Drivers showcased sensational skills during qualifying on Friday and Saturday, and among them were Dwayne Barbaree, who blew to a 4.39 to lead in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw, Alton Clements, who cruised to a 7.45 to lead in Edelbrock Renegade, Jacob Lamb, who rowed gears to a 10.24 in G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock and Matt Amrine, who motored to a 10.65 in Richmond Gear Factory Stock. The track crew is prepping to give all of the drivers the best track surface possible for the first round of eliminations on this final day of the 14th Annual NMRA Ford Super Nationals presented by WyoTech.
It’s been a successful weekend so far for G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock driver Nate Stymiest, as he earned his first round win, followed by his first event win, for the Maple Grove Raceway race which was postponed in May because of rain and completed this weekend at National Trail Raceway. “While I should have been celebrating my first win, I was worried because my starter was sticking and engaged during the final round, and all I could think about was whether I was going to be able to take care of it before first round of eliminations for the National Trail race,” said Stymiest. “But we were able to replace it and I’m ready.” Helping Stymiest with his UPR-suspended and JWC Performance-sponsored car are his brother and fellow racer, Shane Stymiest, Booze Brothers Racing and Jeff Bricker. “Charlie (Booze) says I’ve gone from the outhouse to the penthouse this weekend,” said Stymiest, who rows gears via a G-Force Racing Transmissions G 101-A.
In the Fox body Mustang he bought from Justin Fogelsonger and painted Kawasaki Lime Green in a nod to his motorcycle days, Mark Anderson continues to dial in the car and combination he debuted at the NMRA All Ford World Finals last fall. He posted a 10.94 to qualify tenth in the 15-car Richmond Gear Factory Stock field, and is currently swapping rear gearing, with help from Brian Koestner, in preparation for today’s first round of eliminations. “We spun in qualifying, but the car is capable of 10.70s,” said Anderson, who has circled the next few NMRA events on his calendar. His green machine is powered by a sealed Coyote engine and ProFormance Transmissions-built C4, and the latter is a departure for Anderson, who had long run manual transmissions.
ProCharger Coyote Modified driver Jeff Polivka pushed his Boss 302 Mustang — El Jefe 2.0 — to a 7.91 to lead qualifying, and is preparing to face John Kauderer, who qualified sixth with an off-the-throttle 9.75, in the first round of eliminations. Complementing his Rich Groh Racing-built 305ci Coyote engine fronted by a 76mm turbo customized by Jose Zayas of Forced Inductions are a new M&M Transmission-built Turbo 400 and ProTorque converter. “We’ve had some small issues pop up, but we’re taking care of them,” said Polivka, who has help from Eric Holliday and Charlie Barnes. “One of the issues was a boost issue, which (VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw driver) Manny Buginga helped us diagnose, and now we’re making progress.”
ProCharger Coyote Modified driver John Kauderer, who found victory at the NMRA races in Florida and Georgia and currently holds the category’s ET record with a 7.744, had been having issues this weekend which had prevented him from making a clean A to B hit. However, it appears as though he has tracked them down, as he just ripped off a 7.87 to win in the first round of eliminations in his Gotta Have It Green 2014 Mustang Cobra Jet featuring a Coyote engine built by MMR and massaged by Justin’s Performance Center and a 76mm turbo massaged by Forced Inductions. Kauderer, left, is pictured here with fellow ProCharger Coyote Modified driver Tommy Annunziata, who qualified second with a 7.96 in his 2014 Cobra Jet and also just won first round of eliminations with help from crew chief Jimmy LaRocca.
G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock hot-shoe Jacob Lamb, who led qualifying at the races in Georgia and Pennsylvania, and led qualifying with a 10.24 in his Mustang this weekend, said the competition in the 21-car field is super-tight, with the top 14 drivers separated by just over a tenth. “This is the closest field I think we’ve had,” said Lamb. “It’s exciting, and it’s how it should be.” The Kentucky-based driver achieved the 10.24, as well as a 10.32 in his first round single, despite making adjustments to his suspension and Ram clutch to accommodate a hot track on a hot day.
