By Mary Lendzion
Kelly Shotwell has been successful in NMRA JDM Engineering Limited Street ever since he began competing in the category back in 2017.
He has set the pace in qualifying and secured wins, and he has stood out. The Ohioan belted in for a best of 8.68 and 160 mph in the quarter-mile in his Mustang boasting a Barker Machine and Fab-built 321 cubic-inch small-block Ford and 7675 Precision turbo.
While he raced in JDM Engineering Limited Street with that combination at the BMR Suspension NMRA Spring Break Shootout in early March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida, and the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing presented by HPJ Performance in May at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois, he is set for some sweeping changes.
Shotwell will move to Edelbrock Renegade with a new combination under the hood of his car at the NMRA Ford Performance Nationals, which is June 10-13 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. It’s a 358 cubic-inch small-block Ford based on a Dart 9.2 deck iron block.
“I bought the engine from Kirt Sanders on my way home from the NMRA race in Florida, and Barker Machine and Fab went through it and freshened it for me,” said Shotwell.
The engine is topped with new Trick Flow High Port heads which were finessed by Tony Bischoff of BES Racing Engines, as well as a new Edelbrock intake. It’s fronted by a new Precision 76mm turbo, and Shotwell backed it with his previously-used Powerglide transmission and PTC converter by Dusty Bradford, and he’s prepared to make changes to them based on data gathered during his first weekend of racing.
Additionally, Shotwell hired Gary Rohe Race Cars in Indiana to build new headers and a down-pipe for his new turbo, and Jeff Wightman will tune the combination with Holley EFI.
After the highly-anticipated event at Summit Motorsports Park, Shotwell will begin the process of pulling up to 250 pounds from wherever he can in his car, and replace his air-to-air intercooler with an air-to-water intercooler.
Shotwell knows he will have his work cut out for him in Edelbrock Renegade, where Chuck Bartholme currently holds category records with a 4.549 and 154.85 mph.
“We’ll have to get creative with the weight loss, and with the air-to-water intercooler, we’ll be able to get the intake air temperature down 30-40 degrees,” said Shotwell, who has support from his crew chief, Bo Webb, and his brothers, Casey and Cary Shotwell, who hold their own in NMRA QA1 True Street. “I know we have to gather new data with this new combination, and that there will be some learning curves, but my goal is to get into the 4s in the eighth-mile very soon.”