Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsEvents
Mustangs, Fords and Mercs make big waves at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
Stang Bangin’ at the NHRA Summernationals
Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, better known as “Englishtown,” is one of the most legendary NHRA strips on the circuit. The very best in drag racing have made their mark on the famous New Jersey quarter-mile, including many of the pioneers of 5.0 Mustang racing. E-Town’s history runs deep, so we were excited to return to our former home track for the 47th Annual NHRA Summernationals.
The weather was great and we watched a wide variety of Fords unleash massive horsepower on the 1,320. The event marked the return of a Ford to Pro Stock, when Charlie Westcott Jr. dropped the clutch on his Mustang, qualifying for the field with a 6.88 at 203 mph. This was a great first-effort, especially considering Westcott builds his own engines and this is his first attempt running in the highly competitive class. Despite losing First round, Westcott gained data and can begin his quest for more power and more efficient runs.
Beyond Pro Stock, we found a variety of Fords in Stock Eliminator, Super Stock, and the School of Automotive Machinists and Technology Factory Stock Showdown. This included classics, Fox-bodies and modern Cobra Jet Mustangs, which all went wheels-up during the four days of racing.
Stock Eliminator and Super Stock are some of the longest-running classes in drag racing history and they continue to draw massive fields. Today’s rules allow many aftermarket components, so Stockers are a far cry from the racers of the 1960s and 1970s. It’s not uncommon to find adjustable shocks and struts, data logging and in some cases, supercharged engines making over 1,000 horsepower. Nevertheless, Stockers run on 9-inch tires and have very limited engine modifications. Super Stockers, on the other hand, are allowed 14-inch wide slicks and a broader range of engine and chassis modifications.
Like most classes, the challenge for Stock and Super Stock racers is finding horsepower and applying it in the most efficient manner. Often, this means fine-tuning of carburetors, EFI, launch and shift rpm points, plus dialing in shocks and struts. Often, winning and losing comes down to finding the smallest edge over the competition.
Fords seemed to rule Stock and Super Stock, as the top two racers and top four racers in each class drove Fords. Bo Butner in his 2014 Ford Mustang captured the pole in Stock, while Don Belles Sr. nabbed the top spot in Super Stock. In total, there were about 20 Cobra Jets in action, with Jeff Roell lasting until the fifth round. Another notable driver was Michelle Bongiovanni, who in her first NHRA national event, went four rounds driving the Micro Strategies-backed FSS/C Cobra Jet.