The National Muscle Car Association’s NMCA West series has returned for 2013 providing racers with a fast-paced four race season at some of the most famous drag strips on the west coast. The season officially kicked off on April 5th with the NMCA West Street Car Nationals at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, CA. As the popularity of this series continues to grow, the competition gets tougher and tougher, especially in the Hedman Hedders Nostalgia Street Car index racing class. Open to all “door-slammer” muscle cars 1982 and older, the Hedman Nostalgia Street Car class is one of the most popular and competitive classes of the series.
Sunday’s Elimination racing featured the 23 top qualifiers racing in for the win in a five round battle. This first round was plagued with broken cars, break-outs, and red lights as drivers pushed their machines and reactions to try to get that perfect run. Top qualifier Ron De Hoop enjoyed his “bye” run while the 2012 Hedman Nostalgia Street Car Runner-Up Steve Cox battled Dan Gels in a close race in which Gels broke-out by less than 0.06-seconds advancing Cox to the next round.
In the second round Ron De Hoop faced off against James Alexander’s Chevelle. With both running a 10.5 dial-in, it was an intense heads-up battle that ended with Alexander advancing after running a 0.020 R/T against De Hoops 0.033. Steve Cox then faced off against Richard Miller in a battle of 383-powered 10.5-second Camaros. Steve Cox again showed off his consistency with a near-perfect 0.006 reaction time propelling him into the next round.
The third round started off with the number two qualifier, Brian Rock, squaring off against Frank Coscarelli and his big block Camaro. Both drivers were lightning fast off the tree, but it was Coscarelli that moved on to the next round after Rock suffered a mechanical issue after the start. James Alexander and Steve Cox both advanced to the semi finals after their opponents both red-lit.
In the semi finals Cox squared off against Alexander in another 10.5-second dial-in battle. Both racers were lightning-quick off the tree and near-perfect on their dial-ins, but it was Cox that came out on top thanks to his slightly quicker reaction time. Frank Coscarelli should have had it easy with his “bye” run, but suffered a mechanical failure on the line. He managed to get his car down the track to advance but had to quickly get his car fixed for the finals.
In the fifth and final round, it was an all-Camaro battle with Steve Cox and his 383-powered ’68 Camaro squaring off against Frank Coscarelli in his 572 big block powered ’67 Camaro. Cox left the tree first with a respectable 0.036-second reaction time, but when Coscarelli got the green light he left with a near-perfect 0.007-second reaction. As Coscarelli chased Cox down the 1320, it was evident this was going to be a photo finish as the cars tripped the lights only 0.05-seconds apart. But it was Coscarelli that managed to cross the line first and take home the Wally trophy and the first win of the 2013 NMCA West season.