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Over 20 GT500s Battled For Shelby Supremacy at NMRA Spring Break Shootout

Posted By: Evan J. Smith
Over 20 GT500s Battled For Shelby Supremacy at NMRA Spring Break Shootout
By Evan J. Smith
NMRA racing kicked off the 2023 season in grand fashion this past weekend at Orlando Speed World at the 29th Annual RYNO Classifieds Online Spring Break Shootout presented by Nitto Tires. In addition to the NMRA series championship categories, Ford fans were treated to specialty classes including the All-Female True Street, TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout, BBK Performance Spring Break Shootout and the Coastal Dyno 2020-Up Shelby GT500 Showdown. The event also included a drift exhibition led by Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Chelsea DeNofa.
The GT500 class was a big hit as fans saw some of the quickest GT500 Mustangs in the country ripping in stock and modified trim. With 760 horsepower from the factory, Ford has made it easy for anyone to hop in and runs 10s at 130-plus mph. NMRA officials teamed with Sam Lippencott (owner of Coastal Chassis Dyno & Performance in Tampa, along with Palm Beach Dyno, Beefcake Racing and ZPE GripTec) to give owners a place to race and show what their GT500s could do.
So, together with the NMRA technical department, they created the 2020+ Shelby GT500 Shootout, which included two classes, Unlimited and Street. This format suited anyone, regardless of performance or skill level, and allowed everyone to have a fun time with their newer Shelby GT500.
“The latest Shelby GT500s are some of the most incredible cars on the road, and they’re even more exciting when modified to race on the quarter-mile,” said Steve Wolcott, President and CEO of NMRA. “There’s no better place to showcase that performance than the first race of our 25th Anniversary season and these racers didn’t disappoint. It was a real treat to see over 20 of these new Shelby Mustangs fill the lanes and compete on track.”
It was very neat seeing all those GT500s and the owners had a great time running their cars and chatting with the fans. Camaraderie in the class was awesome. Owners had the chance to make a bunch of time trials to feel out the track and lay down passes before jumping into Saturday’s eliminations. The Street class consisted of a 10.10 Index with a .10 breakout rule, while Unlimited class ran on a 9.10 Index with a .10 breakout rule. And NMRA presented the winners with $2,000 and an NMRA Victor award, while the runner-up drivers received $500 and a plaque in both the Street and Unlimited categories.
The Unlimited Shootout brought out a bunch of 1,200-plus horsepower Mustangs with ETs in the low 9s and speeds cracking 150 mph. Pedro Porto qualified on the pole with a 9.19 at 154 mph. He was followed by Gary Muder (9.24) and John Brennan (9.43). In the final, Porto used a holeshot to take the win over Chris Tino in a tight 9.18 to 9.14 final.
The event also offered a GT500 Street Battle that went to Geoff Maze of Tampa, Fla. Maze downed Yassel Orea in the final. The Tampa resident drove his ’21 Shelby GT500 to a 9.905 for the win after Orea red-lighted.

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