The NMRA SVT Shootout rolled into Maryland International Raceway
Photos by Stacy Stangz and Steve Turner
The third race on the
NMRA Ford Nationals schedule is special for several reasons. Not only does it take place at a track known for quick e.t.’s and unrivaled track preparation— Maryland International Raceway—the event holds a special place in our hearts here at SVTP. That’s because the stop in the Old Line State is dubbed the SVT Shootout, as it features a numerous SVTcentric categories. And, this year, your favorite website was the event’s presenting sponsor.
Terry “Beefcake” Reeves brought a street car to a Renegade race and still managed to cause a stir. While his racer is under the knife as part of its transition from Coyote Modified to Renegade, Terry wanted to race. So, he ran his Vortech-supercharged 2015 Mustang GT to MIR and promptly ran the quickest time yet recorded for a new-school Coyote—a 9.74 at 144 mph. It’s insane that Terry is getting this done with bolt-ons and a stock suspension and we’ll have more on this car in the near future.
In addition to the NMRA’s usual cast of heads-up and index classes, the sanction added a number of ancillary events to the program to celebrate Ford’s high-performance SVT vehicles. The headliner of these events is the vaunted
VMP Superchargers GT500 vs. Terminator Shootout, but at MIR there was also an SVT True Street class as well as some special categories in the car show as well.
To help further celebrate all things SVT, we hosted an SVT Racer Appreciation party on Friday night. There was music, free drinks, and—most important—over 50 raffle prizes from a who’s who of the performance aftermarket.
While we were a bit chilly at the Friday night party, that weather made for quick qualifying times on the first day of the race. However, as the weekend went on, the weather warmed and the clouds cleared, which challenged racers to dial in their combos for the changing conditions.
In all, it was a great weekend for fans of Ford performance, so let’s recap all the excitement…
Good times were had by all in attendance at the SVTP-sponsored SVT Racer Appreciation party, and almost everyone in attendance walked away with some kind of prize, as there were over 50 raffle prizes awarded from companies including AEM, Airaid, American Muscle, ARP, Borla, CFM Performance, Circle D Specialties, Edelbrock, Evolution Performance, Flex-a-Lite, Lethal Performance, McLeod Racing, MGW Shifters, Mothers Polishes, NMRA, QA1, Quick Fuel Technology, Racestar Wheels, Redline Tuning, Reische Performance, Ross Racing Pistons, SCT Performance, Steeda Autosports, UPR Products, VMP Superchargers, and VMP Tuning.
Not only did Rick Kaknes clean up at our raffle, but he also took home an award as the SVT Ambassador of the Year. Obviously he was riding high after that success. He not only took his VMP TVS-supercharged Terminator to the semi-finals in the GT500 vs. Terminator Shootout, but he also won the SVT True Street category thanks to a 10.40-second average from his three back-to-back passes. Street Outlaw
Parity has come to the Street Outlaw party. In the first three races of the season, there have been three different winners in the NMRA’s top class. Andy Manson’s been consistently in the mix and after making it to the final round in Atlanta, he qualified in the second spot at MIR with a 6.83 at 205 mph. The sun was definitely shining on Andy during Sunday’s eliminations. He easily dispatched an off-pace Ronnie Diaz in round one and rode a second-round single into the finals. There he met defending champ John Urist, who had struggled in qualifying, but had run strong in eliminations. John got the jump at the tree but Andy had the power to run him down for the win, 6.84 vs. 6.90. Street Outlaw Gallery
While the rest of the Hellion Power Systems team members had their struggles at MIR, Frank Varella’s put his Renegade machine on 7.60s cruise control. In qualifying, Frank’s B-Team machine covered the entire field, including putting two tenths on the number-two qualifier to top the qualifying sheet. When Sunday rolled around, Frank dropped three tenths on Bart Tobener and David Guy on his way to a showdown with number-two qualifier Alton Clements. Frank cut down the tree and the race was over right then. Frank ran it out the back to door to take the win, 7.65 vs. 7.85. Renegade Gallery
Though it is a highly competitive class filled with incredibly quick race cars, Ronnie Reynolds proved that the little guy still has a chance if he runs consistently. He brought his wife’s street car to MIR to compete, and he got the job done. After qualifying in the sixth slot with an impressive 9.26 at 146 mph he snuck past a wounded Johnny Lightning in the first round and took out the seventh qualifier Timothy Ladsinski in the second round. That set the stage for a final with the quickest racer in the class, Haley James. After an epic staging batting, Haley rolled through the beams and Ronnie cruised to an easy win.
It looked like Haley James was set up for another win in Coyote Modified, but that’s why they run the races. Hot on the heels of her first win in Atlanta, Haley piloted her B-Team entry to the top qualified spot with a searing 8.18-second pass and ran a string of 8.20s in eliminations to make her way to another final-round appearance. Knowing Haley had a huge advantage, Ronnie Reynolds lit the first bulb and sat there daring her to take both beams. When she finally made the move into the lights, the button that controls he Bump Box malfunctioned and she pushed through the beams.
