National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio, was first completed in 1964 and began hosting NHRA events in 1972, nestled amongst central Ohio's cornfields just east of downtown.
On May 22, 2005, Tony Schumacher set the NHRA quarter-mile top speed national record there at 336.15 mph, which still stands to this day. Later that same year, the Ford Expo welcomed NMRA racing to the all-Ford event for the first time. Since then, the Exedy Racing Clutch NMRA Ford Expo has been drawing racers and spectators alike from all over the country.
This year, the Labor Day weekend event featured all the familiar NMRA classes, a whole class of Y-block classics, a mob of bracket racers, and-our favorite-the Tremec/MM&FF True Street challenge. The beautiful late-summer Ohio weather made for a good turnout and some sticky track conditions.
The show car field was packed with classics and late-models alike on Saturday and Sunday. Winners were chosen for each day, and awards were given out for each category. From pre-war flathead iron to tricked-out modular muscle, there was something for everyone. We even spotted a clan of European Ford Capris, some '10 Stangs, and a really cool '63 Fairlane gasser owned by Shannon Davis of Zanesville, Ohio.
The Tremec True Street event began Saturday at noon with a 30-mile cruise down back roads between cornfields and back to the track for a cool down. Fifty of the fifty-four participants survived the cruise to begin the three consecutive passes down the 1,320. One of the contenders, Pete Ricart, made only one pass (9.54) before he blew a water pump gasket. When it was all over, Kurt Borton and his '82 Fairmont ("The Almond Assassin," Sept. '09) earned the victory with a 9.02-second average.
Borton made the long trip from Missouri, but it was worth it as runner-up Justin Burcham's average was nearly 0.3 slower (9.28). Any one of the top five could have won, but Burcham, Chad Fisher (10-second winner, 10.12-second average), Mike Martyn (9.61-second average), and Tim Casto (9-second winner, 9.39-second average) all had traction problems.
Borton's Fairmont blew smoke it's entire third run, which was apparently just transmission fluid boiling out from hot-lapping the 800-rwhp classic Fox. Kris Mustacchio wheeled his Vortech-supercharged '91 LX hatch to a lucky 11-second win (11.02-second average) after his supercharger belt shredded on his second run. Billy Holeshot took the 12-second win with a 12.06-second average, and Tom Conrad received the 15-second victory with a 15.06-second average.
In the Turbonetics Pro Outlaw 10.5 class, Dan Millen took the win over Conrad Scarry, running a 6.72 over Scarry's 6.91 in the final. John Urist tucked yet another win under his belt in the ProCharger Super Street Outlaw class with a 7.40-second run in the final over John MacDonald's 7.49.
Mike Look launches his V-10-powered...
Mike Look launches his V-10-powered '91 LX hatch hard during Tremec True Street.
Mark Colombini of Dublin,...
Mark Colombini of Dublin, Ohio, is seen on the Tremec True Street cruise. His '03 Mach 1 has a beefed-up torque converter, 4.10 gears, and a tubular K-member. Colombini was the 13-second winner in the True Street event.
Reggie Burnette jr. won the...
Reggie Burnette jr. won the Roush Performance Modular Muscle class over runner-up Donnie Bowles after Bowles red-lighted in the final.
Matt Stanford and his Cobra...
Matt Stanford and his Cobra Jet Mustang finished runner-up in the JDM Super Stang, right behind winner Chris Parisi and his V-6 S197.
Y-block cars and trucks made...
Y-block cars and trucks made quite an appearance for the Ford Expo. Many, like this '57, were big but fast too. This beast dialed in at 11.70.
MM&FF Senior Technical Editor...
MM&FF Senior Technical Editor Steve Baur checks out his "do" using the polished intake of Mike Martyn's turbocharged convertible. Martyn's 1,015-rwhp GT averaged 9.61 seconds in the Tremec True Street event. It features a 91mm turbo pumping out 30 psi of boost.
Bob Dill's Lightning blew...
Bob Dill's Lightning blew a head gasket, torching the cylinder head, during time shots on Friday. The crew worked through the night welding and hand-milling the head with a file trying to get it back on the track for Round 1 on Saturday. Although he made first call, Bob was eliminated by Rick Devito.
