Britt Cummings Earns Super Comp Title, Nearly Doubles
Houston, TX: Britt Cummings is no stranger to success on the race track. The Hammond, LA resident is a former IHRA world champion, and has countless trophies atop his mantle signifying NHRA, IHRA, and big bracket event victories spanning the past three decades. In addition to his own accomplishments, Britt has played a key role in the success of his family’s racing team. The Moser Engineering backed Cummings Motorsports team houses eight competition vehicles driven by Britt, his brother Slate (also a former world champion), their father Larry, and team driver Jody “Cool” Simoneaux. Each of the team’s drivers have experienced immense success in recent seasons.
With those accomplishments in tow, most wouldn’t be surprised to find that Britt Cummings drove his Moser Engineering backed Phantom Race Cars dragster to the Super Comp win at last weekend’s NHRA O’Reilly Spring Nationals in Houston, TX. In fact, anyone who has followed Cummings career wouldn’t be shocked to know that he nearly pulled the elusive “double,” taking runner-up honors in the family’s new Corvette Stock Eliminator entry. For Cummings himself, however, the showing provided more relief than anything. It’s not that success is uncharacteristic for Cummings and his team. On the contrary, the last six months of racing for Britt individually have brought an extremely uncharacteristic lack of success.
“I won’t say that I’m surprised I won. Anytime you go to a race, you should expect to win. If not, then why are you there? I think that goes for everyone. But I’ve struggled lately, particularly in Super Comp,” said Cummings, who had failed to win a single round of 8.90 competition since falling to Brian Folk in the final round of the U.S. Nationals last September.
That changed in a big way in Houston, as Cummings plowed through the Super Comp field with wins over Bryan Turner, Jason Lynch, and Paul Kimble to earn a spot in Sunday’s quarterfinal round. There, he posted his best run of the weekend in timely fashion by dismissing Doug Miller’s normally competitive .006 reaction time and 8.914 ET. Cummings bested Miller with a .014 reaction and perfect 8.900!
With no time to exalt over his performance, Cummings was right back in the staging lanes for the semi-final round of Stock Eliminator. There, he used a .045 reaction time and dead-on 10.549 to dispense David Buckner and advance to the Stock final. Minutes later, he was back on the Royal Purple Raceway starting line to face Bart Nelson in his second semi-final of the day.
“Everyone will look at the semi-final round and point to it as my big break,” said Cummings. “And it was, but we actually got two really good breaks on Sunday.”
The first came early Sunday morning when the team was awarded with the Best Appearing Car award for their immaculately prepared Moser Engineering backed machines. Britt Cummings drove the new Corvette to the lanes for pictures, but when he went to leave the award ceremony the car broke the starter drive and would not fire. With several hours of professional eliminations contested before the sportsman classes took the track for Sunday’s final eliminations, the Moser Engineering team easily replaced the broken part in time for the Stock Eliminator call.
“Last year at the national event in Atlanta, I had a bye run with three cars remaining,” Cummings explained. “I was in the water, and the car blew an ignition fuse and shut off. We didn’t’ know what the problem was, and we didn’t find it within the time allowed. So I was pushed off the track and forfeited my spot in the final round. I don’t know too many people who have lost on a bye run, but I did it. On Sunday, I had the bye run in the quarterfinals of Stock, which was our first round of the day. Had we not been selected for Best Appearing, I almost certainly would have broken the starter in the staging lanes or under the tower. Had I lost on the bye run due to another freak mechanical problem, I would have been devastated. So that was a big break.”
His second bit of good fortune came in the semi-final round of Super Comp, alongside former national event winner Bart Nelson. There, as Cummings staged his Moser Engineering backed dragster, it began to misfire badly. He broke the beams and shut off, only to see the red light in his opponents lane. Nelson had fouled by the smallest of margins, -.001.
“The dragster broke a rocker arm,” explained Cummings. “Obviously I heard it, so I shut off as soon as the tree dropped. It was pure luck that he turned it red. He could have sat on the starting line for 5 seconds and easily beaten me, but he had no way to know that. It goes without saying that was a huge break for me.”
The Cummings team worked to repair the faulty part on the dragster while Britt jumped back into the Corvette to face defending event champion Hagen Gary in the Stock Eliminator final. There, Gary would hand Cummings his only loss of the weekend with a strong .027 reaction and 10.132 on his 10.11 dial-in.
Undeterred, and with a repaired race car, Cummings returned to the staging lanes for the Super Comp final where he would square off with Shannon Brinkley. There, he trailed Brinkley slightly off the line, .015 to .023, but was able to force Brinkley into a 8.898 breakout to his safe 8.920 run.
“I have to give a lot of credit to FTI torque converters for this win in the dragster,” Cummings said. “Greg and Troy at FTI built us a new converter earlier in the season and the car has been extremely consistent ever since. At Houston it finally all came together: the car did it’s job as usual, the driver didn’t get in the way; and we had some good fortune.”
The victory marked Cummings second NHRA national event triumph (both in Super Comp) and his fourth final round.
In addition to major sponsor Moser Engineering, Cummings Motorsports also relies on the following manufacturers for quality components vital to their continued success: FTI Torque Converters, Sunset Racecraft, B&M Performance, Weldon, Afco, Borla, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Mickey Thompson Tires, K&N, Holley Performance, Amalie Oil, Weld Wheels, Richmond Gear, Altronics, Harwood, Nitroplate, Edelbrock, Mr. Gasket, Jeff Taylor Racing Engines, Biondo Racing Products, Auto Meter, Phantom Race Cars, Simpson Safety Equipment, H&F Performance, Folk Race Cars, Weld Wheels and Milodon.
The Cummings Motorsports team will enjoy a much deserved vacation from NHRA competition in the coming weeks, as they prepare for the Division 4 Lucas Oil Division Series event at their home track, No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, LA. That event will mark the final opportunity for South Central Division competitors to earn points toward the prestigious JEGS Sportsman All-Star Shootout in Chicago, IL. As the defending Super Stock champion, Slate Cummings is already guaranteed a spot in the Super Stock All-Star event, and currently leads the standings to earn a berth in Stock as well. Additionally, Moser Engineering teammate Allen Constantine sits within three rounds of earning an All-Stars berth in both Top Dragster and Super Comp. All of the Division 4 representatives will be determined at No Problem on June 1-3.