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Friday Coverage—2022 NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing presented by Fuelab

Posted By: Steve Baur
Testing kicks off the Friday action here at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway and we roll right into the first round of qualifying before noon. Keep checking back here for coninuous updates from the 2022 NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing presented by Fuelab.

Local performance shop HPJ Performance made its name building late-model HEMI cars, but the ownership has since branched out into other brands as well. When HPJ’s Dale Arnold stopped by Jason Dietsch Trailer Sales to pick up his new toter home, he spotted John Kauderer’s Cobra Jet that he campaigned in NMRA Coyote Modified at the facility, as Dietsch was entrusted with repairs to the car after an on-track incident. Arnold came back the following week and purchased the 1-of-3, Gotta Have It Green 2014 CJ. Since then, he’s put on a Forced Inductions 76mm Renegade-legal turbocharger, a new air-to-air intercooler, and added a few other updates. JPC Racing’s Eric Holiday is currently tuning the AEM EFI, but Arnold said they will be switching over to FuelTech towards the end of the season.

Jenn Fahey in HP Tuners Super Stang has noticed an issue with her Nitto drag radials pushing the car through the burnout, but then not hooking at the launch. Husband Dennis has a theory to test during the rest of test and tune to see if they can sort out the issue. As of Friday morning’s test session, it appears the couple has it figured out, so Jenn can now refocus on getting her reaction times dialed in. The theory was that during the burnout, if Jenn hammered on the gas to initiate the burnout, the car would push through the water, and send the car sideways. The car wasn’t adequately heating the tires that way, but after working on easing into the gas in the water box, that has allowed the car to gain the wheel speed necessary to perform a proper burnout.

Factory Stock racer Mark Anderson broke a strut during Thursday’s test and tune, and was in a mad dash Friday morning to get it swapped out. The little Two-Valve that can is now owned by Team Dirty Bird and the Stephens family. Anderson is still at the wheel of the car, and will be as long as he wants with Team Dirty Bird’s full support. 

VP Racing Madditives Renegade racer Joel Greathouse concentrated on making A to B passes during Thursday’s test and tune session. The heat of the day presented a lot of potential traction and power control issues, so Greathouse wanted to make sure the car will be ready for similar weather later in the weekend during eliminations. 

Del Holbrook may be new to JDM Engineering Limited Street, but he is finding his way around the category just fine, and he proved that with a runner-up finish at the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport last month at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina. The Michigander also ran a personal best of 8.32 and 161 mph at that event in his Mustang motivated by a Coyote engine built by Holbrook Racing Engines and paired with nitrous, but he didn’t mince words this morning when he told us that he wanted to go even quicker and faster at this event, with help from his father and fellow racer, Chris Holbrook, and team. He'll be one to watch.

David Bishop has been keeping the roads hot between his home state of Oklahoma, Bradenton, Florida, and here at World Wide Technology. Coastal Dyno also does the work on Bishop’s GT500, which benefits from an MPR Racing Engines bullet with a Jokerz Performance ported blower, a Fore Innovations fuel system, ID1700 fuel injectors and a Signature Wheels drag pack wearing Hoosier slicks. The car has been as quick as 9.1, and he went a 9.4 earlier today. If he can lower his 60-ft times, he hopes to get into the 8s this weekend. To reduce some weight from the car, the GT500 wears Vision Sport carbon fiber seats.

 Earning his NHRA license this weekend is Matt Caldwell from Edelstein, Illinois. His 1986 Mustang GT is definitely capable of earning one, Caldwell just needs to go through the formality of earning his license so can compete in TorqStorm True Street without any issues. The Four-Eye boasts a 408 Windsor with Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads, a Flowtech Induction cam, and a Borg Warner S475 single turbo. Behind the big Windsor is a Dynamic C4 with a TCT converter and an 8.8 rear with Superior axles, 3.27 gears and a Cobra differential. With a Mike Post tune in the Holley Terminator X EFI system, the car usually runs 9.0s in good weather, but until he earns his license, he has to run increment lengths before being able to run it out the back door. OG Mustang fans will no doubt recognize the car’s Bogart wheels and Saleen rear wing.

Gary Muder made the long trip up from Tampa, Florida to run his 2020 GT500 in TorqStorm Superchargers True Street. The car has spent quality time at Coastal Dyno for a Jokerz Performance ported blower with a billet lid, a JLT Performance cold air intake, a Kong Performance 108mm throttle body, a Fore Innovations fuel system, ID1300 injectors, ARH long-tube headers, a custom Coastal Dyno heat exchanger and a Signature Wheels drag pack with Mickey Thompson ET Street Rs, with a drag racing-specific tire alignment. The engine and transmission are stock, and soon the engine will receive a major upgrade in the form a Whipple 3.8 supercharger. During Friday morning’s test session, Muder ran a 9.4 before the rain came.

Joe Sepanik is the original owner of this 1993 Mustang LX, and he has a long history of racing the car, even though he says, “This is the first time in five years I’ve taken it down the track.” This is also the first time he’s raced it with a new Tremec TKX behind the car’s 357-inch Windsor, paired with an Anderson Ford Motorsport Hi-Rev clutch. The car gets its main motivation from a Vortech Si-Trim supercharger, but the Mike Post tune is turned way down in the Anderson Ford Motorsport PMS. Even with the tune turned way down, and Sepanik going easy out of the hole, since he is running on 275/40R17 street tires, the car still ran an 11.91 at 124 mph. The tire’s lack of sidewall height has Sepanik shifting into 5th gear before the stripe, but we fully expect him to go quicker once he finds the sweet spot. The amazing thing about Sepanik’s LX is that it retains its factory paint, save for what’s on the Boss Inc. hood. Sepanik keeps his car so clean that watching it rain on the LX was a painful experience. Hopefully Friday’s rain is the last wet stuff we see for the remained of the event.

When walking up to Bob Cosby’s GForce Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock pit, he told us to not look at the car too closely. Knowing the car’s long history in NMRA competition, we don’t mind its cracks and wrinkles. Cosby tells us he is racing within his means these days, which translates into buying a used Kevin McMullin water pump with a custom Tim Donathen bracket. “I’m out here to have fun,” Cosby says, so he wisely spends his money so he can continue doing what he loves. The Gen3 engine was in his former Factory Stock Cobra, but he took the engine out of that car and put into his 1988 Mustang coupe, adding Hooker headers, Dynomax Race Bullet mufflers, Billet Specialties wheels, and a Ram clutch from Tim Matherly in front of a GForce G101A transmission. He was guessing the car would be in the 10.20s, but he ran a 10.1 in round 1 of qualifying.

Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle racer Charlie McCulloch is one of those racers always capable of going rounds. McCulloch runs an MV Performance Four-Valve engine with an FR500 intake and heads. The engine is an old Robert Hindman combination now displacing 294 cubic inches. The engine broke a rod bolt at Bowling Green at the end of 2021, so much of the bottom end is new for 2022. The cams are from Comp, while John Mihovetz ported the heads way back when. Tracy Simmons from Shift Solutions handles the car’s C4 transmission, while an Ultimate converter is between the engine and transmission. MV’s Tim Matherly handles the tune using DiabloSport software. The car is usually good for high-10s, low-11s.  

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