There were two perfect lights through three rounds of qualifying in NMRA index categories, the first one was turned in by Dennis Conway in a 1994 Mustang Cobra. He tops the Flex-a-lite Open Comp category in a car that is normally driven by Ashley Conway-Lang. Open Comp was a tough one as Dennis Corn knocked off a .001 reaction time and Woody Pack is on the list with a .002 light; they captured second and third spots on the ladder. The other perfect light was unleashed by the turbocharged 2002 SVT Lightning of Matt Banks. The team did run 9.64 at 139 mph with the turbocharged 5.4L engine. Banks did, however, cut a perfect .000 light to the top the list of Detroit Locker Truck & Lightning. Making his reaction time more impressive is the fact that Banks comes off the line with the foot brake.
All Qualifying results and the elimination ladders can be found <<HERE>>
It is cold—like freezing cold as in 35 degrees when the gates opened this morning. Ford Muscle racer Steph Davies sent this photo over to us to show her displeasure in the temperatures. It isn’t hard to imagine that sweatshirt sales are at a record setting pace. Racing is set to begin at 9:15AM and the temperatures are predicted to rise into the 50s by mid morning.
What a weekend it’s been for Wiseco/VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw racer DJ Loiacano. He ran the first qualifying session on Friday with a class-leading 4.519 at 159.66 mph and blew the door off his car – literally. On Saturday during round two, however, Loiacano went for a wild ride that ended with a wreck. “The track just wasn’t there,” explained Loiacano. “The car left perfect and was on its best pass ever. When it set the wheels down, it darted left straight into the wall. It was like skating on ice.” Although his Mustang is pretty banged up, Loiacano himself only sustained minor bruising. Preliminary inspections indicate that the chassis and driveline are mostly okay, but all of the body panels (except the roof) will need work. Loiacano plans to let the car sit for a while before he tears into it, with no ETA on when it’ll be back in action. Fortunately, Loiacano is a paint/body guy and can handle the cosmetic repairs himself, and Wizard Race Cars will go through the chassis just to be safe.
NMRA Edelbrock Renegade racer and Louisiana native Curtis Catalon’s ’03 Mustang Cobra was resting easy this morning in Georgia and featured a decal from newly-acquired sponsor Camp Dog Cajun Seasoning. Things have been going well for Catalon, who runs a 4.6L motor from Triangle Speed Shop with Rich Groh Racing heads, 76mm PTE turbo, and PTC Powerglide transmission. The Rick Stevens-built car smacked the wall at the NMRA Ford Super Nationals in Norwalk in June of 2014, but Catalon rebuilt with help from UPR Products. He’s been well into the 7.80s before, but was only able to coax an 8.052 at 172.47 mph effort out of it during the second round of qualifying to wind up in eighth. He’s made a gear change in preparation for the start of today’s eliminations and expects to pick up quite a few numbers as a result.
James Meredith has done more tire changes in the past few days than he can count. Hailing from the great state of Texas, the NMRA American Racing Headers Factory Stock racer ran a 10.728 at 123.64 mph in qualifying to wind up in the number one spot and has been running on both 26” and 28” Mickey Thompson tires. Meredith ran a 10.58 earlier this year in Bradenton, Florida, but has been chasing the weather all weekend looking for the right combination to get back to that number. He’s also been testing various torque converters with his C4 transmission, and credits Greg from Triangle Speed Shop (where the car was built) for his help keeping everything working right this weekend.
The top speed honors in NMRA American Racing Headers Factory Stock went to Louis Sylvester Jr and his Fast Forward Racecars-built stick-shift Coupe. Aside from changing some spark plugs on the 310 ci Zapp Racing Engines-built pushrod motor stuffed with Diamond Pistons and Total Seal rings, it’s been an easy weekend for the guys. Credit goes to High Speed Performance for helping out with dyno time and the front suspension setup that’s enabled them to do so well. Backed by Indicom Electric Company, the T5 G-Force transmission-equipped Mustang’s 10.750 at 124.44 mph pass landed Sylvester in second overall.
Bent not broke. That’s the name of the game for NMRA Race Pages Coyote Stock driver Brandon Alsept and his. A 10.532 at 126.09 mph run during the first round of qualifying marked a new personal best for Alsept in NMRA competition. He changed his ACT clutch after the second session, and while the car was up and running on the jack stands, he noticed a bit of wobble in the wheels. A quick inspection revealed a bent axle, most likely caused by tire shake, but Alsept can’t pinpoint when exactly it happened. With no available spare, Alsept softened up the clutch and is planning to just go for it his first elimination run and hope for the best.
Dan Ryntz picked up a new personal best in competition this weekend during NMRA American Racing Headers Factory Stock qualifying. His 10.880 at 121.99 mph pass in the session knocked a tenth off his elapsed time from the first round, and Ryntz believes was simply the result of listening to his fellow racers and trying to focus on cleaning up all the small details. The fact that he changed to a larger 1 3/4″ Kooks header in the off season, as well as some Mickey Thompson Pro Bracket radial tires definitely didn’t hurt, either. Additionally, Ryntz thanks Speedy at SST Performance for providing shop time so he can accomplish the larger tasks he can’t get done in his garage at home. His ’89 Mustang runs a front suspension setup from UPR, and Revolution Automotive massaged the car’s tune. Ryntz has been as quick as 10.81 in testing two weeks prior, and considering he’s been running close to that despite the tough headwinds and cold weather this weekend, his goal of hitting the 10.70s soon shouldn’t be a difficult task to accomplish.
