While American Racing Headers Factory Stock madman Michael Washington was poised to back up the incredible 10.54 he recently laid down, he asked way too much of the driveshaft in his hard-launching Fox body Mustang in yesterday’s first round of qualifying, and pieces of it went flying across the track at the hit. But he was determined to dive back into today’s qualifying, and had help from fellow racers Matt Williams and Carlos Sobrino, who had spare U-joints for him, as well as from his JPC teammates, and he’ll be ready to roll for today’s second round of qualifying.
It’s been a year since G-Force Transmissions Pure Street driver Mike Gucciardo has been behind the wheel of his Fox body Mustang, but the Goose is set to have his car, powered by a new Kaley Motor Service-built 311 cubic-inch small-block Ford and ProMotion TKO600 transmission, dialed in soon. “This is my first race back after being out of the car for a long time, and it’s been a struggle to hit all of the shifts, but I’ll get it,” said Gucciardo, who visited the UPR display on the manufacturers’ midway this morning to buy a new, longer shift lever. In addition to being supported by his wife, Amanda Gucciardo, this weekend, he’s had help from friends and fellow racers Bruce Hemminger and Michael Washington. “Those guys always seem to show up at the right time to help,” said Gucciardo.
Race Pages Coyote Stock’s Mike Stouffer, who rows through the gears of his G-Force T-5 transmission to get from A to B in his ’87 Mustang, has been making adjustments to his clutch as well as his UPR suspension components to find the sweet spot for the 60-foot for the weekend. He has so far run a best of 10.91 at 124 mph, and is looking to improve on that in today’s second round of qualifying.
Dom DiDonato pushed his 2008 Shelby GT500 to a career best performance of 7.79 at just 169 mph during round one of qualifying last night. The Delware-based racer has been testing locally every weekend since the Ford Motorsport Nationals and his hard work is paying dividends. Last weekend DiDonato cruised to a 5.03 at 142 mph at Cecil County and his turbocharged 5.4L clocked a near identical eighth-mile of 5.04 at 142 mph on his fast run. The team will be working on dropping the sixty-foot times to the bottom 1.20s with the hope to get into the 7.60s by the end of the weekend. The team at C&D Auto Tech managed to get over 100 pounds out of the GT500 in order to get him closer to the minimum weight.
Last race the ProCharger Coyote Modified turbocharged racers were allowed to upgrade to a 76mm version of their T4-based turbochargers. This outing both JPC Racing team cars, belonging to Jeff Polivka and John Kauderer, are finally getting a chance to see some noticeable results. We caught up to Polivka and asked him what effects the 76mm had on his program. He told us that the peak boost is up a little bit but where the 68mm turbocharger fell off tremendously on the backside, the 76mm stays steady. He feels they have the power to run near the top and now it is just a matter of dialing in the AEM Infinity boost controller.
It is going to be hot today and the Dyno Joe/Jason Henson camp will be cooling off in the comfort of a baby pool. They picked it up at Walmart last night in anticipation of the heat. The baby pool required 63 bags of ice and is a frosty 70 degree water right now. And of course, what baby pool is complete without a rubber ducky?
While Brenspeed’s Brent White shakes down Steph Davies’ ’92 Mustang — Roush Fox —in Bracket 3 this weekend, Davies is piloting White’s 2013 Roush R2300 and Coyote-powered Mustang — Four Leaf — in the 11.50 index of Race Pages Ford Muscle, and after trapping an 11.43 in yesterday’s first round of qualifying, she’ll work to slow it down a tick for today’s second round of qualifying. Davies’ ’92 Mustang, which was built in-house at Roush Performance in Plymouth, Michigan, features a 2012 Coyote engine, control pack from Ford Performance Parts, a Roush TVS 2.3 Liter Phase 2 supercharger and a Performance Automatic C4 transmission. When White is done dialing it in, Davies will jump into the driver’s seat and direct her attention to Race Pages Ford Muscle, a category for footbrakers and their 1955 and newer Fords running 9.50-15.50 indexes.
It seems that regardless of the circumstances, Race Pages Coyote Stock standout Jacob Lamb has a smile on his face that says he’s running well, and that if he’s not, he will be soon. He pushed his G-Force T-5-equipped Mustang to a 10.66 at 126 mph in the first round of qualifying, and while that put him in the sixth spot out of fifteen cars going into the next round of qualifying, he’s working to get his car to hook on a hot track. “My 60-foots are not there, but my down track numbers and split times are good,” said Lamb. “I’m adjusting the clutch and the suspension, and we’ll see what happens. T.J. (Bailey) is doing a good job, as always, and he wants to see us go fast, but we have really hot conditions this weekend.”
