Friday Coverage—18th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals

UPDATE: NMRA officials have given word that racing will begin at 3PM and the program will begin with first round of qualifying.

Rain, Rain, Go AWAY! The rain has stopped and track drying has started as it was a wet start to the day. We do not have an official start time but it is all hands on deck to help get the surface dried. The latest info on start times will be kept up-to-date on the official NMRA Facebook page, in addition to the announcer and at the registration trailer.


Attracted to the NMRA World Finals Grudge Night portion of the event was Houston, Texas’ Bobby Underwood. His shop, Black Mamba Speed specializes in Coyote swaps, so it’s no surprise that his grudge racing/no prep ride is a Lincoln Mark VIII with a Coyote power plant under the hood. The 5.0-liter bullet is fully built, but as it turns out, might be in need of a rebuild. Underwood, who says the E85-fueled car has over 100 passes on it at 26psi of boost, and that running mid 8s with it may have taken its toll on some piston rings and/or the pistons themselves—compression tests after an aborted run yesterday showed it was down two cylinders. Underwood’s Lincoln might just be the fastest street-legal Lincoln on a track these days, but it looks like he’ll be rooting for his fellow Houston racer Larry Barringer from the stands this weekend. Barringer is debuting another new turbo Coyote notchback that looks every bit as killer as last year’s ride.


While we’re waiting for the sun and track to be a little more cooperative, it’s a good opportunity make any repairs that you might have put off. Bullseye Turbo’s Bill Devine had his air shifter bracket crack due to some tire shake and general abuse inside the car, so the always-equipped Devine pulled out the TIG welder and went to work.


So was it oil and water in the Mystic paint that Ford used to get that flip-flop hue?


The swap meet is in full effect here on Friday, and it is likely to grow tomorrow.


tony-hobson-renegadeEdelbrock Renegade saw a new racer this past summer when Tony Hobson jumped into the high-paced category. JPC Racing built the car so it is no surprise that a RGR/JPC Coyote 5.0 engine is under the hood. A custom single turbocharger is the power adder of choice and AEM Infinity controls it all with Eric Holliday overseeing the operation. Yesterday, Hobson laid down a career best of 7.69 at 183 mph. Holliday commented, “We’re been working on the front-half, it could be a little quicker there but that isn’t bad for the first quarter-mile pass.” Also new is a M&M Transmissions TH400 two-speed transmission.

medlock_nmra_mx235Those are some tiny tires on the back of Brad Medlock’s VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw entry as he and crew chief Barry Phillippi are gunning for the all-time record on 235 radial tires, which is currently a 4.62. The car has plenty of power to go 4.30s if they ran on 275 radial tires but the smaller meats give them a unique challenge. The team has dumped the 85mm turbocharger and added a Precision Pro Mod 98mm to help give the car a little extra power in an effort to go in the 4.50s.

frank-varelaThe Hellion Racing B-Team spent the nine weeks of downtime “doin’ work” on their Edelbrock Renegade Mustang. The most obvious change is the MMR intake manifold with integrated air-to-water intercooler under it. Frank Varela and the rest of the B-Team spent two testing at Holly Springs before coming over to Kentucky for the NMRA World Finals.

bart-tobenerAnd here’s Bart Tobener looking like he knows what he’s doing… Tobener took advantage of the rain delay and rebuilt his Powerglide transmission. It wasn’t that he was bored, just that he had trouble during yesterday’s test and tune. Luckily, Craig Pachar of Triangle Speed Shop was ready to help tear apart the transmission and rebuild it.

murilloThe champ is here! Mike Murillo, 14x world champion, grudge racer extraordinaire and television personality is on site and ready to meet and greet fans and to get into it during tomorrow’s Grudge Night. After struggling to get his legendary, SCT Performance-sponsored “LaFawnduh” twin turbo Mustang back together after a wicked wreck in December of 2015 in Texas, Murillo’s feeling confident that he’s got everything in place. DMC Racing rehabbed the chassis, and the alcohol-fueled 542 ci big block Ford motor topped with Trick Flow heads got a brand new cam from Keith Szabo. Oil pressure issues (which have since been resolved) popped up, so Murillo hasn’t had a chance to get any test runs on the car with the new cam just yet. He’s joined his weekend by his oldschool crew guys Johnny Delarosa, Jeremy “Deuce” Duffek, crew chief Brandon Sult, and “Trent the Media Guy”.

