As the winningest driver in NMCA history, Andy Warren is a wizard behind the wheel of his 1971 Caprice in the series’ Detroit TrueTrac Nostalgia Muscle Car class.
To prepare for this year’s race season, he delivered his 434 cubic-inch Chevy engine to his engine-builder, Tim Knieriem of Knieriem Racing Engines, to be freshened. The engine, on a Dart block, features Ross pistons, SCAT rods and Comp Cams valvetrain components, and is topped with AFR 245cc cylinder heads, also recently freshened by Knieriem.
Warren chose to move from his previous ignition components to E3 Spark Plugs ignition components, and then paired his powerplant with his Bilbrey Automotive-built Turbo 350 transmission and his Ultimate Converter Concepts converter.
A Strange 9-inch rearend massaged by TRZ Motorsports and a Fast Shafts carbon driveshaft can be found underneath his car which rolls on Mickey Thompson 28X10.5 Pro Bracket Radials.
“The goal was to keep the upgrades to a minimum so I could continue with the data I collected from 2016 and 2017,” said Warren, whose six NMCA Detroit TrueTrac Nostalgia Muscle Car championships were in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016 and 2017. “Competition Products supplied a lot of the freshen-up parts, like the rings, bearings and gaskets, and SCAT supplied new ARP rod bolts.”
With everything in place, Warren headed from his home in Kentucky, to the 16th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem in March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida, where he dialed his car and combination into the 10.00 index and advanced all the way to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle. He uncharacteristically lost in the first round of eliminations at the 10th Annual NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals in April, at Atlanta Dragway, but made it to the semifinal at the 17th Annual NMCA Quick Fuel Technology Bluegrass Nationals in May, at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky, and to the second round of eliminations at the 13th Annual Nitto NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing in July, at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois.
With his focus on getting back to the winner’s circle, Warren headed to the 17th Annual Honeywell Garrett NMCA All-American Nationals in August, at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio, and accomplished what he had set out to accomplish.
“My goal was to go into Ohio, focused and ready to win,” said Warren. “The plan worked, as I drove the best I have in a long time in the later rounds of that event.”
He now has the lead in NMCA Detroit TrueTrac Nostalgia Muscle Car points going into the final race of the season, the much-talked-about NMCA World Street Finals presented by Chevrolet Performance, this weekend, Sept. 20-23, at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana, but fellow drivers Chad Brewer and Steve Wilson are among those hot on his heels.
“I am only one round over Chad Brewer, and maybe two rounds over Steve Wilson,” said Warren, who’s supported in his racing by his tight-knit family, including his wife, Shelby Warren, brother and fellow racer, John Warren, and parents, John and Brenda Warren. “The competition is very tough this year, and I predict the championship will be determined in the later rounds this weekend.”
See how it all shakes out for Warren, and the other drivers, at the race or via a SpeedVideo live feed offered by presenting sponsor , along with , , , , , , , , and .
(Photos courtesy of NMCA)