Between qualifying runs this afternoon, Flex-A-Lite Open Comp competitors — and longtime friends — Larry Geddes of Barnesville, Ohio and Brent Blacker of Bridgeport, Ohio talked about the hot outdoor temperatures, the hot track and how well official NMRA and NMCA starter T.J. Bailey was prepping it despite the less than favorable conditions. Geddes, whose Mustang is powered by a 363 cubic-inch Ford, was .020 at the hit to land in the seventh spot in the first round of qualifying, and Blacker, whose Mustang boasts a 420 cubic-inch Ford, was .065 at the hit to take the sixteenth spot out of twenty-seven cars going into the next round of qualifying. Geddes is looking at 10.80s this weekend while his partner in crime is seeing 10.teens.
The second NMRA Grudge Night is beginning to fill up and one player who rolled in under the radar was Steve Simpkins with his 2004 SVT Cobra. The Four-Valve combination sports a single turbo, but what it runs is anyone’s guess. Ante up some loot and you can have a front row seat to the action. Several QA1 True Street racers are also looking to jump into the Grudge Night once the True Street party disperses later today.
Kevin McCotter is competing in his 30th QA1 True Street event since 2009! Some might recognize this car from the NMRA posters when he would roast the tires in the Burnout contest. His engine builder told him that he had to make a choice between racing and burnout contests so he chose racing. The small-block Ford engine runs without nitrous and has gone as quick as 9.23 with the goal of running in the 8s without a power adder. McCotter told us that he has won every time category, except the 15-second zone.
Big 3 Racing built this sharp-looking turbocharged LX for Lon Tibbs after he wrecked his SN95 True Street car last year. Initial testing has produced high 7-second runs and Big 3 Racing re-routed the exhaust under the car and past the firewall to be compliant with QA1 True Street rules.
After purchasing Kermit Buffington’s Mustang last summer, Nate Stymiest has been getting seat time in Race Pages Coyote Stock and dialing in the combination and chassis, which includes a G-Force T-5 transmission and UPR suspension. Legendary naturally aspirated driver Charlie Booze, Jr. has been helping him with adjustments on his suspension, as well as on his Ram clutch, and the Waynesboro, Pennsylvania-based driver has so far posted a best of 10.77 at 124 mph this weekend. He is, however, currently engaged in a battle of the wits with the line-lock button located on the shifter, as he keeps accidentally hitting it while powerfully shifting. The result is a bunch shaved off the elapsed-time, but Stymiest is on high alert and determined to avoid hitting the button the rest of the weekend, before, for good measure, altogether moving it to a different location before the next race.
Maurice, Louisiana’s Curtis Catalon, whom we spotted passing out packets of spice from his sponsor, Camp Dog Cajun Seasoning, ran his Mustang to a 7.82 at 179 mph and 7.81 at 178 mph in Edelbrock Renegade qualifying, with a soft tune in his Triangle Speed Shop-managed 4.6 engine fronted by a 76mm Precision turbo, but he’s looking to stand on it in today’s final round of qualifying. “Those are good numbers for this heat,” said Catalon, who has been as quick as 7.65. “Now, we want to see if we can put down more power for the final round of qualifying.” His crew for the weekend includes Chris Baxter and his brother, Marcus Baxter.
Currently second in Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle points, reigning class champion Donnie Bowles drove his ’05 Roush-powered Mustang to the second qualified spot after seeing the tree to the tune of .007. He’ll lock in a 10.10 dial going into eliminations, and he’s pulling double duty, as he’s finishing the rain-delayed Maple Grove race in addition to running this weekend’s race. This track has special meaning to Bowles because his dad, NMCA Quick Lane at Downs Ford NA 10.5 driver Don Bowles, won Wally trophies here in Modified Eliminator at the NHRA SpringNationals in 1980 and 1981, and while he’s not apt to point it out, he, too, earned a win here, in Modular Muscle in 2010.
Upon changing his clutch set-up, Race Pages Coyote Stock driver Doug Johnson had a promising test session recently and hoped to reap the rewards of that this weekend, but instead, he’s working to get his Tremec TKO500 by Liberty-equipped Mustang to hook up and go on the front half of the track. Within the past few days, he has swapped rear gear ratios, changed suspension settings and turned down the tune, but hasn’t yet found the sweet spot, and turned in an off-pace 11.19 at 123 mph in qualifying. “We need to pick up three tenths, but we’re dumbfounded at this point,” said Johnson. “We’ll make a few more slight adjustments to the chassis for tomorrow’s first round of eliminations, and hope for the best.”
We reported earlier today that it had been a year since G-Force Transmissions Pure Street driver Mike Gucciardo had been behind the wheel of his Fox body Mustang and was struggling to lay down a number he was content with. In tonight’s final round of qualifying, however, he trapped a 10.68 at 127 mph, a sizable improvement over his previous numbers, and then, on a bicycle with tires that rival those on his race car, stopped by Doug Johnson’s pit area to share the news with him and his crew member, Chris Ohlrogge.
FINAL QUALIFYING <<HERE>>
Delayed Maple Grove Completed Eliminations <<HERE>>