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Downing Puts 'stang in Semis of NMCA at Martin

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    After qualifying No. 16 in his 2014 Mustang FS/E, Charley Downing raced to the semifinals in the NMCA event at Martin, but his win skein ended on a breakout against eventual winner Mark Howard. Downing's Mustang is shown at the Columbus LODRS event in July. / Photo by Fred Noer

SUPER STOCK and STOCK - Of all the regular Division 3 Super Stock and Stock racers, Charley Downing did the best at the NMCA/NMRA All-American Nationals on Aug. 27-30 at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park near Martin, Michigan.

Downing, driving his 2014 Mustang FS/E out of Britton, Mich., finished in the semifinals in the 50-car field of Stock/Super Stock Combo that is sponsored by Coan Engineering. He lost to Mark Howard in a 1969 Camaro G/CM owned by Phil Veldheer.

Howard, of Hamilton, Mich., left with a .031 light and ran 11.164 at 116.79 on an 11.14 dial for the win. Downing was behind at the start with a .070 RT that contributed to his breakout by .022 on his 10.17 dial. He slowed to 118.58 miles per hour.

In the round-six final, Howard had a better light than Dave Swanson for the victory. Both racers were .006 over their dials, with Howard at 11.21 and Swanson at 8.23 in his 2018 Mustang FS/AA, which won in the semifinals over Tony Jarvis of Division 1 in his 2014 Mustang FS/AA.

Making the quarterfinals were Drew Skillman, Dan Condon, and Mike Pustelny. They lost to Swanson, Jarvis, and Howard, respectively. Downing had the bye.

Downing opened eliminations against George Cox of Division 4, but he fouled by .143. Eric Bell of D7 was a no-show in the second round, and Mike Ours went .048 red in the next round.

Alex Kish of D3 was the top qualifier with a 12.737 at 108.77 on his 14.35 index in his 1999 Dodge Neon SS/EC. The run was 1.612 under. He was followed by Drew Skillman, Jack Larsen, Bill Skillman, and Phil Cocuzza from D7 in the top five.

Doug Duell qualified No. 10 and won round one before bowing out in the second round in his 1969 Barracuda C/SA. He is in first place in the points, followed by Condon, Andy Warren, Amy Faulk, and Daren Poole-Adams in the top five.

The last race of the season is the 19th annual World Street Finals on Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 24-27 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The race is sponsored by Nitrous Supply and Chevrolet Performance.