5.0 Mustang & Super FordsEvents
NMRA 2014 Season Preview - Sweet Sixteen
What to expect from the NMRA's cars and stars in the series' 16th season
Horse Sense: ProMedia, which operates the NMRA and NMCA Racing Series, recently rolled out its ProPledge plan. "ProPledge is a dynamic customer service initiative designed to improve the participant, fan, and sponsor experience at all ProMedia-produced motorsport events. Recognizing the critical importance of a positive experience for all customers, ProMedia is reinforcing constant, high-quality customer service at all levels. More than just a catchy name, ProPledge will be integrated into the fabric of the company, improving upon the already strong reputation of NMRA, NMCA, NMCA WEST, and LSX events. ProPledge will also include increased racer appreciation events, safety programs, and additional support." We are happy to report that the initial response to this initiative from the racers and fans has been overwhelmingly positive.
This year marks the 16th season of the National Mustang Racers Association! Time flies, but there's no time like this season to get out there and participate or spectate. There are six action-packed events scheduled this year, including one Super Bowl event, which pits the NMRA's All-Ford racers against the National Muscle Car Association and its Brand X racers. In addition to the hottest Ford drag racing in the country, every NMRA event features the UPR Products All-Ford Show & Shine, and a Manufacturers' Midway full of the latest and greatest performance parts.
With the introduction of Coyote Modified and the return of Pure Street, the NMRA now has 6-, 7-, and 8-second Power Adder classes and 9-, 10-, and 11- second naturally aspirated classes. As always, this impressive group of heads-up classes will be accompanied by the highly competitive Open Comp, Index, and Bracket racing classes. Furthermore, there are a whole slew of specialty classes tossed in throughout the season, including the annual SVT Shootout in Maryland and the annual Terminator/GT500 shootout in Kentucky, not to mention our season-ending King of the Street competition. Burnout contests, jet cars, and other exhibition passes are also fan favorites.
While the spectators take in the thrilling show, the racers focus on the rush of each pass, along with thoughts about the championship points chase. At the end of the season, racers will attend the NMRA Awards Ceremony at the Performance Racing Industry tradeshow in Indianapolis, and the top-10 finishers in each class will earn a prestigious NMRA Jacket. Additionally, the champion of each class earns the highly coveted Nitto Tire Diamond Tree ring!
If there was any question, we are here to tell you that Street Outlaw is the NMRA's premier class. By adopting popular 275 class rules last season, Street Outlaw attracts high-end small-tire racers from all over the country. Furthermore, ProMedia utilizes the same rules across all three of its series, NMRA, NMCA, and NMCA West, so Street Outlaw racers are competing for a true national record.
Participants may choose between 28x10.5-inch slicks or 275/60-15 Drag Radials, and those with blowers or turbos must run small-blocks. Big-blocks are legal for nitrous assisted and naturally aspirated combos. Racers launch on a 0.400 Pro Tree. In 2013, Phil Hines' ProCharged 'Stang topped the field, but John Urist was hot on Phil's heels with his Hellion-turbocharged combo.
Although Filthy Phil's 7.128 elapsed time set the pace last season, several Street Outlaw racers have broken into the 6-second zone in testing. Keep an eye on Sean Ashe, as his sinister ProCharged notchback has been on a rampage during the off-season. With such a competitive field of racers, there's no telling who will come up with the win at each event. The only guarantee we'll make is that records will fall, and the NMRA's Street Outlaw racers will continue to push the envelope of small-tire racing.
2013 Class Record
• ET: Phil Hines, 7.128 seconds
• MPH: Phil Hines, 202.21 mph
2013 Winner: Phil Hines
2013 R/U: John Urist
New for 2014 is Coyote Modified, and we couldn't be more excited about this great class. In fact, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords magazine has signed on as the presenting sponsor!
