It is Day Three of the 18th annual Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals as the forcast is favorable for an on-time start. It is a relief as Friday was a complete washout after the NMRA track staff worked for seven hours to get the track dried and prepared. Sporadic rain showers kept delaying those preparations throughout the day until finally TJ Bailey, Kurt Johnson, and Tyler Crossnoe felt like it was going to be a never-ending battle and Rollie Miller pulled the plug for the day. Racing will begin at 8:30 as qualifying round two will kick-off the action.
It’s October 1st, which means Halloween is right around the corner and the guys on Hellion Racing’s “B-Team” have started getting in the spirit – in addition to the decorations, they’re planning to cause nightmares for the other racers by running scary quick with each of their four ghoulish cars.
A Bowling Green annual tradition, the Friday night pit vehicle races (organized by Valerie Clements) at the top end of the track included serious smack talk and fast, er, moderately-paced action.
NMRA Coyote Stock racer and chief entertainer “Big Cheese” aka Carlos Sobrino presided over the pit vehicle races. It was going down in the 2-7-oh last night with call-outs and big money exchanging hands. Hellion Racing B-Team attempted to tow their race-cart to the festivities with their Edelbrock Renegade car but it failed tech inspection when it didn’t carry a chassis cert.
Straight off a runner-up finish at Hot Rod Magazine’s Drag Week in the Super Street Power Adder category, Mike Jovanis loaded up and headed to the NMRA World Finals with his turbocharged Fox-body Mustang. The car is sitting in the Haltech display booth on the midway but Jovanis is entered in QA1 True Street and had Mickey Thompson overnight a set of ET Radial Pro 275 tires so he can enter the ididit Outlaw True Streeet during the Saturday night Grudge Night.
Ensuring that the American Racing Headers Factory Stock class is playing on a level field were NMRA Tech Director Lonnie Grim and tech official T.J. Strange who administered a P&G test to the entire class to ensure that engine displacement was within the rules. We’re happy to report that the entire field passed inspection.
There is no shortage of hook, when it isn’t raining. Drew Lyons nearly tore the bumper off on Thursday when crew chief Bruce Hemminger put a little too much bite in the car. The Coyote Stocker left the line so hard that it bent the heim joints on the anti-roll bar. With UPR Products on the midway it was an easy fix. Lyons wasn’t too disappointed as the heim joints have been in service for ten years.
Former Edelbrock Renegade racer Clair Stewart has been absent for nearly ten years before he realized that he needed to get back to NMRA drag racing. He tracked down his old racecar, which happened to be owned by Russell Stone of Kuntz and Company. After a quick negotiation, Stewart brought the coupe back home to Michigan. He worked with Tim Donathen of Donathen Racing to get the car converted to Coyote Stock trim. With the required Ford Performance Coyote crate engine in place, he then turned to Liberty Gears to repair a used Tremec TKO-600. A few test sessions last month netted him a couple of runs in the 10.50s, which he hopes he can turn into some 10.40s this weekend.
There has been some carnage in the Coyote Stock ranks with Nate Stymiest losing an engine (see below) and Frank Paultanis cracking his driveshaft. Stick-shift cars are hard on parts and Paultanis said he felt a funny vibration in high-gear during test and tune. He discovered his driveshaft was cracked where the U-joint flange is welded to the shaft. A replacement has been procured and Paultanis is ready for today’s action.
It has been a hard weekend for Nate Stymiest as he began Thursday’s test and tune on a high-note, running a career best time of 10.32 at 128 mph. The next pass resulted in a funny engine noise, prompting him to lift early and take a look at it back in the pits. It turned out to be a spun bearing in the three-year-old race engine. The carnage hasn’t ended the weekend for Stymiest yet, though – he’s got a set of new bearings on the way and is hoping to get the engine buttoned up later today thanks to help from several NMRA members including Kermit Buffington (the car’s original owner), Teddy Weaver, Tim and Tyler Eichhorn, Dan Ryntz, and others.
VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw competitor Alan Felts is pitted with the RC Components crew this weekend, and his super clean Mustang is equipped with some of the company’s latest products. Felts had Jessie Coulter of Jessie’s Garage handle much of the car’s buildup, and the Holley EFI Real Street racer is on hand this weekend to assist in Felts’ quest to bring home a win in Street Outlaw. Look for a feature on this machine in the near future in Race Pages magazine.
It is a fitting tribute by an amazing couple for a friend gone too soon. Tanya and Bill Tumas completed a dream for their friend Andrew “Krimpet” Bauer who passed away in 2002. Krimpet had always planned on entering American Racing Headers Factory Stock but it never happened. Tumas got the car off Krimpet’s parents back in 2008 and figured it was time to build the car for Factory Stock to finish what Krimpet wanted to start. Tumas, who happens to be kind of a big deal at CJ Pony Parts, picked up a Ford Performance Coyote 5.0 crate engine, backed it with a Tremec and McLeod clutch, and then had Revolution Auto add a custom ECU calibration. After making “good power,” Tumas is anxious to get on track for the first time with the car.
Travis Franklin of Gear Heads is back in NMRA competition and he brought along a 2005 Mustang GT that is rather unique. The turbocharged Mustang runs deep into the 4s in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw. The unique aspect comes into the picture because the cars’ factory 3-link rear suspension has been replaced with a Lyons Motorsports Fox-body suspension.
JPC Racing has brought nearly a dozen cars to the NMRA World Finals, which fit a variety of heads-up, shootout, and QA1 True Street categories. Here is one of two cars they are entering in Henchmen Racing Turbo Coyote Shootout, a turbocharged S550 owned by Mo Makki. It has made 1,140 rwhp on E85 with the first-ever JPC Racing single turbo kit designed for 2015-and-up Mustang 5.0s. Justin Burcham is scheduled to the drive the car and it is armed with a Tremec T56 Magnum six-speed. What will it run? No one knows as the car was finished yesterday and they drove through the night to have it here.
Josh and Jordan Castle, otherwise known as the mockstangboyz to their hoards of internet fans, heard that the NMRA was going to be hosting an Outlaw True Street class and they were down to enter. The problem was they had just blown up their good engine during testing for the Holley LS Fest. So the easy decision was to go back to their roots, pull a stock 5.3-liter LS engine out of the boneyard and stick it between the fenders of their Fuel Injector Clinic-sponsored Mustang. Second problem was that they had a Gen II pro mod 88mm turbo plumbed in already, so the truck engine is getting a healthy 25 psi of boost along with some E85 to burn. Josh figures they have about $1,600 invested in the engine. The ididit Outlaw True Street winner will get $2,500, and Lil John’s Motorsport Solutions is throwing in an additional $500 if an LS-powered car takes the win.
Steve Simpkins of Jackson, Ohio, is here looking to line up some grudge races, and is strongly considering Outlaw True Street as well. His 2004 Mystichrome Cobra has been upgraded with a 76mm turbo, air-to-water intercooler, and a Turbo 400 transmission, all run by a Big Stuff 3 system. Jackson is expecting 5.60s from the Terminator, and likely more as he fine-tunes the new combination.
Mike Murillo is one of the biggest names in Mustang drag racing, so if you’re going to call him out for a grudge race, you better be packing something big that can take on Murillo’s 2,000-plus-horsepower notchback. Joey Alley of Lucasville, Ohio, has just that in his 1985 Mustang GT. It’s powered by a twin-turbo 427ci engine that’s been 1.10 to the 60 ft. Despite just putting the car together from a roller in the last two weeks, it’s a beautiful piece that Alley believes can hang with the best. Grudge night will reveal just who has what, and how it will go down head to head.
The UPR Performance Products car show is filling up fast with cars new and old filling up the meadow just off track. There is no shortage of cars whether on track or off here at the 18th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals.
The guys from VMP Performance are all set up in the vendor midway. They’ve got tons of support parts for racers in need and they’ve also brought their mobile dyno to offer on-site dyno and tuning services this weekend. As if that wasn’t keeping them busy enough, VMP’s entered three cars in QA1 True Street, all of which have VMP’s 2.3 blower on board, and they’re swapping a GT500’s stock blower to one of their own units as well.
