March Meet madness

It’s time once again for the March Madness that doesn’t have anything to do with basketball, as the devoted fans and racers gather in Bakersfield, CA, for the 60th March Meet.


The Burkster will be in attendance this year to greet old friends, watch the action on track and see how the Midwest representatives of Paul Romine (shown) and Shawn Bowen do in the Funny Car class against all the West Coast teams. A sad task will be to attend the Celebration of Life for photographer Tim Marshall on Saturday after the last car has gone down the track.


Those of you expecting to view streaming coverage of the March Meet on BangShift must look elsewhere. The track has taken production in-house and is streaming it on pay-per-view. If you want to see BangShift’s odds in the Funny Car ranks (not that we encourage betting) have a look at here.


Here are the top Group 2 qualifiers from Thursday: Dale Taros (NE1), Steve Olmscheid (NE2), Carl Carlson (NE3), Brian Rogers (A/Gas), Kevin Pope (B/Gas), David Stage (C/Gas), and Bob Gonzalves (D/Gas). 

Auto-Rama scheduled for Cleveland

The Summit Racing Equipment I-X Piston Powered Auto-Rama will be held March 16-18 at the I-X Center in Cleveland, OH.


The 52nd annual show features custom cars, trucks, antique construction equipment, motorcycles tractors, planes, military equipment and more. With over 1,000 vehicles filling more than one million square feet of space, the show in the largest indoor showcase of its kind in the world.


And don’t forget that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland. 

Be prepared to pay more?

The Agent doesn’t get involved with politics much, but when it affects the bottom line of automotive and perhaps aftermarket product costs, he must share some information with you.


The American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) yesterday (March 1) expressed opposition to President Trump's plan to place a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. Both metals are crucial to the production of cars and trucks sold in America today and would raise the sale prices of those vehicles substantially.


In addition to paying more for their vehicles, American consumers and workers can also expect to bear the brunt of the retaliatory tariffs other countries will almost certainly place on goods manufactured and exported from the United States.


"These proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports couldn't come at a worse time," said AIADA President and CEO Cody Lusk. "Auto sales have flattened in recent months, and manufacturers are not prepared to absorb a sharp increase in the cost to build cars and trucks in America. The burden of these tariffs, as always, will be passed on to the American consumer. Car shoppers looking for a deal will instead find that they are paying a new tax to transport themselves and their families."


Steel and aluminum tariffs could directly counteract any benefits American manufacturers have seen from tax and regulatory reform. An analysis of tariffs on steel imposed in 2002 found that the Bush steel tariffs cost 200,000 jobs, including 30,000 in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania alone.


Contact your senators and member of congress to let them know what you think about this proposed move. We must realize that actions have consequences.   

NMRA Muscle Car Mayhem races at Bradenton; new rules for Pro Street

The first of six NMRA events this season is at Bradenton, FL, this weekend. This race will feature a combination of big-tire classes and small-tire classes running on both the eighth-mile and quarter-miles distances.


A class retooled for this year is ARP Nitrous Pro Street, featuring a new rules package, which is a reflection of the popular Outlaw 632 Class, which runs regularly at Bradenton Motorsports Park.


“After talking to those who race the class, and looking at the rules, the way they were structured, we felt it was time to make a change,” said National Event Director, Rollie Miller. “Our philosophy is to try to stay in step with our racers’ needs, when at all possible. In this case, we needed to make radical changes, which should now open the class up to a lot more cars at each of the tracks we attend.” 


Here’s a Friday off-the-track note for all you readers of a certain age. The replica 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is among five special vehicles to be featured as part of the Historic Vehicle Association’s fourth annual Cars at the Capital exhibition during the month of April in Washington, DC.


The replica Ferrari will be joined by the 15-millionth Ford, a 1927 Ford Model T; a 1984 Plymouth Voyager Minivan, known as the first minivan; the 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback from the movie Bullitt; and a 1918 Cadillac Type 57. The vehicles have been added to the National Historic Vehicle Register in recognition of their significance in American automotive history.


The exhibition and documentation are part of the HVA's partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) and Library of Congress archives.


The display schedule is as follows:


March 30-April 2: 1985 Modena Spyder, aka Ferris Bueller's Day Off “Ferrari”

April 3-9: 1927 Ford Model T Touring, aka 15-millionth Ford

April 10-16: 1984 Plymouth Voyager, aka the first minivan

April 17-23: 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback from Bullitt

April 24-30: 1918 Cadillac Type 57


Each vehicle will be exhibited in the HVA's illuminated glass display case on the walkway between the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the National Gallery of Art facing the U.S. Capitol building on the National Mall. The exhibit is free to the public.  

NHRA By the Numbers

The Agent has checked the ratings numbers for the first two NHRA events of the year.


Airing directly after NASCAR, the NHRA season opener from Pomona, CA, had a Sunday, Feb. 11, 0.48 rating and 782,000 viewers on FS1 — down 39% in ratings and 36% in viewership from last year, when it aired on the FOX broadcast network (0.8, 1.2M). Compared to the 2016 telecast on FS1, ratings and viewership increased 20% and 22% respectively from a 0.40 and 640,000.


Taped NHRA eliminations from Phoenix scored a 0.29 rating and 485,000 viewers on FS1 Sunday, Feb. 25, down 19% in ratings and 11% in viewership from last year (0.36, 546K) and down 31% and 25% respectively from 2016 (0.42, 645K).  

New Product of the Day


MSD 6EFI Universal Ignition Control Box

Holley/MSD has released MSD 6EFI Universal Ignition Control Boxes, the perfect addition to your Sniper EFI, MSD Atomic EFI or other aftermarket EFI system. Developed specifically for EFI applications, it directly connects to all popular throttle body EFI systems currently on the market. MSD's 6EFI box provides better throttle response, smoother idle, quicker starts, and maximum power throughout the entire RPM range. This reliable capacitive-discharge ignition fires a series of multiple sparks that last for 20 degrees of crankshaft rotation at lower rpm. A rev limiter protects the engine in the event of a missed shift or driveline failure and is easily adjusted with rotary dials in 100-rpm increments. MSD 6EFI Universal Ignition Control Boxes are compatible with 4-, 6- and 8-cylinder engines with magnetic-pickup, electronic, and even points distributors and come complete with detailed wiring instructions for a hassle-free installation.   



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