The NMRA ROUSH Performance Super Stang category, where mildly-modified Mustangs wear the SST designation on their windows, has long been loved by racers and race fans.
Among them is Larry Firestone, who has competed in the category since it was introduced in 2008.
That first year, he drove a 2008 Mustang which was owned by Brenspeed and ran mid-elevens. By the following year, he was driving his own 2008 Mustang, which has been steadily stepped up through the years and now runs high 10s with a 4.6 Three-Valve engine built by Brenspeed, topped with a ROUSH Performance supercharger and backed by a TCI-massaged 5R55 transmission.
Firestone, a fixture in the category where there’s as much camaraderie as there is competition, has always held his own on race day. He earned his first NMRA ROUSH Performance Super Stang championship last year, and shared the spotlight with fellow champions at the NMRA Muscle Car Nationals presented by E3 Spark Plugs Awards Ceremony presented by Aerospace Components last December at the Indiana Convention Center.
But he has since turned his focus to pulling the cover off of his car and preparing it for the quickly-approaching 26th Annual Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout, Feb. 27-March 1 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida.
“The car ran so well last year that I’m hesitant to touch anything,” said Firestone, with a laugh. “But, I need to go through the suspension, make some small tweaks and make sure it’s all tight. I’ll also be changing all of the engine fluids.”
When he’s done, Firestone will take his car to Brenspeed, where it will be put on a chassis dyno and tuned by Brenspeed’s Brent White with SCT products.
“We may end up adding a little timing to the engine this year,” said Firestone. “We’ll see.”
The Indiana-based driver said he’ll give it everything he has to earn a second NMRA ROUSH Performance Super Stang championship, but admits that he’ll have his work cut out for him. Fellow racers and fans who have watched him record perfect .000 reaction times and run right on his dial, however, know that he’s up to the task.
“From the day that I started running in the category, the competition has been incredibly tough,” said Firestone, who will be flying banners for Race Star Wheels in addition to Brenspeed on his car this year. “I know that it would be very hard to have the same success we had last year, but I feel pretty good going into the first race, and we have the car figured out.”
Joining Firestone in competition for at least one event this year will be his son, Clayton Firestone, who used to sit in a car seat in the back of Firestone’s Mustang when he was a child, but sat in the driver’s seat of his own car, a Focus, for his first QA1 True Street race at the Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing last year at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois.
Fans who can’t be at the 26th Annual Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout, Feb. 27-March 1 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida, can see the action broadcasted on SpeedVideo.com with support from Vortech Superchargers, COMP Cams, ATI Performance Products, ProCharger, GForce Performance and Flying A Motorsports.
(Photos courtesy of NMRA)