Modular Shootout 5 - Columbus, Ohio - Crazy In Columbus
There were fans, fun and even some pushrods at the True Blue Performance-sponsored Modular Shootout 5 in Columbus, Ohio
From the December, 2003 issue of Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
By John Hedenberg
Illustrators: John Hedenburg
Paul Svinicki of Paul's High...
Paul Svinicki of Paul's High Performance had some trick components on his Y2K Cobra R. He fabricated an MSD distributor to drive off one of the cams, converting his engine to a distributor-type ignition system. He commented that the coil-on-plug arrangement was too confusing and that the distributor was more efficient for him. He also fabricated a custom upper manifold that was bolted to an FR500 lower to accept twin 900-cfm Accufab throttle bodies.
Participants taking place...
Participants taking place in the car show had the option to enter their name in a drawing for a Classic Design Concepts Mach 1 Shaker hood scoop kit and Fabio Fiocco of Ontario, Canada, was the lucky winner.
NMRA Super Street Outlaw driver...
NMRA Super Street Outlaw driver Randy Haywood captured the Modular Shootout 5 Racer of the Year award and beat out some tough competition in the process. He is seen here accepting his award from event organizer Dave King and is sporting his Modular Shootout 5 leather jacket in the process.
The engine under the lift-off...
The engine under the lift-off nose of John Mihovetz's yellow '02 Cougar consists of a 282ci four-valve Modular mill with twin 76mm turbos from Precision Turbo. The tube-chassis Merc puts the power down through a Lenco five-speed and out to 34-inch slicks. Rumors floated around Columbus that stated Mihovetz had run in the 6.80 range, but when asked he reported that his personal best with the car was a 7.26 at 190 mph.
New this year was a heads-up...
New this year was a heads-up '03 Cobra class. Other than having to own an '03 Cobra, the main requirement for the competitors was to run on DOT street tires--but not drag radials or cheater slicks. In the money round, Wallingford, Connecticut's Cody Mac pulled off an upset by defeating the quicker JDM Engineering-equipped '03, driven by JDM mechanic Shaun Lacko. Lacko, the number-one qualifier with a stellar 11.80 ran a 12.08 at 101 mph, but his .605 reaction time gave the win to Mac and his 12.29 at 104 mph. Cody had a quicker .265 reaction time getting him to the stripe first (Remember .000 is a perfect light!).
This Mercury Marauder was...
This Mercury Marauder was packing an Eaton supercharger kit from Trilogy Motorsports in Dearborn, Michigan, and was putting 400 hp to the ground. It was running in the low 13s, but the owner said it should be in the 12s with more tuning.
Steve Angell of Lauden, Tennessee,...
Steve Angell of Lauden, Tennessee, showed up to the Modular Shootout 5 with the ex-Watson Engineering '97 GT and was packing a carburetor on top of his sheetmetal intake-equipped 5.4L Modular engine. With 15:1 compression and a Jerico transmission, Angell ran in the low 10s before breaking the transmission and ending his weekend. Needless to say, Angell's engine was drastically different from the other Modular engines at the event.
There was plenty of carnage...
There was plenty of carnage during the '03 Cobra class as two competitors found out that the weak link in the '03 driveline is the aluminum driveshaft.
For the first time in the five-year history of the Modular Shootout conventional pushrod V-8 engines were allowed to mix it up against the likes of the more sophisticated overhead cam Modular powerplants. Modular Shootout event promoter Dave King had classes for the hordes of 5.0 and other Ford racers, but he also invited two-time and current NMRA Pro 5.0 champion Billy Glidden and his Skinny Kid-constructed, 400-cubic-inch nitrous machine to take on the twin-turbocharged, Modular-powered '02 Cougar of Ontario, California's John Mihovetz in a winner-takes-all slugfest.
King's plan was simple, take two cars with drastically different engine combinations and two drivers with personalities that mix like oil and water and pair them up in a best of three, tire-smoking match race. The question people asked was whether the old-school nitrous ride of Glidden could dominate the Modular Shootout. Or, would the 282-cubic-inch, Lenco five-speed-equipped, Modular machine of Mihovetz prove that pushrods are a thing of the past? Needless to say the results were surprising, the fans ate the action up by the truckload and MM&FF, being the presenting magazine sponser for the event, was there to capture it in print!
As if the Glidden/Mihovetz King of the Hill match race wasn't walking a tightrope already, the staff had the added pressure of moving the event from Cecil County Dragway in Rising Sun, Maryland, to Hebron, Ohio, and National Trail Raceway--just 20 minutes east of Columbus. In years past the Modular Shootout was also contested at "The Rock" in Rockingham, North Carolina, but this was the first time at National Trail and it proved to be a wise move by King and the Modular Shootout staff.
