A win is always exciting, but it’s even better when it’s an unexpected one and especially when it’s in an unconventional vehicle. After ten years of trying to beat his good friend and fellow racer, Danny Towe, with his ’70 Mustang Mach I, NMRA Ford Muscle racer David Mormann finally sealed the deal… in his 4WD ’17 Ford F250 diesel pick-up truck with 135,000 miles on the clock.
Mormann started his 2020 NMRA drag racing year with a win in NMRA Ford Muscle at the season opener in Bradenton, Florida. He followed it up with another win at the next race in Commerce, Georgia, but when a connecting rod bolt broke in his 351ci Windsor small-block engine at the third event in St. Louis, Missouri, he went back home to Florida feeling frustrated.
By that point, Mormann was leading in the championship points chase.
“We had to redo the motor and everything and got it together the night before we had to leave for the Michigan race, but something was off balance in it,” explained Mormann, who typically hauls himself as well as Towe—his friend and mentor who first introduced him to the sport of drag racing a decade ago—to the races. “He [Towe] said we could both skip it since I was number one in points and he was number two, and we’d battle it out in Kentucky, but I decided to tow him and tech in my truck so I’d at least get points for that.”
The men made it to the 2020 Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA All-American Nationals Presented by Force Engineering at US 131 Motorsports Park in Michigan, and Mormann made good on his plan to tech in his tow vehicle in place of his Mustang.
“I decided to make a practice run with it to see how fast it would go, and it was like a 16.11 or something,” laughed Mormann, who quickly removed the truck’s tailgate and spare tire along with some other items to try and knock a few numbers off.
Running on a 16.00 index, Mormann went on to qualify seventh in NMRA Ford Muscle with a 16.108-second pass while Towe took the top spot. Then, incredibly, in eliminations, Mormann’s stand-in vehicle showed up to work and carried him straight through to the final round of eliminations where, as fate would have it, he was paired with Towe and took the win.
Mormann expected maybe he would go a round or two in eliminations, but never thought he would win—and never thought he would win against Towe.
“It was the first time I had beat him in ten years!” proclaimed the surprised driver, who unfortunately wasn’t able to claim contingency cash with his daily driven, bone stock F250. “It was ironic that it was with my truck, against the guy that taught me to race. It was a lot of fun.”
Mormann has been busy buttoning up his Grabber Green ’70 Mach I to prepare for the upcoming season finale in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and is incredibly thankful for the support he’s received to make everything possible.
“My wonderful wife, Teresa, gives me the time to go follow my passion and spend all my money,” he said gratefully, “and both Trick Flow and Wiseco jumped through hoops to get a bunch of stuff made to take care of what I needed to get the engine back together.” Additional support from machinist Alan Goulden of Alan’s Automotive in Land O’ Lakes, Florida, has been instrumental in the success of Mormann’s racing career.
Ironically, getting the win with his diesel also enabled Mormann to lock up the NMRA Ford Muscle championship for the 2020 season, his first title.
“I just have to tech in at Bowling Green. I’ve been trying for ten years and have been close, so, yeah, I’m pretty excited!” he added.