Let’s Get This Party Started

It’s finally race season and we can all rejoice as the smell of burning rubber will be filling the spring air. While the NHRA fired its opening shots last weekend at their annual Gatornationals over in Gainesville, things are still heating up in sunny Florida. The NMCA will launch its salvo of high explosive excitement this coming weekend at Orlando Speed World for their kick off race for 2023, the annual Muscle Car Mayhem event. While there’ll be many familiar faces and machines in pits and rolling through the staging lanes, this venue location is brand new for the NMCA. They’ve moved the location over to Orlando Speed World from the event’s former home of many years, Bradenton Motorsports Park. For some racers, this might present a slight challenge as many teams look at last year’s run data from a specific track to establish a baseline tune. But knowing the racers like we do, they’re smart cookies and will easily get a handle on track and weather conditions very quickly.

“NMCA is really excited to be at Orlando Speed Word,” said Steve Wolcott, President and CEO of ProMedia. “Being located in central Florida, this awesome track is in a great location and because it’s part of a major metropolitan area, there’s a huge fan base we can draw on. With Orlando’s excellent hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, it’s a wonderful also vacation destiny for fans who are looking for pure drag racing excitement. Fans and their families can check out cool cars and great side-by-side drag racing and the next day, visit the many theme parks in the area. The Orlando Speed World facility also has great amenities for racers and spectators alike.” Sounds like a ‘win-win’ for both NMCA and Orlando Speed World and speaking of winning, the Dodge//Mopar® HEMI® Shootout will be packed with over 70 entries laying rubber on the track and looking to win some cash in their ET bracket.

Rollie Miller, NMCA’s ‘Man of all Seasons’ who’s official title is General Manager and National Event Director at ProMedia, will be making sure the event goes smooth and the track prep will have tons of bite. “We’re looking forward to kicking off the 2023 season with our new track partners at Orlando Speed World. This is a permanent move for us and to get things going this year and the track and our great staff have many great things in-store for our racers and fans when they come through the gates. Speaking of great things, our contingency sponsors have increased the payout in the Holley EFI Factory Super Cars class. For the Challenger Drag Pak racers competing in Factory Super Cars, they can pocket up to $18,000 for each win per race,”

Many of our Drag Pak racers are also heading to Orlando Speed World. They been in Florida for weeks competing at events including the D H Davies Factory Stock Classic and the NHRA Gatornationals. For Long Island native AJ Berge, he and his RAMCHARGER’s Drag Pak have been soaking up the Florida sun all month. However, he’s not quite ready pack up and head back north as he’s ready to do it one more time in the sunshine state. “After losing in round three at the NHRA Gatornationals, I’m looking forward to redeeming myself at this weekend in NMCA race in Orlando,” said AJ Berge. This is Berge’s sophomore season racing in the NMCA’s Factory Super Cars class and after a win and runner-up finish last year, and finishing in Top Five in points, he’s ready to hit this season hard. “We’ve learned a few things since last weekend and are making changes to our tune-up and chassis set-up.”

Another Drag Pak competitor getting ready for the NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem race is Dennis Chaisson. He had a tough 2022 season with parts breakage and enough engine carnage that would make lesser racers thrown in the towel and wheel a minivan. Not Dennis, though, he’s tough and determined and ready. “We were excited to get our 2023 season started after a tough learning season under our belt last year. Confident that we had a good combination put together, we eagerly headed south the Florida for the first two races of the season, NHRA Gatornationals and Orlando NMCA,” smiled Dennis. “Competing at the Gatornationals was impressive, to race in front of the largest crowd in history was truly humbling to say the least! We really wanted to test and shake the car down after all the off-season changes and the car didn’t disappoint. We finally have the suspension working the way we want and can slowly start adding the power in that we need. Unfortunately, we blew a spark plug out in the first round of eliminations after we had found to have a slightly stripped plug hole in the head. Our team at Watson Racing made the needed repairs and we’re ready to rock. We’re very excited to get to Orlando Speed World and we feel that we have a very competitive car. We and are ready to show what we’ve been able to accomplish with the car in the off season and hopefully, we can make the loyal Mopar fans proud!”

So, let’s get this party started the only way we know how – lots of tire shredding, wheels up launches, and very fast times!