Frank H. Cicerale
December 1, 2006

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Mmfp_0612_01z 1985_ford_gt Drivers_side_viewMmfp_0612_04z Ford_mustang_race_car Front_view
Nearly 70 True Street competitors made the required three runs down the famed Norwalk strip, but when it was all said and done, Bill Klein
Mmfp_0612_03z Fun_ford_weekend GirlMmfp_0612_05z 1999_ford_cobra Drivers_side_view
Greg LaPoint also busted into the 8s. In most cases, an 8.974 average is good for the win, but this time, that wasn't the case. LaPoint, who hails from Holland, Ohio, bolted up twin hairdryers to a 347 stroker that powers his '99 Cobra. With a best e.t. of 8.73, his 8.88 was still enough to pull the rocker molding off of the passenger side of the car.
Mmfp_0612_06z 1998_ford_mustang Drivers_side_view
The closest final round of the weekend came in CFE Street Bandit when Matt Jones (far lane) scored the win over the '98 Mustang of Daniel Bott. With both drivers recording nearly identical reaction times, it was nip and tuck with Jones eking out the win, 8.82 to 8.83.
Mmfp_0612_07z 1988_ford_mustqang Front_view_drivers_side
Marty Merillet of Wauseon, Ohio, was the one and only True Street contestant to record an average in the 9-second zone, when he averaged a 9.16 in his '88 Stang. Power behind the punch comes from a 420ci small-block that gets extra happy when the Nitrous Express 300hp shot is kicked in. Before the weekend started, Merillet had run a best of 9.02. That was, until his third run of competition, when he broke the 8-second barrier with an 8.99-second pass.

Located in the quaint hamlet of Norwalk, Ohio, Norwalk Raceway Park is one of the cleanest dragstrips you'll ever visit. This July it played host to the 16th Annual Buckeye State FFW Nationals, and there was plenty of smoking action in all the classes-especially Muscle Mustang and Fast Fords/Tremec True Street, with three cars in the eights! When the smoke cleared, we saw some old hats in the winner's circle and a few surprises, too.

The event kicked off with Friday and Saturday qualifying, which featured extra chances for the heads-up racers to dial in their performances, along with the opportunity for the hundreds of bracket competitors to get in their practice runs. Saturday, the popular MM&FF/Tremec True Street contestants made their presence known. Nearly 70 wild machines made the 30-mile trek around the rural roads of Ohio before making the required three passes down the famed quarter-mile. True Street featured some of the nicest and quickest cars we've seen, and the MM&FF cameras were all over the action.

Elapsed times ranged from the low-16-second range to a set of blistering 8-second e.t.'s by Bill Klein, who averaged a killer 8.804 to take home the True Street championship. Greg LaPoint clocked an amazing 8.974 average for Second Place, while Marty Merillet rounded out the top three with a 9.16 average. Of note was the disqualification of John Slade, who was right on Klein's heels running high-8,s but was tossed after the second run for failing to wear fire gloves.

Sunday dawned sunny and warm, and in the heads-up classes there were some old standards and some new hats in the winner's circle. Probe Industries Pro saw David Schorr behind the wheel of his 815ci Escort run the table as he qualified number one with a 6.68, and then gunned down Erica Ortiz in the final. Schorr left first and motored away from Ortiz, eventually stopping the timers in 6.77 seconds at a flying 209 mph.

ProCharger Street Outlaw racer Dan Millen pushed his Mustang past the Stang of Tim Lynch in the money round. Millen, who was the number-one qualifier at 6.99 seconds, was just one speed mark behind the terminal velocity of David Schorr and his Pro entry as he clicked off a 209-mph pass in qualifying. In the final, Lynch, behind the wheel of a bright yellow '02 Cobra, left first, 0.044 to 0.128. At the finish line, however, Millen was able to run down Lynch and score the win with a 6.98.

Chris Little was the only one in BFGoodrich Drag Radial, but despite this he put on a show, hiking the wheels dangerously high during Friday qualifying and then ripping to a 7.96/183-mph run on Sunday. The 7.96 marked Little's first foray into the 7-second zone. In Precision Turbo Street Renegade, the car that won was the same, but the driver had longer hair and a feminine touch. Ronnie Wilson, who is on his way to locking up the Street Renegade title, stepped out of the ride for the weekend, letting Gina Munden strap into his '00 Mustang. The car, which has been unbeaten with Wilson driving, remained unbeaten as Munden took out Dan Schoneck in the final. Schoneck was the number-one qualifier with a 7.78-second pass, but he ran into engine problems on his first round single. He was able to stage the car for the final, but he had the same problems, as he couldn't get the car to the 330 mark under power. Munden took the easy win with an 8.71.

Even though the opening round of compe-tition in CFE Street Bandit saw a pair of com-petition singles for Matt Jones and Daniel Bott, the final round was by far the best race of the event. Jones was the top dog in qualifying as his 8.72 was just a bit quicker than Bott's 8.79. At the end of the day, Jones was the winner in the squeaker of a race. Both drivers had nearly identical reaction times, with the miniscule 0.001 advantage going to Jones. At the stripe, Jones' 8.823 earned him the win over Bott's 8.838 pass by a scant sixteen-thousandths of a second.

In another close final round, John Scaro and his '03 Cobra nipped Jeremy Martorella's Mustang for the Borla Street Warrior title. Scaro was the top qualifier with a 9.60, and he used a slight holeshot and a 9.63 pass to best Martorella's 9.66-second run. In Sean Hyland Motorsports Mod Comp, Paul Svinicki wheeled his '06 Mustang past Jimmy Rondello's Mustang to the win. Svinicki was slightly better on the starting line, and he used a 10.03 to take out Rondello's off-pace 11.49. Mark Anderson was the victor in Superchips Street Stang as he put John Heid on the trailer in the trophy round. Anderson was better on the Tree, and his 12.68 was more than enough to handle the 12.80 effort put forth by Heid.