Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
2008 NMRA Keystone Ford Nationals at Milan Dragway - Homecoming Mayhem
Ford Racers Head To Fomoco's Home State Of Michigan To Duke It Out At Milan Dragway.
TTC Tremec Pure Street rivals Hot Street in terms of tight competition; the competitors run mid-10s and the top performers dipped into the 10.30s this outing. The Pure Street rules restrict racers to off-the-shelf parts that are mostly street-oriented components, such as 0.500-inch hydraulic roller camshafts, long-runner intake manifolds, five-speed transmissions, and 311ci limitations. Ryan Hecox went home with the bonus shootout money on Saturday and doubled up with the class win on Sunday. The JPC Racing-sponsored entry outran a modular-powered racer, Brandon Alsept, in the finals, 10.37 to a 10.39.
ACT Factory Stock, the most affordable heads-up racing category in all of drag racing, was the talk of the weekend. Tommy Godfrey and the JPC Racing crew showed up with a brand-new '89 Mustang LX coupe and a Rich Groh Racing bullet under the hood. Godfrey ran 11.33 (low e.t. of the weekend) in Round 1 of eliminations, but spun in the semis and lost. It left the door wide open for point's leader Steve Gifford to head to the finals, where he met up with John Leslie Jr. for a Two-Valve modular (Gifford) versus a GT-40 headed pushrod engine showdown. Leslie had the quicker of the two cars in the finals, but Gifford won based on reaction time. Gifford ran a slower, but winning, 11.51 to Leslie's 11.48.
Open Comp Index Categories
Perhaps one of the more noticeable absences from the competition was Johnny Lightning's wild twin-turbocharged Gen 2 Lightning. The JLP gang showed up with a new truck, which according to Johnny is a more consistent ride and something that is easier to chase the championship with. The orange Gen 2 truck is essentially a rolling catalog for the shop's services and products. It ran mid-11s all weekend, and headed to the final round of Detroit Locker Truck and Lightning, where Johnny met up with the always-tough Mike Motycka. Both racers broke out of their indexes, but Motycka broke out less and won with a 12.10 on a 12.11. Johnny ran 11.53 on an 11.57 index.
Roush Performance Modular Muscle is reserved for just that, modular-powered Ford vehicles. We saw everything from defending-champion Roxanne Shepard's mid-9-second Vortech-blown, Livernois-sponsored ride to a lifted F-350 Super Duty truck in the class. Shepard couldn't make the first-round lane call due to a broken transmission. With fan favorite Susan McClenaghan (daughter of Jack Roush) losing in the first round, Donnie Bowles Jr. carried the Roush banner to the finals with his patriot-painted S197 Mustang GT. The car serves as a testbed for Roush engines and supercharger systems, and its high-9-second performances proves that the shop knows what it's doing. Bowles beat Tom Motycka with a 9.94 on a 9.90 index. Motycka nailed a great 0.028 reaction time but broke out with a 12.51 on a 12.52 index.
The final index category is Steeda Open Comp, which is open to all Ford vehicles powered by Blue Oval engines. This class is always the largest category at NMRA events, and this time 25 competitors came to battle it out. Randy Conway fought his way to the finals as he defends his championship title in 2008. The mid-11-second SN-95 was stopped by old-school iron in the finals, though, as both Conway and opponent Dale McClenagham broke out of their indexes. McClenaghan drove one of Jack Roush's former race cars to victory, 8.95 on the 8.96 index. The champ ran 11.62 on his 11.72 index.