The NMRA World Finals are this weekend and EcoBoost racers are ready
By Steve Turner
Photos by Steve Turner and courtesy of the racers
The excitement level is high as we head into the NMRA World Finals in Bowling Green, Kentucky, this weekend. From the championships that will be settled to the ground that will be broken on Grudge Night, this year’s event promises to take the race of the year to new heights. Amongst all of that action are a host of specialty classes, including a promising new category, the Livernois Motorsports EcoBoost Battle presented by your friends here at SVTPerformance.com.
Obviously Ford is putting a lot of is ovals in the EcoBoost basket as the Gas Direct Injection Turbocharged technology is offered vehicles across its broad product line, from the Fiesta to the Ford GT. That’s why we joined up with the NMRA and Livernois to help this class come to life for the first time in Bowling Green.
“Ford offers an EcoBoost option for every single vehicle in the showroom, we cannot ignore that as the leader in Ford drag racing,” Rollie Miller, NMRA Event Director explained. “So it makes sense to provide a place for enthusiasts to drag race their EcoBoost model. Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t thank Livernois Motorsports and Travis Hill of SVTPerformance.com for making this happen.”
“With Ford offering more and more EcoBoost powered vehicles, it’s clear that these engines are part of their long term vision for the company,” Andy Ricketts, Vehicle Operations Manager at Livernois Motorsports & Engineering, said. “Because of this, and their tremendous responsiveness with modifications it only makes sense to embrace these vehicles. Just like the transition from pushrod engines to mod-motor engines in the ’90s, these are the present, and clear future for many of Ford’s performance offerings.”
“Ford is gambling its future on a couple of key technologies, aluminum bodies and EcoBoost engines. No matter how you may feel about it the seas of Ford performance are changing. One thing is certain, less weight and turbos are things racers should be able to get behind,” SVTPerformance.com CEO Travis Hill said. “Honestly, I’m not sure what to expect. Much like Turbo-Coyote, I’m hoping the class will grow into one of the highlights of the series. I would have to say it’s the prospect of being on the cutting edge of Ford performance, as we know it. For the Ford faithful turbos used to be a thing of expensive complexity that was only provided by the aftermarket. Now Ford has made easy, massive power upgrade potential available to the masses.”
In fact, Travis will be piloting our own EcoBoost Mustang, Project Samhain, in the class at the World Finals. So, we are obviously pretty pumped up about the EcoBoost Battle.
“Unfortunately, weather and scheduling has prevented us from getting the car as far along as we would like it to be by now. However, that’s not going to stop us. We’ll be there to run for fun no mater the state of the car,” he said. “If the air is anything like last year’s race I’m expecting some surprisingly fast times. I really want to see someone bring out a 1.0-liter. Maybe we’ll have to stop by Hertz and see what they have on the lot…”
He won’t be alone, as some of the quickest EcoBoost Mustangs around will converge on Bowling Green to compete for cash, prizes, and pride on Bowling Green’s big stage. Among those making the trip to Bowling Green is the pilot of the World’s Quickest EcoBoost Mustang, Brad Gusler of BG Racing.
“All the sponsors have worked like a team around the clock. We’ve made some improvements that we hope will make us significantly faster. I don’t really want to share details until they been proven and tested,” Brad explained. “I plan to win and be the fastest EcoBoost there, period!”
A relative newcomer to the EcoBoost world, Terry “Beefcake” Reeves of Team Beefcake Racing has been busy making a name for himself with his record-setting 2015 Mustang GT. However, he recently picked up an EcoBoost Mustang project and has already modded it and hit the drag strip for testing. He will be on hand and Bowling Green with both cars, and the new project will compete in the Battle.
“The nice thing is it comes with a power adder from the factory, it means that with a few simple mods, you can get a lot of out of the car. In testing so far with just our Lund Racing performance tune and downpipe we have picked up 1.62 seconds over stock,” Terry enthused. “In addition, with the automatic, you can build boost off the line and we have knocked down low 1.7 60-foots on the stock converter. Before the Battle we plan on adding a Vortech Superchargers intercooler—the largest EcoBoost intercooler available—along with an MMR cold-air intake.”
A racer better know for launching a V-8 Mustang at the drag strip will be joining the Battle at Bowling Green. VMP Tuning Business Manager BJ McCarty won’t be piloting his mega-power, VMP TVS-supercharged Shelby GT500 at the finals.
Instead of dumping the clutch in Christine, BJ will be spooling up his daily driver—an EcoBoost Mustang with a fresh combo installed just in time for the race. “It’s exciting new territory for VMP and I,” BJ enthused.
Of course, the class is open to more than just Mustangs, and we expect to see EcoBoost Fords of all shapes and sizes making passes this weekend. You don’t have to have the quickest car to take home a prize. The EcoBoost Battle is open to Ford Fiesta STs, Focus STs, Taurus, Explorers, F-150s, and Mustangs powered by EcoBoost engines, the class will run heads-up on a .400 tree with a Sportsman ladder.
The winner earns $500, a custom crystal award, and coverage in the NMRA’s Race Pages magazine, and the runner-up scores $200, a plaque and a bit of coverage in Race Pages. If you make it to the semi-finals you will earn $100, and if you make it to the quarterfinals you’ll win $50. There will also be trophies awarded for the quickest vehicles The NMRA will also hand out awards and bonus prizes for the quickest rides in each vehicle category. For more on the class, you can check out our announcement story here. If you have an EcoBoost Ford, we hope to see you out there running this weekend.
Racers running in the class will have a chance to not only be on the cutting edge, but participate in the NMRA’s popular True Street class.
“From our side we expect everyone to have a great time! It is hard to predict anything with a new class, particularly one that involves an emerging marketplace. The EcoBoost segment is growing quickly, especially with the introduction of it in the 2015 Mustang platform, so it would be hard to gauge it from a performance standpoint,” Rollie added. “It is no secret that Brad Gusler of BG Racing has jumped out quickly with his S550 Mustang efforts but the diversity of the EcoBoost class will be exciting. We expect to see a lot of the competitors crossing into the HP Tuners True Street class, which is included in the EcoBoost class entry fee. That gives them a weekend packed with fun and lots of opportunities to race their Ford vehicle down the track.”
No matter how quick the cars are at the first-ever EcoBoost Battle, the event is sure to be fun for all involved.
“Predictions are always tough to make when ushering in a completely new class of racing,” Andy concluded, “but at the very least we expect their to be high levels of camaraderie and educating the community as a whole about how impressive the various platforms really are.”