With great joy, we would like to officially say that the S-U-N is out! The NMRA track staff joined the Maple Grove Raceway crew at 5:15AM this morning to start working on the drag strip to prepare it for today’s scheduled qualifying rounds. They have no less than 8 pieces of equipment running hard, including a jet drier, three sweeper trucks, and various other creations to get the track dried and prepared for action. The schedule has two qualifiers, plus the QA1 True Street challenge, and it will be a fast-paced day to get the the 17th annual WyoTech NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals back on schedule.
Matt Amrine didn’t just leave his Richmond Gear Factory Stock Mustang in the trailer following his runner-up finish, last month, during the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals, presented by Steeda Autosports. The chassis dyno at Finish Line Performance was spun up nearly every night for the past few weeks. Amrine admitted to finding 30 rwhp in his combination, which during the All-Star Nationals he had run a career-best of 10.68 at 125 mph. He is hoping the extra horsepower can get him within striking distance of the Coyote-dominated record book.
The Dez Racing crew rolled in over night. Disappointingly, they don’t have the Edelbrock Renegade record-holding Saleen Mustang of Aaron Bates. They did bring down the “Budget Brawler” that is owned and driven by Jim Coger. The winter upgrades included a new gear-drive unit to spin his ProCharger F-1A-94 supercharger and a unique custom upper intake manifold. Mike Dezotell used the air-to-water upper intake on his NMCA championship winning car and he put it back into service on Coger’s machine. The team went testing last weekend during the NE275 race Lebanon Valley Dragway where Dezotell would only say they ran sub 5-second times in the eighth-mile without any other details.
Why is Jeff Polivka smiling? For one it is because the sun is shining and there are cars going down the track. The other reason is that he went testing all week at Maryland International Raceway and posted four straight runs in the low 7.80s. Last month, Polivka brought El Jefe 2.0 to Georgia with a fresh DMC Racing 25.3 chassis and rear suspension configuration. The same RGR/JPC engine sits under the hood with a Forced Inductions 76mm turbocharger.
The Ford Motorsport Nationals saw the very first public appearance of the highly-anticipated ProCharger coupe out of the Buginga Racing camp. Driven and tuned by the Bruder Brothers, the team spent all-day Wednesday at Maple Grove Raceway testing and try to get the new car sorted. It sports a 440ci engine from DiSomma Racing Engines and uses a ProCharger F-1X-12R supercharger. The team fought some chassis teething problems and were quick to smile when they started talking about the engine data acquired by the Racepak. Nick Bruder is confident that the coupe is capable of running in front of the pack once they get it dialed in.
The Ford Motorsport Nationals marks the first race in 2017 for Matt Williams and his G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock racecar. He added a new sealed Coyote crate engine late last year after a cracked engine block rendered his other engine useless. Over the winter, a new stiffer chassis setup was added to the purple 1985 Mustang. An 8.50-certified cage was added with lots of extra bars to make the car stiff as well as through-the-floor subframe connectors. In testing, Williams has run 10.38 at 129 mph, slightly slower than his other engine but he feels he can run 10.20s with some more adjustments to the Black Magic clutch.
Hellion Power Systems Turbo Coyote Shootout racer Ronnie Reynolds stole the keys to the boss’ car for the weekend. He dragged the AEM Electronics “Nuclear Banana” to the Ford Motorsport Nationals and entered VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw. The engine is an RGR/JPC 341ci Coyote powerplant. The JPC Racing crew added a set of new Wiseco BoostLine connecting rods to the engine for 2017. They are working with Wiseco on several other new parts for the Coyote platform that will debut later this year.
VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw has a few new faces, including Brian Devilbiss and his “Devil’s Reject” 2013 Shelby GT500. He normally competes in the VMP Superchargers Terminator vs. Shelby GT500 category but that category isn’t competing this weekend, so Devilbiss jumped into Street Outlaw. After a single qualifying session, the Gettysburg, PA resident ran 4.67 at 154 mph and is currently second in the nine-car field.
Charlie Booze Jr. has entered G-Force Racing Transmission Coyote Stock with a new build from his Booze Brothers Racing shop. Justin Fogelsonger converted his 1986 Mustang LX coupe from Factory Stock to Coyote Stock for 2017. With the new Coyote 5.0 engine came a new look as the body is slathered in “honey lust” yellow. Booze ran 10.49 at 127 mph in the opening round of qualifying, placing him ninth in the 17-car field.
Weeks of frustration and testing resulted in a number two spot through one round of qualifying for Carlos Sobrino and “Joker” racecar in G-Force Racing Transmission Coyote Stock. The New Jersey resident unleashed a 10.32 at 128 mph as a rush of satisfaction ran through his body. According to Sobrino he changed a significant amount of parts, changed launch rpm, shift rpm, and even added a new set of rear gears to find a loss in ET and horsepower. He seems to have recovered the lost items. There is a slight break in weather before Sobrino and the Coyote Stock field come up for the second and final round of qualifying.
Nine-time NMRA champion John Urist has called it a rebuilding year as he is continually to refine his 2015 Mustang GT. The new MMR Gen X Coyote engine has been flawless since its competition debut back in Florida. Urist spent the week in Maryland testing his Coyote combination and managed to set the record for the Quickest S550 Mustang with a stout 7.49 at only 136 mph. The low speed is because he lifted at the eighth-mile marker. The Mustang is built for 660-foot competition in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw but when asked what he thought he could run if setup in quarter-mile trim, Urist responded with a laugh and feels something deep in the 6-second zone is certainly possible.
It has been a DOHC party in Edelbrock Renegade with the top three performances all using engines with four-valves per cylinder. Frank Varela drove the Hellion Racing B-Team Fox-body to the top with a 7.54 at 180 mph. Curtis Catalon (pictured) sits second with a career best of 7.55 at 182 mph with his Triangle Speed Shop Terminator Cobra. Occupying the third position is Bart Tobener with a 7.66 at 174 mph blast with a Bullseye Turbo 76mm setup on his Coyote 5.0 combination.
**As of 6PM–Racing has concluded for the day due to inclement weather. Stay tuned for Sunday’s schedule as we look to wrap up the 17th annual WyoTech NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals with sunny skies.
QUALIFYING RESULTS <<HERE>