September 24, 2012

Every year the NMRA invades the small town of Milan, Michigan, for a midsummer weekend of drag racing and all sorts of fast Ford fun. And every year we're there to catch it all. Located 45 minutes from downtown Detroit, Milan Dragway was the venue for the NMRA's 9th Annual Ford Nationals.

Since this was a two-day event, racers and spectators wasted no time getting the activities underway on Friday. Some of the faster classes had low car counts, but the other classes more than made up for it. After two rounds of qualifying on Friday evening, Saturday rolled around and it was make it or break it with little time between rounds.

We found the time between rounds to make our way down the manufacturer's midway to see all the offerings from some of the leading Pony parts specialists. Ford Racing Performance Parts, Roush Performance Parts, and Chris Alston Chassisworks were just a few of the companies being represented. And the UPR car show was completely full, and featured Blue Oval cars and trucks ranging from '60s Fairlanes and Falcons to a brand-new '13 Boss 302.

In the True Street pits, 25 participants prepared their rides for the 30-mile cruise. True Street Coordinator Gene Bergstrom addressed the contestants about the rules and regulations, and then we were off on the 30-mile cruise. The cruise only claimed one casualty, and the rest made it back to the staging lanes to cool down.

The turbocharged '86 GT belonging to Josh Otting of Erie, Michigan, jumped out in front after the first pass, running 10.03. Not far behind was Mark Whitmore with a 10.55. On the second run, Otting went 10.25. Unfortunately for Otting, his tensioner broke on that run, throwing his belt. He had to bow out of the competition, sacrificing his certain win. Whitmore stayed on his mid-10-second streak and averaged 10.61 over three runs, good enough for the win. Runner-up honors went to NMRA Milan veteran Kevin McCotter and his '90 hatch averaging 11.10.

The 11-second plaque went to Ryan Moran of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the 12-second winner was Bob Myers of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. The 13-second honors went to James Daniel of Romulus, Michigan, and the 14-second winner was Anthony Jager of Toledo, Ohio.

True Street Top 20

Mark WhitmoreGerry, NY10.61Winner
Kevin McCotterClio, MI11.10Runner-Up
Ryan MoranPittsburgh, PA11.1211-Second Winner
Jeff SchmellJackson, MI11.86
Bob MyersGreensburg, PA12.0512-Second Winner
Dan RuppelBelleville, MI12.06
Lucas ClarkBrownsburg, IN12.28
Tom GilikinGrass Lake, MI12.50
Dennis OsworthLuna Pier, MI12.63
Jimmy ClevlandSandusky, OH12.75
James DanielRomulus, MI13.1513-Second Winner
Eric SweatToledo, OH13.31
Joy NeuenschwanderFort Wayne, IN13.36
Kelly KeirRockwood, MI13.43
Frank BrancaccioBerlin Center, OH13.53
Greg KamtaskasWestland, MI13.53
Anthony JagerToledo, OH14.1614-Second Winner
Trisel DaltonWest Unity, OH14.38
Rick MettieLuna Pier, MI14.62
Courtney WarsenWyoming, MI16.34
Chasity YenschNewport, MI16.51

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