After earning a championship in NMRA Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle in 2007, Roxanne Shepard and her husband and crew chief, Barry Shepard, moved from their home in Michigan to Virginia so she could focus on her new position as Human Resources Business Partner for Norfolk Southern Railway.
She decided at that point — rather reluctantly — to take a break from the NMRA tour so that she could focus on her new job, and she began competing locally in eighth-mile 5.90 index classes, Open Comp and special events at Virginia Motorsports Park, Richmond Dragway and Maryland International Raceway. And just as she had with the NMRA, she found her way to the winner’s circle.
But now that she’s settled in to her new home and situated at her new job, she’s giving in to her overwhelming desire to return to NMRA competition, beginning with the 22nd Annual Nitto Spring Break Shootout, March 3-6, 2016 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida.
Because the combination under the hood of her 2004 Mustang is a wonderfully reliable workhorse, it has remained largely unchanged since she began exercising it several years ago. It consists of a 4.6 2-Valve, heads and cams designed and built by Michigan-based Livernois Motorsports, and it’s further enhanced by a Vortech T-Trim supercharger. A Performance Automatic C4 helps put the power to the pavement.
“The guys at Livernois Motorsports are great to work with,” said Shepard. “Even though I don’t live near the shop anymore and can’t stop in to see how things are going with my engine, they communicate very well over the phone, and they make it very easy. I tend to stick with what I know, and I know Livernois and the 4.6 2-Valve they’ve built for me.”
For engine management, Shepard relies on a Big Stuff 3 system installed two years ago by Brian and Charlie Booze, Jr. of Booze Brothers Racing Performance.
“Having Big Stuff 3 has been good,” said Shepard. “Now, instead of guessing whether the car was lean or fat, we can look at the datalog and determine that, and we can add fuel or pull out fuel, or change the timing. It has made a big difference in the consistency of the car.”
While Shepard’s Mustang averaged low tens in her early days of NMRA, fine-tuning and finessing has encouraged it to jump to low nines.
“I’m looking forward to seeing old racing friends and hearing about what they’ve been doing,” said Shepard. “Coming back to the NMRA is like coming home.”