By Mary Lendzion
Photos courtesy of Kevin Sanders
When Kevin Sanders purchased his 1987 Mustang about ten years ago, it was just a shell.
It didn’t have an engine or a transmission, among other things, and his wife, Kimberly, wasn’t sure he would be able get the car to run, but about two years later, he did.
After racing locally for a while, Sanders, of Louisville, Kentucky, discovered NMRA ARP Open Comp in 2014 and traveled to 12-second passes with a 347 cubic-inch small-block Ford which he built along with B&R Speed Shop and backed with a stock five-speed transmission.
It wasn’t long before he replaced his stock heads with a set of Canfield heads and then a set of Dart heads, which he paired with an Edelbrock intake last year. While he was poised to make even more progress in the car, he was having issues instead.
“We were fighting balancing problems in the engine last year, and we were hurting parts as a result,” said Sanders, who owns RV Done Yet, an RV repair center in Louisville, Kentucky and sometimes also competes in NMCA MagnaFuel Open Comp. “On top of that, I impacted the wall at the NMRA event at Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania. “Thankfully, the damage to the car was minimal.”
Soon after that, Sanders called it a season and set his sights on racking up round wins in 2020, and to help him do that, he and B&R Speed Shop freshened his engine, which is built on a stock block. They gave it a new Scat crank, new DSS Racing pistons and rods, and a new Erson/PBM Performance cam before putting Sanders’ Dart heads, Edelbrock intake and Quick Fuel Technology carburetor back in place.
While Sanders had been relying on stock brakes to stop his car, he swapped them with Aerospace Components disc brakes, and replaced his previous wheels with Race Star wheels wrapped with a fresh set of Mickey Thompson slicks.
Then, with no time to test, he headed to the 26th Annual Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout, which was Feb. 27-March 1 at Bradenton Motorsports Park, where he ran high 11s despite working through some issues which prevented him from having a solid shot at advancing in eliminations.
“We were having issues with our factory T5 transmission, and Tremec, which had a display at the event, was helping me,” said Sanders. “We were also having issues with the car twisting when I was launching at the starting line, and UPR, which also had a display at the event, supplied me with new upper adjustable control arms, which helped me put the power to the ground. Even with the issues with our factory T5 transmission, the car was running better than it ever had because things were coming together.”
Upon returning home from Florida, Sanders set his car up with a new Tremec 5 transmission, as well as new UPR lower control arms, anti-roll bar and adjustable spring perches. He also applied beautiful bright green peelable paint by DipYourCar before heading to a test session at Ohio Valley Dragway in Kentucky recently.
“The test session went very well, and the car went straight, which is what we wanted to see,” said Sanders, who also races another Mustang in Ford Muscle and whose wife, Kimberly, races a Mustang in NMRA ARP Open Comp. “Now we hope to win some races, with help from fellow racer Terry Haynal, Lyle Sinkhorn and my kids, Timothy, Nicholas, Daniel and Victoria.”
In addition to the new hue, Sanders’ car will be rolling with recently-added Boogey Lights accent lighting under it, and his new nickname, Boogey Man, on his windows, at the 12th Annual Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals, June 25-28 at Atlanta Dragway.