For many fans the Glidden/Mihovetz shootout was reason enough to attend. The first round Saturday afternoon saw Mihovetz capture the upset over Glidden with a 7.44 at 186.48 mph. Glidden, who shook the tires violently at the hit of the throttle, shut down almost immediately and slowed to a coasting 9.54 at 97.03 mph. Score one for the Mihovetz camp.
Sunday, however, was all Glidden. The seasoned pro ran in the sixes on both passes, nailing crowd-pleasing 6.97 at 192.14 mph and then a 6.92 at 200.98 in the final. Mihovetz gave it a valiant effort with a 7.36 at 187.73 mph (in round two) and a 7.37 at 186.12 mph in the final but, nonetheless, on this day Glidden's pushrod-equipped small-block V-8 proved old-school technology is alive and kicking.
The heads-up '03 Cobra class was awesome and had its fair share of pit talk with most of the competitors coming over from the New York/New Jersey area. New Yorker Jim Vaccaro put an '03 Cobra convoy together and all who made the eight-hour drive to National Trail had a good time. The '03 Cobra class drivers were not allowed to compete with drag radials or cheater slicks, instead they had to retain the factory radial tires. This raised some eyebrows as Cody Mac from Wallingford, Connecticut, was riding on Nitto drag radials and won the event.
One of the most interesting cars at the event belonged to Steve Angell of Lauden, Tennessee, who showed up to flex his muscles with a one-of-a-kind, carbureted Modular combination and pulled off an exciting 10.1-second pass (on motor) before damaging the Jerico four-speed tranny. His combo consisted of a 5.4L engine with 15:1 compression with enough nitrous to require a gigantic 1,000-cfm carb up top. Rather than pack up his damaged goods and retire for the weekend, Angell entered his tow vehicle in the Brooks Power Stroke Diesel class and cleaned house.
Jonesboro, Tennessee, native John Edwards was a busy man on Sunday as he made it to the final round of the Steeda 2V naturally aspirated class and the Best Products/VT Competition Engines 4.6 Open Comp class, which paid a whopping $15,000 to the winner. Edwards won the 2V N/A class, beating Ken Bjonnes, but couldn't pull off the "double" for the big cha-ching as he fell in the final of Open Comp to FFW Mod Maddness standout Chuck Lawrence.
There was plenty of interesting off-track activity, as well. King hosted a two-month-long Internet poll for racers and fans to vote for the Modular Racer of the Year. The nominee's Mihovetz, Robert Hindman, Team LaMotta (Jake LaMotta and driver Christina Eldert), Randy Stinchcomb and NMRA Super Street Outlaw pilot Randy Haywood. Haywood earned his keep on the short five-man list by becoming the very first SSO Modular-powered Mustang to enter the 7-second zone. When the dust settled, it was the two Randys sweating it out for Modular supremacy with Mr. Haywood emerging as the overall winner.
The Classic Design Concepts-sponsored car show also had its share of excitement as everyone who registered automatically became entered in a raffle that would award the winner with a Classic Design Concepts Mustang Mach 1 Shaker hood scoop kit. Marnie Kramer of CDC reached in a bucket of entry tickets and picked Ontario, Canada's Fabio Fiocco as the winner and rewarded him with the Mach 1 hardware. It was a busy weekend for Fiocco as he also finished in the runner-up spot in the Modular Cobra car show class with his meticulously detailed, Paxton Novi-equipped '99 Cobra.
The manufacturer's midway had 28 vendors showing off a host of new and exciting Mustang components and hardware. Innovative Turbo Solutions located in Dayton, Ohio, debuted its '03 Cobra turbo kit consisting of a Turbonetics passenger-mounted T70 turbo. ITS removed the rotors from the factory Eaton M112 supercharger but kept the case intact, blocking off the opening where the pulley would be and using it as an upper intake plenum. The reason for this was to retain the stock air-to-water intercooler found underneath the Eaton blower and to ease the overall conversion process. The kit was in its very early stages and was not even tested. Once completed pricing should come in around $3,895. An upgrade to a more powerful T76 turbo will raise the price by around $1,000.
We also found Anthony Jones Engineering of North Vernon, Indiana, debuting its new frontend travel limiter. The kit consisted of a hydraulically operated cable connecting to the front lower control arm instead of a manual chain or steel cable. The system gets pressurized with a remote hand brake and will limit the frontend travel (preventing huge wheelstands) until an electronic solenoid is activated, which will bleed off the pressure allowing the front suspension to have its full travel at the top end of the track. Bassani Xhaust showed off its new catalytic converters, which have 20 to 30 percent more flow and can be used on a wide variety of performance applications.
