We are coming to you live from the famous Beech Bend Raceway Park in beautiful Bowling Green, Kentucky, and we will be ready to race as soon as the fog lifts and the track is dry. The good news is we’ll be celebrating two decades of NMRA World Finals racing, and expect to get started around 10:00am. The good-er news is that the forecast is showing nothing but sun for the rest of the weekend after this bit passes.
NMRA’s Gene Bergstrom (right) and track prep specialist and Competition Director Kurt Johnson check the rollout on the starting line in each lane. A complete track inspection is done before every NMRA national event to ensure the facility is up to snuff for record runs and close competition.
The biggest change in Manny Buginga’s Mustang this weekend isn’t anything having to do with its combination but rather in its ownership. Made official just last weekend, Alton Clements is now the proud papa of this pretty little Fox body. Alton will be wheeling it in NMRA VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw this weekend, running a ProCharged and DiSomma Racing Engines-built engine with Visner Engine Development heads and intake manifold.
G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock racer Tyler Eichhorn of MPR Racing Engines noticed his Gen 2 Coyote engine was down on power, so he and his father Tim (pictured) swapped their trusty ol’ Gen 1 back in last weekend instead. They were able to squeeze in a test session prior to this weekend’s festivities, and found the ’93 Mustang was faster than ever so they should be in good shape this time out.
Tony Hobson and tuner mastermind Eric Holliday of JPC Racing took their turbocharged 2014 Ford Mustang out for some suspension testing at the NMCA race in Norwalk, Ohio, earlier this year. Knowing they needed to step up their game, they added some top-notch shock sensors and a RacePak system to get a better handle on the data acquisition side of things. Hobson is sitting second in NMRA Edelbrock Renegade points going into this weekend’s race, and they’re “fully prepared to f’ing send this b*tch” and get after it this weekend in hopes of finding a 7.29. Look for a full feature on Hobson in an upcoming issue of Fastest Street Car magazine.
Things will get going quickly for Adam Arndt this weekend as he is sliding behind the wheel of Charlie Cooper’s VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw machine. The notchback is fresh off an impressive outing during the Shakedown at The Summit where it ran 4.30s. Under the hood resides a Mike Curcio Racing Products 430ci engine that is topped with a set of Edelbrock SC1 cylinder heads. A Precision 98mm turbocharger makes the boost while Jason Lee of PTP Racing handles the tuning and power management chores. This will be the first time Arndt is driving a turbocharged car of this caliber but he is eager to get comfortable going quickly. Will he build a big motor with a new ProCharger F-1X for Street Outlaw in 2019?
The Mickey Thompson rig is on the property and stocked with plenty of tires, especially 275s, true 10.5s and even bias-ply slicks.
Nearly 48 hours ago the Beefcake Performance 2018 Mustang GT was on the lift at Finish Line Performance without a transmission. The 10R80 automatic transmission went boom and Terry Reeves had to overnight a stock torque converter from Circle D because the Ford supply is on back order, he then went to every Ford dealership in the Cincinnati area to buy every internal part they had in stock. The transmission was rebuilt and installed before they hit the road to the NMRA World Finals at Beech Bend Raceway. Reeves is gunning for his 8-second run this weekend, which would mark the first time a supercharged 2018 model will have accomplished that feat.
Kevin McCotter jumped into the NMRA’s newest category, Steeda Limited Street, for the 2018 season. The multi-time winner in QA1 True Street, dropped the nitrous oxide injection off of his small-block Ford combination for Limited Street to run as a naturally aspirated combination, but the 461ci engine makes 823 horsepower on the engine alone, so it’s packing quite a punch. Now, if McCotter can excise the bad luck gremlins from his program, he’ll be in good shape. A shoulder injury prevented him from attending the first two races, a transmission failure in his motorhome killed his chances for the Columbus, OH, race, and a faulty alternator took him out at the Joliet stop. Hopefully, this event goes off without a hitch and he can concentrate on keeping up with the boosted cars in the class.
While we weren’t able to get in the test session on Thursday, the ProMedia staff did park a few hundred cars and the Nitto Tire Racer Appreciation Party featuring free pizza and drinks went off without a hitch.
Leading the VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw class in points going into this final event, Andy Manson is in a prime position to take the championship as Manny Buginga, who sits number two, and Shawn Ayers, who sits in third, won’t be attending the event. With the championship and race car all set, Manson took the opportunity to rotate the tires on his on-track tow vehicle, noting that the weight from pulling his SN-95 Mustang has been wearing own the outside edges of his back tires.
