This weekend, June 10-13, the NMRA returned to Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, OH for the Ford Performance Nationals – the fourth of the six events for the year. The Nationals features Street Outlaw, Renegade, Limited Street, Coyote Stock, Factory Stock, Modified Street, the brand-new Street Car Challenge, True Street, TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout, a new All-Female True Street, and several bracket racing classes–including mod motor and Coyote as well as truck specific. The NMRA is catered to OEM based Ford-powered vehicles (not tube chassis cars and dragsters), but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some serious horsepower on the property.
Saturday Qualifying Results
In a field of thirteen cars, Coyote Stock was lead by Nathan Stymiest in a ’92 Fox-body, running 9.90 at 134mph. Kevin McMullin in the SN95 trailed at 9.978 with Shane Stymiest right on his heals with a 9.79 in an ’89 Fox. The sealed crate engine class featured four cars running sub-10s in qualifying, and a fifth car (Randy Soper) going 10.001 at 135mph. A testament to how close this field is, the slowest car still runs a 10.13 at 131mph. Despite there being faster heads-up classes, Coyote Stock is easily one of the most fun to watch as evidence by Mark Anderson’s wheelie.
Factory Stock had ten racers, spread about a second apart while the top three were within hundredths and thousandths of each other. Lead by Mike Bowen who ran 10.362 at 129pmh, Mark Anderson was hot on his heels at 10.366 at 127mph. The third spot was claimed by Justin Fogelsonger who ran 10.398 at 127mph in the final qualifier. With a top three this tight, it’s anyone’s guess what can happen during Sunday’s eliminations.
Limited Street was an eight car field, led by Bill Putnam who went 8.52 at 160mph. Chad Wendel and Stacey Roby trailed at 8.544 and 8.547 respectively.
Renegade is an eighth-mile class of fourteen cars, lead by Joel Greathouse in the Fox-body. This perennial contender is neck and neck with Eric Bardekoff’s S550 CJ clone, 4.61 to 4.64 (both at 154mph). Chuck Bartholme, Bob Zelenak, and Stephen Barnett all put down 4.7 runs to round out the top five.
Randy Thompson seems to have a substantial edge in the Street Car Challenge, qualifying with an 8.39 at 164mph to lead the pack.
However, the top-dog Street Outlaw class is surprisingly tight between Tony Hobson (4.35 at 165mph), John Urist (4.374 at 165mph), and Steven Halprin (4.412 at 170mph). Steven Mechan and Nicky Notch aren’t completely out of the fight, but they have some ground to cover.
Fast Ford wrapped on Saturday, with John Gregory taking the win over Kenny Robinson (who red-lit). Despite an incredible .004 light, Rod Lenhart lost to Randy Conway in Quick Ford. Daniel Imloff won Street Ford by going 12.199 on a 12.19 dial-in, While Duane Vennings broke out (11.355 on an 11.40 dial-in).
Randy Thomas took the True Street crown with an 8.691 average in his 2010 GT500. Neal Adler in the ’88 Fox-body took runner-up with a 9.47 average. Rick Baum, Bo Webb, Dominic Post, Thomas Van Tassel, Timothy Miller, Chris Lee, and Chris Graff took the 9- through 15-second average titles in a 64-vehicle field.
In the VP Racing Street Outlaw class, Tony Hobson beat John Urist to close out the event. Urist’s Hellion Turbo 2015 Mustang was first off the line and then spun, which allowed Hobson’s ProCharged 1990 Mustang to take the lead and never look back. Running a 4.35 at 165mph (to Urist’s 4.42 at 164), Hobson took the cash and trophy back to Lake St. Louis, Missouri.
Edelbrock Renegade came down to two familiar faces – Joel Greathouse (2020 champion) and Eric Bardekoff. The turbocharged-KBX-powered ’93 Mustang of Jeremy Wolf went 4.63 at 153mph in the finals with Greathouse behind the wheel, as Bardekoff was hot on his heels in the Whipple-supercharged-Coyote-powered ’16 Mustang (4.64 at 154).
JDM Engineering Limited Street was dominated nearly start to finish by the impressive showing of returning champ Bill Putnam of Loxahatchee, FL. His ’94 Mustang qualified first and then made his way through the field before squaring off against underdog Kevin McCotter in the finals, who qualified seventh. Putnam closed it out with an 8.53 at 161mph run.
Nathan Stymiest seems to have everyone’s number in G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock as the top qualifier (again), but his ’92 quickly bowed out and that paved the way for a final match of Randy Soper and Chad Stephens. When Soper red-lit, it gave Stephens the go-ahead in his ’87 Thunderbird aka “Dirty Bird.” This was Stephens first win, who had to overcome mechanical issues throughout the weekend, which will make the drive home to Canada that much more enjoyable.
Richmond Gear Factory Stock, which if you didn’t know is a naturally aspirated heads-up class for mod motors and Coyotes, saw a rematch of the St. Louis race in the finals. Mark Anderson and Justin Fogelsonger squared off for the second time in 48 hours (the NMRA concluded the rain-delayed race on Friday in Norwalk), but with a different outcome as Anderson took home the victory by running 10.36 at 127mph.
As for the bracket and index classes, the winners are: Dennis Corn in Open Comp, Andy Russell in Modular Muscle, Chris Parisi in Super Stang, Randy Conway in Truck & Lightning, Danny Towe in Ford Muscle (no relation), John Gregory in B1 Bracket, Gary Fitzgerald in B2 Bracket, and Mike Baker in B3 Bracket.
The NMRA also announced the winners of two classes within True Street, which took place on Saturday. Leticia Hughes won the Baer Brakes All Female True Street, averaging 11.095 seconds over her three runs. In the TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout, Jeff McCool faced off against Tim Lasto in a Fox-body battle. McCool took home a McLeod Racing RXT clutch by rowing the gears on a 10.20 at 135mph pass.