As the gates opened for the 25th annual Nitto Tire Spring Break Shootout there was a new category among the regular line-up of small-tire madness that makes up the NMRA Ford Nationals. This past winter NMRA tech officials reorganized the Coyote Modified into a new class and it was dubbed Modified Street. ProCharger quickly signed up for the fresh new class as it combines elements of the modern and classic Renegade and Coyote Modified. The power adders were reorganized into approved part numbers/specific models and the racers were stuck on DOT drag radials or slicks.
Anticipation was running high for the class with a fresh set of faces getting into heads-up competition like Charlie Barnes and Jason Davis. There were also veterans of the sport, led by Charlie Booze Jr. and Bob Cook. In all, eight racers took to the staging lanes with the new Modified Street moniker of M/S displayed on their windows. Each racer took a different approach to the rules, which allows everything from massive small-block engines with no power adder to the high-tech turbocharged Coyote 5.0 setup that is so prevalent in today’s drag racing world.
Cook, a veteran Renegade racer, set the pace from the get-go when he posted a few 7-second runs during testing and took the number one spot on the qualifying sheet with a 7.956 at 173.67 mph. He relies on a tried and true 314ci small-block Ford that sports a set of Ford Performance Z-heads, gear-driven ProCharger D-1X supercharger, and an air-to-water intercooler. A ProCharger D-1X was the power-adder of choice for the racer occupying the second position on the ladder as well. Former NMCA Street Race competitor Brad Schehr pushed his notchback Mustang to an 8.087 at 167.91 mph. Booze jumped into the show after fixing his engine overnight with an 8.116 at only 147.78 mph.
Eliminations would prove to be just as tight as qualifying, Cook advanced over former Coyote Modified racer David Witt using an 8.068 at 171.95 mph blast in the heat of the day. Car builder and chassis fabrication expert Eric Bardekoff of EB Customs fought wheelies from his 2016 Cobra Jet but managed to keep the nose down and run 8.357 at 163.42 mph, eliminating Barnes in the process. Schehr had a bye-run in the first round when Phillip McAllister pulled out of competition due to a low oil pressure problem that couldn’t be fixed at the track. Schehr set low et for the round with a stout 8.019 at 169.23 mph. Booze found himself in the same situation as Schehr with a broke bye-run when Davis couldn’t make the call for round one.
Three supercharged cars and a naturally aspirated one remained in competition for the semifinals with Schehr facing Booze and Bradekoff lining up against Cook. Booze had trouble firing up the car in the burnout box, giving Schehr a bye-run into the finals. The Florida-based racer let it all hang out in hopes of getting lane choice, posting an 8.026 at 170.39 mph on the solo run. On the other side of the ladder, Cook topped Bardekoff with the first 7-second run of eliminations—7.952 at 171.46 mph to the Cobra Jet’s wheel-standing and off-pace 9.455 at 155.22 mph.
The finals pitted the top two qualifiers against each in the first-ever Modified Street final round. When the lights dropped, it was Schehr off the starting line first with a lightning-quick .030 reaction time and he never looked back. Cook smoked the tires and Schehr rocketed to the finish line with a 7.952 at 171.46 mph performance, marking him as the second racer to get a 7-second time slip in the category.
As the great eight racers who jumped into the new class leave Florida, they will point their rigs towards Commerce, Georgia for the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals, presented by MAHLE, at Atlanta Dragway April 4-7, 2019. For more information on Modified Street visit <HERE> and for event info, click <HERE>