Friday Coverage— Borla Exhaust NMRA/NMCA All Star Nationals presented by Miller Welders

The gates are blown open, trucks and trailers are pouring in as they join the 300 rigs that pulled in yesterday as the 8th annual Borla Exhaust NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals, presented by Miller Welders, gets underway. Testing and tune sessions begin at 9AM with a special Pro Mod and Radial test session beginning at 11AM as head starter and track preparation expert TJ Bailey will have the track surface ready.


The NMRA Super Street Outlaw 2005 champion has brought out a new entry down to Georgia this weekend for NMRA VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw. Hailing from Massachusetts, Buginga picked up the Skinny Kid Racing-built ’03 Cobra just two short weeks ago, and has yet to put his inaugural hits on it. Hoping he winds up in the top two or three during qualifying, Buginga’s got his work cut out for him to familiarize himself with the new combination, which includes a 400 ci Pro Line Racing motor topped by Yates heads, and Precision GEN2 Pro Mod 98mm turbo. With Nick Bruder by his side acting as crew chief, and Pat Spears as assistant crew chief, the guys will be working to fine tune the FuelTech engine management and have a race-ready Cobra in no time.

Mike_Washington_SwitchWhat class is Mike Washington running this weekend? No one knows, not even Washington himself. Depending on how things go during the CP Stock Shootout that’s held during qualifying, he’ll either wind up in Race Pages Coyote Stock or American Racing Headers Factory Stock. Washington’s able to run either – he only has to add 250 pounds and a set of radials to his current Coyote Stock-trim ’93 Mustang legal for Factory Stock as well. That’s not all he’s swapping, though. Washington was eager to show off his new super-lightweight, drilled aluminum engine damper “baddest bolts ever” which save him a crucial 1/2 pound of rotational mass.

Drew_Lyons_NMRAAfter a bit of controversy earlier this year at the Bradenton NMRA race pertaining to the legality of Indiana-based Race Pages Coyote Stock racer Drew Lyons’ factory-rebuild Coyote engine, he’s borrowed a brand new, factory-sealed motor from fellow racer Bruce Hemminger and is ready to head into the weekend with absolutely no drama. Lyons shared that his previous motor, which had been rebuilt through the Ford folks themselves, was actually down on power. Perhaps the hullabaloo that pushed him to swap to Hemminger’s setup was actually a blessing in disguise – Lyons’ Mustang is now making the kind of power it was putting down last season, and the car thanked him with a massive, four-wheels-off-the-ground wheelstand during a recent test session.

Chuck_Bartholme_RenegadeSometimes, life (unfortunately) gets in the way of racing, aka “adulting.” For Chuck Bartholme of Maryland, taking over his family’s business, Edward’s Marine & Sons, buying a house, getting engaged to his now-wife Becca, and having a child (Sadie) took temporary priority over the fun of running the strip. Now, a seven-year hiatus, he’s back and ready to race! Bartholme converted his ’90 Mustang from its former state as an NMCA Extreme Street contender to an NMRA Edelbrock Renegade heavy hitter. The car’s previously four-link suspension has been swapped to a stock style setup, Vortech supplied the supercharger, and Alan Von Ahnen redid the front and rear suspensions. Mike Dezotell of Dez Racing was tapped for tuning, but the team hasn’t put any test hits on the car to date. This weekend will serve as the proving grounds for Bartholme’s comeback.

Haley James, 2015 NMRA ProCharger Coyote Modified champion and daughter of Hellion Turbo co-owner Dwayne James, was recently featured on the cover of Drag Illustrated magazine and has made the switch to Edelbrock Renegade for her 2016 season. There haven’t been any significant changes made to James’ turbocharged Behind Bars Race Cars-built ’94 Ford Mustang, but she ran a test hit with a larger than class-legal 85mm turbo before qualifying today, just to get some data. James is enjoying the Renegade class, but since her car is still (mostly) in Coyote Modified trim, she doesn’t feel pressure to be competitive. Once the car’s up to par, though, it’ll be a whole new ball game and James said she’ll definitely be feeling the obligation to drive better.

Terry “Beefcake” Reeves hasn’t had his Mustang out since the Bowling Green, Kentucky race in 2014, but on its first hit off the trailer today he ran a 7.96. Not bad, considering Reeves hasn’t been testing since he’s updated the car from a 10-point cage to a 25.3-certified one and added a host of new parts to his car. The Vortech YSI-BX with ATF gear drive is all-new, as is Reeves’s Holley standalone EFI, and Strange 9” rear end. Additionally, a custom air-to-water intercooler from Rogue Race Cars is on board and Brian from Finish Line Performance is managing the crew chief responsibilities as well as the car itself. Reeves is hoping to run at least in the 7.80s this weekend in Edelbrock Renegade, and 7.70s if all goes according to plan.

VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw 2015 champion Phil Hines finished buttoning up his 423 ci ’01 Mustang before heading out to make his first test pass of the weekend. The BES-built small block Ford motor receives a big boost of power from a ProCharger, but Hines knows he’s got his work cut out for him if he wants to continue his championship chase. He’ll be working his Rossler transmission and Mickey Thompson 275 tire as hard as he can this weekend, as the large field of Street Outlaw entries promises some stiff competition.

Although she’s running in Gear Vendors True Street this weekend with her MagnaFlow-sponsored and Vortech supercharged ’13 Mustang, Nikki Frost has got a whole new car in the works. Backed also by MagnaFlow, Frost’s new ’13 Mustang is currently being built by Revolution Automotive in Maryland specifically for ProCharger Coyote Modified duty. Its Coyote motor is coming from Modular Performance Solutions, and will feature a Vortech JT-B blower unit and TH400 transmission. Maryland’s 1320 Fabrication has also helped out with the build, and Frost expects to have it ready in time for the next NMRA race in Reading, Pennsylvania at the end of the month.

Part of this weekend’s racing lineup is the inaugural Sealed Stock Manufacturer’s Cup, which will pit four Chevrolet Performance Stock machines against four Race Pages Coyote Stock Mustangs. Both classes run sealed crate engines from Chevrolet and Ford Performance groups, and both will be looking to take home the $1,000 in cash and the Sealed Stock Cup trophy. Earlier today, there was a meeting to determine the final pairings. Six of the eight cars were selected based on the top three points finishers from 2015 combined with the top points finishers from the first race of 2016. The remaining two positions were randomly drawn from a hat, with CP Stock rookie Hayley Rounsavall and Coyote Stock newcomer Tyler Eichorn chosen to mix it up with the seasoned competitors.

Terrance WhalenThis is the current situation in the Terrance Whalen pit, a VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw competitor. Whalen took some time off to rebuild his engine program, which including dumping an 8.2-deck based engine for a larger 400ci bullet, complete with Edelbrock SC1 cylinder heads. Whalen fired up the car this morning to warm it up when they noticed water coming out of the headers. A quick tear down revealed a crack in one of the exhaust ports in the cylinder. A local cylinder head specialist is fixing the head they are hoping to be back in action for the second qualifier this evening.

MG1_8350 copy-2 copyHow does a 4.59 at 165 mph right off the trailer for Manny Buginga and his new racecar? That is what the team ran after getting in late last night and thrashing to finish the car. The crew spent a week at Pro Line Racing getting the engine fixed up for a life of 2,000hp thanks to a Precision 98mm turbocharger. The Bruder Brothers are the crew chiefs while Mark Menscer has been looking over the Skinny Kid Race Cars chassis.

Bang_Shift_Live_FeedThanks to the good folks at Good Vibrations we have the wonderful, energetic, and always entertaining crew to handle the Live Feed for this weekend. So if you can’t be here but want to watch, tune in to to catch the feed.

Multi-time Real Street champion Tim Matherly of MV Performance pushed his ’03 Mustang a little too hard during his first test hit of the weekend and was met by the striking surprise of a slipping clutch immediately after the launch. The stick-shift expert made a quick adjustment, and his RAM setup was ready to go for the first round of Race Pages Coyote Stock qualifying.

It’s been a fruitful morning for Florida-based NMRA ProCharger Coyote Modified racer Joe Guertin. “Wild G” went wheels-up during his first eighth-mile test hit of the day, then circled back around to the pits to make some adjustments to his ’85 Mustang 5.0. Joined by crew chief Chet and crew guys Joe and Brian, shock settings were changed, weight was redistributed, a second battery was removed, and the chassis was tweaked. Once done, Guertin went out for another run and found that the car was now behaving just like he thought it should. Feeling confident, the guys have loaded up what they think will be a record-setting tune in preparation for the first round of qualifying.

_DSC9932-2John Kauderer has a smile from ear-to-ear after round one of qualifying as he popped off a career best time of 8.16 at 167 mph. That comes off an 8.29 at 164 mph that ran earlier in the day during test and tune. The Cobra Jet sports a MMR engine with a single Hellion race kit and Precision 68mm turbocharger. JPC Racing has been working mostly with the boost controller and AEM Infinity stand-alone EFI system to make little gains each time down the track. The car ran consistent 8.50s last month and they keep putting more power to on every this weekend.

Mike Washington’s bumper says it all, ironically.