When asked about the class, Editor Turner explained: "In the late '80s, the excitement of watching wildly modified 5.0 Mustangs race is what propagated the Mustang aftermarket to the robust level it operates at today. With any luck, the NMRA's battle of modern 5.0 Mustangs in Coyote Modified will accelerate the rapid development of Mustang speed parts far into the future."
That concept certainly appears to be what the NMRA had in mind. It intentionally kept the restrictions at a minimum in order to foster innovation within the Coyote platform.
Drivetrain rules are practically wide open and chassis rules are the typical bolt-in, stock-style suspension fare. The spec tire is a bias-ply slick, not larger than 28x10.6 inches, and the only significant performance limiting factor is power-adder size. Racers will leave on a 0.400 Pro Tree.
As it stands, permitted centrifugal superchargers include the ProCharger F-1D, Paxton Novi 1500, and Vortech Ti-Trim. Positive-displacement blowers are limited to Eaton's 2.3-liter TVS internals in blowers—from the likes of Edelbrock, Magnuson, Roush, and VMP Superchargers—or twin-screw blowers up to 2.9 liters, including Whipple or Kenne Bell. Turbochargers are limited to 68mm inducers and T4 housings, and nitrous entries can run any two kits.
With hopes of encouraging development within the Coyote aftermarket, centrifugals and turbos are limited primarily by their inducer sizes, so there is room for the manufacturers to experiment within the rules to gain a performance advantage. Minimum weights are used to create parity, with twin-screws at 3,650 pounds, TVS, centrifugals, and turbos at 3,250 pounds, and nitrous at 2,900 pounds.
This amount of flexibility within the rules is sure to attract a wide range of combinations, which will promote competition and foster innovation. These breakthroughs will then trickle down to the street cars, and everybody wins!
Late in the '13 racing season, we've seen several Coyote-powered street 'Stangs break into the 7-second zone and most of them can fit into Coyote Modified pack with small tweaks to their combinations. Count on JPC Racing, Evolution Performance, and Team Beefcake Racing to be on the cutting edge in this class, along with several other notorious Mustang racers. Here is a sampling of what the rumor mill has provided thus far:
• Justin Burcham is an early favorite with his 7-second '11 Mustang GT. JPC Racing plans to swap its current 76mm turbocharger to the class-legal 68mm turbo, which should still run deep into the 8-second zone right out of the gate.
• Fred Cook at Evolution Performance is bringing two cars to the class. The infamous Green Goblin, Evolution's '13 Mustang GT, which has already made 7-second passes boosted by a 4.5- liter supercharger, will be converted to a turbocharged setup for Coyote Modified, while a second 5.0 Mustang with a ProCharger will be fielded by the team.
• Terry "Beefcake" Reeves is working with Vortech to develop a class-specific supercharger to replace the YSi which has delivered solid 8-second timeslips on his '11 Mustang GT.
• Richard Lelsz of Strictly Performance is bringing his ProCharged '11 Mustang GT.
• In a move which is sure to shake up the class, Chris Jones of Blow-By Racing is bringing a nitrous-assisted Fox Mustang to take advantage of the generous weight break.
• Sondra Leslie has recently begun collecting parts to prepare her S197 'Stang for battle with a nitrous combo, and we hope to see her competing this season.
Popular since the beginning of the series by staying true to its founding concept of showcasing typical street performance combinations—like conventional heads, small-displacement engines, and street-style power adders—Renegade has consistently drawn a robust field of competitors. As manufacturers have developed products for use within the Renegade ranks, the trickle-down effect on street performance is undeniable. Go to any town with fast street cars, and it's likely that those 'Stangs are packing some form of performance parts with a Renegade lineage.
Although the rules for Renegade remained consistent over the last 15 years, the NMRA has loosened them enough to permit a wider range of combos, like 275 Radial Pros, intercoolers, manual transmissions, and even Cobra Jet-based powerplants. This is sure to bolster the class' already solid car count for the 2014 season. This full field of 8-second cars leaves the line on a 0.400 Pro Tree, which keeps the competition on their game.
