The end of September at Great Lakes Dragaway marks the final Nitrous Street Car Brawl of the season, and with it the last race of 2017 for the Midwest Nostalgia Pro Stock Association.
While the weather looked great, the Midwest was engulfed with heat that was more characteristic of mid-summer than early autumn. Nonetheless, GLD had the track flawlessly prepared and most of our runs would take place under cooler night time air. Besides. As long as it wasn’t raining, we were happy.
A great lineup of drivers/teams were on hand. Kelly Dill, Hannah Fleischman, Dan Manesis, Josh Parks, Rusty Sternal Jr., John Sylos, Arlee Williams III and Bob Unger all took their places in the pits. Several other drivers and crew members were also on hand, including Rodney Daniels, Sam & Stan Janik, Allan Haapakoski, Tyler Shenuk and Jim Vogeler. Your presence (and help!) was greatly appreciated.
Leading off our Team Meeting was RFC Chaplain Russell Schappert to bless us with a safe race day. Then Dan would run down the day’s schedule and relay important news.
Before heading to the lanes, we honored Allie Shenuk on the momentous occasion of her 21st birthday!
From the pits to the staging lanes, preparation goes on….
…and so does the camaraderie.
Josh: “Tyler. I’m really bummed you’re not driving today! I wanted a cheese curd rematch!”
Tyler: “Um yea. We’ll do it first race next year.”
Now we get down to the first of three scheduled matches.
In the first pair our ladies square off with Hannah Fleischman taking the left lane in the blue Vega, while Kelly Dill takes the right. After Kelly and the pink Pinto wowed the crowd with a 100′ burnout, both drivers staged, then cut great lights with the advantage to Ms. Dill. She and her Ford held the lead to the stripe. 8.297/161.84 to 10.489/125.90.
Rather than his flashy “Unger Taker” Vega, Bob Unger was wheeling the “Summer Hummer” Camaro that he and his late brother raced for years. Taking him on was Rusty Sternal Jr. in Jesse Braham’s “Hillbilly Racing” Camaro. Rusty got the jump on Bob, but he then fell off. Unger wins with a 10.768/125.57 to Strenal’s 11.631/81.60.
Another pair of our young guns here, with Josh Parks taking on Arlee Williams III. Both really laid down some smoke in the side by side burnouts, with the fans loving it! And then when it counted the “Doc Holliday” Arrow left Parks’ Nova on the starting line, and held the lead to the stripe despite Josh’s valiant top end charge. “The driver did his job” said Lamont Hanna of Arlee. Williams’ numbers, 8.903/153.24 to Parks’ 8.981/149.50.
John Sylos and Dan Manesis would be next, but mechanical problems kept Manesis’ “Sam Brown Dodge” Colt in the pits. Sylos would take a single in the “Fasching-Brown/Team Strange” Firebird, running an impressive 7.624/180.65.
After a quick turnaround were again in the lanes.
After Kelly Dill & “Cotton Pony” laid down some smoke, Arlee Williams pulled out of the water and got the Arrow a little squirrelly. After calming down, both drivers cut great lights with the advantage to Williams. But he two stepped it and that allowed Kelly to win the round.
Hanna would then square off against Unger’s Camaro for the first time. She and the Fleischman Family Vega have a slight starting line advantage on Bob, and just when it looks like he’s catching up, the car falls off. Fleischman, 10.478/124.86 to Unger’s 13.600/66.65.
Before heading to the Lanes, Rusty Sternal was saying Hillbilly Racing Crew Chief Danny Ortiz would have something for Josh Parks. Josh had other ideas, treeing Sternal with a best of the day .011 reaction time. While Rusty wheeled the Jesse Branham owned car to a significant improvement from round 1, it wasn’t enough to hold off Josh. Parks, 8.960/148.58 to Sternal’s 9.890/135.91.
With Manesis’ Colt in the trailer, John Sylos would take another single. After coming out of the waterbox hard on the burnout, Sylos’ crew guided him into the beams for another big run. After launch, the car suddenly turned and impacted the opposite wall. After getting it stopped, John exited the car under his own power and fortunately sustained no injuries. Said Dan Manesis, “While anything can happen in this sport, the safety of our drivers is placed above all else. The car did its job in keeping John safe, and for that we are grateful. We would also like to thank Great Lakes Dragaway’s track and safety team, including Randy and Claire, for the quick response. It was greatly appreciated.”
Despite this incident, this race, and in fact the entire season was a great success for the Midwest Nostalgia Pro Stock Association. Our season consisted of 11 events at some of drag racing’s greatest tracks. 15 teams raced with us, with more waiting in the wings for 2018. The best part was doing this for the best fans in all of drag racing. We loved meeting with so many of you, and we hope we inspired our younger fans to get involved in drag racing.
Please continue to visit our webpage for the latest news and features. Check in with us on Facebook to see what our teams are up to this off season, as well as future announcements, including the 2018 schedule.