Modified Mustangs & Fords
16th Annual Buckeye State Nationals - Buckeye Bangin'
Hot Sun, Cool Racing, A Mega Car Show And Top Notch Facilities - Showing Us Again Why This Is One Of The Best Ford Events On The Calendar
The Daniel Bott versus Matt Jones class, otherwise known as Street Bandit, witnessed some interesting developments. Jones qualified first, with Bott right behind him. Jay Henkleman, behind the wheel of a Bandit-prepped Fairmont, was third. Bott seems to be getting quicker and piling ever more pressure on Jones and at Norwalk, it showed. The final round saw both drivers bang out almost identical lights on the tree. Bott appeared first out of the hole, and started pulling ahead, but then Matt found a boost of extra power and stamina, just managing to edge past Daniel to grab the win - it was very close. Jones ran a 8.823, Bott an 8.838.
In Street Warrior, Jeremy Martorella, the 2004 class champ, decided that now was the time to jump back into the ring after taking some time off to be with his family. Commandeering Rob Mollet's Mustang, he gave John Scaro a real run for his money. In what amounted to one heck of a final round, both drivers went at it tooth and nail. They were side by side, pretty much all the way down the track, but when the results came in, Scaro was just slightly ahead, 9.639 versus 9.667. A fantastic bit of racing!
The Superchips Street Stang class had a local driver, Tammy Chambers, set the best time in qualifying, but in this class, one should never underestimate regular Mark Anderson. Mark wasted no time and got the power down, piling through the ranks to beat second place qualifier John Heid to the finish with a 12.68 versus John's 12.80 in the final round.
As for vehicles with beds out back, JDM Tough Truck regular Don Justus, in his white gen 2 Lightning, came out ready to do battle. Justus qualified the big pickup in the top spot with 10.771 and demonstrated his smoothness and consistency right to the end. In the final, Justus kept his head and still won out, with a consistent 10.771 on his 10.67 dial-in, against Robert Chuhran who motored ahead of Don, but was way, way out with a 10.789 on an 11.61 index.
The RPM Outlet Ultra Stang class is proving ever more popular, as it gives drivers with both faster and slower S197s a chance to shine. Speaking of fast cars, Jim D'Amore grabbed the top spot in qualifying, with an 11.04, but in this class it's about consistency, so you'll get a 13 second driver racing an 11-second driver for the class win and that is exactly what happened when S.D. Wheeler ended up facing D'Amore in the final. Wheeler has already won three rounds in this class and tried to make it a fourth, but he redlit on the tree and it was over before it began. D'Amore was therefore declared the victor in this one.
We had some very interesting cars and combinations show up in Mod Comp - how about a 3.8 SVO engine powered steed and a 5.4 powered 2006 Mustang - neither of them common setups, but they sure did work. Jimmy Ronzello was behind the wheel of the six-banger, Paul Svinicki at the helm of the '06. Both drivers lasted long enough to make the last round and both were consistent and closely matched, right to the end. Ronzello and Svinicki both cut almost identical lights, but Paul saw a gap when Jimmy lost a bit of momentum and went for it. Final result, a 10.305 for Svinicki, an 11.499 for Ronzello.
It was Mustang versus Focus in the four-six Frenzy class. Scott Baumgarner was behind the wheel of the pony car in question, while Josh Wells was piloting the little front-driver. The Mustang was far quicker, but here it's down to indexes. A 15.85 dial-in versus an 11.57 put Wells put in front for the final round, allowing him to leave well ahead.The waiting was just too much for Scott and he jumped the light, automatically handing Josh the class win.