Every year the NMRA invades the small town of Milan, Michigan, for a midsummer weekend of drag racing and all sorts of fast Ford fun. And every year we're there to catch it all. Located 45 minutes from downtown Detroit, Milan Dragway was the venue for the NMRA's 9th Annual Ford Nationals.
Since this was a two-day event, racers and spectators wasted no time getting the activities underway on Friday. Some of the faster classes had low car counts, but the other classes more than made up for it. After two rounds of qualifying on Friday evening, Saturday rolled around and it was make it or break it with little time between rounds.
We found the time between rounds to make our way down the manufacturer's midway to see all the offerings from some of the leading Pony parts specialists. Ford Racing Performance Parts, Roush Performance Parts, and Chris Alston Chassisworks were just a few of the companies being represented. And the UPR car show was completely full, and featured Blue Oval cars and trucks ranging from '60s Fairlanes and Falcons to a brand-new '13 Boss 302.
In the True Street pits, 25 participants prepared their rides for the 30-mile cruise. True Street Coordinator Gene Bergstrom addressed the contestants about the rules and regulations, and then we were off on the 30-mile cruise. The cruise only claimed one casualty, and the rest made it back to the staging lanes to cool down.
The turbocharged '86 GT belonging to Josh Otting of Erie, Michigan, jumped out in front after the first pass, running 10.03. Not far behind was Mark Whitmore with a 10.55. On the second run, Otting went 10.25. Unfortunately for Otting, his tensioner broke on that run, throwing his belt. He had to bow out of the competition, sacrificing his certain win. Whitmore stayed on his mid-10-second streak and averaged 10.61 over three runs, good enough for the win. Runner-up honors went to NMRA Milan veteran Kevin McCotter and his '90 hatch averaging 11.10.
The 11-second plaque went to Ryan Moran of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the 12-second winner was Bob Myers of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. The 13-second honors went to James Daniel of Romulus, Michigan, and the 14-second winner was Anthony Jager of Toledo, Ohio.
True Street Top 20
|Mark Whitmore||Gerry, NY||10.61||Winner|
|Kevin McCotter||Clio, MI||11.10||Runner-Up|
|Ryan Moran||Pittsburgh, PA||11.12||11-Second Winner|
|Jeff Schmell||Jackson, MI||11.86|
|Bob Myers||Greensburg, PA||12.05||12-Second Winner|
|Dan Ruppel||Belleville, MI||12.06|
|Lucas Clark||Brownsburg, IN||12.28|
|Tom Gilikin||Grass Lake, MI||12.50|
|Dennis Osworth||Luna Pier, MI||12.63|
|Jimmy Clevland||Sandusky, OH||12.75|
|James Daniel||Romulus, MI||13.15||13-Second Winner|
|Eric Sweat||Toledo, OH||13.31|
|Joy Neuenschwander||Fort Wayne, IN||13.36|
|Kelly Keir||Rockwood, MI||13.43|
|Frank Brancaccio||Berlin Center, OH||13.53|
|Greg Kamtaskas||Westland, MI||13.53|
|Anthony Jager||Toledo, OH||14.16||14-Second Winner|
|Trisel Dalton||West Unity, OH||14.38|
|Rick Mettie||Luna Pier, MI||14.62|
|Courtney Warsen||Wyoming, MI||16.34|
|Chasity Yensch||Newport, MI||16.51|
Jack Roush made an appearance...
Jack Roush made an appearance on Saturday, mingling with racers and fans. He even took the time to pose for photos.
Coyote Stock competitor Jacob...
Coyote Stock competitor Jacob Lamb makes some suspension adjustments on his '86 coupe. The former Mod Muscle racer is trailing in points but improving at every race.
The Grabber Orange convertible...
The Grabber Orange convertible of Anthony Jager makes its way down the highway during the True Street cruise. Jager took the 14-second win with a 14.16 average.
Here's a look at Kelly Keir's...
Here's a look at Kelly Keir's ghost-flamed '01 GT on the True Street cruise.
Mark Whitmore and Josh Otting...
Mark Whitmore and Josh Otting bring up the rear of the True Street caravan, followed by the NMRA official truck.
True Street competitors wait...
True Street competitors wait in the staging lanes during cool-down after the cruise.
Chasity Yensch of Newport,...
Chasity Yensch of Newport, Michigan, poses with her '93 triple-white convertible feature car. She averaged 16.51 during True Street competition.
James Daniel averaged 13.15,...
James Daniel averaged 13.15, which was good enough for the 13-second win.
Mark Whitmore (near lane)...
Mark Whitmore (near lane) goes wheels up during True Street competition.
Whitmore took the True Street...
Whitmore took the True Street win with a 10.61-second average.
The Coyote Stock win went...
The Coyote Stock win went to Justin Burcham (near lane) in his '11 GT.
Bob Meyers' '84 Capri snagged...
Bob Meyers' '84 Capri snagged the 12-second plaque with a 12.05-second average.
Drag Radial points leader...
Drag Radial points leader Jason Lee dominated the weekend, taking home another win.
The Open Comp victory went...
The Open Comp victory went to Mike Buczynski and his '88 LX. He qualified second and went five rounds, defeating everyone in his path.
Brent White of Brenspeed took...
Brent White of Brenspeed took his mean, green '13 to the winner's circle with a win over Miles Wagoner.
The '99 Mustang of Dennis...
The '99 Mustang of Dennis Duvall took the Mod Muscle win over Tom Motycka in the finals.
Reigning Factory Stock champion...
Reigning Factory Stock champion Carlos Sobrino took out Louis Sylvester in the final round, taking the win.
Max Gross squeaked past Don...
Max Gross squeaked past Don Bowles' yellow Maverick in the final of Hot Street with an 8.76 to Bowles' 8.79.
Fireball John Urist took yet...
Fireball John Urist took yet another win in the final over Larry Prykucki on his way to his eighth Super Street Outlaw title. Unfortunately, his chute didn't open during the final, and he drove into the wall at the top of the track. Urist was okay, but the car was damaged pretty severely. Don't count him out for the rest of the season, though.