Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
May 30, 2007
Photos By: Michael Galimi

For 2007 Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords has taken its ever-popular True Street class to the National Mustang Racing Association and the sanction's season opener, the 6th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA Spring Ford Nationals. Not surprisingly, it was a great success, posting more than 60 entries, 46 of which completed the requisite 30-mile cruise and three back-to-back dragstrip runs.

Held at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida, MM&FF's inaugural NMRA True Street outing saw a couple of cars that were capable of averaging in the 9-second range, nearly a dozen 10-second street cars, and even more than that running in the 11s, 12s, 13s, and so on.

We noticed a parachute mounted to the back of Larry Albright's black notchback in the staging lanes, obviously requiring further investigation. Our inquisition of the Jensen Beach, Florida, resident revealed a vintage Boss 302 block beneath the hood, sporting 331 cubes, a PT-88 turbocharger, and a Powerglide two-speed transmission. On track, an 8.93-second elapsed time set the bar for the rest of the field, at least until the clouds of smoke erupted beneath Larry's ride as it passed through the traps on the first run. One lean cylinder led to a hole in the No. 8 piston and brought an end to Larry's day, which looked promising given that the coupe has actually gone 8.74 before.

With Albright's black stallion out of the way, it was open season in the True Street ranks. Richard and Tammy Campbell of Deltona, Florida, took the Low-15-Second win with their all-original '70 Boss 302 Mustang. The stock four-speed horse is just one of the six stallions the couple owns.

For the Low-14-Second win, Robert Watts of London, Kentucky, was on hand to nail down the three lowest 14-second passes in his '01 Bullitt Mustang. A bevy of bolt-ons keep the tribute Pony pounding the pavement, while Robert's 8-second Fox body comes together.

Running a bit quicker was Bradenton resident David Johnson and his '06 Mustang GT. A full aftermarket exhaust system, underdrive pulleys, a 4.10 rear gear, a C&L cold-air system, and a custom SCT tune netted a 13.18 average for the Low-13-Second prize.

Carrying the Fox-body flag into battle was Nokomis, Florida's Edward Kaplonski, who drove his '92 Mustang GT to the Low-12-Second award. The bright red Pony features 347 cubes of motivation and a C4 transmission. Edward normally runs a Zex 125hp hit of nitrous oxide to get the Stang down into the low 11s, but he opted for the naturally aspirated route this weekend; a path better traveled judging from the result.

Making the SN-95 crowd proud was Ocala, Florida's Robert Abney, whose Mineral Grey Terminator Cobra posted a 10.68, a 10.61, and an 11.82 to take the Low-11-Second award with an average of 11.04 seconds. The snake is driven daily but track-prepped with a solid-axle, 4R70W automatic gearbox, a Whipple 2.3 supercharger, and a custom Coastal Chassis Dyno tune-up. Abney was ecstatic about his first racing-event effort, despite the blower belt exiting the engine compartment on his third attempt.

Believe it or not, there were nine street cars faster than Abney's, all of which ran 10.50 or better. Andrew Juhl looked like the top guy with his first pass at 9.87 seconds. His ride fell off the pace the second time around with a 10.89 and returned on the third with a 9.98 effort to average fourth best of the day.

JPC Racing's Justin Burcham powershifted the five-speed transmission in his ProCharger-blown '05 Mustang GT for all it was worth, running 9.85 and 9.94 in his first two attempts. An issue with his nitrous system shut the car off on the one-two shift during his third run, but Burcham recovered to complete the quarter-mile in 10.79 seconds, good enough for Third Place.

With bracket-like consistency, Charlie Nagy of Riverview, Florida, took the Runner-Up position with his '87 Mustang. The black GT is equipped with 331 ci of Ford iron topped off with a D-1 ProCharger and methanol injection. Tuned by Troy Knowles of Madness Motorsports, Charlie's Mustang has enough oats to run 9.60s, but the lack of a license and safety equipment restrained him to running 10.11, 10.10, and 10.11.

We're pretty sure Pensacola, Florida's Chris Escobar has a room full of True Street trophies as we see him competing, and usually winning, at most of the events he enters. His steed of choice is an '86 Mustang SVO. Turbocharged yes, but the Pony now sports a '98 Four-Valve Cobra motor, twin turbochargers, and a Powerglide transmission. LaMotta Performance in Longwood, Florida, built the car years ago and competed at various events with it in Drag Radial, but Escobar has had wild success with the SVO in True Street events since purchasing it several years ago. Relatively quiet in the burnout box, the Stang charged to a 9.54, a 9.57, and a 9.48 for a 9.53-second average and the True Street crown.

True Street Bradenton Top 25 and Winners
CarNo.NameRun 1Run 2Run 3Avg.
44Chris Escobar9.5469.5769.4839.535 W
31Charlie Nagy10.11610.10210.1110.109 R/U
32Justin Burcham9.8589.99410.79910.217
36Andrew Juhl9.87110.8969.98310.250
6Daryl Buckner10.3810.25610.3010.315
5Christian Worley10.01210.1110.86110.328
{{{57}}}James Hume10.38510.24310.38610.338
35Scott Boda10.03910.77410.48310.432
13Scott Emerson10.52410.44510.53110.500
59Robert Abney10.68910.61211.82411.042 W
18Deneen Segura11.05411.16111.05511.090
49John Walker10.84910.70311.72811.093
58Brent Nelson11.12311.35211.46911.315
43Don Reinhardt11.20111.28011.77311.418
37Scott Leveille11.40811.37711.66811.484
29Ryan Herringdine12.18211.65111.41611.750
19Bernie Rivas11.83811.87711.{{{911}}}11.875
11Rob Walsh11.68312.46811.56211.904
54Tony Ochman12.{{{405}}}11.65411.70411.921
39Brian Simon12.23411.92511.65511.938
22Dean Serafine11.84911.99112.00311.948
50TJ {{{Fox}}}11.96711.90212.04611.972
30Shawn Harmon11.83811.95212.17211.987
52Edward Kaplonski11.97712.04212.01712.012 W
26Roy Harrell11.92612.20212.07712.068
52Edward Kaplonski11.97712.04212.01712.012 12-Second W
61David Johnson13.10513.14713.31013.187 13-Second W
20Robert Watts13.{{{850}}}13.93014.33414.038 14-Second W
56Richard Campbell15.81115.73915.67315.741 15-Second W

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