It is the second day of the Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA All-American Nationals Presented by Force Engineering and the cars keep coming in the gate, but fans are limited to just 100 per day, as required by local health laws. Thursday wrapped up with a fast second test sessions in VP Racing Maddatives/Mickey Thompson Street Outlaw as Rob Goss led the crowd with his 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT Drag Pak when he posted a 4.42 effort. Tony Hobson showed he wasn’t messing around either and lit off a 4.44 performance out of his ProCharger blown ride. Keith Rhea pushed his turbo Cobra to a quick 4.52 run as he eased back into Street Outlaw. Other notable runs were Edelbrock Extreme Street/Renegade racers in the 4.70s, of which Martin Connelley was low for the round with a 4.74 at 150 mph from his ProCharger supercharged ride. The G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock cars were required to have the front wheels a minimum of two feet in the air at the launch, otherwise they could lose their NMRA membership. Torrey Brown led the crowd in the wheelie contest as he mowed through three gears before his tires came back to terra firma.
Hot Rod Magazine Drag Week showed up to US 131 Motorsports Park, sort of. The QA1/TorqStorm True Street category experienced a bump in entries this weekend with Drag Week having been canceled. One of the entries is local sensation Tim Flanders his Gray Area Mustang. It is a 1986 Mustang GT that has a Coyote 5.0 and a single turbocharger under the hood. A rather unique drivetrain backs the Coyote engine because of the 1,000 mile cruise that is attached with the Drag Week competition and the fact that Flanders uses this car as a daily driver from time to time. It is a TH400 transmission with a Gear Vendors Under/Overdrive fastened to the tail housing. Flanders has run a best of 8.82 at 153 mph with a mere 18 psi of boost and the car regularly knocks down 12 mpg while burning E85 fuel.
Eric Bardekoff didn’t drink beer and host BBQs between last month’s NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing and this event. He spent the time to rip off the Cobra Jet heads and add a new pair of Ford Performance X heads, complete with a special port job and excessively large valves. Once the new heads were bolted to the short-block the team strapped the 2015 Mustang GT to the chassis dyno to chart the gains. Nicky Notch handled the tuning chores and the car picked up 30hp at the peak power output. The story is in its power curve, the heads woke the engine up across the board. On track the results were immediately noticed. “We put in a tune-up that has gone 4.83 in great weather. We were expecting it to go high 4.80s with yesterday’s heat and humidity,” he commented. The Whipple Superchargers blown Mustang performed significantly better and grabbed a new personal best time in Edelbrock Performance Renegade with a stout 4.77 at 147 mph and a hard hitting 1.11 sixty foot time.
Tony Hobson of HPJ Performance is having a career season in VP Racing Madditives Street Outlaw with a runner-up finish two months ago during the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals, followed by a semifinal appearance last month during the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing. He consulted with crew chief Eric Holliday of JPC Racing on gear ratio changes heading into this weekend. The Proformance Racing TH400 underwent changes along with a new rear gear. The new ratios kept the DiSomma Racing Engines 434ci engine in its happy spot as they rolled out a 4.44 with a stout 1.09 sixty-foot with an easy tune-up.
Torrey Brown went for a fun ride last night in his G-Force Racing Transmission Coyote Stock hot rod. The Mickey Thompson slicks dug, the nose came and it kept rising—even when Browne snatched the next gear. He power-shifted into Third and gave NMRA staff photographer Kevin DiOssi a great view of the red-white-blue LED lights.
Edelbrock Renegade racer Keith Ciborowski spent the morning pulling his TH400 transmission for some minor repairs. Team patriarch Mike Ciborowski got inventive with a transmission stand when it came time to crack open the slushbox and Eric Holliday from JPC Racing dug into the SFI case. They will be ready for the first round of qualifying later today. Ciborowski earned international fame when he stuffed a Rich Groh Racing Coyote 5.0 engine and a turbo in a Dark Shadow Gray 2003 Mustang Cobra.
Joel Greathouse and Jason Spina are in one heck of a battle for the top position in Edelbrock Renegade. The Kentuckian, Greathouse, held a narrow lead heading into the weekend after he captured victory last month during the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing. The car sports a unique combination as Bennett Racing built a 311ci engine as the team chases weight breaks with its turbocharged combination. Justin McChesney is once again making the tuning calls. Since Renegade and NMCA Edelbrock Xtreme Street are crossover categories, Greathouse is currently sitting second in points there, too! This weekend will decide if the 5-time champion will chase after one or two titles at each season finale coming next month.
The last 24 hours have been interesting for JDM Engineering Limited Street racer Sondra Leslie as her engine was sitting on the floor of the garage and a brand-new Holley EFI Dominator was partially wired into the vehicle. The team made a mad thrash and got the car fired up shortly before midnight. The car drove into the trailer and they made the 5 hour trek—overnight—to US 131 Motorsports Park. Leslie brings a Vortech supercharged combination into battle and ditched the factory electronics for the more race-friendly Holley EFI system, which should allow her far more control off the starting line. She wanted to give a shout out to MPR Racing Engines who took delivery of her wounded engine immediately following last month’s event. They ordered new pistons and crankshaft to replace the broken parts. The Florida engine shop needed to run the block through its CNC boring machine to get the bores round, again. Sondra says her brother and the crew were the main reason she even made it to this event.
It was a busy morning for Steve Halprin and his crew, led by the fine folks at Walsh Motorsports. The team was warming up the car when a screw came off the throttle blade, forcing them to quickly pull the top half of the engine off, retrieve the screw, and repair a few things before hustling to get it back together and ready for qualifying. Halprin drove the car to an impressive 4.46 last night during the pre-event test session, a number that will put him in the thick of the VP Racing Maddatives/Mickey Thompson Street Outlaw category.
Alan Felts has a turbulent few weeks, first dropping a 4.36 during a Midwest X275 race at World Wide Technology Raceway two weeks ago. They sheered the flywheel bolts off, which ended up hurting the torque converter and ultimately removed the stellar Fox Mustang from competition. They thrashed to for this weekend’s event, taking the engine down to the short-block for inspection and fresh parts. The car is back together and Felts, along with teammate Jessie Coulter, are looking to push into the 4.30s in VP Racing Maddatives/Mickey Thompson Street Outlaw.