Saturday Coverage—20th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA World Finals, Presented by Holley EFI | Coverage by Edelbrock

Good morning, Bowling Green! It’s day two of the 20th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA World Finals presented by Holley EFI, and we’ll be wrapping up qualifying today before we move into eliminations. Stay tuned for more news, updates, and results as the race progresses throughout the day.

The top six spots through the first round of qualifying in G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock are occupied by race vehicles powered by a Ford Performance Gen 2 Coyote engine. It has been quite a topic of discussion as of late, some competitors feel that the Gen 2 wasn’t living up to the standards tthey have for the sealed Ford Performance crate engine. Despite the conspiracy theorists, the Gen 2 tune hasn’t been changed for this weekend and Darin Hendricks (pictured above) leads the way with a 10.187 at 130.60 mph. That is slightly less than a tenth slower than Hendrick’s record run of 10.096 that he ran during the Spring Break Shootout and his high speed record of 132.56 during the same race.

Terry Whitt unloaded his ’95 Ford Probe yesterday at Beech Bend Raceway Park for its first race with the NMRA, and he’s running the Top Sportsman car in the Bracket 1 category this weekend. Built by Jerry Haas Race Cars and with paint by Tommy Brawley, Witt’s machine runs a 598ci big-block Ford and Powerglide matchup. A little change to his Abruzzi torque converter to tighten things up and a touch of added timing have him hoping for 4.70s this time out.

You break it, you buy it. Oh, wait, Alton Clements already did! He rubbed the new off his newly acquired Fox body yesterday when the passenger side door blew off at the top end of the track—then ran it over for good measure. Back in his pits, Brian Griffen and Bill Gillen were quick to scavenge some angle iron from the trailer to fabricate a new window frame and get the bad boy from Central, South Carolina, back in action for VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw.

As his father Chad Neuenschwander recently wrapped up his season in Fuel Systems Technology NA 10.5 in the NMCA last weekend in Indianapolis, attention then turned to Dylan Neuenschwander’s efforts in the NMRA. The Ft. Wayne, Indiana, resident sat at the top of Race Star Wheels Ford Muscle qualifying sheet after the first round. His Indy Pace Car edition 1979 Mustang packs a supercharged 4.6-liter 2V engine and five-speed transmission, and Dylan joins his mother, Joy Neuenschwander who is competing in Richmond Gear Factory Stock in her ’88 Mustang coupe this weekend.

After finishing second in points in the NMCA’s ARP Nitrous Pro Street category for 2018, Jennifer Rice and her father Ed plan to make some changes to their S197 Mustang in the upcoming months to be able to compete in Radial Vs. the World and even some Pro Modified races. To do that, Jennifer needed to get her advanced ET license, and they dropped by Beech Bend Raceway yesterday to make the necessary passes to achieve that.

The car show is in full swing, and spectators are enjoying leisurely strolls through the aisles as we get started with the on-track racing action. Cool classics, crazy customs, and so much more is on display at Beech Bend Raceway Park.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. From tail lights to transmissions and everything in between, the swap meet here at the 20th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA World Finals here got an abundance of items for Fords of all kinds.

Competing in Exedy Racing Modular Muscle, Terry Eshman of Amelia, Ohio, tapped NMRA racer-turned-entrepreneur Brandon Alsept for his technical expertise. Alsept’s shop, BA Motorsports, put together Eshman’s “street cone orange” ’16 Mustang GT which features a Whipple-supercharged and BES-built 302 ci engine pumping out over 1,000 wheel horsepower. Eshman’s rowing six speeds of gear-banging fun with his Tremec Magnum XL transmission, and Palm Beach Dyno handled the tune-up. The car ate a blower belt yesterday, but a quick fix allowed Eshman to run 10.03 at 153 mph in qualifying this morning.

Louisiana-based racer Curtis Catalon is running strong with his tried-and-true RGR Engines-built bullet and ProFormance transmission. Going head to head in Edelbrock Renegade, his Triangle Speed Shop ’03 Cobra’s single turbo boosted Catalon to a qualifying time of 7.547 at 181.01 mph to rank him third for now. A new set of beadlocked wheels have got Catalon smiling, and he’s looking to close out the season on a high note.