Also doing well in NMRA American Racing Headers Factory Stock is Bart Welte of Findlay, Ohio. Welte recently freshened up his Rich Groh-headed motor with a set of Mahle pistons, Carillo rods, Triangle oil pump gears, and ARP head studs. Welte does most of his own machining and assembly, but the folks at Precision Engine Service help out with few odds and ends as well. His two qualifying hits both produced massive wheelies, but a 10.887 at 119.67 mph marked a new personal best in Factory Stock trim for the racer. Welte and friend/crew guy Brian Gardner have been busy moving weight around on the ’89 Mustang to try and keep the front end down. UPR suspension can be found up front, and Welte’s Mustang packs Team Z components out back.
Get ready to see a lot more of the Kuntz & Co. name! Dwayne Barbaree’s car owner, Russell Stone, purchased the company on January 1st, 2016, and plans to help Kuntz grow their current late model dirt market into more of a high-horsepower power adder crowd. Former owner and namesake Jim Kuntz will remain on board to manage the engine program, and assist with the Barbaree/Stone race program. This weekend, however, Barbaree’s turbo boosted ’90 Mustang had been struggling to get down the track in qualifying, and then went for a nail-biting ride during the first round of eliminations when it dragged Barbaree across the center line into the opposing lane at the top end of the track. A big cloud of smoke soon appeared, Barbaree narrowly missed impacting opponent Joel Greathouse driving Jared Johnston’s car, and the white smoke of a fire being extinguished appeared moments later. Barbaree is okay, but some parts got a little crispy in the incident.
Oh so close! Bart Tobener worked hard to get his new 2015 Mustang GT on track this weekend. He, unfortunately, just ran out of time. The car fires up but the details like interior, body panels, and other odds and ends need to be completed. He vowed to be ready for next race, the Ford Motorsport Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway April 28-May 1. Tobener brought the car down as Race Parts Solutions is located just up the road from Atlanta Dragway.
Aaron Bates and Dez Racing silenced the field in Edelbrock Renegade when he unleashed a 7.40 at 187 mph run during round one of eliminations. That effectively destroys the record from last year, a 7.59 turned in by Frank Varela. It also bashed up the quickest pass in class history set last month by Adam Arndt who had gone 7.48 but failed to back it up. Bates will face Valerie Clements in round two of eliminations.
The competition in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw has never been tighter and the first round of action proved it. Manny Buginga (near lane) faced off against defending champion Phil Hines (far lane) in a turbo-on-blower throwdown. Buginga had the quicker car when his Skinny Kid Race Cars built Cobra ran through the traps with a 4.43 at 168 mph, but Hines got to the finish line first. Hines cut a better light, allowing his slower 4.46 at 163 to be the winning performance.
Carlos Sobrino is on his way to being your new NMRA Race Pages Coyote Stock elapsed time record holder! Sobrino clicked off an absolutely incredible 10.223-second run at 127.55 mph with a 1.324-second sixty-foot time today with his stick-shift ’88 Mustang during the first round of eliminations to pick up a win against Greg Herbert and the record will stand as official if he can hang on to it until the completion of the event. Back in the pits, Sobrino had a huge smile plastered to his face and the steady stream of other racers coming to congratulate him was jaw-dropping. Sobrino said he and crew chief Carlos Florenca hadn’t touched the car since qualifying, and the only thing that changed was the driver’s attitude and decision to get aggressive about going for it.
A shaft broke on Dwayne Barbaree’s throttle body and caused the engine to run wide open through the eighth-mile. He went for a crazy ride at an incredible 173 mph (which absolutely decimated his previous fastest speed and class record of 167.92 mph), but luckily managed to keep the car off the wall. The engine chucked a rod, and the oil that poured out through the new bearing inspection window caught fire. The team’s already in motion working on rebuilding both the engine and the transmission.
His name speaks for itself. Joel Greathouse, driving Joe and Jared Johnston’s KBX Performance/Pressurized Solutions “White Riot” Mustang, threw down a great number in the first round of Wiseco/VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw eliminations. The team, with John Kolivas massaging the tune, had used the qualifying sessions mainly as data-gathering opportunities. As the Bennett Racing Engines 400 ci small block car was previously set up for X275 with an 85mm turbocharger, it took some time before the guys were able to dial in where the boost comes in with their larger 98mm turbo. Clearly they’re doing it right, as Greathouse’s first round elimination run of 4.39-seconds was not only a winner, but the quickest he’s ever gone.
He got the win in round one of NMRA ProCharger Coyote Modified, but the victory didn’t come without consequence for Johnny “Lightning” Wiker and his ’13 Super Cobra Jet. Wiker lifted the heads on his run and dropped a puddle of water, then limped back to the pits and decided on a game plan to keep moving forward. Wiker got to work and drained all the water from the system, and will continue on in eliminations until the car refuses to go any further. He’ll hitch a tow to the start, fire it up for a quick burnout, make a hit, and get towed back to the pits.
FINAL ELIMINATIONS RESULTS <<HERE>>