5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
NMRA Maryland - Fast Track
The stars of the NMRA were flying on one of the East Coast's quickest racing surfaces
It was a really good weekend for Coyote Stock racer Shiftin’ Shane Stymiest. First off, he won the rained-out Atlanta race against Jacob Lamb, and in the process, qualified at the top of the list with a mind-bending 10.38 at 127 mph. Shane’s 0.38 was the talk of Coyote Stock qualifying, leaving his fellow racers scratching their heads. With night qualifying at MIR, Shane looked like he best took advantage of the cool air. He came back to the pack with consistent high-10.40s/low-10.50s on Sunday, which was good enough for him to take the win to garner two event wins in the same weekend.
No one had a better weekend than Shiftin’ Shane Stymiest, but Jacob Lamb’s wasn’t too bad either. He runner-upped to Shane for the rained-out Atlanta race, and again played second fiddle to Shane. It’s not lack of trying on Jacob’s part, that’s for sure. He’s right there on the cusp of victory, but so far this season, victory is just outside his grasp. Jacob tried new stuff all year. He switched transmissions in the off-season, and even experimented with smaller rear wheels and slicks to reduce rolling resistance and rotating mass. The smaller rear wheels and slicks didn’t offer any gains, but the other changes have shown incremental improvements. He hasn’t tasted victory yet in 2013, but after three races, Jacob’s been to two final rounds.
Matt Amrine’s ritual is to make a pass, come back to the pits, do a little routine maintenance, ice the engine down with his custom cooler setup, and look over data with crew chief Brandon Alsept. Then it’s time to kick back and prepare for the next round. Maybe in between he’ll catch a few bites made by his wife, Danielle, and hang with her, Brandon, and Brian Campbell. Then he, Brandon, and Brian go over the plan for the next qualifying pass, or elimination round, then it’s all up to Matt once he’s buckled in. Matt was still in the hunt for the rained-out Atlanta race, but John Leslie Jr. was able to get past him in the semi-final round for that event. However, Matt was able to exact a little revenge in the final for the MIR race, getting the win.
Being at the track is like a family reunion for John Leslie Jr. You can pretty much find his whole family at every NMRA race. Bad thing is, sister Sondra also races in Factory Stock, and just like Alton and Valerie Clements in Renegade, they have to race each other pretty much every race. At MIR, that was again the case. After John won the rained-out Atlanta race, he had to face Sondra in Round 1. Since John was in the Maryland groove, he was able to move past Sondra and back into a rematch against Matt Amrine in the final. Unfortunately for John, he was unable to duplicate his previous times, handing the event win to Matt.
If you want an 8-second Terminator, Harold Horton has done all the work for you. His simple recipe is a stock long-block, a Whipple 4.0-liter supercharger, 27 pounds of boost, a Frank Lupo Proformance C4, a Team Z Motorsports 9-inch rear, Strange Engineering shocks and struts, a Wolfe Racecraft anti-rollbar, Mickey Thompson ET Drag slicks (Stiff sidewall), and E85. That simplicity works out to consistent 8.70s and a win in the VMP Tuning GT500/Terminator shootout at MIR. Joe Cool of JWC Performance did a lot of the work on the car, while Dave Guy handled the tuning. Sean Wiley of Frank Lupo’s Dynamic Converters did the transmission, and, of course, Dave Zimmerman is the main man at Team Z Motorsports.
Donnie Bowles is another racer able to double-up by winning both the rained-out Atlanta final and the MIR event. Final-round opponent and fellow Roush racer Susan McClenaghan would rather not see Donnie in the other lane anytime soon. Donnie bested Susan at the Atlanta race, and again in the final at MIR with a poor-attempt-at-a-redlight 0.004 reaction time. Susan had to stay in the gas to chase him down and broke out in the process. Donnie was right on his number, anyway, so he wasn’t going to be denied at MIR.
Our boy Pete Espeut was a busy man at MIR. He was the only person to sign up for the SVT Bracket showdown, racing his ’95 Cobra R to victory since no one else showed up. “I’ll take it any way I can get it,” Pete says. He wasn’t done, though. Since Pete has about 12 Mustangs, he brought his ‘10 Shelby GT500 to race in Super ’Stang. Running a 10.60 index, Pete did his work at the Tree when it counted, getting the win.
Randy Conway has one of the more sinister-looking Mustangs in the NMRA. With blacked-out headlights, exhaust out the front fender extensions, and a mini-tubbed rear full of tire, his ‘89 coupe looks like it’s in a bad mood. In Open Comp, Randy put in work at MIR only for Tony Murray to hand him the win in the final with a redlight. Randy also raced Truck and Lightning, but didn’t fare as well as he did in Open Comp.
Truck and Lightning
In Truck and Lightning, it’s really easy to tell who wins when Johnny Lightning is matched up with someone. If Johnny wins, the victorious screams of his wife, Sue, tell the story. At MIR, Sue was holding her breath just before Johnny crossed the line against Jimmy Cantrell and his big-inch-Windsor Ranger in the final, but she didn’t know Jimmy strapped a 0.501 reaction time on her husband, which was too much for Johnny to overcome.
Horse Sense: Since the Atlanta NMRA event was rained out when many of the classes were down to either semi-finals or final round, those match-ups were decided during qualifying rounds at MIR, except for the Street Outlaw class, which was decided July 12-14 at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing in Joliet, Illinois.