John Hedenberg
November 19, 2003
Contributers: John Hedenburg

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0312mm_12z Ford_Cobra Engine
Paul Svinicki of Paul's High Performance had some trick components on his Y2K Cobra R. He fabricated an MSD distributor to drive off one of the cams, converting his engine to a distributor-type ignition system. He commented that the coil-on-plug arrangement was too confusing and that the distributor was more efficient for him. He also fabricated a custom upper manifold that was bolted to an FR500 lower to accept twin 900-cfm Accufab throttle bodies.
Participants taking place in the car show had the option to enter their name in a drawing for a Classic Design Concepts Mach 1 Shaker hood scoop kit and Fabio Fiocco of Ontario, Canada, was the lucky winner.
NMRA Super Street Outlaw driver Randy Haywood captured the Modular Shootout 5 Racer of the Year award and beat out some tough competition in the process. He is seen here accepting his award from event organizer Dave King and is sporting his Modular Shootout 5 leather jacket in the process.
0312mm_03z 2002_Ford_Cougar Engine
The engine under the lift-off nose of John Mihovetz's yellow '02 Cougar consists of a 282ci four-valve Modular mill with twin 76mm turbos from Precision Turbo. The tube-chassis Merc puts the power down through a Lenco five-speed and out to 34-inch slicks. Rumors floated around Columbus that stated Mihovetz had run in the 6.80 range, but when asked he reported that his personal best with the car was a 7.26 at 190 mph.
0312mm_04z 2003_Ford_Cobra Drivers_Side_View_At_Track
New this year was a heads-up '03 Cobra class. Other than having to own an '03 Cobra, the main requirement for the competitors was to run on DOT street tires--but not drag radials or cheater slicks. In the money round, Wallingford, Connecticut's Cody Mac pulled off an upset by defeating the quicker JDM Engineering-equipped '03, driven by JDM mechanic Shaun Lacko. Lacko, the number-one qualifier with a stellar 11.80 ran a 12.08 at 101 mph, but his .605 reaction time gave the win to Mac and his 12.29 at 104 mph. Cody had a quicker .265 reaction time getting him to the stripe first (Remember .000 is a perfect light!).
0312mm_05z Ford_Mercury_Marauder Front_Drivers_Side_View_At_Track
This Mercury Marauder was packing an Eaton supercharger kit from Trilogy Motorsports in Dearborn, Michigan, and was putting 400 hp to the ground. It was running in the low 13s, but the owner said it should be in the 12s with more tuning.
0312mm_06z 1997_Ford_Mustang_GT Engine
Steve Angell of Lauden, Tennessee, showed up to the Modular Shootout 5 with the ex-Watson Engineering '97 GT and was packing a carburetor on top of his sheetmetal intake-equipped 5.4L Modular engine. With 15:1 compression and a Jerico transmission, Angell ran in the low 10s before breaking the transmission and ending his weekend. Needless to say, Angell's engine was drastically different from the other Modular engines at the event.
0312mm_07z 2003_Ford_Cobra Rear_View_On_Trailer
There was plenty of carnage during the '03 Cobra class as two competitors found out that the weak link in the '03 driveline is the aluminum driveshaft.

For the first time in the five-year history of the Modular Shootout conventional pushrod V-8 engines were allowed to mix it up against the likes of the more sophisticated overhead cam Modular powerplants. Modular Shootout event promoter Dave King had classes for the hordes of 5.0 and other Ford racers, but he also invited two-time and current NMRA Pro 5.0 champion Billy Glidden and his Skinny Kid-constructed, 400-cubic-inch nitrous machine to take on the twin-turbocharged, Modular-powered '02 Cougar of Ontario, California's John Mihovetz in a winner-takes-all slugfest.

King's plan was simple, take two cars with drastically different engine combinations and two drivers with personalities that mix like oil and water and pair them up in a best of three, tire-smoking match race. The question people asked was whether the old-school nitrous ride of Glidden could dominate the Modular Shootout. Or, would the 282-cubic-inch, Lenco five-speed-equipped, Modular machine of Mihovetz prove that pushrods are a thing of the past? Needless to say the results were surprising, the fans ate the action up by the truckload and MM&FF, being the presenting magazine sponser for the event, was there to capture it in print!

