NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl Same Day Coverage From Joliet


It’s time to crown some champions and hand out some coveted NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl rings here in Joliet. With one round in the books, the fields in all categories have been whittled down to eight cars or less, and we’ll be getting back underway at high noon with the second round of Pro Street and carry on through the order. At the end of the day, the NMRA will attempt to defend its team crown from last year, and we’ll have all the news, notes, and happenings from here at Route 66, plus photo and video highlights.

Special thanks to our event sponsor Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels for allowing us to bring you this great coverage!

Clint Hairston Interview

Round One Eliminations – All Heads-Up Classes

Tommy Godfrey Interview

Bill Trovato Interview

Mike Murillo In-Car View

Tim Essick Interview

Mike Murillo Update

David Beeson Interview

Final Rounds

Super Bowl Run-Offs

Mikey Rees created a huge round of applause yesterday when he came out on the winning end of an exciting first round matchup in Super Street/Pro Outlaw 10.5W with Frank Mewshaw. Both racers fought their way to the finish line, and it was Rees who kept it pointed straight longer, scoring a wild, come-from-behind 7.98 to 8.24 win.

It's hot here in Joliet. 88 degrees hot, with a forecasted high of 90 degrees and a relentless sun beating down on the crowd and the racing surface. The heat played a role in some interesting stories in the first round of eliminations, and it should once again play a role as round two takes to the Route 66 quarter-mile this afternoon.

The warm weather hasn't kept the crowd away, as the car show continues to fill up and eager muscle car fanatics fill the pit area and the vast Manufacturer's Midway.

(Left) John Sullivan encountered major breakage in the second round alongside Don Walsh Jr. and left a trail of oil through the shutdown area. Sullivan, however, still had plenty to smile about after an exceptional weekend in which he qualified No. 3 and ran right at the head of the pack all weekend long. At right, Mario Orisini left before the tree was activated, automatically handing the win to Dan Stevenson, who carded a 6.20.

Don Walsh Jr. appears poised for a second trip to victory lane in as many weeks after he laid down the quickest lap of the event - a 6.005 at 250.46 mph -- to defeat John Sullivan.

Davd DeMarco benefited from Tim Essicks' scant -.003 red light in the second round of Super Street/Pro Outlaw 10.5W, as Essick ran a quicker 6.83 to his slowing 7.36.

Relentless is the best term to describe Jason Lee's performance this weekend. In the heat of the day, Lee cracked off another 7.4-second lap -- a 7.47 -- to defeat Dan Kroll. Lee will meet Ronnie Diaz, who advanced when Aaron Stapleton had a small fire at the line, in the final round later this afternoon.

The semifinals of Xtreme Street, with three cars remaining, was a battle between "SpongeBob" and "Corndog" -- Bob Curran and Phil Smith (pictured). The veteran Curran got the best of Smith off the starting line, taking an .046 to .092 advantage out of the gate and parlaying it into a holeshot win, 8.14 to 8.12. Curran will meet No. 1 qualifier Bill Trovato in the final round.

Charlie Booze Jr. got the best of Don Baskin in round two of Hot Street/Pro Stock, defeating the family patriarch on a holeshot, 8.51 to 8.50.

Tony Nesbitt had to be pushed off the starting line in the second round of Super Street/Pro Outlaw 10.5W, allowing Steve Summers to cruise into the semis with a 6.93.

Round Two Eliminations

Pro Street

L Mario Orsimi 1957 0.00 0.000 0.00
R Dan Stevenson 1351 0.00 -.034 6.203 213.81
L Chris Rini 1010 0.00 .024 6.048 237.55
R Steve Matusek 1450 0.00 .064 6.291 241.97
L Don Walsh Jr 1382 0.00 .029 6.005 250.46
R John Sullivan 1492 0.00 .013 6.518 170.34
L Tony Williams 1003 0.00 .078 6.552 216.31
R CLint Hairston 1000 0.00 .066 6.124 243.59

