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Friday Coverage—2022 22nd Annual NMRA Ford Performance Nationals

Posted By: Ainsley Jacobs & Mary Lendzion
Friday event coverage and race updates from the 22nd Annual NMRA Ford Performance Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.


ARP Open Comp will kick off what is sure to be a great day of qualifying and time trials.

While many racers arrived on Thursday for the NMRA Ford Performance Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park, there were three rows of rigs stacked just inside of the park’s entrance at sunrise this morning, and all signs point to an action-packed weekend.

Racing is better with friends, and this group has a great collection of Mustangs ready to rock. Anthony Jager (near) is competing his orange entry in NMRA SCT Performance Ford Muscle and green car in NMRA HP Tuners Super Stang with Circle D torque converters on board both and QA1 shocks installed on the latter. “Coyote Fury” YouTuber Chris Rusch (middle right) is also running in Super Stang but is doing so with a stick shift setup. Thanks to encouragement from the guys, Jessie Barber (middle left) is racing Chris’s Grabber Blue Mustang in the Baer Brakes All-Female True Street competition while John Rusch (far) is going for glory in NMRA Exedy Clutch Mod Muscle.

Charlie McCulloch comes to this race fifth in Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle points, and while he’s focused on moving up, he has had a few hiccups recently in his 2004 Mustang. His engine was heating up, and he decided to replace his C4 transmission and Ultimate Converter Concepts converter with his backup C4 transmission and Ultimate Converter Concepts converter to see if either was the culprit,  and in the process, he discovered that some of his Kooks header tubes were smashed from a dip on a return road at a recent race. He replaced those with fresh Kooks header tubes and is hoping he is good to go for the weekend. The racer from Georgia recorded a 10.99 on a test pass this morning and an 11.05 in the first round of qualifying this afternoon, and he’s hoping to be consistently in the low 10.90s or high 10.80s.

Paul Svinicki and the team at Paul’s High Performance have been busy racing their Godzilla-swapped 2010 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet in both NMRA ARP Open Comp and the Watson Racing Cobra Jet Shootout, but they’ve been even busier back at the shop developing new performance products to pioneer the advancement of Ford Performance’s 7.3-liter Godzilla crate engine. The most recent addition to PHP’s line is this second-generation timing chain setup – a complete drop-in for a stock engine. A single roll means the unit is thinner and fits under the front cover while also deleting the factory variable camshaft timing (VCT) and even includes the production cam trigger so that factory ECU-equipped vehicles will start up without any trouble.

After speaking with Shane Stymiest and a few other NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock racers, Jason Dietsch Trailer Sales’ head honcho purchased Jimmy Vogel III’s Mustang to run in the class. The deal went down right after the NMRA/NMCA race in Rockingham, North Carolina, but Dietsch raced Glen Pushis’s car at the following event in St. Louis, Missouri, instead. Prior to getting going this weekend, Dietsch and Stymiest hurried over to Dragway 42 to make some runs on Thursday evening. Stymiest put a few laps on the Gen 3 Coyote-powered machine and ran as quick as 9.91-seconds in the quarter-mile before Dietsch stepped in, and during Friday morning testing at Summit Motorsports Park, Dietsch went 10.10 at 134 mph. The driver is working to learn the car and get his shifts with the G-Force G101A transmission dialed in, and he’s having a ton of fun in the process.

Jason Riley, the 2021 RTRA Limited 235 season champion, has been trying his hand in NMRA VP Racing Fuels Madditives Renegade and Ultra Street this year. Riley recently ran his KBX Performance-prepared and ProCharger supercharged 1987 Ford Mustang in Ultra Street and got down into the 4.7-second zone for the first time. Fresh off the trailer this weekend and joined by his son Jaxson, Riley already ran a new personal best of 4.70-flat during Friday morning testing. His ultimate goal was to get into the 4.60-second zone, and he made that happen during the first qualifying session when he ran 4.694 at 150.53 mph with his Fox body to sit provisionally in second.

Lauren Stoney grew up watching her father race his 1989 Mustang, and was later inspired to purchase her own Fox body Mustang. She loves driving it, working on it and showing it off, but this weekend, she’s piloting a 2018 Mustang that belongs to Livernois Motorsports in Michigan. Lauren, a Web/Marketing/Social Media Coordinator for Livernois Motorsports who moved from her home in South Carolina to Michigan, shared with us that the car has a 5.0L engine and Whipple supercharger and that she has made test passes in it, but will be competing in the All-Female True Street presented by Baer Brake Systems this weekend. “It’s awesome to have this opportunity to pilot this beautiful Livernois Motorsports Mustang for this event,” said Lauren, who has run low 10s so far this weekend. “It’s going to be great.”

Chris Lee was working smart, not hard, adding a few extra pounds to get his TooSlo86 Racing 1986 Ford Mustang up to class legal weight this morning. He was a touch light for NMRA Richmond Gear Factory Stock standards when he rolled through the scales after testing this morning and wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again. The run, which he admits was the byproduct of a hectic rush to get ready, resulted in him spinning through first and second gear. Greg Creamer’s old Gen 2 Coyote engine with a 2018 intake sits under the hood of Lee’s Fox body, and he’s rowed the gears on his G-Force G101A transmission to a run of 10.782 at 125.33 mph after the first session of qualifying this afternoon

As soon as Chad Neuenschwander has pistons for the engine in his Fox body Mustang, he’ll be back in Dart NA 10.5 action, but this weekend, he’s driving his son Dustin’s 2018 Mustang in SCT Ford Muscle and Bracket Mayhem. It’s powered by a Coyote engine with an automatic transmission, and trust us when we share that Neuenschwander, who has always had a manual transmission is his race car, is reaching for the shifter. When we asked him how he feels about not rowing any gears this weekend, he laughed and said “I just have to get my NA 10.5 car back out.”

Brayden Creamer began racing his beautiful 1985 Mustang in ARP Open Comp last year, and he has already seen success in the car as he drove it to a win at the NMRA event at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky last fall. The car, which is powered by a 408 cubic-inch Windsor and Turbo 400 and has carried Creamer to a best of 10.79, is a fine fit for the eighteen-year-old, who is currently qualified in the third spot with a .009 at the NMRA Ford Performance Nationals this weekend at Summit Motorsports Park. Creamer has his sights set on finishing in the top ten in ARP Open Comp points before he begins his studies at the Vincennes University Aviation Technology Center in Indiana. Supporting him every step of the way are his father, Greg, who races in G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock, as well as his mother, Julie, and sister, Shelby.

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