One factor which has not changed over the past decade or so is the dominance of Brian Mitchell. Brian just capped off his sixth championship season in 2013, and he's showing no signs of stopping! Another racer to look out for is 2012's Rookie of the Year, Valerie Clements. With her win in Georgia last season, she was the only racer other than Brian Mitchell to post a W in Renegade all year!
2013 Class Record
• ET: Brian Mitchell, 8.298 seconds
• MPH: Brian Mitchell, 169.94 mph
2013 Winner: Brian Mitchell
2013 R/U: Adam Arndt
Another blockbuster announcement from the NMRA is that Pure Street is back for the 2014 season! Always a crowd-pleaser with its high-winding, naturally aspirated small-blocks and bumper-dragging wheelies, Pure Street's return is welcome. After a brief hiatus which saw many Pure Street racers migrate to NMCA's Mean Street class, the NMRA tweaked Pure Street rules to accommodate better crossover between the two organizations.
Running conventional headed, small-displacement, naturally aspirated powerplants along with stock-style suspension on 26x10-inch slicks, racers should field a solid 9-second field, including superstars Teddy Weaver and Brandon Alsept. Racers will leave on a 0.400 Pro Tree.
Coyote Stock is known as the most affordable class in heads-up racing, and for good reason. It's centered around the required powerplant—a 5.0-liter Coyote crate engine from Ford Racing, which makes 420 horsepower and is sealed to prevent internal modifications. With an MSRP of $7,390, this is far less expensive than a custom-built racing engine, and it offers flawless OEM reliability. Drop your Coyote crate into any '54 or newer Ford, back it with an OEM-style manual transmission or a C4 automatic, then use stock-style suspension on 26x10-inch slicks and you've got yourself a budget brawler!
Competition is tight since everyone is making the same horsepower, so door-to-door passes all the way down the strip bring the crowd to its feet. Shane Stymiest is the reigning champion, but keep an eye on Jacob Lamb. He whittled down the e.t.'s of his show-quality '86 Mustang, and he finished the 2013 season with a big win in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Coyote Stock racers run in the 10-second zone and launch from a 0.400 Pro Tree.
2013 Class Record
• ET: Shame Stymiest, 10.393 seconds
• MPH: Joe Charles, 130.76 mph
2013 Winner: Shane Stymiest
2013 R/U: Jacob Lamb
Factory Stock is billed as the NMRA's entry-level class, but don't let the name fool you. You'll be hard pressed to find anything "factory stock" about these high-tech race cars. Racers have found a way to extract nearly 400 horsepower from their naturally aspirated, production-based powerplants. But power is only part of the equation, since the mandated BFG or Nitto NT555R drag radials are the most street-oriented tires in the racing series. Solid launches are critical and they are signaled by a 0.400 Pro Tree.
The Factory Stock field usually runs in the 11-second zone, though some racers have managed to dip into the 10s. Matt Amrine is the reigning champion, but John Leslie Jr. and Louis Sylvester are always capable of earning a spot in the Winner's Circle.
2013 Class Record
• ET: Louis Sylvester, 10.722 seconds
• MPH: Louis Sylvester, 124.22 mph
2013 Winner: Matt Amrine
2013 R/U: John Leslie Jr.
Conceived to develop and demonstrate the performance potential of Ford's overhead-cam modular engine, Modular Muscle is aptly named. Racers can drop their modular engine into any Ford body with any transmission. The class utilizes an open-comp format, so racers are qualified by their reaction times, and a 0.500 Pro Tree signals their handicapped starts based on each racer's quickest qualifying time, with an allowed 0.1 break-out.
Susan McClenaghan is the reigning Champion, but former champions Reggie Burnette Jr. and Gary Parker are always contenders for the big win.
