By Mary Lendzion
Photos by NMRA and courtesy of Bill Putnam
Drivers dished out plenty of powerful passes at all of the events on last year’s NMRA tour, and among them was Bill Putnam.
The Advanced Fuel Dynamics Limited Street hotshot hauled to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle twice, set records with an 8.60 and 159 mph and finished second in points in the category in 2019 in his Mustang with a new-to-him combination featuring a 5.0L Coyote engine by MPR Racing Engines, VMP Gen 3 supercharger, Turbo 400 by Gates Transmission and UPR Products suspension all around.
“We didn’t have the fastest car all the time, but we put together some good runs and pulled off some wins,” said Putnam, a shop manager for UPR Products in Florida.
Now Putnam is preparing to pull out all the stops for the 2020 race season, as he hauled his car to Tig Vision Fabrication in Florida to have it upgraded to a 25.3 chassis, and that work is nearing completion.
“We know that we don’t have to have the 25.3 chassis to run in Limited Street, but it will be good to have when we also run at events outside of the NMRA and we go a little quicker,” said Putnam. “Plus, it’s always good to be safe.”
Because his engine was thoroughly inspected by MPR Racing Engines last summer, Putnam plans to leave it as is, but he has asked David Gates from Gates Transmission to take a peek at his Turbo 400 before he puts it back behind his engine.
Putnam also will take on the daunting task of rewiring from the front of the car to the back of the car, which rolls on Mickey Thompson drag radials.
“We had some wiring that gave us issues and I want all new wiring,” said Putnam. “It’s a big job, and one that I had been wanting to do because the car has all of its original wiring.”
When the work is wrapped up, Putnam’s famous tuner, Jim LaRocca, will use Holley EFI to design a tune, and Putnam will head to the 26th Annual Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout, Feb. 27-March 1 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida. And, there’s even more good news for his fans, as he also plans to hit the remaining five events on this year’s NMRA tour.
“Limited Street is a very competitive category,” said Putnam. “But our goal is to go for a championship.”
Putman added that helping him every step of the way is crew chief and UPR Products colleague Sharad Raldiris, who won the Jim Swarr Crew Member of the Year award at the NMRA Ford National Series presented by Keystone Automotive Awards Ceremony presented by Aerospace Components in December at the Indiana Convention Center, as well as Mark and Joe Mainiero of UPR Products.