Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
October 7, 2016

There are big races, and then there BIG races. Donald “Duck” Long’s No Mercy and Lights Out races are the latter. Held at South Georgia Motorsports Park, the Lights Out race is in February, and No Mercy is held in October; everything else is just testing, according to the promoter. We’ve never really heard of a race selling out, and turning away race fans, but at Lights Out 7, SGMP sold out, leaving many fans on the outside looking in. No Mercy and Lights Out are arguably the biggest races of the year, period; end of discussion.

For that reason, many NMRA racers compete at both races for a couple reasons. One, they love to race. Two, they want to be there, just like everyone else.

One NMRA racer making the switch for this weekend’s No Mercy is NMRA Renegade racer Valerie Clements. Valerie loves to race, starting out in junior dragsters before following in the black marks of her brother Alton, and making the transition to door cars. Long-time NMRA fans already know her 2005 Mustang is the former Sutton High Performance ride, but Valerie has been in the seat for several years now.

The engine in Valerie’s Mustang was built by her dad Alton Clements, Sr, and is a 360ci small-block with AFR 220 heads, a Comp Cams custom grind, and an Edelbrock intake. Feeding the beast is a ProCharger F-1A-94, while Valerie tunes the combination using a Big Stuff 3. Behind the small block is a Keith Neal Turbo 400 with a Mark Williams rear end with 40-spline axles and a spool further downstream.

The Clemson University Automotive Engineering major ran her best pass last weekend at the NMRA All-Ford World Finals with a 7.59, but in eliminations she gave the tune a little too much power, blowing off the tires and losing in round 1 to Bob Cook. At each event she’s gone quicker, which shows she’s on the right track. The first round loss was a minor setback in the grand scheme of things. Valerie had a strong showing in Renegade for 2016, finishing fourth in points.

The transition from NMRA Renegade over to No Mercy 7’s Ultimate Street class is not a difficult one. In Renegade, Valerie runs Mickey Thompson’s ET Street Radial Pro. In Ultimate Street, the tire rule requires what people have started calling Mickey Thompson’s Gen 1 ET Street Radial. The second necessary change is cosmetically. In Renegade, racers are allowed a fresh air modification to the front bumper. In Ultimate Street, that’s not the case, so Valerie will have to close up that opening for No Mercy 7.

Her eighth-mile times are competitive in Ultimate Street, and we can’t wait to see how she does at No Mercy 7.