As if the Glidden/Mihovetz King of the Hill match race wasn't walking a tightrope already, the staff had the added pressure of moving the event from Cecil County Dragway in Rising Sun, Maryland, to Hebron, Ohio, and National Trail Raceway--just 20 minutes east of Columbus. In years past the Modular Shootout was also contested at "The Rock" in Rockingham, North Carolina, but this was the first time at National Trail and it proved to be a wise move by King and the Modular Shootout staff.

For many fans the Glidden/Mihovetz shootout was reason enough to attend. The first round Saturday afternoon saw Mihovetz capture the upset over Glidden with a 7.44 at 186.48 mph. Glidden, who shook the tires violently at the hit of the throttle, shut down almost immediately and slowed to a coasting 9.54 at 97.03 mph. Score one for the Mihovetz camp.

Sunday, however, was all Glidden. The seasoned pro ran in the sixes on both passes, nailing crowd-pleasing 6.97 at 192.14 mph and then a 6.92 at 200.98 in the final. Mihovetz gave it a valiant effort with a 7.36 at 187.73 mph (in round two) and a 7.37 at 186.12 mph in the final but, nonetheless, on this day Glidden's pushrod-equipped small-block V-8 proved old-school technology is alive and kicking.

The heads-up '03 Cobra class was awesome and had its fair share of pit talk with most of the competitors coming over from the New York/New Jersey area. New Yorker Jim Vaccaro put an '03 Cobra convoy together and all who made the eight-hour drive to National Trail had a good time. The '03 Cobra class drivers were not allowed to compete with drag radials or cheater slicks, instead they had to retain the factory radial tires. This raised some eyebrows as Cody Mac from Wallingford, Connecticut, was riding on Nitto drag radials and won the event.

One of the most interesting cars at the event belonged to Steve Angell of Lauden, Tennessee, who showed up to flex his muscles with a one-of-a-kind, carbureted Modular combination and pulled off an exciting 10.1-second pass (on motor) before damaging the Jerico four-speed tranny. His combo consisted of a 5.4L engine with 15:1 compression with enough nitrous to require a gigantic 1,000-cfm carb up top. Rather than pack up his damaged goods and retire for the weekend, Angell entered his tow vehicle in the Brooks Power Stroke Diesel class and cleaned house.

Jonesboro, Tennessee, native John Edwards was a busy man on Sunday as he made it to the final round of the Steeda 2V naturally aspirated class and the Best Products/VT Competition Engines 4.6 Open Comp class, which paid a whopping $15,000 to the winner. Edwards won the 2V N/A class, beating Ken Bjonnes, but couldn't pull off the "double" for the big cha-ching as he fell in the final of Open Comp to FFW Mod Maddness standout Chuck Lawrence.

There was plenty of interesting off-track activity, as well. King hosted a two-month-long Internet poll for racers and fans to vote for the Modular Racer of the Year. The nominee's Mihovetz, Robert Hindman, Team LaMotta (Jake LaMotta and driver Christina Eldert), Randy Stinchcomb and NMRA Super Street Outlaw pilot Randy Haywood. Haywood earned his keep on the short five-man list by becoming the very first SSO Modular-powered Mustang to enter the 7-second zone. When the dust settled, it was the two Randys sweating it out for Modular supremacy with Mr. Haywood emerging as the overall winner.

The Classic Design Concepts-sponsored car show also had its share of excitement as everyone who registered automatically became entered in a raffle that would award the winner with a Classic Design Concepts Mustang Mach 1 Shaker hood scoop kit. Marnie Kramer of CDC reached in a bucket of entry tickets and picked Ontario, Canada's Fabio Fiocco as the winner and rewarded him with the Mach 1 hardware. It was a busy weekend for Fiocco as he also finished in the runner-up spot in the Modular Cobra car show class with his meticulously detailed, Paxton Novi-equipped '99 Cobra.

The manufacturer's midway had 28 vendors showing off a host of new and exciting Mustang components and hardware. Innovative Turbo Solutions located in Dayton, Ohio, debuted its '03 Cobra turbo kit consisting of a Turbonetics passenger-mounted T70 turbo. ITS removed the rotors from the factory Eaton M112 supercharger but kept the case intact, blocking off the opening where the pulley would be and using it as an upper intake plenum. The reason for this was to retain the stock air-to-water intercooler found underneath the Eaton blower and to ease the overall conversion process. The kit was in its very early stages and was not even tested. Once completed pricing should come in around $3,895. An upgrade to a more powerful T76 turbo will raise the price by around $1,000.

