By Mary Lendzion
Understanding how much time and talent it would take to have a car that would continuously be competitive, Nathan Stymiest jumped into NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock with both feet several years ago.
With each race, he learns more and more about what motivates his Mustang, and his passion and persistence are paying off.
Stymiest earned his first win in the cutthroat category in 2017, and was determined to do that again, but needed to spend time sorting out some issues after replacing his Gen I Coyote engine with a Gen II Coyote engine topped with a JLT Performance cold-air kit in 2018. Fortunately, he had help from Jimmie Vogel, Greg Creamer, Vinny Dastra, Chris Sease and Kevin Whisler, among others.
Stymiest made even more progress by reaching out to fellow racer Darin Hendricks, and asking him if he would go over his data at the NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania last summer.
“I had been stuck in the 10.40 range, and Darin watched the car and told me it was leaving the line good, but then falling on its face,” said Stymiest, whose brother is two-time NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock champion Shane Stymiest. “That’s when he looked at my data and asked me why I was shifting so low.”
After taking Hendricks’ advice to shift his G-Force Racing G101-A transmission at a higher rpm, and rebuilding the rear-end under his car which features UPR suspension components, Stymiest knocked off a 10.29 followed by an even quicker 10.27 at an NA Factory Racing event at Mason Dixon Dragway before running into some into clutch issues in his car.
After swapping parts, he worked to familiarize himself with a new clutch set-up at the final NMRA event of 2019, the Nitto NMRA All-Ford World Finals last fall at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky, where he picked up to a 10.21 to qualify in the second spot, and wheeled to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle with a 10.41.
“When I left that race, I was in shock that I had won,” said Stymiest, who wrapped up an eleventh place finish in NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock points.
Soon after, he headed to the Haltech World Cup Finals — Import vs. Domestic event at Maryland International Raceway, where he made it to the second round in the All Motor category, and then parked the car for winter.
“I went through some things on the car and wanted to get it on the dyno to see if I could find some horsepower, so I did that a few weeks ago at Booze Brothers Performance,” said Stymiest, who also has help from Kevin Houpt of SST Performance and receives advice from Brad Sato of No Wear Racing. “I think I did, but the track will be the place to find out.”
Find out he will, beginning with the 26th Annual Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout, Feb. 27-March 1 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida. While Stymiest has never been able to attend all six of the events on the annual NMRA tour, he plans to do so this year, and he has two good reasons for that.
“I want my son, Lucas, who’s four years old, to come to all of the races with me this year, because he’s starting kindergarten in the fall, and after that, he may not be able to come to all of them with me,” said Stymiest. “On top of that, I want to win the championship.”