Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsEvents
Ford Mustang Motor City Mayhem
NMRA Has A Quarter-Mile Assault In Ford's Backyard At Milan Dragway.
Drag Radial was put in a tailspin at the first race of the year in Bradenton when a couple of turbocharged racers blew away the competition. One of the leading turbo cars in the category belongs to Chris Tuten, and he showed the field his taillights in Milan. He took out Kevin Fiscus in the final round with an 8.21 to a tire-smoking 8.82 by Fiscus. If people thought Renegade was strict with rules, then the Real Street class is even more so. The stick shift-only class is reserved for high 9-second and 10-second cars. The nitrous-versus-blower final round featured Bruce Hemminger and Tim Matherly. Hemminger wrung out his nitrous-powered coupe to the tune of 9.92 and grabbed the win.
The final two eliminators are naturally aspirated classes: Pure Street and Factory Stock. The Pure Street contingent was quite busy as they had three eliminators to complete in one event weekend-the rained-out Georgia finals, the B&M/Hurst/McLeod Shootout, and the regular class eliminations. Brad Meadows doubled up as he took home both the Shootout victory and a class win for the Milan event. The Kuntz & Co.-powered Cobra was the second quickest car in class with a 10.36 in qualifying. The near-stock Factory Stock class was won by Brian Marr in his modular-powered Mustang as his competitor, points leader Tommy Godfrey, lit the red light in the money round.
Some of the wildest news of the weekend came from the Open Comp class where Don Bowles unveiled an experimental Ford V-8 engine that he was testing for Ford. The Roush Racing crew was working side-by-side with the Ford engineers all weekend to push the limits of the new "X" engine. The team and Ford officials were tight-lipped about the specifics, and our speculation is that Bowles was running a very large cubic-inch modular engine with Two-Valve heads. It sang to the tune of low-nines all weekend long without the benefit of a blower, turbo, or nitrous. Other news in the hotly contested index category was that three competitors nailed down perfect reaction times during qualifying. NMRA bases qualifying position on reaction time, and with a three-way tie, race director Lynwood Dupee made the decision to award the number-one spot to Andy Blackmon for having turned the first perfect light in the class. Despite perfect lights and experimental engines, the winner was Shane Williams with his mid-12-second '99 Mustang GT.
The other two index classes, Truck and Lightning and Modular Muscle, might have featured less drama, but race-day action was just as tight. Chris Colitas survived five rounds, including a final match against the always-tough Tommy Motycka. Family member Mike Motycka took out Johnny Lightning in the finals of Truck and Lightning. Johnny broke out of his 9.00 index by only 0.079, handing the automatic win to Motycka in his '79 F-100.
Ford Racing Invitational
It all started a few months ago when Jesse Kershaw of Ford Racing Performance Parts brought up an idea for the NMRA-Milan event. He sketched up a scheme that would pit journalists against each other in a no-holds-barred bracket race. FRPP invited 17 journalists from various publications, and each randomly chose a vehicle by picking a slip out of a helmet. Each car was equipped with an array of FRPP upgrades, and it was a chance for the journalists to slug it out on the track for bragging rights and fun.
Editor Evan Smith represented MM&FF, while yours truly stood in as the Ford Performance Trucks magazine entry. I pulled a Hertz GT-H (complete with a bracket-race friendly automatic transmission), while Smitty got stuck with a 500-horse Mustang GT with a stick shift transmission. The FRPP supercharged GT was an awesome car but one of the more difficult to race-especially on street tires. Smitty did an admirable job of qualifying third (based on reaction time), and I qualified fifth.