bugingaManny Buginga and the Bruder brothers Nick and Rich are going to have their hands full this weekend. In addition to Buginga running his Skinny Kid Racing ’03 Cobra in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw, Buginga’s got a second entry – an ’89 coupe previously owned by Dan Saitz that’s powered by a turbocharged small block Ford engine backed by a Proformance Racing transmission – that Rich will be driving. Here, Buginga and his son, Manny, 10, are hard at work doing a converter swap for the Cobra.

pacharHere’s something you don’t see every day – a race-ready wagon. Daniel Pachar, co-owner of Triangle Speed Shop, is driving this super cool ’78 Fairmont station wagon owned by Austin Hickman in Edelbrock Renegade. Surprisingly light for its size, an abundance of ballast surrounds the 76mm boosted Mod motor and Proformance turbo 400 transmission to keep the massive front end down. Starting with a rolling chassis, Triangle Speed Shop built the entire thing from the ground up and went 4.90s in the eighth-mile in testing earlier this year with a different turbo.

washingtonA quick check of the two-step for Mike Washington and his JPC Racing/HP-Tuners ’93 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra is all it took to get the noted racer ready to run in American Racing Headers Factory Stock.

kerrWhen the owner of Race Parts Solutions decides he wants to go racing in American Racing Headers Factory Stock, this is what happens. This rather unassuming looking Mustang belongs to Kerr, and prior to its Coyote-powered life, it was home to a turbocharged pushrod engine. Kerr tapped MPR Race Engines and Proformance transmissions for assistance in the build, while the all-aluminum exhaust was fabbed by Derek Craft and Bart Tobener. Kooks headers are on board, as well as components from Meziere and others. Kerr’s put a few laps on the car in testing at Commerce Dragway in Atlanta, Georgia, but has no solid numbers to share as of yet.

cooperTesting yesterday produced a time slip showing a 2.90-second march to the 330’ mark for VP Racng Fuels Street Outlaw racer Charlie Cooper, but electrical gremlins have popped up in his ProCharged pony car and the guys are busy taking advantage of the rain delay to relocate their MSD ignition system. Under the hood sits a small block Ford formerly owned by multi-time champion John Urist (fun fact: the car itself used to be owned by Jason Lee) and tuning assistance is provided by the talented PTP Racing dup of Lee and Patrick Barnhill.

catalonOil issues, be gone! Louisiana-based Edelbrock Renegade racer Curtis Catalon (right) had some trouble at the last race with his Triangle Speed Shop ’03 Mustang Cobra’s engine maintaining pressure, so he scrapped the whole setup in favor of a Rich Groh 298 ci stroker engine. Joined this weekend by crew man Chris Baxter (left), Catalon is looking forward to a relatively relaxing weekend compared to the sleepless nights he’s faced over the past week getting the new power plant installed and buttoned up.

6New to the ProCharger Coyote Modified class is Phillip McCallister of Stephenson, Alabama, who is a former Open Comp racer that is entering the heads-up ranks. The project is a two-year build from it’s Windsor-powered 9-second to the Coyote-powered and nitrous-enhanced modular missile it is now. Smokey Mountain chassis handled the steel and chromoly work while Clyde Garner sprayed the beautiful Grabber Blue paint on the Fox-body notchback. With much help from Tim Matherly, Joe Guertin, Kermit, and Phillip’s wife Jessica—the real competitive one in the family—McCallister will make a motor-only hit or two during the two rounds of qualifying tomorrow, and then plans to hit it with a 100 shot after he’s content that the car is sorted. The four-valve was built by R&R Speed and Machine in Huntsville, Alabama, so it is ready for much more. Plans for 2017 are to get after the combination a bit harder with Pressurized Solutions helping on the tuning side, and hit several NMRA races.7