It is day two of the 24th annual Nitto Tire NMRA Spring Break Shootout, presented by Steeda and yesterday’s test and tune was filled with plenty of action. The talk of the day were the wheelies turned in by Chet Caminita (shown above) with his Steeda Limited Street entry and the dramatic one by Carlos Sobrino. The class comedian wasn’t joking around when he put his G-Force Racing Transmission Coyote Stock racecar on the bumper and had all four wheels off the ground! Sobrino told us he power-shifted his way through four gears before realizing the nose wasn’t coming down. He blipped the throttle, the front-end smashed down and Sobrino sawed the wheel to keep his beloved Joker off the wall. It is perhaps the most dramatic 10-second run in the history of drag racing.
Eric Bardekoff of Comack, New York, decided to take the road less traveled with his Mustang Cobra Jet clone by running a manual transmission in it when the car was set up for the Factory Showdown in NHRA competition. This weekend, he has his Whipple-blown Coyote powerplant backed by an ATI Performance Products Turbo 400 and shifted with an M&M Transmissions billet shifter. Bardekoff will be competing in ProCharger Coyote Modified, and with his best ET to date hovering in the 9.2-second range, he’s got his work cut out for him in the class that regularly sees the boards lit up with high 7-second elapsed times.
2017 NMRA Street Outlaw champion Manny Buginga had quite a few changes made to his Mustang Cobra during the off season. After the World Cup event in Maryland, the Bridgewater, Massachusetts, native dropped Big Red off at Larry Jeffers Race Cars to have the frontend structure rebuild, double frames rails, added, and a host of other changes all of which Jeffers took in stride. “Larry is a great guy and partner to work with. I gave him a laundry list of changes and didn’t miss a beat.” Disomma Racing Engines also made some top secret upgrades to the small-bock Ford, which is now pressurized by a Garrett 98mm turbocharger. FuelTech also helped Buginga out at the World Cup race, rebuilding the engine harness and getting it squared away with the FT500 engine management system on board. Buginga’s second car, from last year, the supercharged notchback driven by Rich Bruder, is currently at LJRC getting rebuilt after a track accident late last year, and it should reappear sometime later this season.
Already a hit on the Internet and sure to catch the eyes of spectators here at the race, James Meredith’s 1973 Ford Capri packs Coyote 5.0-liter power and is set to run in the new Steeda Limited Street category this season. Built by fellow Coyote racer Mike Bowen at his PowerHouse Automotive shop, the Capri makes Fox-Body Mustangs look big with its diminutive size and European design.
Edelbrock Renegade racer Tony Hobson made some significant changes over the winter to his Mustang. After seeing long-term block integrity issues with his Coyote-based powerplant and discussing the situation with his engine builder, Rich Groh or RGR Engines, the decision was made to build a new engine based on a 5.4 Ford GT block and cylinder heads. The four-valve combination measures in at 361 cubic inches and the change necessitated adding 75 lbs of weight to the car. Hobson expects this setup will be more reliable throughout the season, and he’ll be making the first hits on the new combination this weekend.
Making regular appearances in QA1 True Street and the Tremec Stick Shift Shootout, Jeff Smith has been making some small upgrades to his Competition Orange Cobra and finally broke into the 9s recently. He’ll be looking to take home the McLeod RXT clutch and flywheel that are up for grabs in the Stick Shift Shootout, but before that, he needed to get some road grime off his immaculate Cobra.
Wheeling and dealing is already happening in the pits and the swap meet. There are plenty of vendors already, and that number should triple for Saturday.
The Spring Break Shootout presented by JLT Performance is all about the QA1 True Street class, and the track is already packed full of street racers looking to stake their claims and collect bragging rights. True Street and Drag Week alum Alex Corella recently swapped his Trick Flow Twisted Wedge cylinder heads for Trick Flow’s 11R cylinder heads, and he made some software updates to the Pro EFI system as well. An 8.42 in testing yesterday was showing promise, and Corella said they weren’t even trying to go that quick.
There are racers that are last-minute thrashing to get their cars read for the track and there are those who are have things all sorted out and are ready to go.
Though the Spring Break Shootout takes center stage at this event, the NMRA season opener also hosts a number of special classes such as ididit Outlaw True Street, Terminator vs. GT500 Shootout, and the Hellion Turbo Coyote Shootout. Earlier today, Saw Li of Tampa, Florida, saw a bunch of sky during his test run when his 2012 Mustang tried its best to flip over backwards. As huge as the wheel stand was, the only casualties were a broken steering rack bolt and a missing blade on the electric fan. “UPR came to the rescue with a new bolt, so we put some travel limiters on the front to keep it down and we should be good.” Fast Forward Racing Engines in New Port Richey, Florida, handles the machining on the built Coyote engine, while Li Racing and Tuning handled the assembly and bolting the turbos on the Jim Braun-fabricated system.
A recent project vehicle hitting the pages of Fastest Street Car magazine and Racepagesdigital.com, #PureEvil and its Voodoo Coyote engine are set to take on the Steeda Limited Street field this weekend. During testing today, car owner and driver Mike Washington launched the 9,600rpm machine and within the first hundred feet, shook the tires and kicked out the driveshaft. The damage was a bit worse when he got the car back to the pits, having tore up the ring and pinion as well. Factory Stock racer Mike Bowen hooked him up with a new gear set and Washington procured a new driveshaft and should be back in action for qualifying tomorrow.
Fresh off his record-setting run behind the wheel of Steeda’s latest 2018 Mustang GT test mule, Steeda’s Scott Boda will be piloting his own nitrous-enhanced Fox-Body Mustang while one of the other Steeda employees will helm the 10-second, naturally aspirated S550. With good air, Boda told us that the S550 should dip under the 10.98 he ran with the car at South Georgia Motorsports Park earlier this week.
QUALIFYING results <<<HERE>>>