While Longtime Richmond Gear Factory Stock driver John Leslie, Jr. is used to hanging the hoops at the hit in his Coyote engine-powered Mustang, he’s not used to qualifying at the bottom of the ladder, but another hurt transmission — his twelfth since April — prevented him from posting anything better than the 18.47 that he did. He said he may have identified the problem, however, and hopes to remedy it, with help from fellow racer Steve Higgins, as soon as he returns to his home in Indiana.
Heading to the finals! Frank Varela took out Bob Cook in round two of eliminations and has a bye-run into the final round of eliminations. “This car has always worked well in the heat,” claimed Varela on his recent string of 7.50-runs in Edelbrock Renegade with his turbocharged Coyote-swapped 1993 Mustang LX. He continued to give all the credit for the car’s performances to his crew chief and 2016 Crew Member of the Year, Dwayne James. “It is all because of grandpa, the way he sets up the car and tunes the combination,” he commented in closing. Varela will be the winner of the Alton Clements and Brian Mitchell match-up coming up in the semifinals.
Six-time NMRA champion Brian Mitchell began his comeback tour at the Spring Break Shootout and in his words, it wasn’t a good outing. Mitchell cited ignition woes and some transmission issues as well as a problem with the rear shocks. Interestingly, the shocks didn’t work well due to the car’s unusually heavy weight from the large displacement combination, which checks in at 390ci. With the problems fixed, event two of the six-race series netted Mitchell a stout 7.50 run but he lost in the semifinals. In Ohio this weekend, the Delaware resident has found his groove and the car is throwing down 7.50 runs at well over 180 mph on nearly every pass. He finished runner-up in the rain-delayed eliminations rounds from the WyoTech Ford Motorsport Nationals. A round one miscue in the Ohio eliminations saw the car spin, most likely due to not enough horsepower in it, but he made corrections for round two. He then beat Tony Hobson with 7.51 at 182 mph and is headed to the semifinals to face Alton Clements, who has been absolutely flawless this weekend.
How does Terry “Beefcake” Reeves celebrate when he sets the unofficial record for a S550 Mustang with a 6R80 transmission? He cooks up a whole plate of bacon, of course. His Vortech-sponsored 2015 Mustang sports a fortified Coyote engine from BES Racing, which gets pressurized by a Vortech YSi-B supercharger. With Lund Racing remotely tuning the factory ECU, Reeves unleashed an 8.70 at 160 mph. That marks him as the quickest factory auto-equipped S550 and, surprisingly, the car sports a factory IRS out back with upgraded BMR components and Viking adjustable shocks. The car tips the scales at 3,940-pounds and rolls on a set of Mickey Thompson ET Street R radial tires. Reeves was entered in Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle. We might have rename him as “Porkcake” given his passion for bacon.
In the Mustang Russell Stone recently purchased from Daniel Pharris — who purchased it from John Kolivas — VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw driver Dwayne Barbaree is already proving his prowess behind the wheel. He led his classmates in qualifying after a 4.39 blast in the white wonder, and defeated Ronnie Reynolds after a 4.61 to 5.52 battle in the first round of eliminations and current points leader Charlie Cooper after a 4.48 to 4.55 battle in the second round of eliminations. Now, he’s preparing to face Manny Buginga in the final round of eliminations in the car featuring a Kuntz & Co.-built 438ci engine, 94mm Precision turbo and M&M Transmission-built Turbo 400. “It’s showing a lot of promise on a very hot track, so hopefully pretty soon, we’ll really be able to get after it,” said Stone.
ProCharger Coyote Modified is shaping up to be one of the closest finals of the day. Haley James-Schneider will take on John Kauderer in an all-turbo finale. Both racers didn’t start out the weekend on the right foot but by Sunday afternoon, each had their Coyote cars singing and running quicker than the rest of the field. Kauderer and crew chief Eric Holliday fixed some transmission woes and unleashed a 7.87 at 171 mph in round one but spun in the round two bye-run. The Hellion Racing B-Team swapped torque converters and crew chief Dwayne James has been adding more power on the launch, trying to accelerate the car quicker. Their best time came in round two with a 7.89 at 172 mph performance, putting the two quickest cars against each other in the finals coming up later today.
For round by round results, click HERE