Michael Galimi
March 2, 2005
Cono Turchio of Staten Island, grabs some big air with his updated '84 Mustang. Turchio qualified Eighth in the Open Comp category but broke in the first round of eliminations.

Each and every year, the Mustang racing season winds down during the late fall months. For Mustang racers in the Northeast, the final race before winter sets in is usually Fords at Englishtown. This year marked the 17th time Englishtown Raceway Park threw its Ford-only drag race and car show. For two days, Mustang and Ford enthusiasts had fun before they put their cars away for the winter.

Because a Fun Ford Weekend event took place earlier in the season, the Raceway Park staff decided to run more street-type classes rather than hard-core heads-up eliminators. There was the traditional Real Street Road Tour sponsored by Danny's Pro Performance on Saturday, along with a host of bracket racing-style classes. On Sunday, the program was opened up to include four heads-up classes-Cobra Shootout, Factory Mustang, Real Pure Street, and Drag Radial.

The Real Street Road Tour is modeled after the MM&FF True Street class, and it was a smashing success this year. Forty-four Mustangs invaded the Old Bridge area as the group hit the streets for a 30-mile trip.

Sitting on top of the field was Stephen Barone with his familiar '95 Saleen Mustang. The cruise did not faze the turbo com-bination, as it propelled Barone down the track with a three-run average of 9.52. Dropping into the Second slot was Charles Short with a 10.49. John Kelly was Third in the Real Street ranks with a 10.70 average.

The DOT-Drag Radial class headlined the heads-up portion of the event, and it brought out a few 8-second cars. The rules were simple-stock-style suspension out back and run whatcha brung under the hood. These Mustangs were required to run DOT-legal drag radial tires in the back. Ty Krean took top qualifying honors and claimed the class victory against Bob McDonald, 8.41 to McDonald's 8.51.

Justin Burcham of JPC Racing took home the win in Real Pure Street, setting the low e.t. of the class with a 9.82. In the finals, Burcham grabbed the win light when Ed Leonard of Taunton, Massachusetts, went red. Mike Washington, also from JPC Racing, took home the Factory Mustang title over Eric Laferriere. Washington ran 11.61 while Laferriere was right behind him with an 11.65 performance.

The '03-'04 Cobra Shootout was quite interesting when you consider how few competitors had a legal six-point rollbar, as per the NHRA rules. A few cars ran in the 11s and were warned by track officials. The final round looked like a bracket race, as both competitors got on the brakes to avoid breaking into the 11s. Brian Kelly of Wingdale, New York, ran 12.02 at only 73.73 mph to take the win over Manny Delello, who had run 12.20 at just 79.18 mph. Open Comp competition saw Jeff Hughes take out Craig Walls with a 10.39 on a 10.37 index.

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