(Words and photos by Darr Hawthorne) -The first big event of the new drag racing season, the 3rd annual NMCA West Street Car Nationals took place at SoCal’s newly re-finished Auto Club Dragway.
John Mihovetz Ford-powered Mustang running 5.187, at a shortened 1,000-foot length, led the Garrett Turbo-sponsored Pro Mod class, with eight quick and mostly turbocharged racecars in the pits. Although Pro Mods have raced at Auto Club Dragway since the very beginning, it was determined that a little longer stopping distance on the top end for shutdown, might work better for this event.
Mufflers seemed to have little effect on Scialpi’s performance as his Chevy landed him in the second qualifying slot. During sound testing earlier this year, Scialpi and Mike Maggio were too loud to race at the dragway with their traditional zoomie headers.
In the first round of eliminations, Scott Oksas and his Bill Hickock-tuned ’70 turbo Camaro ran a 5.385 to Joe Lepone’s 5.477 and Mihovetz defeated Andy Berry. Mihovetz improved on his qualifying number with a 5.165 to Berry’s off pace 6.184.
Later in the Semi’s, at the start Rick Snavely was out on John Costa, but Snavely got out of the groove, corrected and crossed the centerline behind Costa and bounced head-on into the guardwall in the opposite lane. Snavely was unhurt, and back in the pits; the Mustang didn’t look nearly as bad as it could have been surviving that crash. Reportedly Bothwell Motorsports has a new Pro Mod just about finished for the rest of the season.
John Mihovetz took a starting line advantage to a hole shot win over the Camaro of Scott Oksas. A 6.535 by Mihovetz was enough to defeat Oksas who ran a quicker 6.299.
In NMCA Pro Comp Index class Bob Harris in his ’02 Pontiac reached for the sky and in the final round defeated veteran Paul Weichmann for the trophy.