Last night provided some awesome qualifying passes here at the 12th annual NMRA Ford Nationals presented by Downs Ford Motorsport, between the awesome track surface, and the cool night air. Today’s daytime temps should be lower and the air dryer than yesterday, so we should see some intense qualifying battles.
Brian Mitchell carded an 8.43 at 156 mph for the top spot in Blow-By Renegade. However, Alton Clements was only .07 second behind Mitchell, but went through the traps with more than four miles per hour more than Mitchell, proving that the switch back to a C4 was a good call, and that there’s a something left in the tune up.
Charlie Booze, Jr. is out in Edelbrock Hot Street for the first time this season, and started his season off right, with a stout 8.39-second pass at over 160 miles per hour. That puts Booze securely in the number one spot going into today’s qualifying session. Considering the nighttime qualifying last night, will the 8.39 be bettered this weekend?
We have a special event here at this event, the VMP Tuning Terminator / GT500 Shootout. The class features some of the baddest ’03/’04 Cobras and GT500′s in the country. Leading the class after the first round of qualifying was Tom Passsalacqua out of Greenwich, Connecticut. He wheeled his 2008 GT500 to a 9.12 at 153 miles per hour.
After we posted the story of his awesome thrash to get ready for this race, Ronnie let out some smoke on the top end in a test and tune pass. Later he came by with one of his spark plug with the dejected look on his face you see here. They aren’t sure about the extent of the damage yet, but Diaz is hoping to be ready for Michigan. He really won’t ever say die.
Andy Manson is here with his new turbocharged Modular combination, with that gorgeous billet Berry Motorsports intake on it. After missing the first two races while the car got it’s 25.3-revamp finished. He’s still getting laps on the new combination and wouldn’t throe out any ET predictions, but says that he’ll be surprised if the car doesn’t run right with Jason Lee.
We’ve got a gorgeous exhibition car on the grounds. Paul Atkins’ classic Mustang is all-Ford and is currently being geared up for competition in regional Pro Mod racing. Atkins is here to make some laps and put on a nice show for the Maryland fans.
Mike Murillo is the definition of “hardcore”. Last night in qualifying, Murillo hurt a transmission. When we went by this morning, we expected to see him thrashing under the car. Obviously he wasn’t doing that when we showed up. We asked when he was planning on swapping it, and he shrugged and said, “We already did. We had it done before we went to bed.” No wonder he has so many championships under his belt.
How often do you see a clean, straight, street-driven Maverick? How about a pair of them? These two clean examples are being campaigned in TREMEC True Street by Leslie Upole (near) and Courtney Upole (far). We’re excited to see these two beautiful Mavericks make passes this afternoon.
Tim Essick qualified number one in SCT Pro Outlaw 10.5 last night but managed to bust a valve spring in the process. When we were talking to him, he was on the hunt for a replacement as he didn’t have any on the trailer. Apparently he got it fixed as he not only made a pass in the second round of qualifying but bettered his qualifying time to a 6.77 at 213 mph.
Matt Amrine started the race off in a tough way as you can see here. Apparently his missed shift that cost him the Atlanta race wasn’t him being rusty, but rather a problem with the transmission. In test and tune, the shift forks finally let go and his clutch was destroyed as a result. While he had a spare clutch, he had to borrow another transmission from fellow Nitto Tire Factory Stock racer Carlos Sobrino. Apparently, the spare clutch and borrowed transmission worked well, as evidenced by his 10.90 in qualifying (which put him in the third spot) and the monster launch in the third round of qualifying (photo below).
We had a pair of new Strange Engineering Coyote Stock cars show up today. Justin Burcham is driving Joe Marini’s 2011-vintage entry (top) and Shane Stymiest’s 1990 notchback Mustang, racing out of the Booze Brothers Racing camp. Burcham posted an 11.08 in qualifying, while Stymiest carded an 11.18 on his very first pass in the car.
After qualifying, we came across Shane Stymiest, a crew member, and Charlie Booze dropping the gas tank from his car. Apparently he was in such a rush to make this race, he forgot to drain the year-old pump gas from the tank before adding the C-10 spec fuel. While the car obviously performed well, the pump gas caused him to fail fuel check. The team was pulling the tank in order to rinse it out and pass fuel-check in the morning.
Final Qualifying can be found here:
Saturday Car Show Results can be found here:
Saturday Bracket Eliminations can be found here:
Saturday heads-up and index galleries can be found here:
Saturdays videos can be found here: