18th Annual Peach State Fun Ford Nationals - Delayed Gratification
Fun Ford Fans Find Postponed Atlanta Event Worth The Wait
From the November, 2008 issue of Modified Mustangs & Fords
By Rod Short
Photography by Rod Short
D.J. Lociano (far lane) came...
D.J. Lociano (far lane) came back from an extended absence to upset defending champ Travis Franklin in the first round of Street Renegade. Lociano went on to make the finals, won by Ronnie Wilson.
When word got out that Fun Ford Atlanta was suddenly postponed by the NHRA for emergency repaving, the collective groan could be heard almost everywhere. Not only was this one of Fun Ford's largest annual events, but it was supposed to be the scene of two special events as well. Even so, the racers and fans found it was well worth the wait as this turned out to be the best event of the year.
The biggest drawing card at this event was the $20,000-to-win Battle of the Brands showdown for cars that fit within FFW's Street Outlaw 10.5 rules. Former champs from Fun Ford, NHRA, NMCA, NSCA, and ORSCA were all there, along with Chevys, Pontiacs, and Mopars. Mustangs, although representing less than half of the field overall, ended up dominating by the semifinals. Ron Lummus, Grant McCrary, Spiro Pappas, and Tim Lynch were all there to determine who the ultimate winner would be.
Former Sport Compact Champ Lummus had a tall order to fill when he was faced with stopping McCrary, the low qualifier of the event. Lummus cut his best light of eliminations, but was behind from the start as McCrary got the jump and sped on to a 4.523 to 4.635 eighth-mile victory. Lynch then had his best e.t. of eliminations against Pappas with a 4.533 to 4.562 win.
Lynch versus McCrary was a battle between two teams that have often collaborated. With virtually the same driveline combination, the only major difference between the two machines is that McCrary was running alcohol while Lynch was on race gas. In the end, however, it was lane choice more than anything else that won the day as Lynch had to lift after nearly slamming into the wall. It was McCrary all the way with a 4.538 win over Lynch's 6.025, further cementing his car as arguably the most dominant Outlaw 10.5 car today.
The other special feature of this event was the first of a three-race series dubbed the $5k Challenge. Intended as a low-cost, entry-level class, participants weren't allowed to compete unless they brought receipts to prove they had no more than $5,000 in their vehicle-including the cost of the vehicle. Micah Monteleone was the winner at Atlanta. Two more events are planned for Richmond and Bristol with the overall winner to be determined at the final event.Of course, there were other things going on this weekend as well. After two appearances and two broken motors thus far, former Renegade Champ Ronnie Wilson was triumphant at Atlanta over D.J. Lociano, who was making a return to racing after an extended absence. Mac Sibley won in Street Bandit thanks in part to a sterling final-round reaction time while Craig Shepard enjoyed a breakthrough win in Street Stang. It might have happened a bit later than everyone expected, but it was still a great weekend for all.
With his victory at Atlanta,...
With his victory at Atlanta, Grant McCrary has picked up $40,000 in winnings at the last three Fun Ford Street Outlaw 10.5 events with his 632-cid twin-turbo Mustang.
Kenny Klingler knocked off...
Kenny Klingler knocked off Ultra Stang points leader S.D. Wheeler with the help of a big holeshot at Atlanta to jump back into the championship race.
Tim Lynch and Steve Petty...
Tim Lynch and Steve Petty never had the quickest car at Atlanta, but they still managed to go rounds in Street Outlaw 10.5 and made it to the finals before losing against teammate McCrary.
Fun Ford Atlanta is host to...
Fun Ford Atlanta is host to one of the largest car shows of the entire year with a wide variety of Mustang customs, restorations, race cars, and projects. The swap meet is equally as impressive with dozens of cars for sale in the car corral.
With a 762ci Fulton nitrous...
With a 762ci Fulton nitrous mountain motor under the hood, John Choate was a force to be reckoned with behind the wheel of Terry Taylor's Outlaw 10.5 Mustang.
Defending Street Bandit Champ...
Defending Street Bandit Champ Mac Sibley used a near-perfect 0.001 reaction time to grab his first victory of the year over Doug Benton. That victory pushed him up to second in points behind Tom Conrad Jr.
Mustangs represented less...
Mustangs represented less than 40 percent of the field in Street Outlaw 10.5 at Atlanta, but they still dominated with three of the four spots in the semifinals and an all-Mustang final round.
|18th Annual Peach State Fun Ford Nationals Results |
|Heads-Up No Breakout Classes |
|Performance 2-Way Communications Street Outlaw||R/T||E.T.||MPH |
|W||Grant McCrary, Keller, TX||0.046||4.538||166.56|
|R/U||Tim Lynch, Woodstock, GA||0.053||6.025||77.48|
|Low Qualifier||Grant McCrary, Keller, TX||4.464||168.30|
|ProCharger Street Renegade||R/T||E.T.||MPH |
|W||Ronnie Wilson, Port St. Lucie, FL||0.071||8.062||170.11|
|R/U||D.J. Lociano, Gonzales, LA||0.203||10.932||84.03|
|Low Qualifier||Travis Franklin, Mansfield, TX||7.929||178.33|
|Modified Mustangs & Fords True Street Quick 8||R/T||E.T.||MPH |
|W||Dwayne Stiles, Winder, GA||0.165||9.246||150.92|
|R/U||Dennis Hitchcock, Bethlehem, GA||0.185||9.851||139.11|
|Heads-Up Index Classes |
|Borla Performance Street Bandit||R/T||INDEX||E.T.||MPH |
|W||Mac Sibley, Midlothian, TX||0.001||10.60||10.892||100.13|
|R/U||Doug Benton, Hixson, TN||0.015||10.60||19.302||45.98|
|Saleen Speedlab Street Stang||R/T||INDEX||E.T.||MPH |
|W||Craig Shepard, Sharpsburg, GA||0.091||11.90||11.945||117.01|
|R/U||Tom Conrad Jr., Charlotte Hall, MD||0.046||11.90||11.990||104.27|
|Showdown Bracket Classes |
|Harland Sharp Mod Comp||R/T||D/I||E.T.||MPH |
|W||Jon Pickering, Troy, OH||0.018||N/A||9.655||130.80|
|R/U||Will McKay, Rockingham, NC||0.033||N/A||11.901||115.11|
|RPM Outlet Ultra Stang||R/T||D/I||E.T.||MPH |
|W||Kenny Klingler, Palm Bay, FL||0.010||N/A||12.292||109.63|
|R/U||S. D. Wheeler, Crosby, TX||0.105||N/A||11.442||122.62|
|JDM Engineering Tough Truck||R/T||D/I||E.T.||MPH |
|W||Robert Chuhran, Wixom, MI||0.070||N/A||12.038||104.17|
|R/U||Don Justus, Hendersonville, NC||0.109||N/A||10.907||124.80|
|True Street||R/T||D/I||E.T.||MPH |
|W||Chad Kennedy, Cornelia, GA||0.200||N/A||13.221||96.85|
|R/U||Chris Bowers, Traveler's Rest, SC||Broke||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|$5k Challenge||R/T||D/I||E.T.||MPH |
|W||Micah Monteleone, High Scoals, NC||0.051||N/A||13.575||98.87|
|R/U||Jake Banner, Tallapoosa, GA||0.140||N/A||12.856||106.54s|
Jon M. Pickering's first victory...
Jon M. Pickering's first victory of the year at Atlanta with his Mustang II put him into a virtual tie with his father for the Mod Comp season championship.
Robert Chuhran grabbed the...
Robert Chuhran grabbed the lead in the race for the season championship with his victory over defending champ Don Justus. That was Robert's second victory of the year.
Wheels-up launches like this...
Wheels-up launches like this had the crowd on its feet whenever True Street runner-up Dwayne Stiles was at the starting line at Atlanta.
Micah Monteleone of High Scoals,...
Micah Monteleone of High Scoals, North Carolina, was the winner of the first ever Champion Fiberglass $5k Challenge which is a special low-cost, entry-level series that will also run at Richmond and Bristol.