NMRA/NMCA Power Festival
Location:US 131 Motorsports Park, Martin, MI | Date: 7/23–7/25
A REASON WE’RE FIGHTING
Written by: Rex Roy
During a brief pause in the action at US 131 Motorsports Park, NMRA and NMCA President and CEO Steve Wolcott told PRI, “We’re so thankful to SEMA and PRI for all of the hard work to fight to protect motorsports.”
Yes, PRI is engaged in the symbolic fight to protect motorsports as we know it. And this weekend’s event exemplifies the reason we’re pursuing legislative action to preserve both competition and commerce by lobbying for the passage of the RPM Act.
And it’s part of what brought the PRI Road Tour to the Midwest to visit “The Fastest Track in Michigan,” where we saw more than 500 race cars compete in heads-up and index categories. Hundreds of drivers from all over North America made thousands of total passes throughout the four days of competition, which was also highlighted by an impressive, all-domestic car show and manufacturer midway. Not even summer downpours could stop the action at the US 131 Motorsports Park.
Headlining the weekend was the National Mustang Racing Association (NMRA) and National Muscle Car Association (NMCA), which are owned by ProMedia Events & Publishing. This business entity literally makes races happen by creating turnkey events based on great competition and family-oriented fun. This combination creates a healthy commercial ecosystem that supports tracks, the surrounding communities, racers, and related businesses. The group has attracted major sponsorship packages from Holley, Ford, and others, and sponsored classes include names like VP Racing, Mickey Thompson, Edelbrock, Extreme Street, Richmond Gear, Exedy Racing Clutch, ARP, Detroit Locker, HP Tuners, and Whipple.
The breadth of the field was dramatic, from Tony Hobson’s full-race Mustangs that ran a 4.30 at 164 mph to the stock bracket racers that dialed in at a leisurely 15 seconds. Another highlight was witnessing Samantha Moore pull away from Michael Lewandowski to take the win in the JDM Engineering Limited Street class with an 8.42 second run at 165.81 mph. Moore ran a ProCharger P-1X supercharger off-the-shelf blower and shocked the filled bleachers with her scorching final run.
Then there was the goosebumps every time Craig Sullivan pulled his wild 1949 Mercury “El Mero Mero” to the line in Outlaw Pro Mod. Rather than use one of the standard bodies (like a Camaro), Sullivan struck out on his own for his newest car making its debut over the weekend. The all-carbon fiber body came to life as Sullivan and the team at Larry Jeffers Race Cars modified an available fiberglass street rod body. The result would be well received in LA, where lowrider cars are popular and respected for their detailing and craftsmanship. Much to the delight of everybody at the track, Sullivan drove the Hemi-powered Merc to the Pro Mod Winners Circle on Sunday afternoon.
The PRI Road Tour was also treated to the Richmond Gear Factory Stock division, which runs two valves per cylinder. There, Mark Anderson not only earned the number-one qualifier position but took the win in his high-revving Fox-bodied Mustang. Then, running progressively quicker each elimination round, he dusted defending class champion John Leslie Jr. in the finals.
Stacked with 33 cars in the field, the ARP Open Comp division showcased the ultimate in racing through its five rounds. Jason Henson prevailed in his Mustang by nailing his dial-in to win the coveted Edelbrock Victor Award.
The full results from the Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival presented by Force Engineering can be found on the NMRA/NMCA website, here.
The Power Festival was just the fifth of many stops on the PRI Road Tour’s schedule this year. These visits, and our all-encompassing coverage of the events, illustrate that racing is not just a hobby but a complex matrix of businesses that support countless North American communities. These businesses, and these communities, are worth fighting for.
Indeed, NMCA’s general manager and national events director Rollie Miller told PRI at the event, “Without the RPM Act being passed, our events will come to an end.” Miller is referencing the impact that EPA enforcement actions are expected to have on production-based racing. And since virtually every vehicle that runs at NMRA/NMCA events was initially purchased from a new car dealer then modified for racing, Miller’s point is valid.
Racing is a business, and becoming a member of PRI is the best way to protect our sport and our livelihoods. Check out PRI’s new membership options for individuals and businesses here. Plan to attend the 2021 PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis on December 9–11 to catch up with the latest products and services. To register as an attendee for the 2021 PRI Trade Show, visit here.