As cold weather begins to settle into most areas of the country, some places cling to what little warmth the summer has left behind.
Every year in the first week of November, the NMRA takes advantage of this mild weather by occupying the small East Texas town of Baytown. Just east of Houston, this refinery-riddled community is a haven for fast Fords.
This past November, hoards of Texans converged on Royal Purple Raceway for three action-packed days of food, fun, and heads-up drag racing, and we were there to catch it all. Edelbrock, Ford Racing Performance Parts, Paschal Performance, and many others drew spectators through the manufacturer's midway, and the swap meet area invited countless pieces of Blue Oval products, old and new.
Though the occasion welcomes all racers from both NMRA and NMCA ranks, it is a non-points event. This keeps many of the class racers away, but in their places are a slew of bracket cars and True Street participants. And the class for which the event is named after, the Lone Star Shootout, is the headliner.
Like the ever-popular Spring Break Shootout during the season opener, the Lone Star Shootout is based on a quick 16 format, composed of the 16 quickest averages from Saturday's Tremec True Street competition. With time to cool between rounds and the closed-hood rule suspended, this is where True Street cars can potentially make their quickest runs in competition.
The event began as in years prior, with Friday night's test and tune session open to the public, as well as event participants. By Saturday morning, everyone was dialed in and the True Street pits were filling up. True Street Director Gene Bergstrom had his hands full in the tech inspection area checking in the nearly 50 competitors before the cruise began.
After the 30-mile cruise, participants were allowed a short cool-down before making the three back-to-back runs. After the first run, Randy Seward of Alamogordo, New Mexico, was in the lead with an 8.49 in his '91 LX coupe. Allen, Texas-resident Tony Bourns was close behind with an 8.60 in his '81 Capri. In the end, Bourns came out on top with an 8.49 average to Seward's 8.56.
Jery Porsch took the 10-second win with a 10.10 average. His small-block-Ford–powered '66 Sunbeam Tiger is equipped with rear-mounted turbos and runs on pump gas. Billy Wagner of Houston took the 12- second win in his '11 Shelby GT-500. His all-black Snake has been tweaked by Houston's own Strictly Performance. The 14-second win went to Ric Bogue and his '05 Mustang.
On Sunday, four of the eight Round 1 matchups were given away by either red lights or broken parts. By the semifinals, three of the remaining four were Ford-powered. Bourns faced Mark Bannert and his '72 Nova, and Seward lined up against his friend Porsch. Bourns defeated Bannert with a 9.14 to Bannert's 10.12, and Seward sent his buddy Porsch to the trailer with an 8.63 to Porsch's 9.74.
In the final, Bourns and Seward lined up, both vying for and capable of attaining the victory and 6-foot trophy. Bourns got out ahead of Seward with a 0.113 light to Seward's 0.182, but it wouldn't have mattered. Bourns crossed the light with an 8.46 at 154.86 mph to Seward's 8.69 at 158.76 mph. The matchup was good, and both made clean passes.
This makes Seward's second straight runner-up finish in the Lone Star Shootout, and you can bet he and his Calypso coupe will be back for more next year!
