TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout 2023 at the NMRA Ford Homecoming
The second TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout of 2023 rolled into Summit Motorsports Park as part of the NMRA Ford Homecoming and 25th Anniversary Celebration with high expectations for some great drag racing excitement. The weather was nearly perfect all weekend, and the True Street field had 44 manual transmission cars out of 104 total entries. The TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout field was tight, with one 9-second average elapsed time (E/T) car followed by five 10-second cars and two 11-second average Mustangs. There was the usual amount of drag racing poker being played during the True Street time trials, with driver’s running different strategies to get an average E/T that would give them the best chance at winning with the Stick Shift Shootout’s staggered-start format.
Each driver who qualified for the TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout received a TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout jacket emblazoned with their name and a shootout plaque. The winner of the shootout would receive a McLeod Racing NXT clutch setup, and the runner-up would take home a $500 McLeod Racing product voucher. The shootout is open to H-pattern manual transmission cars competing in the True Street category, with the eight quickest cars making the shootout along with two alternates in case someone can’t make the call for eliminations on Sunday.
The eight quickest manual transmission racers from True Street at the event were:
Brian Krakowski – 9.682 average E/T
Jeff Smith – 10.001 average E/T
Dwayne Hickman – 10.073 average E/T
Dan Watts – 10.148 average E/T
Jeffery McCool – 10.534 average E/T
Chris Rusch – 10.947 average E/T
John Keepers – 11.240 average E/T
Scott Triolo – 11.037 average E/T
For the first and second round pairings for the TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout, each racer draws a chip which randomly decides the pairing. Elimination rounds are a heads-up format with a staggered start based on the driver’s average E/T from True Street competition. Racers being racers, drivers were playing things close to the vest during True Street runs, setting themselves up for the best average E/T in True Street that wouldn’t leave them at a disadvantage with the staggered start for eliminations. The racing was close, with a couple of parts breakages during runs providing extra twists to what was already great competition. There are always uncertainties and variables with drag racing, and just because one car is faster than the other doesn’t guarantee a win.