Jeromy Smith of nearby Scottsville, Kentucky, is competing in QA1 True this weekend and made a stop at Holley on his way here to pick up a two-step for his 1991 Mustang GT. The Fox-body, named Casper, packs a 331ci small-block and a Paxton Novi 2000 supercharger, and this will be his first weekend launching off the transbrake as well.
Dan Wilm of Joliet, Illinois, brought out his Ugly Duckling ’88 Mustang LX to run in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw this weekend. He’ll have his work cut out for him as his Fox body runs 4.60s in a class where the leaders are in the .20s and .30s, but he also has an ’85 Fox body Mustang in the works for next year that will receive the 400ci SBF/ProCharger engine combination from the duckling, and promises to be a better foundation to go quicker and faster with.
Racers and fans have been raiding the ProMedia Powermall all morning to get their share of NMRA gear as the season winds down. You can count on the Powermall to have all of your NMRA swag and, of course, end-of-year sales to make your dollar go farther.
The NMRA finals at Beech Bend Raceway have always featured a strong QA1 True Street contingent, and Kerry Stinson of Scottsville, Kentucky, has joined the fray with his 1989 Mustang LX convertible. Just a few days ago, he took a 300-mile road trip to get his 302ci, TrickFlow Specialties small-block engine combination tuned via a Holley EFI system, and the stick-shift driver expects to go low 12s in the category this weekend.
Also competing in True Street and in particular, the Tremec Transmissions Stick-Shift Shootout, is Taylor Baker of Millbrook, Alabama. Baker sold his Fox-Body Mustang race car to purchase this low-mileage 2004 Terminator Mustang, and while he enjoyed it early on with a Whipple supercharger, he has since swapped over to twin Precision 64mm turbochargers, and a Pro EFI system. The (currently) 11,000-mile Cobra still has all of its power accessories and options and T56 transmission, yet knocks down high 8-second times in the quarter-mile.
Ben Calimer (at right) of Waynesboro, PA, has run in Steeda Limited Street earlier this year with another one of his cars, but this weekend he’s piloting this S197 Coyote-powered machine. The engine, tuned by Jordan Performance and Racing’s Justin Jordan (at left), is a max-effort naturally aspirated effort with a built bottom end measuring 304 ci, ported cylinder heads and Comp camshafts. Running on E85, the 14:1 compression ratio power plant makes over 580 horsepower to the wheels, which gets there via Calimer’s built MT-82 six-speed transmission that has been upgraded with G-Force Racing Transmissions gears.
Krista Elyse and Adam Arndt sure do have their priorities in order. Wedding bells will be ringing for these two lovebirds next weekend, but first… racing! 😉 Arndt is piloting Charlie Cooper’s ride in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw this weekend (as Cooper had to work and stayed home) and it’s his first time driving a turbocharged entry, as well as his first time driving in the faster class. Of course, Elyse is also racing her True Blue for Autism Mustang in Richmond Gear Factory Stock, and the bride to be is looking forward to saying “I Do” in a few days as the couple plans to have their racecars join them in their wedding photos.
Whatcha eatin’? Hellion Turbo’s B-Team made good use of the foggy morning’s delayed start as they fueled up their racecars and their bellies with a solid breakfast.
This morning’s test session and great track conditions produced a new personal best 60-foot time for Detroit Locker Truck & Lightning standout Vinnie Telesco. His 1.31-second short time could have produced his first 9-second run if he hadn’t been so busy regaining control when his BG Racing and Premio Sausage-backed truck went up into a wheelie just after the hit. Telesco’s got a new front suspension setup, including a new crossmember and “the whole nine years” from AJE Suspensions along with a new Dart block-based 427 ci engine.
Frank Varela, Edelbrock Renegade points leader, may or may not be testing some parts for next year. Varela (right) briefly toyed with the idea of retiring from racing, but instead had his nephew, Ivan Varela (right), build a new ’93 Mustang coupe for him to use in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw in 2019 instead. Good decision, Frankie. That car will use a new MMR billet GenX Coyote engine with a Powerglide transmission, and assuming the rules allow for it, will run on alcohol. Varela’s current turbocharged ride, though, will be gifted to Ivan to enjoy in the meantime.
Dan Saitz, fresh off a win on Hot Rod Magazine Drag Week in the Modified category, showed up on Friday morning ready to rock the ZP Performance Steering Outlaw True Street category. His Fox-body Mustang sports a 400ci Windsor engine with Trick Flow High Port cylinder heads and a Precision 85mm turbo. He proved the car’s mettle on the 1,000-mile road tour from Drag Week and he ran 7.30s at 190 mph in street trim.
