Photo by Jeff Unfried

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Thanks to Peak Products and Blue Def for being the Event Winner sponsor. Also special thanks to Jerry Streb and Mike Klontz for helping make the event move along smoothly.

Check out our website www.glnfcc.com and our Facebook page for up to date information.