True Street Top 25
|Tony Bourns||Allen, TX||8.49||Winner|
|Randy Seward||Alamogordo, NM||8.56||Runner-Up|
|Mark Bannert||Houston, TX||9.68||9-Second Winner|
|Jery Porsch||Las Cruces, NM||10.10||10-Second Winner|
|Kevin Kyser||Hudson Oaks, TX||10.44|
|John Glosson||Katy, TX||10.95|
|Danie Trevino||League City, TX||10.95|
|Ronnie Hackelton||Hazen, AR||11.06||11-Second Winner|
|Stephen Rebecek||Corpus Christi, TX||11.15|
|David Polverari||Baytown, TX||11.20|
|Chuck Gibson||Pearland, TX||11.31|
|Josh Sanchez||Houston, TX||11.69|
|Tim Miller||Nework, TX||11.72|
|Jesus Flores||Bryan, TX||11.81|
|Billy Wagner||Houston, TX||12.02||12-Second Winner|
|Randy Hines||Port Arthur, TX||12.05|
|Chuck Clague||Henerson, TX||12.13|
|Melissa Laughridge||Jacksboro, TX||12.15|
|Jeff Hall||Willis, TX||12.17|
|Landon Winburn||Santa Fe, TX||12.24|
|Jason Rice||Cypress, TX||12.39|
|Edward Cullins||Dickinson, TX||12.48|
|Tommy Allen||Pasadena, TX||12.54|
|Robert Presley||Irving, TX||12.62|
|James Johnson||Houston, TX||12.62|
|Craig Parro||Pineville, AR||13.11||13-Second Winner|
|Ric Bogue||Liverpool, TX||14.11||14-Second Winner|
|Ronald Bruscia||Katy, TX||15.51||15-Second Winner|
Car show participants polish...
Car show participants polish their rides in preparation for judging on Saturday.
True Street competitor Kevin...
True Street competitor Kevin Kyser heats the hides on his '86 GT during Saturday's True Steet competition.
True Street Director Gene...
True Street Director Gene Bergstrom addresses the crowd of True Street competitors before the cruise.
True Street and Lone Star...
True Street and Lone Star Shootout winner Tony Bourns' combination includes this 351, an 88mm turbo, AFR 205s, and a Powerglide.
Deshannon Hart of Richland,...
Deshannon Hart of Richland, Texas, pilots his '92 GT during the True Street cruise. The Cobra clone sports a T-trim and runs high 10s on a good day.
In the near lane, 12-second...
In the near lane, 12-second winner Billy Wagner launches his '11 GT500 during True Street.
Brent Eary brought out his...
Brent Eary brought out his clean '93 LX hatch for some True Street fun and averaged 10s.
Josh Sanchez's '89 Cobra clone...
Josh Sanchez's '89 Cobra clone had some sick airbrushing and averaged 11.69 to boot.
The Hellion crew was out in...
The Hellion crew was out in full force. Even though there weren't any points at stake, both John Urist (near lane) and Dwayne James were out running hard.
Randy Seward's familiar Calypso...
Randy Seward's familiar Calypso Green coupe made its way to runner-up in both True Street and the Lone Star Shootout.
Jesus Flores averaged 11.81...
Jesus Flores averaged 11.81 in his '96 GT.
Landon Winburn's '90 GT may...
Landon Winburn's '90 GT may look like a '93 Cobra R, but it's actually a really nice tribute. The stock short-block with a Cobra intake, a T-trim, and a TKO-600 averaged 12.24.
Seward's New Mexico buddy...
Seward's New Mexico buddy Jerry Porsch brought out his '66 Sunbeam Tiger. Though not technically a Ford, Porsch's pint-size car is powered by a twin-turbo, 380ci Windsor.
True Street winners line up...
True Street winners line up with their prizes on Saturday.
Gene Deputy was in the Paschal...
Gene Deputy was in the Paschal Performance booth with his famous turbo Lincoln Mark VIII. He was one of the pioneers of twin-turbo Fords—our hobby is what it is today because of guys like him.
Lone Star Shootout winner...
Lone Star Shootout winner Tony Bourns and his crew pose with the 6-foot trophy.
Pro Outlaw 10.5 champion and...
Pro Outlaw 10.5 champion and local celebrity Mike Murillo showed up and made a few exhibition runs.
In Texas, you never know what...
In Texas, you never know what you're going to find in the swap meet area. This guy was a character. Not only did he have a slew of Texas plates, but this homemade truck caught our eye—it was salvage sheetmetal tack-welded together.
Former Triple Threat Throwdown...
Former Triple Threat Throwdown shootout-winner Frank Perez landed a First Place plaque in the car show. Shown here is his son and future Mustang-owner Alex with the prize.