We also found Anthony Jones Engineering of North Vernon, Indiana, debuting its new frontend travel limiter. The kit consisted of a hydraulically operated cable connecting to the front lower control arm instead of a manual chain or steel cable. The system gets pressurized with a remote hand brake and will limit the frontend travel (preventing huge wheelstands) until an electronic solenoid is activated, which will bleed off the pressure allowing the front suspension to have its full travel at the top end of the track. Bassani Xhaust showed off its new catalytic converters, which have 20 to 30 percent more flow and can be used on a wide variety of performance applications.

As one would expect, there were a ton of Modular-powered Mustangs and Lightnings on the property, but the majority of the bracket machines were powered by conventional Ford pushrod V-8s. They were welcomed to come out to the Modular Shootout 5 to make some noise and put on a show for the dial-in fans. Dave King and Scott Winger would love to continue the history of the Modular Shootout but a few obstacles stand in their way.

Which brings us to the all-important question: Should there be a Modular Shootout 6? According to King, there very well may be, but some key ingredients must come together first. "The 2003 event produced our best year ever in its five-year history," he said. "We had 28 manufacturers on the midway and a very successful car show. There were over 200 racer participants and a decent spectator turnout. This success came in a year when some race organizations have faired poorly.

"If you search the Internet, you won't find a bad comment about the Modular Shootout 5. We were very determined to make all of the racers and car show participants feel important. The market and demand is there for another event. However, it takes a lot of money to make a race a reality. At the moment (as of August 2003), we do not have a title sponsor for next year. The Modular Shootout makes 85 percent of its revenue at or after the race. We must have a title sponsor commitment before we can go any further.

"The optimum goal would be for someone to come in and share 50 percent of the ownership. This is what we would really like to see happen. Unfortunately, these conditions must be met before we can commit on making the next Modular Shootout happen. There have been suggestions by some that we change our format around even more than what we did this year.

"We might change the name to The 2004 Ford Pushrod vs. Mod Motor War. We even thought about having a Mustang vs. Grand National shootout to coincide with the Mod motor-only cars. Regardless of what happens, the next event (should it take place) will definitely be hosted at National Trail Raceway. A decision should be made about the future of the Modular Shootout by November 1, 2003."

Let's hope, whatever happens, Dave King and the Modular Shootout staff are able to piece together the ingredients necessary to keep the series going for a long time to come. It is an event definitely worth attending.

Modular Cobra
First place:Mike Scornavacchi - Columbia, PA '97 Cobra
Second place:Fabio Fiocco - Ontario, Canada '99 Cobra
Third Place: V. {{{Van}}} Dette-Weir - Ontario, Canada '01 Cobra
Modular {{{GT}}}
First place:Darren McFarlane - Ontario, Canada '00 GT
Second place: Peter Calabrese - Fishkill, NY '00 GT
Third place:Tom Mee - Manchester, CT '01 GT
Modular (Non-Mustang)
First place: Joe Wilson - Kettering, OH '01 Lightning
Second place:Tim Weir - Ontario, Canada '01 Lightning
Third place:Jim {{{Smart}}} - Fairborn, OH '98 {{{Lincoln Mark VIII}}}
{{{Fox}}} Body/'94-95 Mustang
First place:Mike Susain - Clarksburg, WV '79 {{{Capri}}}
Second place: Kevin O'Brien - Lebanon, OH '93 Cobra
Third place: Dave Lowe West - Milton, OH '85 Mustang
Classical Mustang and Other Ford
First place: Steve Deboard - Coshocton, OH '68 Mustang
Second place: Mike Patterson - Newark, OH '67 Mustang
Third place: Robert Slatzer - Newark, OH '65 Falcon
Best EngineMike Scornavacchi Columbia, PA '97 Cobra
Best PaintSteve Franks - Northville, MI '01 Saleen
Best InteriorDarren McFarlane - Ontario, Canada'00 GT