When it was announced that NMRA Steeda Limited Street would be debuted at the final event of the season in 2017 and contested at all of the events in 2018, racers began readying their cars for the hot new heads-up category.
Among them was Michael Ciborowski, who was going to have what it would take to win with his 2014 Mustang GT powered by a Rich Groh Racing Coyote engine, VMP 2.3 supercharger, ProFormance Turbo 400 and Transmission Specialties converter.
He showed his cards in the form of an 8.91 to qualify in the second spot at the 10th Annual NMCA/NMRA All-Star Nationals in April at Atlanta Dragway and an 8.95 to qualify in the second spot at the 18th Annual NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals in May at Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania.
He picked up to an impressive 8.74 to set the pace and powered to an even quicker 8.72 to win over Sondra Leslie and land in the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle at the 15th Annual NMRA Ford Supernationals in June at National Trail Raceway in Ohio, and then, the Illinois-based driver dished up an 8.79 to qualify in the second spot and was forced to lift in the final round and finished as runner-up against Leslie at the 13th Annual Nitto NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing presented by Fuel Systems Technology in July at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois.
With battles for points reaching a boiling point, Ciborowski clocked an 8.63 to qualify in the second spot and went on to an 8.73 to win over Matt Williams in the final round at the final event of the year, the 20th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals in September at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky.
With that, he was ceremoniously crowned the 2018 NMRA Steeda Limited Street champion, and will go down in history as the first champion in the new category.
“I never thought I would be in the position to win a championship,” said Ciborowski, who has his late son Keven’s name on his passenger’s side window. “My goal when the year started was to try to finish in the top five. It took a while to get a handle on the car. Florida was not the best race as the car had a lot of issues. After that, though, we got it running pretty good. We had to win the Kentucky race to secure the championship. It was quite a weekend to say the least. I know there are people who have raced this series for years and never get close to the success I have had and I’m very humbled by it and just blown away that I ended up where I am. I couldn’t have done this without my son and crew chief, Keith Ciborowski, my tuner, Bob Monks, who spent hours dialing the car in and Kelly Aiken, who gave invaluable suspension help.”
Ciborowski and his fellow champions will be celebrated at the NMRA presented by Keystone Awards Ceremony presented by Aerospace Components, Dec. 7 at the Indiana Convention Center.
(Please watch for stories on all champions to be posted on the website and in Fastest Street Car in the days to come.)