Husband and wife Brian “Iceman” and Michelle Devilbiss of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, are here representing Evolution Performance with their “Devil’s Reject” ’13 Shelby GT500. Two days ago in testing, Devilbiss ran an awesome new personal best of 7.46 at 187 mph with a set of new ID2000 injectors on board as well as some Santhuff shocks. Patrick Barnhill of PTP Racing usually tunes the beast, but couldn’t make it this weekend so fellow PTP owner Jason Lee is doing the honors. Devilbiss will be double entered in both Edelbrock Renegade as well as the VMP Performance Terminator vs. GT500 Shootout in hopes of bookending his season with a second Shootout win.
Need a new toy, er, pit vehicle? This little “Scoot Coupe” is definitely going to get you noticed as you cruise through the lanes.
Swing by the vendor midway to meet Street Outlaws’ star Chris “BoostedGT” Hamilton, get your photo with his killer Mustang, and score an autograph! Then, stay for tonight’s Grudge Night action to see BoostedGT get busy on the track in some heated head-to-head match ups.
Right to the top—Manny Buginga is on a mission to chase down the VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw championship. It is a long shot, but Buginga is only a few rounds out of first place. With 17 cars on the qualifying sheet, it could get interesting in eliminations tomorrow. One round remains in qualifying and Buginga is on top with a 4.43 at 168 mph but he has a couple of blower cars breathing down his neck—Charlie Cooper ran 4.44 at 164 mph while Phil Hines is on the ladder with a 4.44 at 163 mph.
Nine-time world champion John Urist of Hellion Racing put the first official pass on his new Turn 14 Distribution ’16 Ford Mustang during qualifying today in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw. His initial impression? It’s different. Very different. Nearly 100% of the 25.3 spec car’s setup is all new, and Urist used the hit as a learning opportunity. Sporting a Hellion Turbo custom-built turbo kit, the four-link S550 weight straight as an arrow and clocked a 5.384 at 104.13 mph pass showing there’s plenty left on the table and the team will be turning things up from here on out.
Would you drive 2,300 miles just to go 1/4 mile? Current Edelbrock Renegade points leader Aaron Bates would, and he did. Yesterday morning, Bates drove to Proformance Racing Transmissions in Woodstock, Illinois to have Dave Klaput rebuild it. The turn-and-burn trip had Bates back at Beech Bend around 4:00am on Saturday and his team got it reinstalled in record time, but electrical issues cropped up during qualifying today. Determined to make the epic road trip worthwhile, Bates’s guys have been working on chasing down the bugs.
Edelbrock Renegade racer Adam Arndt was tight lipped about what changes he’s made to his “pumpkin spice” orange ProCharged 355 ci ’88 Mustang, but he did fess up to tweaking a few things with his Proformance-built transmission to try and get back up to speed. It appears to have worked, as Arndt currently sits in the number one spot after running qualifying this morning with a 7.525 at 178.05 mph blast.
To prep for this event, last race of the year, VP Racing Fuels 2015 season champion Phil Hines sent his ’01 Mustang’s 423 ci ProCharged bullet to BES Racing Engines for a new cam, new rods, new pistons, and basic freshening up. Hines, who is currently third after one session of qualifying with a 4.449 at 163.85 mph, says the car has picked up a bunch since getting everything back together.
Bruce Wilkerson (left), Mayor of Bowling Green, Kentucky, is doing the honors as Grand Marshall of the 18th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals race this weekend at Beech Bend Raceway Park. NMRA CEO/President Steve Wolcott (right) presented Wilkerson with his very own NMRA “Victor” trophy to commemorate the occasion.
Throwing down a huge number in the QA1 True Street time trials today was Troy Messamore of Madisonville, Kentucky. With over 130 cars in the class, the level of competition is high, but Messamore’s 7.90 from his 1986 Mustang LX is going to be hard to beat.
Qualifying has begun for the 18th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals. Due to the cancellation of yesterday’s program, we’ve gone right into Q2 today. Get the results <<<<HERE>>>>