13th Annual NMRA Ford Super Nationals—Friday Coverage

Drivers have begun firing their engines and flying down track for this weekend’s 13th Annual NMRA Ford Super Nationals at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio. The weekend will be action-packed, as in addition to this race, we’ll be finishing the rain-shortened 16th Annual WyoTech NMRA Ford Motorsports Nationals, which was at Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania last month. Stay with us throughout the weekend for news, videos, results and more.


American Racing Headers Factory Stock driver John Leslie, Jr., who comes to this race third in points, netted a personal best 60-foot and elapsed-time during a test session earlier this week, and while he’ll share that the 60-foot was a 1.37, he won’t share what the elapsed-time was. Leslie, Jr., who had previously been as quick as 10.79, had been experiencing repeated wheel-hop at the hit for the first several races this season, and broke a rear-end in the first round of eliminations at the 16th Annual WyoTech NMRA Ford Motorsports Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway Grove last month, but is confident he’s moving in the right direction and attributes much of that to his MV Performance-built 5.0 Coyote engine, Tremec TKO transmission and the chassis and suspension help he received from fellow racer Bruce Hemminger. UPDATE: Leslie ripped off a 10.86 at 124 mph during test and tune.

Buginga_NMRA_DiSomma_BruderManny Buginga keeps the surprises going each passing race, this time he is competing in his now-familiar Skinny Kid Race Cars 2003 Mustang Cobra but with a new powerplant. A brand-new DiSomma Racing engine has been fastened in-between the frame rails of the VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw racecar. Buginga informed us that this engine was designed specifically for use with the NMRA-mandated 98mm turbocharger. It checks in at 400ci and a set of DiSomma/VED billet cylinder heads sit on top of the engine block. They had to have a new Wilson 105mm throttle body shipped down from Summit Racing Equipment after their old throttle cracked. Luckily Summit is right up the road and a special delivery service made the two hour trip to drop it off. As Buginga said it, they ordered it at 9AM and it was to the track by 11:30AM.

John_McGownFor the second straight race the Race Pages Coyote Stock field will compete against John McGowan and his Calypso Green LX. He is the 2001 G-Force Racing Transmissions Pure Street champion and finished runner-up in 2002 but then took break from drag racing. He is back in action and he managed to get his car into the 10.30s last month in Pennsylvania.

Dez_racingChuck Bartholme (center) works with Mike Dezotell (left) and Fran McCarthy (right) as they adjust the supercharger speed of the new Vortech YSi-BX. The weather is hotter and significantly worse than the previous two events in Pennsylvania and Georgia forcing teams to change up their programs. Dezotell is the crew chief on record for the Maryland-based racer as he re-emerged into national competition in the Edelbrock Renegade ranks.


Race Pages Coyote Stock standout Shane Stymiest used his Coyote engine and G-Force T5 transmission to push his Fox body Mustang to a personal best of 10.23 at the 16th Annual WyoTech NMRA Ford Motorsports Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway last month, and hopes to repeat, or improve upon, that number soon. “I think there’s more in it, but the air has to be there, and it probably won’t be this weekend,” said Stymiest, who continues to dial in his chassis, shocks and clutch, and was in the middle of swapping his previous slicks for a new set of 26X10 Mickey Thompson slicks when we stopped by his pit area.

DeMayo, Jr

Butler, Pennsylvania-based NMCA Quick Lane at Downs Ford NA 10.5 driver Mike DeMayo, Jr. is on-site to make a few test passes in his Mustang, which was damaged in a wreck last fall and rebuilt over winter. His high-revving EIC Motorsports small-block Ford sings from the starting line to the finish line, hits all the right notes and helped deliver DeMayo to a record setting 7.85 and 170 mph and a runner-up finish at the NMCA race in Atlanta in April, but the team continues to fight electrical issues.


Sondra Leslie, who finished third in American Racing Headers Factory Stock points last year, has piloted her Mustang to a best of 10.84, but is not at all content with how her 2016 season is going. Determined to do better in competition, she has been testing most weekends to dial in her combination, which consists of a 5.0 Coyote engine by MPR Racing Engines and C4 transmission, and to know her is to know that she’s one focused fighter. She does, however, also have her sights set on a different car, different combination and different class within the NMRA after this season, and while she won’t indicate which class, she will say she’s been wanting to run a power-adder.


