Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsEvents
12th Annual Buckeye State Nationals - Storming The Streets Of Norwalk
The 12th Annual Buckeye State Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio
Step By StepView Photo Gallery
Back in the early '90s, the majority of the Mustang junkies and hardcore blue oval racers were pushing their fuel- injected Stangs into the 12-second zone on the race track and were looking for ways to dip into the 11s, if at all possible. Sure, 9- and 8-second purpose-built Mustangs were in existence during that time but if your powerful steed could run in the 11s and be driven to and from the track without breaking down or puking antifreeze all over the place you were performing a near impossible feat. With the latest technology and loads of experimentation, today's Mustang enthusiasts can push their purpose-built Stangs into the mid-6-second zone in Pro 5.0 trim, while others are running 8-second times with fully functional street machines. Proof of this was found at the 12th Annual Buckeye State Fun Ford Weekend Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. With racers busting out 9-second averages like nothing, it was truly a heart-stopping show for all in attendance.
Things started off on Saturday when, at around 1:30 p.m., the local Ohio Troopers began to lead what was one of the most exciting road tours ever witnessed.
The True Street road cruise consists of a 30-mile drive through the streets with a state trooper as the lead driver. Upon returning to the track, competitors are allowed a brief 30-minute cooldown, then proceed to make three runs (back-to-back-to-back) down the track without being able to lift the hoods or change the rear tires. Basically, nothing mechanical can be done during this time. In order to stay with the "street" theme, all cars must ride on the stock suspension systems and roll on D.O.T.-approved street tires. Participants must also have insurance and registration and be able to complete the 30-mile cruise prior to competing on the track--this is designed to prove their "street" worthiness. When finished, the driver with the best three-run average will be the big winner of the day and capture a cool $100 prize and a trophy.
And when the tire smoke finally settled in Norwalk it was Chad Jackson at the top of the True Street list. Chad and his nitrous-assisted orange '79 Stang made the trek from Monroe, Mich., and ran a stellar 9.250 on his first pass. He then backed it up with a quicker 9.219 before ending the day with a 9.235 average (Note: The True Street field was so big in Norwalk that time restraints and scheduling limited the racers to only two runs instead of the normal three.) Breathing down Jackson's heels was Bill Klein of nearby North Olmsted, Ohio. Klein piloted his mean '85 GT to a racy 9.625 on his first run and a 9.585 on his second for a 9.605 two-run average. Rounding out the top three was Owen Spry who finished the day with a fine 9.743 average.
Other big winners were Kingston, Ohio native George Detty, who had the best 10-second average (10.562) and David Young of South Amherst, Ohio, who was tops in the 11-second zone. David pushed his '86 Mustang to an 11.198, and finishing right behind him with a conservative 12-second average was the hard-charging Steed of Rick Wingard of Lorain, Ohio. Finally, Milford, Ohio resident Kathy Powell was consistent enough to steel a trophy with the best 13-second average and Olmstead, Ohio's Rick Sieg and local Tony Kovacs rounded out the 14 and 15-second zones with their '92 Mustang and '85 Mercury Capri machines. Saturday's True Street fun-in-the-sun was followed by a True Street-only bracket race on Sunday morning. This new and always exciting class is open to anyone that competed in the Saturday True Street class and is looking to play a little more.