NMCA Pulls the Chutes on Another Great Season!

The National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) once again pulled the wraps on another great season at their World Street Finals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. It had its share of intense drag racing competition in a variety of classes that are synonymous with all six NMCA events across the country. Among the heat of these battles, a mix of diehard and dedicated hardcore and amateur Dodge//Mopar® racers competed in their Drag Paks, SRT® Demons, SRT Hellcats and many other Chrysler-powered machines that span generations. “The NMCA World Street Finals was another great event for all our racers and was the perfect venue to cap off another great racing season,” said Rollie Miller, General Manager and National Event Director/NMCA. “The drag strip conditions and starting line surface at IRP (Indianapolis Raceway Park) was excellent as our crew did a wonderful job staying on top of the track prep. We’re already planning our 2024 schedule and can’t wait to kick off the new season next year!” 

A racer that took advantage of the awesome track and weather conditions was AJ Berge in his Revolution Paradox RAMCHARGERS Challenger Drag Pak. He dominated the Holley EFI Factory Super Cars class during the NMCA World Street Finals, and this was his second event win of 2023 as he was victorious at the NMCA season opener back in March. Getting to the winner’s circle at Indy also netted AJ a $10,000 bonus courtesy of the Dodge Direct Connection Contingency Program. “Despite the fact we only attended five of the six NMCA races this year, we ended up finishing second in points in the Holley EFI Factory Super Cars class. I am so proud of my team as this is our first full season on our own. The path getting here was without drama after competing at the NHRA Dodge Power Brokers US Nationals however, we’ve been fighting this car all year. Our Drag Pak just wasn’t behaving well and was very inconsistent. The car was driving all over the place and we could not get it to hit the tree at all, resulting in a string of red lights,” exclaimed Berge. 

“After the NHRA US Nationals, we found a major structural deficiency in the chassis design that led to some of the components cracking in two places. Not knowing if this was the end of the season or even the car, we contacted Mike Roth from MR2 Race Cars, and he told us to load the Drag Pak and make the trip from Long Island back to Indy! He cleared his schedule, took it right in and created a masterpiece in just eight short days! We literally took the car straight to NMCA, set the pole, low ET and speed record, and won the race! This is a Cinderella story for all of my team and the people that support, such as Whipple Superchargers, Rossler Transmissions, David Barton, Mike and Laura Wagner of Ramchargers, Security Dodge and Revolution Paradox. Our next stop is the NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis where we hope to build on this momentum!”

Over in the pits and running two different NMCA classes was Jessica Sipple and her hopped-up and highly modified 2009 Challenger aptly named “Tigger.” She and her husband are hardcore Mopar racers and love what they do. “NMCA is one of the greatest series to race in. For the 2023 season, we started the series racing at Rockingham Dragway back in April. My Challenger was not ready to race at that time, so I decided to race my 2018 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. I ran in three classes at that race, HEMI® Shootout, Open Comp and Bracket Open. That really sparked the fire in me to go to more NMCA races,” said Jessica. 

“After all the fun we had at NMCA All-American Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park last month, we decided we were going to head to Indianapolis Raceway Park for the last NMCA race of the season, The World Street Finals. Let me just say, it was one of the best race weekends I have ever had. I made new friends, and I got to see so many of my race family. I did get to help and guide some of my friends with racing tips and anything else they needed help with. That is what really makes the weekend the best. I ran in the HEMI Shootout and Open Comp. I made the ‘Quick 8’ for the HEMI Shootout again and went 3 rounds in Open Comp. We started with a field of 64 cars in Open Comp and I made it down to the ‘Sweet 16.’ I was so proud of myself as Open Comp is a very competitive class. I did go out in the first round of the Quick 8, but I was definitely okay with that, considering I was going rounds in open comp. My car ran several personal best runs at Indianapolis, with the best being a 9.379 ET at 146.81 mph. If it weren’t for my best crew chief and husband, Jon Sipple, I may not have competed as well. NMCA posted the points standings for Open Comp, and I finished 27th out of 123 people. I was pretty blown away by that. Next year, we will be running every NMCA race event, where I will strive to be higher in the points standing list. I definitely can’t wait until the 2024 NMCA race season starts!”

Another Mopar racer who made history at Indy was Mark Nowicki, who successfully defended his 2022 NMCA Super Stock World Championship. Racing his consistent 1998 Dodge Avenger that’s powered by a Drag Pak 360/5.9L Magnum and converted to a rear-wheel-drive configuration, Mark came up one round short of a win at the NMCA World Street Finals.

Despite not winning a race this season, Nowicki claimed the Super Stock championship on his solid three runner-up finishes. He’s been drag racing since the 1970s and knows how to dial-in his car and cut a good light. “Drag racing is much more than those few seconds down the track,” said Mark. “It’s amazing how each nine-second run takes so much preparation but goes by so fast. Staying focused every race day can be challenging,” said Nowicki. “When you have to operate at peak performance for every run, there really is no margin for error.”

With the 2023 NMCA season now history, here’s something to keep your mind occupied until we fire up our cars and head to the season opener in Florida next year!