Super Street/Pro Outlaw 10.5W

L Tim Essick 1003 0.00 -.003 6.834 207.18
R David DeMarco 2012 0.00 .263 7.365 156.75
L Eric LaFerraiere 2001 0.00 .058 6.709 222.99
R Willard Kinzer 2605 0.00 .264 6.714 220.44
L Steve Summers 2918 0.00 1.148 6.930 195.96
R Tony Nesbitt 2999 0.00 0.000 0.00
L Mike Murillo 1 0.00 .060 6.730 219.40
R Mikey Rees 2025 0.00 .118 7.007 204.35

Nostalgia Pro Street

R David Beeson 3003 0.00 .526 29.240 0.00
L Rob White 3240 0.00 -.330 7.705 147.60
R Joe Bucaro 3 0.00 .082 7.314 186.74
L Jeff Colletta 2 0.00 .058 7.345 182.85
R Skip Baskin 4 0.00 .056 7.401 186.87
R Darren Breaud 3807 0.00 .866 8.404 119.90

275 Drag Radial

L Jason Lee 1 0.00 .104 7.478 189.39
R Dan Kroll 6116 0.00 .086 12.316 86.59
L Aaron Stapleton 6102 0.00 0.000 0.00
R Ronnie Diaz 6 0.00 .688 18.125 53.20

Xtreme Street

L Phil Smith 4 0.00 .092 8.129 174.26
R Bob Curran 4005 0.00 .046 8.149 169.78
R Bill Trovato 4177 0.00 7.851 17.297 0.00

Hot Street/Pro Stock

L Andy Schmidt 5088 0.00 .020 8.624 158.13
R Greg Delaney 8G 0.00 .065 8.654 161.44
L Charlie Booze JR. 3398 0.00 .039 8.516 153.89
R Don Baskin 3B 0.00 .060 8.504 157.12


Chris Rini and Don Walsh Jr. squared off in the best matchup of the weekend thus far in Pro Street. Rini has been a bracket car with a string of 6.06 runs, and Walsh rolled to a 6.00 in the second round earlier today. Rini was first off the starting line and was ahead at half track, but the top end charge of Walsh's turbocharged machine came around him at the finish line to earn a trip to the final round, 6.02 to 6.09.

Jeff Colletta left well ahead of Dave Beeson in the semifinal round of Nostalgia Pro Street, but simply didn't have the power to hold off the hard charging Beeson, who clocked a 7.23 to Colletta's 7.41. Beeson will have lane choice over Joe Bucaro in the final round.

Mike Murillo had trouble firing the SCT Performance Mustang prior to his semifinal match with David DeMarco, and despite a few extra moments to diagnose the problem from the DeMarco team, the problem was too much to fix on the starting line and Murillo could only stage and hope that DeMarco made a mistake.

Eric LaFerriere had his semifinal bout with Steve Summers in the bag after Summers slowed at half track, but the No .6 qualifier ignited a collective gasp from the crowd when his machine took a hard right turn at the 1,000-foot mark. LaFerriere will have lane choice over DeMarco in the final.

Final Round Notes

Don Walsh Jr. and Clint Hairston were the two quickest cars in Pro Street this weekend, and it only seemed fitting the pair of turbocharged cars meet in the final. Walsh got away from the line quicker and was never headed in this matchup, running a 6.01 to Hairston's slowing 6.87.

Eric LaFerriere and David DeMarco were virtually dead-even out of the gate in the Super Street/Pro Outlaw 10.5W finale, but LaFerriiere steadily pulled away and took home the class hardware with a nice 6.86 to DeMarco's slowing 7.95.

As he's done so many times before, Charlie Booze Jr. drove from the pole to the Hot Street/Pro Stock title, taking more than a tenth of a second advantage at the tree and outrunning Andy Schmidt, 8.53 to 8.56.

Jeremy Gillam could've put a dial-in on his Mustang this weekend in Mean Street and saved his best performance for last, posting a 9.87 in the final round alongside Denis Marrow and his 10.13.

Jason Lee notched another victory in 275 Drag Radial, this time running an off-pace 7.80 to defeat a slowing Ronnie Diaz.

The hot racing surface, with the sun beating down it all day long, wreaked havoc on racers in the final round, including Nostalgia Pro Street frontrunner David Beeson, who struggled to get the power down off the starting line, allowing Joe Bucaro to score a big upset victory, 7.27 to a charging 7.36.

