Barton in the semi finals, driving around his .018 reaction and 8.15 with an 8.05 at 169 MPH. On the other side of the ladder Chris Holbrook was playing hurt and wound up next to Turk in the semi putting up a killer .004 reaction in a valiant effort but slowed further to an 8.33 to Turk's winning 8.07 to set the final.

Privateer racer Joseph Welch, Patrick Barnhill,and Jason Lee from PTP, Chris Holbrook and crew came down early to test in Florida bringing the number 2 Challenger with them to prepare for the NHRA Gator Nationals and get some laps on the Mopar after it had not been run in over a year. At Jason Lee’s suggestion Welch signed up for the NMCA test session and wound up making several good laps to entered the Factor Super Car class and put himself up as number three qualifier. Originally from Kansas Joseph raced AHRA Pro Stock in the late 60’s and early 70’s while in college but ironically could not afford to race after graduating, getting married and going to work as an engineer and sold his car and operation raised a family before jumping back in the game with a COPO Camaro back in 2012.

Welch was away first with an .072 reaction as Geoff matched his .118 from the semi final. It would be no where near enough as he slowed to an 8.12 with Welch stretching out his lead with an 8.02 at 169.33 MPH to earn the win.

ARP Nitrous Pro Street had Mark Hoagland and Jordan Ensslis in the final with Hoagland doing his job to get out front first with an .032 reaction to Ensslin’s .069. Hoagland faced issues with consistency this weekend and it still working kinks out of his new car while Ensslin was running well on Sunday. He scored the event win running a 4.46 at 160 MPH.

Tommy Delgado and Robert Blakenship met in the final of NA 10.5 with Delgado having lane choice and taking the left side. Blakenship scored the win as both drivers left before the tree activated.

About the author

Rob Cossack

Rob has had an interest in photography since he was young, but didn't get started until 2007, when he started shooting at the local tracks. After that, he started doing local video coverage of heads-up events and began working with Power Automedia shortly after.
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