The Racin’ Jason Mustang is unloaded and on the Manufacturer’s Midway! For longtime Mustang enthusiasts this car means so much and brings a nostalgic feel to the Ford Motorsport Nationals. Owner Joe Caldwell restored the car to its original appearance and plans to finish what Jason Betwarda set out to do—run 6s at 200 mph. To do so, the original car builder C&F Race Cars updated the chassis with a 25.3 certification and many other safety and suspension upgrades to keep up with the modern times. Under the hood is a Duttweiler 427ci engine that was originally built for this car before being sidelined after Racin’ Jason’s untimely death. The engine has changed hands several times over the years but is back to where it belongs in the famous convertible.
4-time Edelbrock Renegade champion Brian Mitchell (left) claims to be retired from racing, for the time being, but was seen offering money to buy a car late yesterday. In the short-term, he will be on the sidelines watching one of his most proud creations hit the track today as the sun is out and we are racing. Adam Arndt (right) borrowed Mitchell’s 358ci engine, which is dubbed as the most high-tech small block Ford engine ever built. Arndt hurt his main bullet last month in Georgia and was unable to repair it in time for this weekend, putting Mitchell’s engine back in service.
Dave Guy of DGR Racing dusted off his 1994 SVT Cobra for Edelbrock Renegade action after it has sat dormant for almost a year. He bolted on a Precision 76mm turbocharger and has gone 4.90s in the eighth-mile during testing. The goal for today is to try and get into the 4.80s, which will translate into mid-7s at around 180 mph when he runs it through the quarter-mile.
Defending VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw champion, Phil Hines, rolled in late last night and is ready to defend his title. The car sports a nasty 432ci engine with Edelbrock SC1 heads and a ProCharger F-1X-12R. He ran 4.30s in testing late last year and is looking to find his groove here this weekend. The Street Outlaw point’s battle shaping up as NMRA is at the mid-point of the season.
Harold Horton has his gorgeous Terminator Cobra on the property for the VMP Performance Terminator vs. GT500 Shootout. JWC Performance converted the car to a single turbo combination late last year and Horton finally got on track. They ran 7.90s on a soft hit and are looking to turn it up as the top few cars in the shootout look to make it a 7-second eliminator today.
Last race Aaron Bates ran the tables by qualifying number one with a wild 7.40 performance, set the record in the 7.50s, and won the race. According to crew chief Mike Dezotell of Dez Racing, they had recently found some electrical gremlins in post-race testing and he thinks they have it fixed. He eased into the tune-up, qualifying with a 7.584 at 182 mph, narrowly missing the provisional top qualifying position. Bates sits behind Alton Clements who had gone 7.582 with his Vortech supercharged ride. Bates runs a ProCharger F-1A, making the rivalry even more fun.
It might not be the top qualifying run in VP Racing Fuels but for Justin Burcham of JPC Racing ran a career best off-the-trailer with a stellar 4.64 at 155 mph. The team is representing AEM Performance Electronics and showing off the capabilities of the popular Mustang shop, which is based in Millersville, MD.
Carlos Sobrino for el Presidente! If there is one thing that is certain in NMRA competition, it is that Sobrino will show the underside of his Joker racecar. For the average racer a wheelie of that size would slow them down considerably, but in Sobrino’s case it didn’t seem to matter one bit for the veteran. He is the provisional number two qualifier behind “Shiftin Shane” Stymiest with his Booze Brothers Racing prepared coupe. Sobrino ran a 10.25 at 129 mph while Stymiest unleashed a 10.23 at 127 mph.
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10.13 at 130 mph—that is the number to beat in Coyote Stock, both performances were under the national records and Drew Lyons ended up as top qualifier in the weather-shortened qualifying rounds. The program is going right into eliminations today as potentially bad weather is threatening tomorrow’s fun.
Manny Buginga went to the top of the ladder in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw with his wicked top-end charge. The car sits in the penthouse of the eight-car field thanks to a 4.43 at 166 mph run in the second and final qualifying run.
We saw Phil Hines swapping out his Rossler TH400 transmission for another with a different set of gear ratios as he is hunting for every bit of elapsed time in the tight field of racers. He skipped the second round of qualifying in order to be fresh and ready for round one of eliminations later today.
ProCharger Coyote Modified racer Joe Guertin had a two-week stretch he’d rather forget and when he posted a 7.80 at 173 mph run, the hard work was a distant memory. Thanks to the efforts of CRE Performance, MPR Race Engines, and ATF Speed, Guertin managed to swap in a new crankshaft to his Coyote engine, add a new ATF Speed gear-drive, and reconfigure the piping system. The record run was a career best elapsed time and set the pace in the field, needless to say.
This is not how Marco Ponce Jr. wanted to end his weekend in Roush Performance Super Stang. He won the class at Spring Break Shootout, top qualified in Georgia, and fell to unfortunate luck when he busted the differential.
If you read the front bumper it says LaRocca Performance—that’s right, the long- awaited ProCharger Coyote Modified entry from legendary Mustang racing duo Jim LaRocca and Tommy Annunizata made it to the Ford Motorsport Nationals. LaRocca finished the car just days before the race and on its very first pass, without the use of a transbrake, Annunziata ran 8.13 at 168 mph what could be considered right out of the trailer.
The champ returns; sort of. Haley James, who is on the cover of the latest Drag Illustrated magazine, is back in Coyote Modified, the class she dominated in 2015. After winning NMRA Rookie of the Year honors on top of winning the championship, she decided to jump into Edelbrock Renegade in Florida and continued with it in Georgia. But this outing, she is back in the category, which Hellion Racing’s B-Team has dominated since its inception.
Joel Greathouse had a hard first round, he had to faced fellow Team KBX racer Charles Hull. The two cars operate out of the same trailer, making it a fun match-up. Greathouse unleashed a new NMRA record run of 4.36 at 169 mph to send his teammate packing. That is one end of the record and he needs to secure it by backing it up within one-percent.
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