Bob Curran did what he needed to do in the final round, nailing a stellar .010 light, but he was no match for Bill Trovato, who cruised to another seven-second lap -- a 7.95 -- for the win.

Final Round Eliminations

Pro Street

L Don Walsh Jr 1382 0.00 .034 6.011 248.71
R CLint Hairston 1000 0.00 .067 6.871 158.22

Super Street/Pro Outlaw 10.5W

L David DeMarco 2012 0.00 .038 7.959 140.81
R Eric LaFerraiere 2001 0.00 .039 6.865 221.85

Nostalgia Pro Street

L David Beeson 3003 0.00 .098 7.368 193.82
R Joe Bucaro 3 0.00 .072 7.277 187.89

Xtreme Street

L Bill Trovato 4177 0.00 .052 7.959 171.62
R Bob Curran 4005 0.00 .010 9.072 106.72

275 Drag Radial

L Ronnie Diaz 6 0.00 .073 11.355 82.20
R Jason Lee 1 0.00 .104 7.807 147.94

Hot Street/Pro Stock

L Charlie Booze JR. 3398 0.00 .030 8.537 153.07
R Andy Schmidt 5088 0.00 .137 8.561 159.25

Mean Street

L Dennis Marrow 10333 0.00 .069 10.133 134.55
R Jeremy Gillam 4 0.00 .134 9.877 133.72

Super Bowl Time!

Truck & Lightning winner Johnny Lightning had quite a wait, but chased down the  Duster of Nostalgia Muscle Car winner Jerry Stamps, 9.24 to 11.95, to put one on the board for the NMRA team.

The racer known as "Beefcake," Terry Reeves, put a second point on the board for team NMRA by defeating EFI winner John McPartlin, who fouled away his chances with an -.023 red bulb. Reeves cruised on to a 9.69 winning elapsed time.

The two Open Comp representatives, Les Bigelow in his ’73 Camaro and Rodney Ward in his ’65 Mustang, squared off in the third matchup. Bigelow got the advantage out of the gate and ran dead-on his 10.21 dial to turn back Ward. Nostalgia Super Stock champ Joe Ewing and Open Comp winner Donnie Bowles were split a half a second in elapsed time in the fourth match. Ewing got away first and was never headed, running dead-on his 10.50 index while Bowles encountered what appeared to be axle woes near half track and slowed. Ewing adds another point to the NMCA total with his win.

Mean Street winner Jeremy Gillam was wheels-up and charging to his quickest run of the weekend, a 9.86, to chase down Factory Stock champion Matt Amrine to make it 3-2 NMCA.

Coyote Stock champ Joe Charles was too early on the tree, and that instantly handed another point to team NMCA, as Bill Trovato cruised to the win to make it 4-2 NMCA.

With the Hot Street and Pro Stock categories combined this weekend, the finalists were brought back for a re-match for the team showdown -- Charlie Booze Jr. representing the NMRA and Schmidt the NMCA. Once again, Booze denied Schmidt in an exciting drag race with side-by-side 8.51's to add a point to the NMRA total.


Only two tenths separated this pair, with Lee locked in at 7.42 and Kroll at 7.63. Kroll was away first, .078 to .151, and was too much for Lee to chase down, blasting to a 7.54 to Lee's wheels-up and charging 7.47.

Brian Mitchell left first in this one and left first by a good margin as Joe Bucaro was dead-late with a .212 reaction time. Mitchell reeled off a great 8.47 and Bucaro's 7.29 wasn't enough to run the Renegade champ down.

This race brought down the house here at Route 66! With the NMCA ahead 5-4 and only one more match remaining, this was a decisive race for the NMRA. Hines way away away first and LaFerriere was dead-late, and that was all-she-wrote on this one. Hines knocked out his best run all weekend, a 7.19, to outrun the charging 6.80 of LaFerriere. With this, it was 5-4 NMCA.

About the author

Andrew Wolf

Andrew has been involved in motorsports from a very young age. Over the years, he has photographed several major auto racing events, sports, news journalism, portraiture, and everything in between. After working with the Power Automedia staff for some time on a freelance basis, Andrew joined the team in 2010.
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