By Mary Lendzion
After driving to two championships in NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock, Shane Stymiest changed his course in 2018.
That’s when the Pennsylvania-based driver, who had always competed at all six events on the annual NMRA tour, moved to NMRA Richmond Gear Factory Stock and competed at only a few events, as he wanted to be home with Bobbi Jo Rector after they welcomed their baby daughter, Presley, that spring.
“Bobbi Jo is always telling me to chase my dreams, and that includes championships, but it was important for me to be home with her and Presley,” said Stymiest, whose Mustang features a Gen I Coyote engine with a 2018 Coyote intake, G-Force G101-A transmission, UPR suspension components and Strange axles and brakes. “Bobbi Jo supported that decision, too.”
Despite competing on a limited schedule, Stymiest secured an eleventh place finish in NMRA Richmond Gear Factory Stock points in 2018 and 2019, while also racing in his own series, NA Factory Racing, which doesn’t conflict with NMRA events, at Mason Dixon Dragway in Maryland.
And as he does every fall, he took part in the Haltech World Cup Finals — Import vs. Domestic event last November at Maryland International Raceway. There, he entered the All Motor category, and went a few rounds while clocking mid-9s in his car weighing 650 pounds less than it does in NMRA trim.
“I have weight bars in the car for NMRA events, and I pull them out for World Cup Finals events,” said Stymiest. “It’s pretty time consuming, but at least I know where all of the weights go.”
After adding the weight back to his car in February, Stymiest reset the ride height in his car, scaled it and made clutch adjustments. He also replaced the gearing he used at the Haltech World Cup Finals — Import vs. Domestic event with gearing he uses in NMRA Richmond Gear Factory Stock, and replaced the VP Racing Fuels MS109 fuel he had in his tank with VP Racing Fuels C10. Then, he headed to the NMRA season opener, the 26th Annual Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout, Feb. 27-March 1 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida, where he purchased a new set of slicks from the on-site Mickey Thompson trailer, and put them on his car.
“Pulling and adding weight, rescaling the car and making clutch adjustments is kind of like reinventing the wheel, so just like everyone else, I wasn’t exactly sure what the car was going to do on the first pass, so I was pleased when I let the clutch out and the car went straight,” said Stymiest, who owns SS Mowing and Landscaping in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.
By Saturday morning, he was making a rear gear change.
“As good as the air was, we wanted to try something to see if we could take advantage of it, but after seeing that it wasn’t what we were looking for, we’ll be going back to what we had,” said Stymiest, who missed the third round of qualifying as they were wrapping up the work, but made the fourth and final round of qualifying, and hauled to a 10.28 to take the third spot, and to pick up a personal best NMRA Richmond Gear Factory Stock elapsed-time.
After a tight race against John Leslie Jr., he got past the first round of eliminations with a 10.36, and later in the weekend, earned a runner-up finish against Mike Bowen after turning on the red light.
“The car was making power, and my goal was to get to the final, so I’m glad that happened, but the clutch set-up wasn’t right, so we’ll have to get to a test session as soon as possible to get it right,” said Stymiest, whose crew consists of Rector and their daughter, Presley, whom he affectionately refers to as a “little gear head.”
For now, Stymiest, who plans to swap his Gen I Coyote engine with a Gen III Coyote engine when they’re available and move back to NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock — is holding down second place in NMRA Richmond Gear Factory Stock points, while his brother and fellow racer, Nathan Stymiest, is holding down fifth place in G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock points. Both are quite capable of climbing up when racing, delayed as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, resumes.