Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
2011 NMRA Columbus - Too Hot To Handle
Even rain couldn’t stop the NMRA Tremec True Street crowd from marching on in Columbus
The 33rd annual Ford Expo NMRA event in Columbus, Ohio, brought over 200 racers to historic National Trail Raceway. Nearly 40 racers showed up for the popular Tremec True Street category, presented by Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords magazine, with a variety of street machines ready to race, all with one thing in common--street driveability.
A steamy forecast with rain held true, with temperatures blasting over 100 degrees and with rain that ultimately postponed the NMRA shootout action. But the wet stuff held off on Saturday long enough for the True Streeters to run the tour and hit the track. After the True Street drivers' meeting, all of the competitors and their co-pilots lined up for the 30-mile jaunt through the winding country roads dotted with cornfields and sleepy towns. It was sunshine all the way for these cruisers, and everyone made the trek with no issues.
Upon returning to National Trail, it was time to show their stuff on track. There were a few 9-second-class drivers lined up for the first round (of the three required) and it was anyone's crown. But by the end of the first session, it was clear who was bringing the fastest passes. Long-time True Street runner Mike Jovanis of Wall, New Jersey, laid down a 9.96 to set the pace, though Troy Lee was right on his tail with a 9.98. It was the war of the Fox-bodies between Mike's small-block turbocharged '89 Pony and Troy's big-block 565ci monstrosity.
The next two rounds proved to be troublesome for Mike when his e.t.'s fell off, first by almost a full second after he ran 10.73. By the third round, his boosted ride was toasted due to a crack in the exhaust before the turbo, yielding an 11.24, which was five tenths slower than his previous pass.
Troy's second run was faster than his first at 9.83 seconds--but could he maintain this performance to give him the win? You bet. Troy delivered his last and slowest pass of 10.14, giving him a coveted 9-second average of 9.99. Mike's 10.64 average couldn't stand up to Troy's impressive all-motor runs, crowning Troy Lee King of True Street in Columbus.
Amazingly, the 10-second group was a light one with only three racers finding an average in the 10s. Jonathan Insley's Delk Performance-sponsored '95 Mustang, powered by a "heads and cam" 427 small-block, and armed with a little shot of juice backed by a C-4 transmission, slowed 0.80 seconds from his first pass of 10.19 to his second pass of 10.92. But he was able to follow it up with a last pass of 10.99 to secure his spot in the 10-second class and score the win with an average of 10.70.
Again, with only three opponents trying to take the 11-second trophy, it was sure to be a close race. MM&FF contributor Paul Rosner's ProCharged Two-Valve Mustang turned an outstanding 11.09 and only got faster with each pass. Climbing to the top wasn't easy, but Paul managed to barely scratch the surface of a 10-second average with an 11.03, taking the win over his opponents, Will Carroll averaging 11.18 and Jason Saffell's average of 11.64.
Five Steeds scored 12-second averages, but it was Martin Hardyman Jr. taking the class win in his '86 carbureted 342, stroked Fox-body with a C-4 transmission. Despite the repeated traction issues he experienced due to the heat, Martin's three runs still averaged an impressive 12.23 from his naturally aspirated combination.
With 11 Mustang drivers all going after the 13-second prize, the competition was fierce. Ohio-native Ricky Moorehead brought his '11 beauty out and ran a best of 12.67. His next two passes were in the 13.1 and 13.0 range, enough to let him he secure the win with a stellar 13.00 average. Glen Reis came in a close second with an average of 13.05.
Eight racers took their Stangs down the track to compete for the 14-second win. Shannon Jones brought an average of 14.16 in a '93 Stallion, grabbing the trophy, but it was an extremely close race between Shannon and Jeff Chaffin who came in neck and neck with an average of 14.17.
The 15-second category was contested by five drivers. Kevin Flannigan was dead on the win with a 15.00 average, putting him a solid tenth ahead of the next closest competitor, Melanie Blacker.