Cool and calm as always, John Kauderer and tuner Eric Holliday of JPC Racing are creeping up on the turbocharged ’14 Cobra Jet’s performance with “a little of this and a little of that.” Kauderer sits second as ProCharger Coyote Modified continues this morning on his 7.724 at 173.99 mph hit and third in championship points. He’s already planning for next year, though, and will likely be choosing between NMCA Holley EFI Factory Super Cars or NMRA Modified Street.

Currently qualified #1 in ProCharger Coyote Modified by over a tenth, Triangle Speed Shop co-owner Daniel Pachar clocked a 7.601 at 172.67 mph run in his ’04 Mustang and is looking to improve further still in hopes of resetting his own class ET record of 7.583.

QA1 True Street competitor Daniel Spicer was hard at work early this morning swapping out turbochargers on his 2011 Mustang GT. He was experiencing a boost issue and luckily had a spare with him to rule out the hairdryer being the issue. The Urban, Kentucky, resident’s pony packs an EDP single-turbo system, and hopefully he’ll have all the boost for his three runs this afternoon.

Chad Stephens of Ontario, Canada, has been having a whole lot of fun campaigning his Thunderbird in G Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock this year and has made good progress as the season has wore on. Taking a cue from one of his fellow competitors, Stephens put together this “Polish Power” bucket-style cold air kit, which improved the car’s performance in testing. After the first round of qualifying was completed, Stephens was in fourth place with a 10.30 elapsed time.

One of the biggest names in LSX performance and racing, Mark Carlyle is here attending his first NMRA event ever with one of his company’s newest project vehicles, a 2018 Orange Fury, Performance Pack-equipped Mustang GT. Carlyle bolted up an On3 Performance twin-turbo kit and a new set of Billet Specialties wheels that his company will be selling, and entered the Hellion Turbo Coyote Shootout as well as a bracket class and ARP Open Comp to get some laps. Still running a stock fuel system, the Gen III Coyote put down 700 horsepower at the rear wheels on pump gas and went 10.78 at 132 mph during testing, but some changes to the car’s transbrake in the 10-speed automatic proved troublesome and Carlyle is pretty sure that the input shaft is done for the weekend. He plans to take it back to the shop and get it fixed up so that he can move to stage two of the build with more boost and an upgraded fuel system.

No one wants to hear an engine knocking, least of all when you’re in the middle of competition at the track, but Exedy Racing Clutch Mod Muscle driver Charlie McCulloch unfortunately heard something coming from his Mustang’s engine bay that he shouldn’t have. To try and get him through the event, MV Performance’s Tim Matherly pulled the oil pan, took some emery cloth to the crank journal, and swapped in a new bearing. Fingers crossed that the modular mill sounds a bit happier on start up.

As if Charlie McCulloch wasn’t having a bad enough day in Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle when his engine ate up some bearings and needed unexpected attention, getting to the track itself was also a bit of a nightmare. About twenty miles from his home, the turbo in his truck blew and oil went everywhere. Determined to press on, he turned around and went back home where Tim Matherly’s tow vehicle was parked and grabbed that instead. Before they could get back on the road, though, there was the little matter of having to get a new B&W gooseneck assembly and install that. Credit goes to Jason Sloan and Matherly for helping McCulloch get it handled, and McCulloch finally arrived at the track around midnight on Friday night.

Also in Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle, Adam Cox (right) and crew chief Keith Stevens (left) are trying to end their NMRA season on a high note. Yesterday, with no tow vehicle to escort their ’99 Mustang to the lanes, the constant cranking caused the alternator to go out and they couldn’t make a hit. Today, though, it’s a different story as the car is cooperating but there’s still a little work to done in either the clutch or the chassis setup since there’s room for improvement in the car’s 60-foot times. Cox credit’s his recent performance improvements to the help he’s received from Lawson Mollica, as AEM’s CD7 dash and data logger have allowed him a lot more insight into his operation.

Gary “Hollywood” Parker has hit the bigtime with his new-to-him ’12 Newmar Mountain Aire motor coach. Parker and his wonderful wife, Carole, made the purchase to further solidify their commitment to their racing program so that they can travel in comfort along with their adorable kitty, Boots, and follow the NMRA tour next season. The gorgeous rolling hotel also pulls a shiny new custom-made trailer from Personett Trailer Sales with tons of storage for Parker’s Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle ’02 machine and its accoutrements.

Get this weekend’s qualifying results right HERE