2010 NMRA Atco - The Real Jersey "Situation"
The NMRA-Keystone Ford Nationals invades Atco Raceway and the '11 Mustang GT leads the way.
From the September, 2010 issue of Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
By Michael Galimi
Photography by Michael Galimi
Four Cobra Jet racecars competed...
Four Cobra Jet racecars competed in different NMRA classes. In the near lane, Don Fezell is piloting his '08 Cobra Jet that goes 9.40s in NHRA Stock Eliminator trim. In the far lane, Bob Hallstrom is driving a matching '10 Super Cobra Jet, which is built for NHRA Super Stock. Hallstrom ran 9.12 at 150 mph, but lost in the first round.
From the minute the gates opened, there was a special energy at the NMRA-Keystone Ford Nationals at Atco Raceway (Atco, New Jersey).
While the stars of the show--Mike Murillo, John Urist, and Conrad Scarry, amongst many others--were on hand, there were three brand-new '11 5.0L Mustangs that garnered massive attention. In fact, the energy was like the days of old at New Jersey's Atco Raceway or nearby Englishtown, where virtually every Friday night was packed with the baddest Fox-body 5.0L Mustangs. And with not much more than bragging rights at stake, the pioneers battled to see who was quickest.
Everyone wanted to see what the latest 5.0L modular powerplant could do on track. The new Stangs were shipped to dealers just days prior, and it was the first-time most of the Mustang community got a firsthand glimpse.
Evolution captured the quickest...
Evolution captured the quickest and fastest pass in an '11 5.0L Mustang as of this writing--10.50s at 128 mph.
The quickest and fastest 5.0L belonged to Nelson Whitlock of Evolution Performance (Aston, Pennsylvania). The shop grabbed one of the first cars to hit local dealers and he began modifying right away. Whitlock swapped the slicks and skinnies from his Shelby GT500 and fabricated a custom 3-inch x-style pipe with Borla exhaust. The Evo crew also added new shocks and struts to help traction. John Lund of Lund Racing assisted in modifying the computer calibration using soon-to-be-released software, and he was quick to credit Ford Motor Company and Ford Racing for their assistance. The best e.t. in naturally aspirated trim was 11.65 at 117 mph, and Whitlock is credited with driving the first '11 5.0L Mustang into the 11s.
The other two cars were pretty much stock, but the owners still ripped it up. Mike Bowen of PowerHouse Automotive (Girard, Pennsylvania) picked up his car just 36 hours before the event, but that didn't stop him from entering Tremec True Street. Bowen purchased a car with the six-speed manual transmission, and it ran a best of 12.70 at 112 mph. He officially completed the True Street battle with a 12.81 average.
The other '11 belonged to Ryan Shaller, and he competed in the JDM Engineering Super Stang category--a dial-in class for S197 vehicles. Shaller's car came from Winner Ford (Cherry Hill, New Jersey) and he added a set of M/T drag radials. The car featured the new six-speed automatic, and his best time was a 12.81 at 110 mph. Shaller went all the way to the semifinals before bowing out of competition.
The price of glory didn't...
The price of glory didn't come easy for the Evolution crew as they swapped the rearend after breaking the stock differential. The team also fixed the stock clutch after smoking it. That's the second clutch in just two weeks of action. Is that the weak link in the new 5.0L?
Moving past the new-car hype, some amazing heads-up madness ensued on track, along with a great turnout in the index and bracket categories. Many of the top Mustang shops and manufacturers setup displays with special show-only discounts and a chance to talk one-on-one with company reps.
The car show featured over 100 Mustangs and other Fords, while True Street attracted 52 entries. We're always amazed by the powerful Mustangs and other Fords in True Street, and this year's title went to Edison, New Jersey Police Officer Dave Salardino, who took time away from his day job (and golf game) to wheel his Nov. '09 MM&FF cover car to the Atco victory. With the help of Jim Chahalis and Brian Friedentag, Salardino scored his first True Street win, clocking a stout 9.18 average.
There are five more dates on the NMRA schedule, so be sure to check nmradigital.com to see when the traveling speed show comes to your home track. We plan to be there, and so should you!
Mike Bowen of PowerHouse Automotive...
Mike Bowen of PowerHouse Automotive has the distinct honor of being the first person to enter an '11 5.0L Mustang in MM&FF True Street competition.
