Dennis Salzwimmer, the leader of the Great Lakes Nostalgia Funny Car Circuit stands in front of the more than 2 dozen classic funny cars that gathered at this years 9th annual Pace Performance Funny Car Nationals held at Quaker City Motorsports Park’s Nostalgia Classic.
2016 Quaker City Motorsports Park Nostalgia Classic & 9th Annual Pace Performance Funny Car Nationals
May 28-29th 2016
Quaker City Motorsports Park, Salem, OH
It was Memorial Day weekend and it was time for the Quaker City Motorsports Park Nostalgia Classic and the 9th Annual Pace Performance Funny Car Nationals to roll into town. According to the entire North East Ohio meteorologist contingent it did not promise to be a dry weekend. As they often are, they were wrong at least in Salem, Ohio. Friday was sunny and pretty warm, Saturday was hot & sticky with one pop up shower and Sunday was just warm and cloudy.
This year we were pushing a weekend pass. Saturday Night was billed as Funny Cars under the Lights brought to you by Good Vibrations Motorsports with a special attraction; we added a new versus old funny car race with Bunny Burkett in the Avenger funny car taking on Scott Ringwood in the Mistress 78 Corvette. We also had a special Husband versus Wife race with Chris Massarella in the Total Insanity Blown Monza taking on Krista Massarella in her Temporary Insanity Monza. Plus there was plenty of time to hang out with all of the drivers during the night.
John Troxel’s period-perfect funny car, Mopar Crazy, was on hand once again this year with friend and legend Roland Leong helping out. The Flying Butcher Chris Schneider took home the blown class Best Reaction Time Award sponsored by Good Vibrations Motorsports.
After a day of bracket racing it was time to start the Saturday night festivities. First out was the divorce settlement match race. The two Monzas came out with great burnouts and a few old fashion dry hops, both cars are painted identical so it was like double exposure. The way this was to work was each car would dial in from their career best ETs. Well the tree was not set correctly and the tree came down evenly. Krista did come out first and held Chris off till about half track and then the blown big block passed by for the win.
Next up was the challenge of new versus old. Matt Stambaugh driving Bunny’s car came out with the traditional half-track burnout with the American Flag waving proudly over the car. Scott Ringwood came out with a great burnout also. Both cars staged and Scott was out like a shot taking the win with a 6.43 over the Avenger.
After the feature there were several of the funny car teams making test passes trying to dial in their cars for the following day.
Jon Wall and his team brought the Fireball Monza tribute out to the Funny Car Nationals for the first time and took home the Peak Winners Trophy. Jon outpaced last years winner, Ron Ooms and the Streaker’s Ride funny car.
After finishing up more bracket racing the sun had disappeared and it was time for some funny cars under the lights. Again several of the teams made test shots. The Massarella’s took the track once again. This time Chris took the nod and never looked back.
Once again the Bunny Burkett Avenger was set to take on the Mistress Corvette. After the two smoky burnouts the stage was set, Scott was out first and took the win. This was not a typical night for the Avenger and the crew stayed till the wee hours of the morning to try to solve the problems.
The Sunday sun came up early and the pits were already buzzing with activity. The crowd was treated to an on track photo session reminiscent of the old days with all 28 funny cars lined up on the race track for a photo shoot with the drivers standing proudly in front of their rides.
Winner of this years Injected funny car class John DeCort Burnout Award was Bob Daly and his Warhorse Mustang II from New Jersey. Bob also took home the Best Reaction Time Award at last years event.
After the photo shoot there was time for autographs and then the drivers were busy preparing their cars for the upcoming two round Chicago-style eliminations.
It was time for a few pre-race introductions with Bret Kepner the guest announcer and Dennis Salzwimmer who along with Quaker City Motorsports Park puts this great event together. Dennis explained that next year will be the 10th Anniversary of the Pace Performance Funny Car Nationals and he promised that it would be a 32 car field! The crowd seemed very excited with that announcement.
After the National Anthem the Total Insanity Monza and the Solid Rock Mustang came up and over the hill to lead into a tremendous burnout. The Mustang did not run strong as usual and the Monza took the win.
Another New Jersey team making their first Funny Car Nationals was the Injected Iron Outlaw Mustang II of the father and son team of Bob and Jami Russell. This beautiful car was painted by Sano’s Custom Paint and lettered by Glen Weisgerber.
Tom & Steve Timoszyk brought out their recently finished recreation of Poncho Rendon’s Detroit Tiger Monza; they took on Jon Wall in another 70’s car, the Fireball Monza racing out of Massachusetts. Both cars put on a show for the crowd, the Fireball Monza moved first and put him into what would be the finals with a 7.02.
