Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsEvents
Fun Ford Weekend In Commerce - Chaos In Commerce
Ford Fanatics Visit the Peach State.
The second stop on the '07 Fun Ford Weekend championship tour was held at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia. The event offers the largest Pro class purse of the year, with AMP Performance putting up $30,000 for the winner and $10,000 for the runner-up.
This year there was a pair of two-car teams, Gullett Racing and Team Aruba, in addition to another seven cars that came for the cash. At the wheel of Kevin Marsh's nitrous-sniffing, big-block Escort was Chuck Samuel, who took the number-one qualifying spot with a 6.32-second pass at 225 mph. He later backed it up with a 6.39 effort to solidify the new Probe Industries Pro Class record.
Though there was no Street Outlaw being contested this weekend, the ProCharger Street Renegade contingent was on hand to haul the mail, and Sam Vincent set the bar in his juiced notchback with a 7.55 at 182 mph. Minnesota's Dan Schoneck posted the fastest mph in the class at 186.
Unfortunately for racers and fans alike, storms that blew in Saturday night left 30-plus-mph crosswinds on Sunday, and it was decided that Pro and Street Renegade would be postponed until the Fun Ford Virginia race in June.
With the high crosswinds, the Fun Ford and Atlanta Dragway officials opted to run the rest of the classes in eighth-mile competition to keep the speeds down. Monroe, Georgia's Nichole Calhoun qualified number one in Borla Street Bandit with a 10.603, which is about as close as you can get to the class' new 10.60 index. While Nichole went out in the first round, her mother, Tanya, qualified seventh in the class and advanced to Round 2, where she was defeated by Tom Conrad Jr., who stepped up this year from the Street Stang ranks.
Speaking of the Saleen Speedlab Street Stang class, Jim D'Amore III rolled out his daily driver, an '05 eye-searing yellow Pony sporting a full Saleen makeover and a JDM Engineering-built stroker engine. Competition in the class was tough, however, with Katy, Texas, resident James Meredith setting the qualifying standard by running dead on the 12.50 index at 12.500.
In the American Racing Headers Mod Comp class, the contingent was chock full of fast cars with the top 17 running 11s or better. In a rare occurrence, multichampionship winner Robert "The Machine" Hindman went out in the first round of competition. Hindman was deadly with a 0.007 light, but his modular-powered '87 hatchback broke out by one hundredth of a second.
Rosharon, Texas, resident Paul Gamino mothballed his dark-red, 5.4L Four-Valve rig from last year and showed up in Commerce with a spic-and-span '00 Lightning. The big white beast put Gamino at the top of the qualifying chart with a 10.30-second pass, just nine hundredths quicker than '06 Tough Truck Champ Don Justus.
Tremec True Street invaded the track with 85 cars, but only 67 made it through the cruise and completed all three runs. At the top of the heap was Brian Boyd. His copper notchback didn't look like much more than an 11-second ride, but the parachute told a different story. Boyd blistered the clocks with a 9.44-second average, just four hundredths faster than his next nearest competitor. New for the Atlanta race was a True Street Quick Eight, a heads-up eliminator that also joined the True Street bracket class.
Though the heads-up contingent packed it up by Sunday afternoon, there was still plenty of racing to enjoy, not to mention a pretty good car show. If you're into Mustangs, check out a Fun Ford Weekend event. Whether you like racing or showing, there's something for every Mustang enthusiast. Now take a look at the photos to see who won, who lost, and who's going to Virginia for the fat cash prize.