Paul Rosner
April 4, 2011

Horse Sense: According to the NMRA rulebook, "True Street is a racing class for mildly modified to heavily modified high-performance, Ford-based street vehicles that are street-certified and able to drive over a 30-mile distance. All Ford vehicles from 1964 through present are permitted. Any Ford based engine, and any number or type of power adders are permitted. Vehicles must be registered, licensed, and insured..."

Hurricanes and tornados are nature’s most violent exhibition of authority, wreaking havoc on the southern plains of Oklahoma and coastlines of Texas. Hurricanes can pack winds of 180 mph and dump 10-20 inches of rainfall in a 24-hour period. While tornados can be 1-mile wide and gouge a 50-mile track with winds up to 300 mph!

The only thing worse than a hurricane or tornado is both! In 2005, Hurricane Rita hit land just north of Houston Raceway Park with Category 5 intensity, packing winds up to 180 mph and dumping 15 inches of rainfall. The 36 hours that followed spawned a record 55 tornados across southeast Texas and southwest Mississippi--a double-dose of 180-mph terror!

When the NMRA blew into Houston Raceway Park, they never expected a triple-dose of quarter-mile terror like the Tex-Mex crew brought. This bunch’s sick ’93 coupe was classified as an F4 with 180-mph intensity. Though there was some rainfall, it allowed just enough time to knockout the competition while the eye of the storm passed over the raceway.

Southern-Texas-native Joel Cura knows what it’s like to weather the storm. He is the southern Texas regional manager for LeFluer Transportation, one of the largest non-emergency medical transportation providers in the country. No matter how inclement the weather becomes, LaFluer deploys about 8,000 shuttle trips a day for patients in need of medical care.

Emergencies require speedy transport, and Joel knows all about fast. He got his start in Mustang racing nearly 15 years ago playing with the guys at Texasdragracing.com, where their Wild Street racing crowned one king and all challengers were summoned to a mall or burger joint of the king’s choice, then had to cruise 20-30 miles to the raceway for a shot at the title. He had a Wolfe-built ’86 racecar that he horse-traded from Angel Padilla. It was a test mule for Cartech Turbo Systems. Longtime buddy, Joe Rivera of EFI Motorsports got the car running low 9s, with one fateful bonzai 8.90 pass before wadding it up at Houston Raceway Park.

As fate would have it, Pro Turbo Kits had started a ’93 coupe project car, complete with a starter cage, four-cylinder powerplant and lots of Texas body acne, but decided to let Joel finish it, so the journey began. Seabisquit was upgraded to a state of the art SFI 25.5 chassis with stock type suspension at So Tex Racecars in San Antonio.

Lifelong friend and comrade Angel Padilla pilots Joel’s new steed to 30-mile cruises, both to defend his Texasdragracing.com crown and compete in NMRA True Street competition. The Tex-Mex crew raised the bar in Mustang street-car competition by running three back-to-back 7-second passes with a 7.92 at 184-mph best, the first 7-second passes in the history of the class! 5.0

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