As a five-time NMRA Hot Street champion, Charlie Booze Jr. knows a thing or two about high-revving engines, high wheelies and hightailing to wins.
When the category ceased several years ago, Booze Jr., whose brother and Booze Brothers Racing partner Brian Booze also earned a championship in the category, turned his focus to Ultra Street and local racing.
Then, he hopped into Justin Fogelsonger’s Fox body Mustang, nicknamed Gold Dust, for the NMRA event at Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania in 2017, where he gave G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock a go.
He was on a roll when the rain came and postponed eliminations until the NMRA event at National Trail Raceway in Ohio the following month, and that’s where he ran to a runner-up finish in his first full event in the hotrod hauling with a sealed Gen 1 Coyote engine and a G-Force Racing Transmissions-built G-101A transmission. By the end of the year, he had locked up a fourth place finish in points after taking part in four out of six events.
After sitting out the first two races on this year’s NMRA tour, he qualified fourth with a 10.29 at the 18th Annual CJ Pony Parts NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals in May at Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania, set the pace in qualifying with a 10.36 at the 15th Annual NMRA Ford Super Nationals in June at National Trail Raceway in Ohio and set the pace again in qualifying with a 10.21 and went to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle with a 10.24 at the 13th Annual Nitto NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing in July at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois.
Now, he’s holding down fifth place in points in the category going into the final NMRA race of the year, the 20th Annual Nitto NMRA All-Ford World Finals presented by Holley EFI, Sept. 27-30 at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky, and while he’s focused on that, he’s also focused on the recently-announced NMRA Modified Street category.
“This Modified Street thing looks pretty interesting, and I want to try it out in Big Red, which is just sitting here in the way right now,” said Booze Jr., of the Fox body Mustang which he famously piloted in NMRA Hot Street and which Dr. Jamie Meyer would refer to as the Freight Train when he was announcing. “I talked with my longtime engine-builder, Jim Kuntz, and he’s interested in the class and would like to see us get into it. I also talked with Andy Schmidt, Bob Hanlon, Tim Eichhorn and others, and there’s definitely interest in coming out for the class.”
Booze Jr. added that he would rely on the engine he has run since 2002, and it’s a small-block Ford with inline Edelbrock Victor heads. He would back it with a Turbo 400, Turbo 350, Torque Flite or a Powerglide.
“We’ll run what we have, see what we’re up against and go from there,” said Booze Jr.
Meanwhile, he’ll climb into the driver’s seat of his 1971 Torino Brougham with a 429 Cobra Jet ram air engine to show, not race, at the 17th Annual Honeywell Garrett NMCA All-American Nationals, featuring the 50th Anniversary Ford Performance Cobra Jet Reunion presented by and the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series, Aug. 23-26 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
(Preliminary rules for Modified Street can be seen HERE)