It was early February when the National Muscle Car Association announced that Hedman Hedders would become the title sponsor of the newly-renamed Hedman Nostalgia Street Car class for the NMCA West series through the 2014 season, the pairing seemed like a no-brainer. The category runs “index-style” rules allowing racers of all speeds to be competitive as long as they are piloting a 1982 or older muscle car, which also happens to be the same gearheads that compose a huge chunk of Hedman’s customer base.
The first test of the partnership would come when NMCA West opened its 2012 season in late June at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif. Judging by the stacked field that completely filled out a 24-car bracket pitting GTOs against Chevelles and Camaros against Mustangs, the action on the strip show early indications that NMCA and Hedman will be a fruitful one. At the end of the day there could be only one winner though, and the victor of the inaugural running of the Hedman Nostalgia Street Car class was Lemoore, Calif.’s David Dodd, Jr. who drove his 1970 Plymouth Duster to the Winner’s Circle.
With ETs hovering around the 11-second mark all weekend, David’s Duster didn’t have the quickest car in the group compared to other drivers covering the 1320 in 8- and 9-second territory, but the rules that emphasize consistency over speed worked to his advantage. David’s First Round opponent was a tough one in Ryan Rabe whose ’55 Shoebox made a habit of peeling off mid 8-second runs, but David received a free pass when Ryan went red by -0.01 of a second.
In Round Two, David used a 0.031 holeshot to beat David Burnitzki behind the wheel of a 1969 GTO to the stripe running an 11.093 on an 11-second dial-in to move on to the quarterfinals. It was there were David would earn another victory against Kenny Snow’s 1971 Chevy Vega courtesy of a quick reaction at the Tree. Kenny went 10.036 on a 10.00 dial with David going 11.115 on an 11.00 dial, but David’s 0.006 reaction time would seal a birth in the Semis where he would receive a single pass into the finals.
The last race of the weekend in the Hedman Nostalgia Street Car class saw David pull to the line next to Mike Nordahl of Fontana, Calif. and his 1964 Chevy II. Mike had the quicker car, dialing in at 10.50 compared to David’s 11.00 so David would be getting a half-second head start and he handled business, cutting down the tree with a 0.048 reaction time. David had already passed the lights on his way to an 11.085 pass and was long gone by the time Mike tripped the beams early with a -0.042 reaction time. Even had Mike cut a perfect light, his 10.739 wouldn’t have been enough to close the gap between him and David.
NMCA West will head to the legendary drag strip in Pomona, Calif. Aug. 17-19 next before taking the series to Phoenix, Arizona Sept. 21-23 and wrapping the 2012 season up in Fontana, Calif. Oct. 19-21. For more information on the NMCA West Series and the Hedman Nostalgia Street Car class, visit www.nmcadigital.com.