Immediately following the...
Immediately following the event, Bowen removed the engine to add a set of rods and start R&D on a turbo system.
Jim St. Charles (near lane)...
Jim St. Charles (near lane) won the naturally aspirated Pure Street category, and ran the first 9-second run in class history with a 9.99 at 132 mph in the finals. He used an unconventional combination of a Roush-built Two-Valve mod motor, AOD transmission, and the rulebook's weight breaks to get the deed done.
Over 50 True Street entries...
Over 50 True Street entries hit the streets for the 30-mile cruise before completing three consecutive passes on the historic Atco dragstrip.
This former MM&FF cover car...
This former MM&FF cover car (above), owned and driven by Dave Salardino, dropped a 9.03 and 9.06 before spinning the tires on the third hit, which slowed him to a 9.44.
His 9.18 average was enough...
His 9.18 average was enough to score his first True Street victory with the Vortech YSi-trim-powered coupe. Salardino is flanked by Jim Chahalis (left) and Brian Friedentag.
Art Heninger cracks open the...
Art Heninger cracks open the nitrous bottle in his '85 Mustang coupe. He dropped out of competition after his first run when the electric fan came loose and fell off.
Sam Arbuckle had Performance...
Sam Arbuckle had Performance Evolution stuff a built 4.6L engine with Four-Valve heads and a Kenne Bell 2.6L supercharger into his '02 Crown Victoria. Traction was a problem for the big sedan, and he finished with a 13.30 average. Arbuckle was expecting low-12s/high-11s from his cruiser.
Jason Rahles of Mineola, New...
Jason Rahles of Mineola, New York, entered Hooligan Hot Rod, a former MM&FF project vehicle, in True Street. The turbocharged GT scored a 10.24 average.
MM&FF True Street Top 25 and Winners
|1||Dave Salardino||9.18||Overall Winner|
|2||Stephen Harvey||9.57||Overall Runner-up|
|3||Michael Wagner||10.07||10-Second Winner|
|11||Marlon Smith||11.34||11-Second Winner|
|15||Mike Collins||12.12||12-Second Winner|
|23||Lynn Fisher||13.01||13-Second Winner|
|32||Ed Collins||14.03||14-Second Winner|
|41||Tara Musolino||15.02||15-Second Winner|
Harry Cronce has a mild 306ci...
Harry Cronce has a mild 306ci engine with ported E7 heads under the hood of his 'vert. Unfortunately, something broke after two rounds and he didn't make a third pass.
Mike Jovanis couldn't finish...
Mike Jovanis couldn't finish his mid-9-second '89 Mustang GT in time for Atco, so he dusted off his '93 SVT Cobra. The Cobra is old-school with a B-303 camshaft and Vortech B-trim supercharger. Jovanis knocked off an 11.82 three-run average.
JDM Engineering scrambled...
JDM Engineering scrambled after the NMRA stop at Atlanta Dragway to convert its '10 Mustang shop car into a Roush Stage 3. Chris Parisi once again drove the JDM ride in Super Stang competition, but lost in the quarterfinals. The 281ci engine has a Roush TVS blower, and JDM-ported heads and cams, which helped it run a best of 10.41 at 132 mph.
Jason Lee (near lane) of PTP...
Jason Lee (near lane) of PTP Racing beat Enzo Pecchini in the finals of BFGoodrich Drag Radial, 7.94 at 179 mph to 8.02 at 178 mph. Lee reset both ends of the record with a jaw-dropping 7.87 and insanely fast 180-mph speeds. He runs a ProCharger F1R supercharger in a class dominated by turbocharged entries.
Brent Blacker soloed for the...
Brent Blacker soloed for the win in Trick Flow Specialties Open Comp when David Woodside couldn't get his '84 T-bird to fire in the staging lanes. Blacker would have been tough to beat, as he ran a 10.44 on a 10.44 dial-in in the finals, putting him on top of the 28-car field.
The third '11 5.0L Mustang...