As one would expect, there were a ton of Modular-powered Mustangs and Lightnings on the property, but the majority of the bracket machines were powered by conventional Ford pushrod V-8s. They were welcomed to come out to the Modular Shootout 5 to make some noise and put on a show for the dial-in fans. Dave King and Scott Winger would love to continue the history of the Modular Shootout but a few obstacles stand in their way.
Which brings us to the all-important question: Should there be a Modular Shootout 6? According to King, there very well may be, but some key ingredients must come together first. "The 2003 event produced our best year ever in its five-year history," he said. "We had 28 manufacturers on the midway and a very successful car show. There were over 200 racer participants and a decent spectator turnout. This success came in a year when some race organizations have faired poorly.
"If you search the Internet, you won't find a bad comment about the Modular Shootout 5. We were very determined to make all of the racers and car show participants feel important. The market and demand is there for another event. However, it takes a lot of money to make a race a reality. At the moment (as of August 2003), we do not have a title sponsor for next year. The Modular Shootout makes 85 percent of its revenue at or after the race. We must have a title sponsor commitment before we can go any further.
"The optimum goal would be for someone to come in and share 50 percent of the ownership. This is what we would really like to see happen. Unfortunately, these conditions must be met before we can commit on making the next Modular Shootout happen. There have been suggestions by some that we change our format around even more than what we did this year.
"We might change the name to The 2004 Ford Pushrod vs. Mod Motor War. We even thought about having a Mustang vs. Grand National shootout to coincide with the Mod motor-only cars. Regardless of what happens, the next event (should it take place) will definitely be hosted at National Trail Raceway. A decision should be made about the future of the Modular Shootout by November 1, 2003."
Let's hope, whatever happens, Dave King and the Modular Shootout staff are able to piece together the ingredients necessary to keep the series going for a long time to come. It is an event definitely worth attending.
John Mihovetz fought off transmission...
John Mihovetz fought off transmission problems early Saturday morning (during time shots), but was able to make the necessary repairs in time to face Glidden.
The Classic Design Concepts...
The Classic Design Concepts car show had a good turnout and a host of awards were given out to the participants.
For more information on how...
For more information on how everyone faired, check out the sidebar below.
There was no shortage of '03...
There was no shortage of '03 Cobras on the grounds for the Modular Shootout 5
The JDM Engineering Lightning...
The JDM Engineering Lightning Open Comp class saw JDM customer Paul Gamino of Sweeny, Texas, bringing home the gold after defeating Bob Kowalskie with an 11.67 at 105 mph (on an 11.43 dial). Kowalskie ran a 12.60 at 107 mph on a 12.25 dial, but couldn't get it done at the other end. The low qualifier was JDM owner Jim D'Amore who ran in the 10.70 zone with a black Kenne Bell-equipped Lightning.
Steeda 2V naturally aspirated...
Steeda 2V naturally aspirated competitor Randy Stinchcomb was the runner-up for the Racer of the Year award and was interviewed by Modular Shootout 5 announcer Tim Manes. Stinchcomb lost in the semis to Ken Bjonnes.
Innovative Turbo Solutions...
Innovative Turbo Solutions in Dayton, Ohio, had its trick turbo kit on display for the '03 Cobra. The kit uses the factory Eaton supercharger case as an upper plenum (the rotors are removed) and a Turbonetics T70 turbo is installed in the passenger-side fenderwell. The base kit was said to list for $3,895, while the upgraded T76 unit would be around $1,000 more. No dyno testing numbers were available, but the power gains brought the engine up to about 400 hp.
The Modularfords.com True...
The Modularfords.com True Modular class only had one participant show up and it was Dave Stanfield of Raleigh, North Carolina. He and his red '99 Cobra soloed to the easy win with a fine 13.94 at 102 mph
The Brooks Diesel Truck class...
The Brooks Diesel Truck class found Steve Angell of Lauden, Tennessee, capturing the win over Eric Swarr. Angell's Power Stroke Ford ran a stunning 14.92 at 88 mph to take the win.
New for this year was the...
New for this year was the Drag Radial class that had three competitors show up to duke it out on treaded tires. Alex Vrettos of Columbus, Ohio, captured the win over Buck Wooley of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Vrettos, with help from "Big Daddy" Dwayne Gutridge, ran a 9.01 at 155 mph to defeat the close 9.57 at 151 mph of Wooley. During qualifying, Vrettos ran in the 8.90s.
John Edwards of Jonesboro,...
John Edwards of Jonesboro, Tennessee, almost pulled off the "double" by advancing to the final round in the Steeda 2V naturally aspirated class and the Best Products/VT Comp Engines 4.6 Open Comp class.
