Chris Rini Does It Again! Chris Takes The Win At The NMCA Opener in Bradenton, Florida
The NMCA series rolled into Bradenton Florida for the first stop on the 2012 schedule. Chris Rini is the 2010 Pro-Street champ and 2011 championship runner-up. He runs NOS on his ATI supercharged ‘69 Camaro. The reigning champ showed that he was ready for the season with an out-of-the-box 6.09-second shakedown pass. Chris then followed that with a first round qualifying run of 6.08 that placed him firmly at the head of the pack. A second round with tire-smoking effort did not improve the New York based Rini, but after two rounds, he was still in the number one spot. In the third round of qualifying Rini laid a blistering 6.03 @ 135 pass, to easily outdistance the rest of the field and keep the number one spot.
With only 12 cars showing to battle, and several suffering breakage during qualifying, that left seven going on for first round of eliminations on Sunday. With unseasonably hot temperatures, even for south Florida, the track surface took the brunt of the heat and was somewhat tricky on Sunday. Rini, by virtue of the number one qualifying spot, received a first round bye run and motored to an easy 6.16. With four cars left, Rini was paired with Jimmy Keen in another nitrous powered entry and Rini easily took the win with a 6.10. The final pair was Rini against the number two qualifier Bill Lutz with his twin-turbo Camaro. It was a grudge match between the only two cars in NMCA Pro-Street history to have run in the 5-second zone. With the track conditions this day, there would be no 5s, but still a good race between two of the class's best was expected. At the green, Rini got away first and never trailed, taking the win with a 6.10 @ 234 run over a tire shaking Lutz who slowed to a 6.21.
Rini attributed his season opening win with consistency, from his Charlie Buck powered, NOS equipped, Jerry Bickel built ‘69 Camaro.