Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsEvents
2014 NMRA Keystone Drag Racing Series - Buckeye Battle in Ohio
NMRA, Royal Purple Ladies, and 122 True Street cars converged on Summit Motorsports Park in a Ford smackdown!
For the second year, the NMRA Keystone Drag Racing Series stopped at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, for the McLeod Super Nationals. The schedule was packed with a full complement of excitement, including a regular lineup of heads-up and index racing categories. We saw the return of the Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords All-Female Shootout, presented by Royal Purple Ladies, plus the addition of the King Ford bracket showdown. To top it off, the we recorded the largest True Street gathering in NMRA history.
Included in the 122-car True Street field was the special All-Female Shootout, where female racers first competed on Saturday in True Street and the top eight battled for the All-Female title. The second annual shootout saw Brandi Cisco rise to the top of the eight-car field as she wheeled a supercharged '14 Mustang GT to consistent high-10-second runs. She faced Nikki Frost in the finals as both Vortech supercharged machines marched to speeds over 120 mph with Cisco coming out on top, 10.75 at 129 mph to Frost's 11.79 at 125 mph.
While the female racing was hot, the quickest cars on the property are in the ATF Street Outlaw category, where the racers tickle the six-second zone and 200-mph barrier regularly—on 275 radials or true 10.5-inch slicks. Andy Manson was the one to beat on Sunday with his ProCharger-pumped SN95 Mustang. The Virginia racer rocked the clocks with a 7.34 at 194 mph to beat a tire-smoked Phil Hines, who ran 7.56 at just 176 mph.
Moving down the ladder on the heads-up side of the world is Edelbrock Renegade. MV Performance's Bart Tobener took the win with a class-leading 7.96 at 174 mph to top Alton Clements who posted an 8.09 at 168 mph in the finals. The DiabloSport Coyote Modified class is where Coyote engines with street-sized power adders live. Frank Varela and Hellion Racing continued their dominating season with a record 8.52 at 163 mph to beat Craig Baldwin in the finals, who had run 8.89 at only 143 when he pushed out the head gaskets.
The quickest naturally aspirated category in NMRA competition is ACT Pure Street and Teddy Weaver continued his domination as he overtook class rival Tommy Godfrey, 9.78 at 138 mph to a 9.94 at 136 mph.
While not the quickest cars in NMRA, Strange Engineering Coyote Stock is clearly one of the most popular, as it requires a sealed Ford Racing Coyote 5.0L engine, so in essence every racer has the same horsepower level (and the same engine tune). Winning comes down to chassis setup, vehicle preparation and driver skill. “HiPo Joe” Charles scored the win in Norwalk on a holeshot as his slower, but winning, 10.43 at 130 mph beat defending champion Shane Stymiest and his 10.38 at 125 mph.
Stepping over to Nitto Factory Stock, it was first-time winner James Meredith and his '03 Mach 1 Mustang on top of the stockers. The Coyote-swapped Mach 1 ran 11.01 at 122 mph to beat defending champion Matt Amrine who turned an 11.03 at 123 mph.
The Index categories were no less exciting with Gary “Hollywood” Parker taking home his first Exedy Modular Muscle win of 2014 as he dispatched class rival Donnie Bowles in the money round. The big and bad trucks live in Detroit Locker Truck & Lightning. Randy Conway drove the Northfield Trucking/Lampton Brothers Ranger to victory over the defending series champion Robert Chuhran and his '99 SVT Lightning. Woody Pack rose to the top of the Flex-a-lite Open Comp eliminator with his vintage Mustang beating Mike Buczynski in a near heads-up battle with Pack running in the 9.40s and Buczynski in the 9.30s.
The late-model Mustang specialty category is Roush Super Stang as it sheds some of the more racy components of the other index. Street machines are the theme in Super Stang, and Kent Nine broke his winning drought with a final-round victory over Texas' Lloyd Mikeska in this dial-in category.
A bonus feature for the enormous bracket program is the King Ford showdown, which arranges all class winners from Saturday and Sunday in a battle royal. The winner of the king of the hill bracket race is declared King Ford and is carried to the winner's circle in a throne and given a crown, an enormous trophy, a generous cash bonus, and bragging rights until next year's running. John Gregory was flawless on Sunday by first winning Fast Ford (Bracket 1) and then taking the King Ford honors, for the third time in his racing career.
The NMRA program in Ohio was a blast with its usual lineup of nationally contested categories, huge True Street field, All-Female Shootout, King Ford, and as much Buck-a-Pound ice cream as you can eat. See ya next year, Ohio!