He won the 2V N/A class by...
He won the 2V N/A class by defeating Ken Bjonnes with a 12.29 at 110 mph, but lost in the final of Open Comp to the tough Chuck Lawerance. Edwards had a .050 light to Lawerance's .058, but his 12.35 on a 12.29 dial couldn't get it done. Lawerance ran a 10.93 on a 10.90 dial for the huge $15,000 purse.
Anthony Jones Engineering...
Anthony Jones Engineering had a neat frontend travel limiter, which was operated by hydraulic pressure. When pressurized by a hand-operated lever, the system becomes locked and will prevent excess frontend travel from being achieved by tying down the front lower control arms, preventing huge wheelstands. After the car is in motion, an electronic solenoid (much like a line lock) will bleed off the pressure and reinstall the suspensions full travel helping to add top-end stability.
Mod-motor hitter Aaron Archer...
Mod-motor hitter Aaron Archer broke a rearend gear during qualifying, but had enough time to make repairs before Sunday's racing.
There was plenty of activity...
There was plenty of activity going on at the JDM Engineering pit area. Not only does JDM tune some of the quickest Lightnings and Cobras on the planet, it also sells all the parts offered and the mechanics can install the parts at the track, or back at their Freehold, New Jersey-based shop.
Gary Larkin of Pittsburgh,...
Gary Larkin of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, entered the car show with his striking '67 Ford Econoline van.
The bracket racing activity...
The bracket racing activity was just as spectacular as the heads-up Modular stuff. Saturday saw Tom Matycka and his Mustang defeat Dave Askew's Pinto with a 7.96 on a 7.94 dial and Sunday's big winner was Mike Moistner, who defeated Robert Imody with a 10.76 on a 10.64 dial to Imody's 11.38 on his 11.35 dial.
The MV Performance-backed...
The MV Performance-backed '01 Mustang of Statham, Georgia's Tim Matherly took home the glory in the Houston Performance 2V power-adder class when he defeated the number-one-qualifier Jim Wagner of Louisville, Ohio, with a 10.78 at 124 mph to Wagner's loosing 10.85 at 124 mph.
The Anderson Ford 4V naturally...
The Anderson Ford 4V naturally aspirated final consisted of Vero Beach, Florida's Al Papitto and Virginia Beach, Virginia, racer Lloyd Martinez. Papitto took the win with a 10.85 at 127 mph to Martinez's off-pace 12.42 at 106 mph. Papitto cleaned house during qualifying with the only 10-second pass in the class, a fine 10.63 at 129 mph. The next quickest car was Martinez, who ran a 12.12 at 108 mph.
The Performance Fuel Systems/Modular...
The Performance Fuel Systems/Modular Madness 4V power-adder class final found the number one and two qualifiers (Manny Alvarez of Carrollton, Texas, and Aaron Tingle out of Salisbury, Maryland) square off. At the line and at the stripe it was Alvarez with a .153 to .238 holeshot and a 9.17 at 149 mph run to beat the 10.19 at 134 mph from Tingle.
|CAR SHOW WINNERS|
|Modular Cobra |
|First place:||Mike Scornavacchi - Columbia, PA '97 Cobra|
|Second place:||Fabio Fiocco - Ontario, Canada '99 Cobra|
|Third Place: ||V. Van Dette-Weir - Ontario, Canada '01 Cobra|
|Modular GT |
|First place:||Darren McFarlane - Ontario, Canada '00 GT|
|Second place: ||Peter Calabrese - Fishkill, NY '00 GT|
|Third place:||Tom Mee - Manchester, CT '01 GT|
|First place: ||Joe Wilson - Kettering, OH '01 Lightning|
|Second place:||Tim Weir - Ontario, Canada '01 Lightning|
|Third place:||Jim Smart - Fairborn, OH '98 Lincoln Mark VIII|
|Fox Body/'94-95 Mustang |
|First place:||Mike Susain - Clarksburg, WV '79 Capri|
|Second place: ||Kevin O'Brien - Lebanon, OH '93 Cobra|
|Third place: ||Dave Lowe West - Milton, OH '85 Mustang|
|Classical Mustang and Other Ford |
|First place: ||Steve Deboard - Coshocton, OH '68 Mustang|
|Second place: ||Mike Patterson - Newark, OH '67 Mustang|
|Third place: ||Robert Slatzer - Newark, OH '65 Falcon|
|Best Engine||Mike Scornavacchi Columbia, PA '97 Cobra|
|Best Paint||Steve Franks - Northville, MI '01 Saleen|
|Best Interior||Darren McFarlane - Ontario, Canada'00 GT |