Aaron and Teresa Gardner showed...
Aaron and Teresa Gardner showed off their 2,800-original-mile '94 SVT Cobra. It won numerous awards in the car show.
Diablosport EFI Renegade winner...
Diablosport EFI Renegade winner Larry Hourcle goes wheels up during qualifying. Alton Clements finished runner-up behind Hourcle.
Kurt Borton piloted his '82...
Kurt Borton piloted his '82 Fairmont to a best of 8.90 at 154 mph during the Tremec True...
Don Bowles took the Edelbrock Hot Street win over Ben Mens in the final. Jason Lee took the victory in the BFGoodrich Drag Radial class over Enzo Pecchini. And in Real Street, the winner was Bruce Hemminger, who beat out Tim Matherly in the final by a 0.007-second margin.
...Street competition. His...
...Street competition. His 9.02-second average netted him the True Street crown and cape.
Warm summer weather and a lack of precipitation made for awesome track conditions, and an excellent turnout for the show and swap meet gave spectators plenty to see and do ... and they did come. Check out www.musclemustangfastfords.com for more race results and photos.
|True Street Top 25|
|3.Tim Casto||9.394||9-second Winner|
|5.Chad Fisher||10.124||10-second Winner|
|9.Kris Mustacchio||11.022||11-second Winner|
|10. Mike Niehans||11.228|
|11. Matt Robinson||11.268|
|12. Bill Unkel||11.389|
|13. Brian Flanagan||11.464|
|14. Brandon Doughman||11.472|
|15. Mike Moore||11.715|
|16. Billy Holeshot||12.068||12-second Winner|
|17. Michael Reed||12.074|
|18. Steve Rucker||12.078|
|19. Jim Gilmour||12.233|
|20. Dennis Osworth||12.292|
|21. John Long||12.417|
|22. Mitch Johnson||12.720|
|23. Kevin McCotter||12.727|
|24. Matt Belt||12.925|
|25. Mark Colombini||13.004||13-second Winner|
Hard-to-find Fox-body interior...
Hard-to-find Fox-body interior parts were found aplenty in the swap meet.
Matt Robinson of Martinsville,...
Matt Robinson of Martinsville, Ohio, heats up the hides on his '86 coupe (with an '87-'93 nose) in the Tremec True Street event.
Robert Marchal, Tremec True...
Robert Marchal, Tremec True Street's 14-second winner, is seen here on the 30-mile cruise. He also won the burnout contest.
Kris Mustacchio drove his...
Kris Mustacchio drove his car from Westmont, New Jersey, to compete in True Street. His Vortech X-trim supercharged 331-cube bullet spit the blower belt out from under the car, and with that, Kris' "pride went out the exhaust pipe." Mustacchio pulled off the 11-second win by sheer luck.
Chad Fisher and his clean...
Chad Fisher and his clean blue coupe had problems getting traction throughout practice on Friday and early Saturday. Toning it down a bit in order to gain consistency paid off; Fisher was the 10-second winner with an average of 10.12 seconds.
Former True Street winner...
Former True Street winner Tim Casto was the 9-second winner with his '95 Mustang and a 9.39-second average.
Justin Burcham launches his...
Justin Burcham launches his '05 GT to a 9.28-second average, good enough for runner-up status.
In the ProCharger Super Street...
In the ProCharger Super Street Outlaw final, John Urist (far lane) noses ahead of John MacDonald for the win.
Brandon Alsept (far lane)...
Brandon Alsept (far lane) gets out in front of Eric Burkhart in Round 1 of the Eibach Springs Pure Street competition. Alsept went on to win the trophy over runner-up Steve Gifford in the final.
Steeda Open Comp winner Mike...
Steeda Open Comp winner Mike Buczynski is seen here blasting down the quarter-mile at National Trail Raceway. He later won over runner-up Bryan Parker in the final.
Mike Motycka races his '79...
Mike Motycka races his '79 F-100 to the Detroit Locker Truck class victory over Bob Cochran.
ACT Factory Stock participants...
ACT Factory Stock participants Carlos Sobrino (near lane) and Louis Sylvester battle it out in Round 1. Sylvester went on to take runner-up after losing to Factory Stock winner Tommy Godfrey in the final.