Modified Mustangs & Fords
18th Annual Peach State Fun Ford Nationals - Delayed Gratification
Fun Ford Fans Find Postponed Atlanta Event Worth The Wait
When word got out that Fun Ford Atlanta was suddenly postponed by the NHRA for emergency repaving, the collective groan could be heard almost everywhere. Not only was this one of Fun Ford's largest annual events, but it was supposed to be the scene of two special events as well. Even so, the racers and fans found it was well worth the wait as this turned out to be the best event of the year.
The biggest drawing card at this event was the $20,000-to-win Battle of the Brands showdown for cars that fit within FFW's Street Outlaw 10.5 rules. Former champs from Fun Ford, NHRA, NMCA, NSCA, and ORSCA were all there, along with Chevys, Pontiacs, and Mopars. Mustangs, although representing less than half of the field overall, ended up dominating by the semifinals. Ron Lummus, Grant McCrary, Spiro Pappas, and Tim Lynch were all there to determine who the ultimate winner would be.
Former Sport Compact Champ Lummus had a tall order to fill when he was faced with stopping McCrary, the low qualifier of the event. Lummus cut his best light of eliminations, but was behind from the start as McCrary got the jump and sped on to a 4.523 to 4.635 eighth-mile victory. Lynch then had his best e.t. of eliminations against Pappas with a 4.533 to 4.562 win.
Lynch versus McCrary was a battle between two teams that have often collaborated. With virtually the same driveline combination, the only major difference between the two machines is that McCrary was running alcohol while Lynch was on race gas. In the end, however, it was lane choice more than anything else that won the day as Lynch had to lift after nearly slamming into the wall. It was McCrary all the way with a 4.538 win over Lynch's 6.025, further cementing his car as arguably the most dominant Outlaw 10.5 car today.
The other special feature of this event was the first of a three-race series dubbed the $5k Challenge. Intended as a low-cost, entry-level class, participants weren't allowed to compete unless they brought receipts to prove they had no more than $5,000 in their vehicle-including the cost of the vehicle. Micah Monteleone was the winner at Atlanta. Two more events are planned for Richmond and Bristol with the overall winner to be determined at the final event.Of course, there were other things going on this weekend as well. After two appearances and two broken motors thus far, former Renegade Champ Ronnie Wilson was triumphant at Atlanta over D.J. Lociano, who was making a return to racing after an extended absence. Mac Sibley won in Street Bandit thanks in part to a sterling final-round reaction time while Craig Shepard enjoyed a breakthrough win in Street Stang. It might have happened a bit later than everyone expected, but it was still a great weekend for all.