Happy birthday, Randy Seward! This young man just doesn’t quit, as he’s got his famous Pony Express Fox body out and ready for more punishment. Double entered in QA1 True Street and ididit Outlaw True Street, Seward’s put plenty of laps on his pony and he’s dialed in his consistency to the tune of 8.50-second runs.
Texas-based racer James Meredith (left) hasn’t decided yet if he’ll be running in ProCharger Coyote Modified or Steeda Limited Street this weekend. In CM, he can run at a lighter weight and keep his Nitrous Outlet kit turned on, but in LS he would have to run naturally aspirated… either way, his street legal ’73 Capri is a pretty sweet ride. He acquired the car from friend and influencer Mike Bowen (right) who had it sitting behind his shop. Meredith left the patina on the fenders and spent last year building the entire thing around the engine from his old Factory Stock entry. A C4 transmission, Strange front end, brakes, axles, and a Ford Explorer 8.8 rear end make up the rest of the “5.0 Shades of Green” Mercury.
Artist Dave Osborn has his Hand Made Man Cave shop set up on the vendor midway, and his unique creations are the things of gearhead dreams. From custom lamps to other works of arts and home accessories, Osborn’s beautiful pieces are perfect for basements, shops, garages, or anywhere else.
Well, John Leslie Jr. got “more fasterer” in Richmond Gear Factory Stock, but he claims he really doesn’t know why. Negligible changes in the suspension setup of his ACT Clutches-equipped and JLT Performance-backed entry may have been the culprit, or maybe he just finally took the sandbags out of the trunk.
Hailing from the great state of Texas, Larry Barringer has been a big fan of NMRA True Street, and in recent years has competed in the class with a number of twin-turbo, Coyote-swapped Fox-Body Mustangs, all of which run 8s or better. It would seem that Barringer needed some new inspiration and built this First-Gen Mazda RX-7. Of course, it’s packing a Coyote engine built by TKM and fed by a pair of turbochargers. Weighing in at a svelte 2,730 lbs, the RX-7 clocked an 8.11 at 172 mph today in testing and should be set to run in ZP Performance Steering Outlaw True Street.
Now in his 4thyear in Exedy Racing Clutch Mod Muscle, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s John Rush is having his best year in the class yet as he currently sits 4thin points and just 55 points behind third-place Donnie Bowles. A car dealer by trade, Rush searched the national dealer online vehicle exchange for a new race car and found this eye-searing yellow 2006 Mustang with 120,000 on the clock. The Mustang has seen nothing but quarter-mile passes since then, and has been fortified with a Freddy Brown 4R70W automatic transmission, BMR suspension parts, Strange Engineering coilovers, and Aerospace Components brakes. He also had a set of Competition Cams bumpsticks installed for a bit more power, and so far the S197 Mustang has run a best of 11.82.
Multi-time QA1 True Street winner Mike Jovanis has his 7-second Fox-body Mustang primed and ready for True Street competition this weekend. A test pass earlier today revealed there was a faulty air intake temperature sensor, and his Haltech EFI system compensated by adding a bit more fuel which slowed his pass. Luckily the problem was easy to diagnose and the repair was easy to complete, and Jovanis will be making another hit this evening.
While he’s usually competing in his Shelby GT500, Rick Lapinski of Buffalo, New York, could stay out of the driver’s seat for long and performed some upgrades to his ’86 Mustang coupe and plans to make some hits this weekend. The notchback previously had a stock Coyote with a ProCharger and it clicked off 9.50s, but Lapinski upgraded the blower to an F-1 unit, and upgraded the engine to a 5.2-liter MMR built piece with ported GT350 heads. Unfortunately, the torque converter he picked isn’t quite right for the combination, and he hasn’t been able to get it to leave very hard. Still, he’s just happy to be here at the NMRA finals in Bowling Green and looking forward to making more passes in his car.
Often pitted with fellow Canadian and QA1 True Street racer Jeff Bloem, Ted Rajanayagam left his fellow canuck behind after Bloem had engine troubles leading up to the event. Ted’s 2003 Mach 1 is quite the capable machine with a built 4.6 DOHC-based that is fed with some 26 psi of boost from a pair of Precision 67/66 turbochargers, and a Hutch’s Transmissions Powerglide transmission with a PTC billet torque converter. The Ontario resident is expecting 8.60s, provided he remembers to turn on the CO2 bottle to make sure the wastegates hold the double-digit boost pressure.
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