Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
2011 NMRA Ford Nationals Milan, MI - Motor City Madness
The 8th Annual Roush Yates NMRA Ford National invades Milan, Michigan.
For decades, the now- defunct Detroit Dragway served as the quarter-mile proving grounds for the Big Three. Then in 1998, the "Dirty D" closed and never reopened. Sadly, the spot that once hosted Detroit's finest is now a row of warehouses.
Thankfully, though, only a short drive away resides Milan Dragway. Nestled about 30 miles south of the Big D, it now serves as home to Detroiters and manufacturers alike. Every year, the NMRA's annual Roush Yates Ford Nationals are held there.
This year's event was held in late July, and we were there to catch the action. We began our trip with a visit to Roush Performance Parts' (RPP) new digs in Plymouth Township, Michigan. The new 65,000-square-foot facility houses almost every step of the process of building a Roush Mustang from a base GT. There are tire-mounting machines, balancers, an upholstery shop, and an assembly line.
While there, the fine folks at RPP supplied us with a Race Red '12 RS3 to drive for the weekend. We made our way to the track on Friday, where there was plenty of action.
Not long after we arrived, an unfortunate racer overshot the turnoff and plunged into the wall at the top of the track, shutting down time trials for a couple of hours. The driver had to be taken away in an ambulance, but we hear that he's going to be just fine. And once things were cleaned up, racers were back on track in preparation for Saturday's battles.
On Saturday, rain delays challenged racers and track officials alike. Thankfully, the event continued on and off throughout the day. Officials drying the track gave spectators time to cruise through the manufacturers midway to check out some of the new products from companies like BMR Fabrication, Scott Rod Fabrication, and Brenspeed. The car show area was packed with all kinds of Dearborn iron, which is one of our favorite parts of this event.
When it came time for our beloved Tremec True Street, the skies parted and off we went on the 30-mile cruise. Only 2 of the 26 didn't make the cruise and all three runs. The rain kept many away, but the on-track fun, camaraderie, and prize money were enough to lure the two-dozen competitors to Milan Dragway.
When all the runs were done, Dave Flanders of Zeeland, Michigan, was victorious, taking home the crown, cape, trophy, and $250 prize. Flanders' '79 Mustang features a Mad Max-style design and is powered by a turbocharged 2.3L four-cylinder that drinks methanol only. His 9.63-second average was enough to nudge Josh Ofting of Erie, Michigan, and his '86 coupe's 10.56-second average to the runner-up position.
The 10-second prize went to Mike Yensch of Newport, Michigan, with a 10.72-second average. The 11-second win went to Paul Rosner of Florissant, Missouri. His '01 GT averaged 11.12 over three back-to-back runs. The 12-second win went to Jeff McCool of Galloway, Ohio, with a 12.06-second average. The 13-second winner was Wendy Schultz of Commerce, Michigan, with a 13.02-second average. And topping the 14-second class was Anthony Jager of Toledo, Ohio, with a 14.07-second average.