Thursday Coverage—9th Annual NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by Steeda Autosports

The gates burst open on Thursday, the first day of the 9th annual NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by Steeda Autosports. It is the first “combo” race of the year as both NMRA and NMCA sanctioning bodies are run simultaneously. Last month the NMRA Keystone Drag Racing Series kicked off in a big way with record performances, record fields, and record crowds for the Spring Break Shootout, held at Bradenton Motorsports Park. The test and tune started late due to a little precipitation in the morning and high winds.

Vinnie Palazzolo will run his 2001 Mustang GT for the first time in 2017 after winter upgrades took a little longer than expected. He borrowed Benny Ortiz’s flawless 2008 Shelby GT500 for the Spring Break Shootout, but he was eager to cut his car loose with his new Bennett Racing Engine powerplant. Also new is a Shearer Fabrication intercooler and new Thompson Racing billet intake manifold. Justin McChesney of KBX Performance is on the property tuning the Haltech Elite 2500 engine management unit.

This weekend marks the return of El Jefe, version 2.0, as Jeff Polivka rolled out his 2014 Boss 302 Mustang with a fresh SFI 25.3 tag on it, courtesy of DMC Racing. Also new are RC Components wheels and complete Racecraft front and rear suspensions. JPC Racing’s Eric Holliday was in the driver’s seat working on the spooling tune-up within the AEM Infinity engine management system. A new Pro Torque EV1 torque converter has helped cut down spool time from the turbocharged Coyote 5.0.

Blow-By Racing’s Chris Jones is assuming crew chief roll on customer Justin Ehlin’s 2011 Mustang GT as they are assaulting ProCharger Coyote Modified. The car is brand-new and it features MPR Race Engines constructed Coyote 5.0, designed for the class. It features Diamond pistons, Oliver rods, and a set of custom BBR bump-sticks. Boost comes via a Vortech JT-B supercharger, run off a gear-drive system. Jones uses a Big Stuff 3 engine management system to keep a handle on it all. The team hasn’t made a run on the track, yet, but Jones felt the power on the chassis dyno should yield some big times.