Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
November 24, 2003
Contributers: Steve Turner Photos By: Steve Turner, Michael Johnson
As if to prove a point, John Urist was taken out by his customer DwayneJames in the SSO semifinals, but John had long ago secured thechampionship with a dominating season. John is, of course, campaigningfor rule changes to level the power-adder playing field, but in betweengoing rounds, winning championships, and discussing the rules, he evenfound time to help us weld up a busted antiroll bar on Project RealStreet.

If you weren't fortunate enough to make it to the NMRA World Finals in Bowling Green, Kentucky, you missed a monster season finale that ended with a bang. Really. Benny the Bomb blew himself up in an old GM product right in the middle of the dragstrip. Before the Sunday evening blast, that same historic dragstrip played stage to some of the most exciting racing we've seen all season. That should come as no surprise, 'cause racers are more than willing to pull the pin and risk blowing their junk up to win a championship--or just to place in the top 10 and hit the stage for a jacket at the PRI show.

The Xtreme Bikini Team girls. Need we say more?

How could it be that exciting with so many points races already wrapped up? While many of the championship races had long been decided, there were a few still on the line. Our little Real Street championship came down to the hundredth of a second when Chris Tuten set the e.t. record to gain bonus points. Moreover, the upsets were many. First-year challenger Jamie Holten stunted Michael Washington's perfect Factory Stock season. Dave Hopper took out the seemingly unbeatable

Chris Little in Drag Radial. And, in the mammoth Outlaw field, Glen Rollinger returned from his World Ford Challenge crash to qualify only 29th, but against all odds he still managed to take the win. Those are just a few of the incredible stories from the best race of the year, which already has us excited about the Bradenton season opener next March. For the inside scoop, check out the photos and captions.

We had the best intentions. We strapped project Real Street behind a newF-150 from the Ford press fleet and headed to Bowling Green, where wehad a dyno appointment with Holley. Rick Anderson was there to wield thePMS, and we were hoping to make power in the high 400s. Needless to say,based on Editor Turner's luck, some things went awry. By the time wewere ready to make a Hail-Mary pass on Sunday, the race was behindschedule. We haven't given up, but we might have to make our streetableproject car a little more serious.

Horse Sense: The Real Street championship came down to the wire and hinged on whether or not Chris Tuten set the e.t. record. According to the '03 NMRA rule book, "In order to reset a record, the contestant must provide the NMRA Technical Director with the record setting and backup timeslips immediately after each run. A backup run within 1 percent of the record-breaking run is required to set an official NMRA National Record. In the event that two runs exceed the existing record but are not within 1 percent of each other, the quicker time or faster speed will be acceptable as the backup for the slower time, which will stand as the record."