VIDEO Coyote Modified Gallery
The high-winding, naturally aspirated class known as Pure Street came down to a battle of two familiar foes at MIR. Teddy Weaver and Jimmy Wilson were the only mid-9-second players in the class, with Teddy qualifying just a few ticks quicker that Jimmy to snag the number-one spot. From there, the script played out as expected in eliminations. The duo easily overcame their first-round opponents, and only Teddy had to fight off a challenger in round two. He powered past Ron Cullember so he could line up against Jimmy “Wheelstand” Wilson. Jimmy got the jump and the neck-and-neck race was over from there, as he held off Teddy in a door-to-door race, 9.53 vs. 9.59. Pure Street Gallery
They call him The Streak! Once he got the ball rolling with his first NMRA win in Commerce, Georgia, Drew Lyons really started something. With the help of crew chief and former Real Street standout Bruce Hemminger, Drew has been on a tear on the NMRA’s sealed-engine class. He rolled into MIR and clicked off a 10.25 at 129 mph to top the qualifying sheet and re-set the class e.t. record. He had a relatively easy path for the first two rounds, before running the gauntlet of HiPo Joe Charles and Joe Marini on his way to the finals. Drew had those two covered by a tenth, so he cruised to the finals against Farmer Steve Gifford. Though Steve left first, Drew was able to run him down for the win. Coyote Stock Gallery
Bullying is a real problem. It’s just that back in 1996, no one could have imagined that a little Two-Valve 4.6 would be picking on big-bad TiVCT 5.0s in 2015. However, that’s just what is happening in NMRA Factory Stock. Matt Amrine is a dominator in his 1998 Mustang GT. However, he credits his success not to the engine combo, but to sticking with this combo and refining it as he goes. His latest mods were to upgrade the shocks and tweak the suspension parts to keep the car from carrying the tires, and it seems to be working. He qualified number one again with a 10.67/125 rip and rode that momentum into eliminations. He wouldn’t need to run 10s again until the finals, where Matt squared off against Justin Foglesonger’s Fox. The Fox left first, but Matt’s SN-95 still had Justin covered by two tenths. Factory Stock Gallery
GT500 vs. Terminator
Blackout Racing’s Shane Halleman was the man to beat all weekend in the GT500 vs. Terminator Shootout, but no one was up to the task. He qualified first, ran his first 7-second pass, and won every round on his way to sealing another win for Team Terminator, which still holds the advantage in the head-to-head battle of SVT super ’Stangs. Everyone knew he was serious when Shane topped the qualifying sheet with an oh-so-close 8.00 at 176 mph. In eliminations, no one got within a second of him as he cruised to the finals. There Wajdy Khalil would need a miracle, but it just wasn’t to be. Wajdy got the jump, but Shane drove around him to the stripe.
It seems appropriate that a TVS-supercharged Termiantor would make it to the finals in the VMP-sponsored class. Hailing from Canada, Wajdy Kahlil made the trip down to MIR to represent for Team Terminator, and he did a fine job. He qualified right in the middle of the pack with a 9.71/139 hit from his automatic Cobra. Two of his challengers broke in eliminations, so Wajdy only had to defeat Harold Horton in the second round to ensure an all-Terminator final. Harold lit the red bulb, so Wajdy had a clear path to face class Goliath, Shane Halleman, in the finals. There was no storybook finish for Wajdy, however. GT500 vs. Terminator Gallery
Turbo Coyote Shootout
These days the NMRA is all about spicing up its events with specialty classes, and one of the categories with growing popularity is the Turbo Coyote Shootout. With the race in its backyard, JPC Racing stepped up to sponsor it this year, and the class featured a number of JPC-backed rides, including the one driven by shop main man Justin Burcham. It was fun to see all these cars run, but they were simply battling for second place behind Justin’s 7-second machine. The next closest car was in the mid-eights, so Justin qualified first with a 7.84 at 180 and never let up from there. He ran a string of 7-second passes en route to a final round against number-two qualifier Brent Roberson. Brent left Justin at the tree, but he didn’t have the steam to hold off the JPC machine. Turbo Coyote Shootout Gallery
People love to call Fox Mustangs by the name Fox body. However, the Fox designation is really for the chassis. In fact, Milton Grow’s 1978 Fairmount is another Fox and it was looking good at MIR. Milton qualified his big-block powered machine 10th with a .019 reaction time, and from there he locked it in, running within a tenth of his dial-in all the way to the finals, where he took out Mr. Open Comp, Larry Geddes. Open Comp Gallery
Though he lives if Florida, Rick Doern get around to the races, no matter which of his many Mustangs he decides to race. At MIR he put his S197 in the fourth qualified spot with a .082 reaction time. Once he hit eliminations, Rick was unstoppable. He was running right around his dial-in like a sharpshooter nailing the center of the target. It looked like Rick was on a mission to win the class, but Mike Reid made it pretty easy on him in the finals by taking a nice nap at the tree. Rick left first and ran 13.203 on a 13.20 dial! Modular Muscle Gallery
Truck & Lightning
At MIR, it was the truck that took the win, rather than the Lightning. Jimmy Cantrell qualified his 377-cube 1994 Ranger in the eighth qualified spot out of 23 pickups in the class thanks to his .065 light. Like most of the index-class winners at MIR, Jimmy locked into a groove during eliminations. He ran right on top of his dial-in through all five rounds. In the finals, he left after Ryan Jones’ 2002 Lightning, but his 9.05 on 9.02 dial-in was enough to get the job done. Truck & Lightning Gallery
Kent Nine is making a strong case to walk up on stage at the PRI Show again to put on another Super Stang championship jacket, as he clocked another win at MIR. He qualified sixth with a .050 light and took a pretty easy path through eliminations. After dispatching Brad Busler in the first round, his next two opponents gave away the races. One broke and the other redlit. In the finals, Kent chopped down the tree with a .006 reaction time. He left Miles Waggoner behind and finished the job by running a 10.62 on a 10.60 dial-in. Super ’Stang Gallery
Longtime readers of this scribe’s musings know your author has a soft spot for Fox Mustangs. One of the rarest Foxes is a Shelby—the SAAC Mustang. This 1992 Mark 1 example, owned by Bob Hahn Sr. has only 77 miles on the odometer. Number nine of only 30 such examples produced, Bob’s SAAC Mustang is in pristine condition, and it has quite a pedigree. It even served as the model for the short-lived SAAC aftermarket parts catalog. Car Show Gallery