Michael Galimi
October 1, 2007
Photos By: Galimi, Smitty
Sam Vincent saw nothing but sky when he launched his '89 Mustang LX in Super Street Outlaw competition. He hurled down the quarter-mile in only 7.47 seconds, which was the low e.t. of the class for the weekend. Vincent defeated Don Burton in the final round of competition. His teal coupe is powered by a 432ci small-block Ford with Brodix heads and three stages of nitrous from Nitrous Express.

Mustang and Ford fans are some of the most loyal in the automotive hobby. We flat-out love the Blue Oval and all that surrounds it, so when the NMRA announced it was bringing its traveling Keystone Ford Drag Racing and Show Car series to Ford's backyard, it got our juices flowing. The weekend was painted blue at Milan Dragway-just 45 minutes from Dearborn-as all sorts of Ford fanatics and companies came to celebrate on the 1,320 and the show grounds. Roush Performance had a strong presence along with Ford Racing Performance Parts, Saleen, and dozens of vendors selling everything from T-shirts to cylinder heads.

On-track excitement featured the rain-delayed finals from NMRA's previous event held at Silver Dollar Raceway (Reynolds, Georgia). Elimination run-offs occurred during qualifying, not requiring any extra runs by the competitors and delay the Milan program. NMRA also had a bonus eliminator for the Pure Street category as the top eight points earners from 2006 competed in the B&M/Hurst/McLeod Shootout. That action was in addition to the nine heads-up classes, three Open Comp-style categories, and the True Street Challenge, presented by your favorite Mustang magazine-MM&FF.

The racers were coming off a month-long break, and many of them took the time to optimize their combinations. Combine that with great track conditions at Milan Dragway and it equaled quick performances. The program was also enhanced with Vortech Outlaw 10.5, a class that runs part-time on the NMRA schedule. Eight wild 10.5W style cars hit the track, and many of them clicked off runs in the low-7-second zone at over 200 mph in street-legal trim. Perennial Outlaw 10.5 racer Brian Carpenter took down local favorite Greg Blevins in a turbocharged battle. Carpenter won with his twin-turbocharged monster running a 7.17 at 206 mph. [Ed. Note: Ford Racing also had an invitational race for magazine editors, in which Mike Galimi did quite well, making it to the semifinals.]

It has been a long time coming-Joel Howard grabbed a win in the tough EFI-Renegade ranks. The nitrous-powered '86 GT is a former MM&FF True Street winner, and Howard has continually tweaked his car every year for more than a decade. The result is a class-legal ride that ran in the 8.70s all weekend long. Renegade racers are restricted to 0.550-inch lift camshafts, street-style heads and intakes, as well as stock suspension.

DiabloSport Pro 5.0 dazzled the crowd with side-by-side mid-6-second runs. Defending series champion Michael Hauf held on tightly as his mountain-motor Mustang skated down the track. He won the final round with a 6.69 over the Motive Gear entry of Joe Morgan. As usual, the MSD Ignition Super Street Outlaw category was the crowd favorite as 17 racers duked it out in the mid-7s while approaching 190 mph. The 28x10.5 tire limitation and virtually unrestricted engine combinations provided tight racing and daredevil-like antics. Kentucky's Sam Vincent proved to be the big dog of the weekend by running sub-7.50s and taking the win against Don Burton in the final round.

Edelbrock Hot Street has matured into a class that mimics NHRA Pro Stock with naturally aspirated combinations and extremely tight competition. Of the 15 cars in the field, 11 of them were in the 8-second zone and the top five were separated by only three hundredths of a second. The weekend belonged to Ben Mens, who was the number-one qualifier and took home the top prize by defeating Robert Blankenship, 8.85 to 8.89 in the final.

ProCharger EFI Renegade forces the racers to rely on equipment that's more common on the streets than in a dedicated racing class. Competitors are restricted to OEM-style hydraulic roller camshafts with a maximum lift of 0.550 inch, C4 transmissions, street-type cylinder heads, long-runner intakes, and single-stage nitrous systems or small blowers (with eight-rib belt setups). Over the years, racers have been able to push their cars into the 8s with ease. The extreme heat kept the quickest Mustangs in the 8.70s. Joel Howard visited the winner's circle with his flawless '86 Mustang GT, using consistent 8.75 runs. Deadly lights and consistency gave him the event win over the 17-car field.