The racer they called “The Modfather”, New Jersey native and veteran all-Ford drag racer Ronnie Diaz, rolled into the NMRA’s annual World Finals in Kentucky over the weekend full of enthusiasm, thanks in large part to a fresh new combination poised to challenge the frontrunners in the Street Outlaw category. But an unfortunate wild ride dashed those hopes and left he and his team with a long rebuilding process in the winter months ahead.
Teamed up with John Kolivas and Jon Bennett of KBX Performance, Diaz arrived in Bowling Green with a new 94mm Precision turbo bolted up to his familiar 5.4L Modular powerplant, having made the swap after the Maryland event earlier in the year. With some quality numbers to show for his pre-race testing efforts, Diaz was ready to push his Mustang into the sixes and over 200 mph — which would be a first for a Modular-powered car in the NMRA’s quickest and fastest eliminator.
But in Saturday’s second round of heads-up qualifying (the first round of Street Outlaw on Friday evening was cancelled), Diaz, running in the left lane, got out of the groove and over toward the left hand wall near the 300-foot mark before his machine took a hard right turn across the centerline right behind opponent Daniel Pachar, striking the right lane concrete wall almost head-on. The brutal impact spun the car nearly 180-degrees back toward the starting line, giving the cameraman — and the Modfather crew — a look at the heavy damage to the 1999 Mustang.
Fortunately, Diaz was uninjured in the crash and has already vowed to make a return next season. In the meantime, he and his team will haul the car back to New Jersey and assess the damage before deciding if they’ll rebuild the car or start anew with a fresh piece. To that end, there’s been some chatter that Diaz might even try to nail down a 2015 Mustang body-in-white if the team does indeed opt to build a new car. Regardless, we expect to see this combination turn some heads next season in Street Outlaw, so the class had better be looking over their shoulders for the Modfather.
Video Credit: Dirt Hicks Videos