Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
September 1, 2004

Running 10.50s With A Stock, Block/Crank Stick Car Can Be A Real Shot In The Arm

At every NMRA event, you'll find an interesting mix of class-specific, heads-up racing. Each class has its own set of rules that each racer must adhere to in the construction and competition of his/her race car, and each class has its own personality.

In between our own 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords Real Street and BFG's Factory Stock sits Tremec Transmissions' Pure Street class. The rules of Pure Street call for the use of a naturally aspirated, 5.0-based engine combination displacing no more than 310 ci. A hydraulic camshaft (no bigger than 0.500-inch lift), a street-specific intake, and street-specific heads are also part of the limitations. Where racers can really use their creativity is, obviously, in the engine combinations, and also in how they set up their chassis, suspension, gearing, and clutch arrangements. Suffice it to say that when 16-20 of these little monsters show up at the same show, it's one awfully good time!

Hailing from El Dorado, Arkansas, Dwayne Bar-baree has been a mainstay of the NMRA Pure Street class since 2000, when he fell in love with the concept of Pure Street and heads-up racing at-of all places-the Mobil 1 World Ford Challenge. He was at the race helping a friend, when he realized his '91 hatchback had a lot of the equipment needed to compete in Pure Street. That car, which Dwayne estimates has more than 1,000 passes on it as well as more than 180,000 miles on the clock, served as daily transportation and weekend play toy for years. Dwayne used to drive the car to the track (full of slicks, skinnies, and tools), crack open the nitrous bottle, and run 11.10s with little more than aluminum heads, an intake, and a custom camshaft. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

"I started running Pure Street because my buddy ran it," Dwayne says. "I got to looking at the components I already had, and it fit my car. I didn't have all the resources that some do, but once I got to banging the gears and competing with other Mustang racers from around the country ... it's just addictive!"

Once in Pure Street trim, Dwayne's white hatchback was a regular on the NMRA circuit. He campaigned that car from 2000 until the '02 Bowling Green, Kentucky, NMRA World Finals, where he debuted the green notchback shown here. Even though the white car was a winner-having run as fast as a 10.81 with a 1.44 short time (NMRA legal)-it was tired. The street miles and all the abuse at the track were beginning to catch up with the hatchback, and the body was moving too much for Dwayne's liking. He says the hatch would often fly up on a good launch-an obvious indicator that more and more power was being diverted from straight-line propulsion and into twisting the chassis.

Throughout his heads-up Mustang racing career with either car, Dwayne has been a true competitor in Pure Street-racking up round wins, event wins, and a national championship at the '03 World Ford Challenge. For Dwayne, that race was the sweetest because he had to work from behind as he showed up late on Saturday with a new combination. In qualifying, his new clutch gave him problems, and he was fast enough (11-teen) for only the seventh spot on the ladder after two shutdown runs. In the first round of eliminations, the car responded with a 10.77, while another 10.77 (0.490 light) let the whole class know Dwayne had figured things out. He then faced off against Ron Anderson, whose 10.71 wasn't enough for Dwayne's 10.70 wrapped up with a 0.460 light. Facing the perennial favorite Gene Hindman in the final, Dwayne tuned up the EPEC with a tank of race-legal C44 fuel and ran a 10.59 (0.430 light) to the quicker but losing effort of 10.56 (0.485 light) from Gene.