Randy Conway, who drove his Ranger to a win in Detroit Locker Truck and Lightning at the season opening race in Florida in March, comes to this race second in points, and if he’s feeling any pressure, we’re not seeing it. The unique truck, as of this year, features a 5.0 Coyote Aluminator crate engine and a C4 transmission, and while it has so far helped push the Michigan-based driver to steady 10.50s, he’s confident it has 10.0s in it. “The engine we used to run was not a great bracket engine because we had to wind it up to 9,000 rpm, but so far, so good with this engine,” said Conway, who’s now relying on an AEM Infinity for engine management. “Chuck Watson helped me with a baseline tune, and hopefully, I’ll be able to win the rain-delayed Maple Grove and the Columbus race this weekend.”

MG1_1436 copyLegendary Mustang racer Mike Murillo is on the property with his SCT-sponsored hot rod, which is known as Lawfanduh. He is master of ceremonies for tomorrow night’s Grudge Night and will be running his big tire car. Lawfanduh is fresh off a complete rebuild after Murillo rolled over during a No Prep event in late 2015.

EcoBoost_RaceStar_Gusler_NMRAThe world’s quickest EcoBoost-powered drag race car is on the property and ready for action in the Livernois Motorsports EcoBoost Battle. Brad Gusler competes with his Race Star Industries sponsored 2015 Mustang. The fine folks at Watson Racing updated the chassis and CPE added a new 2.3L turbocharged engine to the mix. The best time has been a 10.39 at 129 mph and Gusler is looking to go even quicker.

Mickey_Thompson_Tires_NMRAGet what you need on the Manufacturer’s Midway and if you need drag tires—Mickey Thompson Tires is on the property with a trailer full of rubber rollers. They are dismounting and mounting tires for racers from QA1 True Street to VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw.


While his daughter, Ashley Conway-Lang, spends time with her newborn, Dennis Conway is keeping the cobwebs off of her Mustang Cobra in Flex-A-Lite Open Comp, and will stay-put through the end of the season. The car, which features a stroked Windsor, has been trapping 10.50s as of late, but Conway has been backing off on the timing in an attempt to alleviate a flare-up of red light-itis.


Reigning Roush Performance Super Stang champion Kent Nine continues to collect seat time in the Brenspeed shop car — a 2016 Roush Mustang — that he’s piloting in the category this year, and in a recent test session at Osceola Dragway in Indiana, he ran a series of 10.80s, bettering the 11.50s he had been running. The car boasts a 302 cubic-inch Coyote engine and a Roush supercharger, and rolls on Mickey Thompson drag radials. “I’m doing alright, and things are coming around with the new car,” said Nine, who’s finishing the rain-delayed Maple Grove race in addition to this weekend’s race. “I’d sure like to walk out of here with two trophies.”


Michael Washington, who had been putting his name on the Race Pages Coyote Modified map, jumped back into American Racing Headers Factory Stock at last month’s race at Maple Grove Raceway and shook things up by laying down a 10.54 in his Fox body, an incredible feat, especially considering the current class elapsed-time record is the 10.61 held by James Meredith. He’s looking to do it again — or better yet — to improve on it, maybe in the form of 10.40s, and maybe this weekend, and is well equipped to do so with what he refers to as his “badass Coyote engine,” Tremec TKO transmission, suspension components from Team Z Motorsports, UPR and Menscer Motorsports and a tune laid by Real Speed with HP Tuners.

Nitrous_Renegade_NMRANitrous in Edelbrock Renegade? Yep—Bob Zelenak brought his nitrous-inhaling Fox-body Mustang to National Trails Raceway. It packs a 428ci Windsor engine with a pair of Brodix 20-degree cylinder heads. Zelenak spends some time in the eighth-mile eliminator known as Ultra Street where he has run low 5s after a handful of passes. He is here this weekend in quarter-mile trim looking to dip into the 7-second zone.

Beefcake_Racing_Vortech_NMRATerry “Beefcake” Reeves got a new wrap on the car and apparently this one is 200 pounds lighter than the previous look. Somehow we think the new carbon fiber doors, nose, and True Fiber hood had something to do with the lighter weight rather than the new wrap. A new BES-constructed Coyote engine also resides under the hood. After breaking the engine block last month in Pennsylvania, Reeves procured a Shelby GT350 engine block that was filled by BES. The noted engine shop also increased the displacement to 320ci and Reeves will run at around 3,200 pounds with his Vortech V-27 YSi-B-X supercharger and Holley Dominator EFI system.


Race Pages Coyote Stock driver Matt Williams was pleased with the 10.56 at 126 mph he posted in a test pass today, especially considering the hot and humid conditions, and didn’t deny that there may soon be even more to unleash. When we stopped by his pit area, he and Ed Curtis were adjusting the anti-roll bar and springs under his Mustang, not performing an exorcism, as Curtis wanted us to believe, and now the softspoken but super-tough driver is ready to row the gears of his Tremec TKO transmission for tonight’s first round of qualifying.



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