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Mustangs Stampede All Over NHRA Divisional Opening Event at Lucas Oil Raceway
2016 NHRA Divisional Opening Event
Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis was rocking the last weekend in April as many Sportsman racers from the Midwest got to knock the winter cobwebs off their race cars and hit the drag strip for the NHRA North Central Division season opener. This event always brings out a vast assortment of machinery, as many drivers are slowly getting back in the groove after a long winter’s hibernation and must go through the relearning process of dialing-in the cars and cutting a good light.
One of the most popular classes was Stock and Super Stock, which had the highest car count among all the other categories on the property that weekend. Of the 92 Stockers, 11 of them were Mustangs, with the number two-qualifier coming from Bill Skillman in his 2014 Cobra Jet, blasting an 8.55 on a 9.70 index. Other Mustang combinations filling the field included the extremes the class offers. Everything from the Chuck Watson’s 2016 Cobra Jet 5.0L supercharged COPO killer in FS/AA, to Dan Tool’s 140 cubic-inch four-banger 1980 Mustang running V/SA. Other engines motivating Mustangs in Stock Eliminator were the familiar 5.0L pushrod engine and even a few 4.6L modular motivators.
In Super Stock, 75 cars came out to play with a dozen Mustangs in the mix. Leading the one-two punch were Ray and Bill Skillman (who was also running his stocker) in a pair of 5.4L blown 2010 Cobra Jets. Both cars ran more than a second under their respective class indexes. Another Cobra Jet that was hauling the mail was Sam Monteleone’s 2013 Cobra Jet entry in FSS/D, clicking off 9.0s without even trying.
With Saturday being a complete washout, NHRA tried its best to get the event completed by Sunday. The starting crew prepped the track and it had a ton of bite until Mother Nature had enough by late afternoon. That’s when the skies looked liked Armageddon as severe thunderstorm with tornado warnings halted all racing action with only three rounds of eliminations completed. Not to worry, a winner will eventually be declared, as NHRA will no doubt work this race into another event in the near future. The way the Mustangs were yanking the front wheels and running their number, we’re sure they’ll be going all the way to the final rounds.