2013 Winner: Susan McClenaghan
2013 R/U: Donnie Bowles
Open to all Ford-powered Ford vehicles, Open Comp is run with the popular format qualifying racers by their reaction times, and a 0.500 Pro Tree signals their handicapped starts based on each racer's quickest qualifying time, with an allowed 0.1 break-out. This highly competitive class always fills the staging lanes with huge car counts and a diverse array of machines.
2013 Winner: Randy Conway
2013 R/U: Donald Carver
Super 'Stang features '05-and-newer Mustangs powered by 4.6, 5.0, 5.4, and V-6 engines. It's run on an index-based format, DOT-legal tires are required, and electronic bracket racing aids are prohibited. These are street cars battling off for Super 'Stang supremacy. Countless late-model Mustang upgrades are proven during competition—from suspension to power adders—so if you own an '05 or newer Mustang, keep a close eye on the successful combinations in this class!
2013 Winner: Dave Liechty
2013 R/U: Pete Espeut
Truck & Lightning
Ford-powered trucks and SVT Lightnings compete for the prize in this open-comp-style eliminator. This was one of 2013's most competitive classes, with the top three positions in the championship separated by roughly 1 percentage point.
If big-power trucks are your thing, you don't want to miss this class. Big wheelies and blazingly quick e.t.'s are standard fare. Watch out for Fred Wade's red Lightning in 2014. His multiple wins in the 2013 season signaled that he is ready to win a championship of his own!
2013 Winner: Robert Chuhran
2013 R/U: Jimmy Cantrell
True Street is one of the NMRA's biggest classes in terms of car counts. Participants enter their licensed and insured machines for a shot to prove which is the quickest legitimate street car.
After a 30-mile road tour to demonstrate each vehicle's street worthiness, competitors then make three back-to-back passes with no cool down, no refueling, and no popping the hood in between rounds. Afterward, their elapsed times are averaged and racers are ranked by their average e.t.'s. The quickest overall average is crowned the winner. Additionally, there are awards for the quickest 9-, 10-, 11-, 12-, 13-, 14-, and 15-second averages, so everyone has a chance to win!
The SVT Shootout will be held this year at Maryland International Raceway and will include several SVT-based classes, including the popular Terminator/GT500 shootout, which is also held at the NMRA World Finals in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This class features a loose set of rules and runs heads-up on a 0.400 Pro Tree.
Jake Conant's 8-second silver Terminator is always a fan favorite with its wheels-up launches and blistering e.t.'s, but there is also a certain 7-second GT500 which has been known to come out and beat up on the field.
Show & Shine
The UPR Products All-Ford Show & Shine is another great attraction at each NMRA Event. There is a class for every Ford vehicle produced, with awards for each class. Not only will you see some of the hottest, most beautiful rides on display in the car show area, but this is also a great opportunity for you to capture the attention of our editors, who are always looking for eye- catching machines to feature in 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords magazine. So come on out and check out these great looking show cars and trucks, or enter your own for a chance to earn your 15 minutes of fame.
2014 NMRA Schedule
March 6-9, 2014
20th Annual NMRA Spring Break Shootout
Bradenton Motorsports Park
April 10-13, 2014
6th Annual NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals
See NMRA & NMCA stars racing the same weekend at the same event!
May 2-4, 2014
13th Annual NMRA Ford Nationals
Featuring the 2nd Annual SVT Shootout
Maryland Intertnational Raceway
Budds Creek, Maryland
June 12-15, 2014
11th Annual NMRA Ford Super Nationals
Featuring the All-Female Shootout & True Street Battle Royale
Summit Motorsports Park
July 10-13, 2014
8th Annual NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing
Watch as Team NMRA takes on Team NMCA for Nitto Tire Diamond Tree Super Bowl rings!
Route 66 Raceway
October 2-5, 2014
16th Annual NMRA All-Ford World Finals
Featuring 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords' King of the Street and the Terminator/GT500 Shootout
Beech Bend Raceway
Bowling Green, Kentucky