Memorial Day weekend marked the season opener for the Midwest Nostalgia Pro Stock Association at Great Lakes Dragaway’s two day long Memorial Day Classics. And a memorable weekend it was, with spectacular performances on the track and camaraderie in the pits.
In this third appearance at the Memorial Day Classics, the Midwest Nostalgia Pro Stock Association brought twelve drivers, their crews & families and settled into the pits. On hand were Bob Cattelino, Kelly Dill, Hannah Fleischman, Bob Haapakoski, Dan Manesis, Mike Morrill, Danny Ortiz, Jim Parks, Josh Parks, Tyler Shenuk, Bob Unger and Arlee Williams III.
Making their debut with us were Bob Unger in the “Unger Taker” Vega, and Mike Morrill in the “Laconio & Allen” Monza, which he recently acquired from Bob Cattelino. Jim Parks also had his new “Red Rat” Vega on hand making its race debut, with the familiar Gibb Camaro set to retire from racing. Making his driving debut with the group was Hillbilly Racing’s Crew Chief Danny Ortiz, substituting for Peter Sarauer.
Also with to support us while their race cars are being readied for competition later in the season were Mark Ipsen and Sam and Stan Janik. Of course, Friend of MNPSA, Rodney Daniels joined us, giving assistance wherever needed.
After some members of the group made early test passes, it was time to get down to business.
In the first of the three Saturday rounds, Kelly Dill and her ‘lil Cotton Pony Pinto immediately served notice with a winning ET of 8.418 over Arlee Williams. Kelly repeated her Round 1 performance with an identical ET in the 2nd Round, this time over Josh Parks. Unfortunately, in Round 2, Haapakoski and Manesis were not able to make the call due to parts failure.
Before the evening session began, Great Lakes Dragaway presented the opening ceremonies, which included a rousing rendition of the national anthem by rock guitarist Tallan Noble Latz. Thanks to Bob Cattelino and MNPSA sponsor Top Notch Vehicles for sponsoring this talented young man.
In the night session, Arlee Williams III in the Doc Holliday Plymouth was in no hurry to stage his car against Tyler Shenuk. Shenuk decided to exhibit “patience” as well. Over a minute later both drivers finally lit the stage bulbs, the tree came down, and Tyler’s Firebird went around A3 for the win just beyond half track.
After watching Dill’s taillights from one end of the track to the other in Round 2, Josh Parks left on Kelly in a big way. Like by .037! Was it enough to hold off the powerful little pink Ford? NO…! Kelly built up a 161 MPH head of steam and went around Josh’s Nova for the win. What an exciting first day of Nostalgia Pro Stock racing!
Unlike the bright and dry sky on Saturday morning, Sunday’s Southeast Wisconsin skies were wet and grey. By noon, Mother Nature decided to back off, GLD’s track crew went to work, and we would soon take to the track.
As trailers were unloaded a few changes were evident. Experiencing new car blues with the Red Rat, Jim Parks “unretired” the Fred Gibb Camaro for the remainder of the weekend. Peter Sarauer came helmet in hand to once again to wheel Jesse Branham’s Camaro. Steve Fleishman took over driving duties from an under the weather Hannah, who would oversee the car at the starting line. And when Bob Unger did not make the call in Saturday’s 3rd Round due to parts failure and the car torn down as we left late on Saturday evening, it was a pleasant surprise to see the purple Vega ready to race when we rolled in the next day. Great job Bob and team!
With an even eight on Day 2, we were ready to set pairings. Were rivalries forgotten over night? Heck no… Josh insisted on another chance at Kelly, and he was certainly up to the task, posting nearly identical numbers as the night before while leaving on Dill again. But Kelly was also ready, leaving only .010 behind the Nova and crossing the stripe ahead of young Mr. Parks. As for Williams and Shenuk? Yes, they too tangled again with Arlee getting the better of Tyler at both ends of the track.
In the 2nd and last round of the weekend the closest race was the Tyler Shenuk/Josh Parks match. Josh got the jump on Ty by .033. Shenuk was closing in fast on the Yenko Nova, but ran out of racetrack. Parks took the win 8.942 to Tyler’s quicker 8.925. A margin of .016 seconds.
Here are the weekend’s numbers.
Most Round Wins: Kelly Lynn Dill, 5 of 5.
Low ET: Kelly Lynn Dill, 8.418, Saturday Round 1 and 2.
Top Speed: Kelly Lynn Dill, 161.55 Sunday Round 1
Best Reaction Time: Kelly Lynn Dill, .012 Saturday Round 2
Best Average RT: Kelly Lynn Dill, .042.
Most Consistent ET: Josh Parks, .066 difference between best to worst.
Closest Finish: Josh Parks (.033 RT, 8.942 ET, 148.66 MPH) over Tyler Shenuk (.063 RT, 8.925 ET, 153.50), .016 MOV.
The Midwest Nostalgia Pro Stock Association now takes to the road, and will be traveling to Central Illinois Dragway for the Spring Nostalgia Race on Saturday June 3, 2017. Visit the Midwest Nostalgia Pro Stock Association webpage to view our full schedule, news, driver profiles, galleries and more. And please visit and “Like” our Facebook Page for chat and the latest information.