The NMCA West’s third race of the season brought thunderous racing action to Fontana’s Auto Club Dragway this past weekend. The Hedman Headers Nostalgic Street Car Class saw an exciting group of 17 drivers make the cut for Sunday’s eliminations. After battling it out for qualifying spots, Matt Loutsenhizer and his Ford would take the number one seed heading into round one.
After putting down an excellent qualifying time, round one of the eliminations was quite the disappointment for number one seeded Matt Loutsenhizer as he was knocked out early by number ten qualifier Charlie Jorgenson. Crowd favorite and 2012 champion Mike Nordahl and his ‘64 Nova recorded an easy win over opponent Paul Wolfe on a false start technicality moving him to round number two. Jan Vanderpool and his ’67 Mustang also scored an early victory over Evan Kowalski running a 10.559 on a 10.50 index with a .075 reaction time. And finally, 2013 champion Ron Dehoop and his red white and blue Chevelle scored a “W” over winner of the Pomona event Hank Pramov, running a 10.545 at 117.24mph.
The herd began to thin in the second round as track veterans fought their way to the top. Mike Nordhal ran a quick 10.648 on a blistering .002 reaction time to knock out opponent Ron Danly who ran a 10.533 at 125.94 mph. Ron Dehoop had a close call in his second run of the day as he and his opponent both broke out. Fortunately for Ron he would have the quicker time of the two moving him to round three. Shortly after, Jan Vanderpool and his Mustang would score another impressive victory against series veteran Steve Cox and his ’68 Camaro during a heads up battle. Jan ran a 10.559 at 127.85 mph while Steve broke, giving him the golden ticket to the next round.
Charlie Jorgensen’s luck ran out in the third round when Jan Vanderpool laid down an impressive 10.527 on a .069 index crossing the line .964 seconds quicker than his opponent. Mike Nordahl also took another step towards the finals while Bryan Strange broke out, coming in .05 of a second faster than his index time. Ron Dehoop and his Chevelle were safe from elimination with a bye run automatically moving him to round four.
In the fourth round it was the veterans Vanderpool and DeHoop battling for their spot in the finals. Ron Dehoop’s consistent times throughout the day continued as he defeated Jan in the semi-finals running a 10.538 on a .065, while Jan ran a 10.551 on a .089 reaction time. At the end of the round it all came down to the final two drivers, and past series champions, Mike Nordahl and Ron Dehoop.
The two former champions and crowd favorites lined up for the fifth and final round on Sunday to see who would take home the Wally. Both drivers left it all on the strip in an exciting heads up finale. With both competitors lining up with 10.50 indexes it was Mike Nordhal who left first with a .019 reaction off the line. Dehoop was just .003 of a second behind, chasing down the ‘64 Nova to the finish. Both drivers came in below the index time but it was Dehoop that came was closer to his index, winning him the Wally.