With almost 13 pairs of funny cars this was just some of the highlights.
It was after mid-day and the time was set to run the second round to see who would face one another in the finals. As an added treat Scott Ringwood agreed to give the Bunny Burkett team a chance to possibly go home with at least one win. Both cars seemed ready for the call. While backing up from the burnout the Mistress Corvette was shut off due to a broken blower belt. The two went back to the pits to regroup and would return at the end of the round.
Bob Toth driving Rocky Roxlau’s Time Bomb thrilled the crowd with a big burnout that took the John DeCort Best Burnout Award back home to New Jersey.
The injected funny cars were first out with some very good runs. The car that caught everyone’s attention was the recently painted beautiful Iron Outlaw Mustang II driven by Jamie Russell. This car was brought out at the end of last season and it will be a force to be reckoned with powered by an injected 426 Hemi.
Bob Daly and the Warhorse Mustang II came out with a Chi Town Hustler style burnout. Bob ended up taking the burnout contest in the injected class for both the first & second round.
The Pol–Cal Corvette hailing from Hamburg NY took on the Mopar Crazy Challenger which is tuned by Roland Leong. Chris Schneider pulled a whole shot on John and took the win with a 7.78 to a losing 7.57.
Paul Zona and his gorgeous DangerZone Vega came from Massachusetts helping represent the East team at their first Funny Car Nationals this year.
The Mistress Corvette was fixed so it was time for them to take on Bunny & the Boys one last time. Super-shoe Matt Stambaugh brought out the Avenger with a thunderous burnout. Matt was out first but the Corvette reeled him and took the win.
It was time for the finals, first up Frank Barnard in the Poison Arrow was up against the No Money No Funny Nova driven by Willie Johnson. These two cars have been up against each other in several finals. The Poison Arrow spun the tire right at the hit and never recovered with Willie taking the win.
Tom & Steve Timoszyk brought out their recently finished recreation of Poncho Rendon’s Detroit Tiger Monza and Steve put smiles on the crowd’s faces with his burnouts and fast side-by-side racing.
The blown finals were next with Jon Wall in the Fireball Monza who ran a 7.02 taking on Ron Ooms in the Streaker’s Ride Camaro with a 7.09. The Monza came out first with a killer burnout. The two staged and it was a race to the finished with the Fireball Monza taking the win.
Bunny & the Boys had been working feverishly to try and determine what the problem was with the car as it had not ran up to par all weekend. They came out one last time as the show came to an end. The spectators that were still there were treated to a fine 6.27 run as they finally fixed there problem. This is probably the quickest run in a piston driven vehicle that this track has seen in some time.
Mid-west racer Bill Walls brought his Dodge Omni Nitro Flier funny car to race in his first Funny Car Nationals for the mid-west team.
The special awards that were handed out at this years event included The Burnout Award given in memory Of John DeCort who ran with the GLNFCC, Supercharged Warriors and owned a local chassis shop. It was presented by Friends of John DeCort.
It is very hard to put together a report that would do justice of running 55 funny car passes in 4 hours. It was a spectacular show with exciting runs and beautiful race cars. You don’t want to miss this event next year so mark the date on your calendar or on your phone: May 28th, 2017.
Bunny Burkett waves to the crowd on the way down to pick up her driver, Matt Stambaugh. Bunny was reeling from just having lost her father only days before and also having undergone surgery, but wouldn’t be stopped from making it out to Ohio for a one-of-a-kind funny car race.
We want to thank Pace Performance for being the presenting sponsor once again this year. They also had the Pace Performance show trailer on display. The trailer has a big array of the products and engines that Pace Performance has to offer.
Thanks to Norm Fox and all of the Quaker City Motorsports Park staff that made this such a memorial event. The facility is top notch a pleasure to race at, as well as, attend as a spectator.
Thanks to Jim and James Maher of Good Vibrations Motorsports for sponsoring the Quickest Reaction Award and for again coming all the way from California to be at this years event.
Winner of the Blown Class was Jon Wall and the Go Fast Geezer team and their Fireball Monza funny car. Photo by Rick Lee.
Winner of the Injected Class was Willie Johnson and the No Money No Funny Nova funny car. Photo by Rick Lee.
Peak Event Winner
Jon Wall, Fireball Monza
Willie Johnson, No Money No Funny
Best Reaction Time
Chris Schneider, Mopar Crazy
Frank Barnard, Poison Arrow
The Burnout Awards
1st Round: Bob Toth, Time Bomb
2nd Round: Chris Massarella, Total Insanity
1st Round: Bob Daly, Warhorse
2nd Round: Bob Daly, Warhorse
Back Up Girl Award
Winner: Krista Massarella