The National Muscle Car Association’s NMCA West series held its 2nd Annual West Coast Shootout at the Historic Auto Club Raceway in Pomona on Aug. 17-19, 2012. With air temperatures over 100-degrees and track temperatures pushing 140+ degrees, the 64 top competitors in the Hedman Hedders Nostalgia Street Car Class moved on from Saturday’s two qualifying rounds to a grueling seven-round elimination on Sunday. Learning a new meaning to the term “hot lapping,” Mike Nordahl of Fontana, Calif. drove his 1964 Chevy II into the Winner’s Circle.
After a handful of crashes on Saturday that led to a very slick racetrack, the race organizers decided to shorten the race from a quarter-mile down to an eighth-mile. Running on a 6.67 second dial-in, Mike Nordahl showed off the consistency of his Nova by running a near-perfect dial-in on his first run against a break-out by Clyde Alexander.
In the second round, Nordahl’s near-perfect .05 reaction time against David Mallory’s .542 helped propel him to Round Three. Next up was Jeff Kleeman’s Big Block ’69 Camaro. Mike rattled off yet another near-perfect reaction time and crossed the stripe a scant .005 seconds off of his dial-in. Mike caught a lucky break in Round Four when his opponent Ron De Hoop red-lit in his ’67 Chevelle, negating his own break-out and moving Mike on to a bye-run in the next round.
In the Semi-Final round, Mike was staged against DJ Houmard and his ’70 Nova. Though Mike’s reaction time slipped a bit in this round, he still drove away with the win running a 6.678 on his 6.67 dial-in against a red-light by Houmard. This meant that Mike would face the weekend’s top qualifier in the finals, Steve Cox.
Throughout the weekend, Steve was showing everyone that he was the driver to beat in this class. His reaction times were consistently near-perfect and elapsed times were almost always dead-on his dial-in. In the final round Steve and his Camaro were unrelenting as he crossed the stripe exactly on his dial-in, but it was Mike’s superior .02 reaction time that led him to victory by a mere 0.011 seconds over Cox.
With this narrow victory not only did Mike Nordahl take home the Wally and an award from Mother’s Polish for the Best Appearing Car, but he also moved into the points lead in the Hedman Hedders Nostalgia Street Car class. Mike will be back to defend his title at the NMCA West Street Car Nationals in Phoenix Arizona on September 21-23, 2012.