Edelbrock-equipped cars came out with a vengeance at the 2018 season-opening NMRA/NMCA drag races and by the time the two sanctioning bodies concluded their respective seasons, many of those cars had become familiar sights in the final-round pairings throughout the year. After all was said and done, Edelbrock-sponsored racers were champions in the National Mustang Racers Association categories of Street Outlaw, Renegade, Open Comp, and Ford Muscle, as well as the National Muscle Car Association’s Extreme Street, Street Outlaw, Nostalgia Super Stock, and Nostalgia Muscle Car classes.
A potent supercharged Mustang running Edelbrock cylinder heads put Andy Manson in the winner’s circle at Bradenton Motorsports Park and consistency at each outing after that earned him his first championship in NMRA Street Outlaw competition. Meanwhile, Andy Warren drove his wheel-standing 1971 Chevy Caprice with its Edelbrock-inducted 434 Chevy engine to three NMCA race wins including the season opener in Florida and the World Street Finals at Indy. Warren’s starting line skills have helped make him the winningest driver in NMCA history.
The “Gold Dust” Mustang of Shawn Ayers packs a pair of Edelbrock cylinder heads and is the current NMCA Street Outlaw ET record holder with a 4.23-second elapsed time backed up by a 4.24. Ayers drove the “Gold Dust” Mustang to three Street Outlaw final-round wins in 2018 with enough points to take the series championship.
In the Edelbrock Renegade class of NMCA competition, the Hellion Turbo B-Team Mustang piloted by Frank Varela ended 2018 at the top of the points list. Starting with a final-round appearance at the Spring Break Shootout last March, Varela immediately followed up with a win at the All-Star Nationals in April, a round 2 finish at the Motorsport Nationals, a runner-up finish at the Super Nationals, a victory at the Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing, and a semi-final finish at the World Finals. In spite of a super-successful 2018 season in the Edelbrock Renegade class, word has it that Varela and the Hellion Team will field a new ride in 2019.
In the heads-up small-tire class known as Edelbrock Xtreme Street, Jessie Coulter was consistent with his Edelbrock-equipped 388-inch LSX Camaro, and in spite of missing the first race at Bradenton, a series of final-round finishes and wins resulted with Coulter at the top of the points chart after the Finals.
Three NMRA Open Comp wins in 2018 including back-to-back victories at the Super Nationals in June and the Super Bowl in July put Gordon Harlow and his 1989 Ford Mustang in the points lead by season’s end. This was no easy battle for Harlow though as the Open Comp class is hotly contested with a large field of entries at each event. The championship here was no gift, and big congratulations go to Harlow and his team.
Any domestic car or truck bearing the Ford Blue Oval emblem and running a Ford engine can compete in the indexed foot brake-only class called Ford Muscle. With two final-round appearances including a win at the 13th Annual NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing, it was Bryan Parker running a beautiful 1968 Mustang Fastback that ended the season on top. Parker, who was the class champion in 2017, runs an Edelbrock-equipped 347-cubic-inch small-block in an otherwise stock restoration. His previous game-winning Coupe was a consistent 12-second car, but the Fastback, with a few choice engine improvements is a low-11-second performer.
Kevin Gass made his presence known in NMCA Nostalgia Super Stock with back-to-back event wins at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Drag Racing and the NMCA All-American Nationals. His bright red Edelbrock-equipped 1966 Chevelle SS quickly became a crowd favorite with its wheel-standing launches off the line. Gass finished the 2018 season with 2,425 points, just 245 ahead of Corky Bumpus.
From the top pro classes of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) to the many street and modified doorslammer classes of the NMCA and NMRA, 2018 has been one of the most exciting seasons of drag racing and the team at Edelbrock is proud to see so many racers winning with Edelbrock manifolds, heads, nitrous systems, and superchargers. NMCA and NMRA 2018 champions will be crowned at a special awards ceremony on December 7, 2018 at the Indiana Convention Center. For those planning on competing or following the action in NMCA and NMRA drag racing in 2019, the national series schedules have been posted to their respective websites. Congratulations to all of the competitors for an exciting 2018 season of racing!