5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
NMRA Michigan Speedfest - Milan Hour
A New Track In The Motor City Plays Host To NMRA's Fourth Annual Michigan Speedfest
Horse Sense: What do you get when you gather seven of the nation's top Mustang-mag editors with seven other scribes and execs of other automotive rags, put them in randomly selected, FRPP-outfitted Ponies, faux Cobras, and pickups, and cut them loose against each other on the dragstrip? Editor Steve Turner got a firsthand opportunity to find out the answer. He shares his take on the experience with you in the "Ford Racing Invitational" sidebar included in our Milan report.
Getting back to business, both new and unfinished, was the number-one thing on racers' minds as they arrived en masse at Milan Dragway (a new Midwest venue on the NMRA tour) for the fourth running of the Toyo Tires NMRA Ford Nationals.
After 10 weeks off between events-for some reason it seemed much longer-it was time to settle scores that remained open after rain prevented completion of the Reynolds, Georgia, event in March.
Racers were paired during qualifying to run the remaining rounds of their respective Reynolds eliminators, and Milan proved to be the lucky spot for many, as several Georgia winners and runners-up found themselves in final rounds for the Toyo Tires NMRA Ford Nationals.
Milan also set the stage for the third event in NMRA's season-long series of shootout races. In the B&M/McLeod Pure Street Shootout, the top eight '06 Pure Street points earners competed in a race-within-a-race during qualifying, with an additional big-bucks payout going to the winner.
The early summer weather was hot, and the racing action even hotter. Keep reading for details and photos of how it all went down in Motown.
It was cool to see Amy Sherwin return to NMRA Pure Street competition at Milan with the debut of her new 25.2-certified '87 LX trunk-model 'Stang-a top-end accident at Columbus last year destroyed her '90 LX. Amy's race day ended in the first round when new-car bugs got the best of her coupe in a matchup with Scott Barker.
Editor Steve Turner represented 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords in the inaugural Ford Racing Media Invitational, an exciting sideshow held between rounds of NMRA qualifying. The event pitted lead scribes-or their appointed substitutes-of 14 print and online car mags against each other in a bracket-style competition behind the wheel of Ford Racing's hottest Mustangs, F-150 pickups, and Factory-Five roadsters to see who's best. Unfortunately, our chief became an instant spectator after his first-round red light put him out of the deal, but the perpetual smile on his face let us know he was having a great time.
Race fans, racers, and magazine editors were all taking bets on what the experimental V-8 under the hood of Don Bowles' Roush machine really is. With its massive girth, gargantuan cylinder heads featuring what appear to be spark-plug locations on their sides instead of the top, and an intake system that includes a unique arrangement of individual throttle bodies, our unanimous thought is that this engine-it's so bad, we can't bring ourselves to call it a motor, which is an incorrect term anyway-is really "boss." The folks at Roush and Ford Racing, and Don himself, are keeping its official identification close to the vest right now, but keep watch for more information on this mystery bullet in future issues of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords.
We've always been big on giving props where props are due. Dale Hemrick deserves major kudos for hauling his four-eyed Mercury Capri to Milan from Canoga Park, California, just a few hoods away from Tech Editor KJ Jones' stomping grounds in Reseda. Dale made the most of his vacation by visiting family in the Detroit area, qualifying 12th, and sending Mike Sodano home with a red light in round one of Open Comp.