The third '11 5.0L Mustang in NMRA competition belongs to Ryan Shaller. He is credited with scoring the first round win with a new 5.0L powerplant under the hood in NMRA history and perhaps in all of organized drag racing. He went all the way to the semifinals in JDM Engineering Super Stang, where he lost to Lloyd Mikeska. The auto-equipped 5.0L ran strong, with 12.80 performances using nothing more than a pair of sticky rear tires.
|NMRA Keystone Drag racing series Atco results |
|Turbonetics Pro Outlaw 10.5|
|Winner||Conrad Scarry||Deerfield Beach, FL||0.016||6.76 ||210.73|
|Runner-up||Mike Murillo||San Antonio, TX||0.056||7.63 ||204.76|
|ProCharger Super Street Outlaw|
|Winner||John Urist||Albuquerque, NM||0.008||7.43||190.92|
|Runner-up||John MacDonald||White Lake, MI||0.062||7.40||193.93|
|BFGoodrich Drag Radial|
|Winner||Jason Lee||Maumec, OH||0.080||7.94||179.16|
|Runner-up||Enzo Pecchini||Woodbridge, Ontario CA||0.042||8.02||178.35|
|Winner||Dan Rawls||Cleveland, TN||0.034||8.41||163.99|
|Runner-up||Chris Van Gilder||Quakertown, PA||0.016||8.53||161.00|
|Edelbrock Hot Street |
|Winner||Don Bowles||Madisonville, KY||0.037||8.54||157.39|
|Runner-up||Robbie Blankenship||Hudson, FL||0.012||8.63||157.06|
|Steeda Real Street|
|Winner||Tim Matherly||Statham, GA||0.054||9.50||143.19|
|Runner-up||Jim Breese||Transfer, PA||0.148||9.60||141.61|
|Eibach Pure Street|
|Winner||Jim St. Charles||Arcadia, IN||0.166||9.99||133.90|
|Runner-up||Steve Gifford||Bennington, IN||0.034||10.19||133.68|
|ACT Clutch Factory Stock|
|Winner||Jay Dold||Harrison, OH||0.064||11.23||118.27|
|Runner-up||Tommy Godfrey||Sunderland, MD||0.145||11.15||120.76|
|Open Comp and Dial-In Categories|
|Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle|
|Winner||Gary Parker||Villa Rica, GA||10.96||10.99||120.46|
|Runner-up||Susan McClenaghan||Livonia, MI||9.84||9.95||137.61|
|Trick Flow Open Comp|
|Winner||Brent Blacker||Bridgeport, OH||10.44||10.44||130.04|
|Runner-up||David Woodside||Laurinburg, NC||10.15||DNF||DNF|
|Detroit Locker Truck and Lightning|
|Winner||Keith Kohlmann||Bradley Beach, NJ||10.27||10.36||107.79|
|Runner-up||Brent White||North Webster, IN||13.87||14.10||97.74|
|JDM Engineering Super Stang|
|Winner||Kent Nine||Syracuse, IN||11.13||11.75||100.83|
|Runner-up||Lloyd Mikeska||Richmond, TX||11.83||12.95||113.04|
This year it has been a battle...
This year it has been a battle of Roush versus Saleen in the JDM Super Stang ranks, and Brent White's '10 Saleen is one of the prized fighters in that battle. The Brenspeed-built Saleen goes 10.50s regularly with its simple combo of a stroker engine and a Saleen twin-screw blower.
One of the tightest races...
One of the tightest races of the weekend occurred during the final round of ACT Factory Stock, an entry-level heads-up category. Jay Dold (near lane) drove his Four-Valve modular-powered Mach 1 to victory over defending champion Tommy Godfrey. Dold ran a slower but winning 11.23 to Godfrey's 11.15. The difference was on the Tree: a 0.064 light to a sleepy 0.145 by Godfrey.
Ronnie Diaz brought an impressive...
Ronnie Diaz brought an impressive Two-Valve powerplant to the Exedy Modular Muscle category. His '99 Mustang has a Paschal Performance 281ci engine with Paschal-ported stock heads, Vortech YSi-trim blower, and tuning by Mustang Magic. The GT ran in the 9.40s, and Diaz tells us he plans on adding Trick Flow heads and more boost in order to take a shot at the 8s.
Sondra Leslie had a great...
Sondra Leslie had a great weekend at Atco. Not only did she attend the wedding of her brother, John Leslie Jr., to Kelly Pelrine...
...but she also won her first-ever...
...but she also won her first-ever round of racing, beating Joe Cram in the first round of JDM Super Stang.