Alex Rogeo started the 2016 NMCA West championship series by securing the #1 qualifier spot in the Quick Street class at the Nitto Tires Spring Nationals at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California, and took her Liquid Glow Arrington Performance 2007 Dodge Magnum down to the final five cars. With the qualifying bonus points, she starts the season in fourth place.
“This was our first NMCA West race,” said Alex. “We’ve made this our main points series for the year and the level of competition is really high. There are racers here that have won so many races, so many various championships over the years that we knew going into this that this was going to be both fun and really tough.”
This race comes on the heels of Alex’s win at Muscle Cars at the Strip two weeks ago in the Arrington Performance New HEMI Challenge class. The team had some work to do between the two races.
“We had something not quite right with the transmission,” said Alex. “We took the car to Westminster Performance Transmission and the team there went through it and found a sticky valve. They fixed that and the transmission performed flawlessly all weekend. Also, this is a stock-based race car and we have had problems off and on for the last two years with cutting and throwing engine supercharger belts. The car went to Mountain View Performance in Rancho Cucamonga and Dave Beckley implemented an idea my crew chief, Richard Kratz had come up with that looks like it has ended our belt problem for good. We not only ran in the 9s all weekend, but we ran really consistently.”
“This weekend we really got to focus on learning the car,” said Richard. “We were sorting out a lot of teething problems with this car which has had so many upgrades since the end of last season. By Saturday I was getting a good handle on the car setup and that let Alex find her groove at the tree. By Sunday, the car was a machine running lap after lap within thousandths of a second.”
During qualifying on Saturday, the team looked at going into the last round of qualifying satisfied with the car and ready to go for a good qualifying spot. Quick Street qualifies based on reaction time so the car setup was changed slightly for the last round. After the first two rounds, Chris Davis had the provisional pole with a .001 reaction time, so there wasn’t a lot of room with which to work, only a perfect light could take the pole at that point. Late in the afternoon, Alex staged the car and managed to get a perfect .000 reaction time to secure the #1 qualifying spot and the bonus points that went with it. On Sunday, Alex took the car through three tough rounds of competition and her reward was to face prior class champion, Jeff Interlicchia. Alex went red by .018 and that ended her day.
“Of course I was mad at myself for that red light,” Alex said. “But, we’re leaving here in fourth place and that’s a pretty good position to start the season in. I’m already looking forward to the next race.”
Alex thanked all of her marketing partners, “I am so lucky to have such great partners. Thank you to MAHLE Aftermarket and MAHLE Motorsports, Magnuson Superchargers, Manley Performance, Diablosport, LAT Oil, Champion Spark Plugs, shopHEMI.com, Mickey Thompson Tires, Hedman Hedders, Driveshaft Shop, Bell Racing, Mountain View Performance, Weld Racing, AEM Electronics and Big John’s Performance. I couldn’t be where I am without these great companies.”