The hottest EcoBoost rides clashed on the quarter mile in Bowling Green
Photos by Stacy Stangz and Steve Turner
As you know by now,
SVTP got together with Livernois Motorsports and the National Mustang Racers Association to develop an all-new class dedicated to Ford’s EcoBoost-equipped vehicles. That class was dubbed the EcoBoost Battle and it debuted at the NMRA World Finals, which began this past weekend.
Bill Putnam was definitely in it to win it with his Triple Yellow 2015 Mustang. After qualifying with a 12.35 at 111, he went so far as to yank his exhaust system to eek out more performance in eliminations. There he took out Brandi Phoenix and BJ McCarty before riding a bye into the finals against Brad Gusler. Brad ran into issues and ran a second off his pace, so Bill became the first-ever EcoBoost Battle champ thanks to a 12.04 at 112 mph hit.
We say it started on the weekend, because the weather literally soaked up two days of the race and meant the action took place on Sunday and wrapped up on Monday. We’ll have coverage of the rest of the event later this week, but we wanted to get you the EcoBoost Battle results right away.
Ultimately nine Gas Turbo Direct Injected Fords lined up and raced heads-up down the quarter mile at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which was a great way to usher in a class designed to push the envelope of EcoBoost performance. The class drew some of the quickest EcoBoost Mustangs in the country as well as a couple of non-Mustang competitors in the form of an F-150 and an Explorer.
We will have a video of how the class played out right here in the near future, but for now let’s take a look at who came out and how they fared in the first class dedicated to this powertrain platform. We definitely hope to see this form of racing grow in the future, but we think you’ll be impressed by how these vehicles ran at the NMRA World Finals.
Clearly, Brad Gusler was the man to beat in Bowling Green. In testing he had run another low 11, but he qualified with an 11.50 at 116 mph, which still put his machine at the head of the class. After breezing through the first two rounds thanks to a bye and competitor issues, Brad clashed with number-two qualifier Jason Stumfy Justi. Brad ran quicker and Jason ran slower, which set up a clash between Brad and Bill Putnam and we know how that ended.
As the pilot of the only other 11-second Mustang in the class, Jason Stumfy Justi looked like he would have a legit shot at winning the class. Jason qualified with an 11.90 at 112. After taking out Dasan Holloway in the first round. He had bye to bolster himself for a clash with Brad Gusler’s record-setting machine. However, that’s where his battle ended. Brad’s 11.42 was more than enough to best Jason’s off-pace 12.16.
Running out of the Team Beefcake Racing stable, Brian Campbell of Loveland, Ohio, definitely staked his claim in Bowling Green. He qualified with a stout 12.39 at 111 mph to take the fourth qualified slot. That set him up to run our CEO in the first round. Brian raised his cred with a 12.14/112 pass, which was plenty to put our Comp Orange project out of competition. Brian had issues in the next round, however, giving Brad Gusler an easy path to the semis.
BJ McCarty of VMP Tuning ramped up his combo for The Battle, but the race would mark its maiden voyage down the track. He qualified in the middle of the pack with a 12.86 at 116 mph. His speed indicated there is more in his daily driver, but he coasted to a win over Charlie Callahan in Round One. However, he didn’t have enough for eventual winner Bill Putnam’s low-12-second machine in Round Two.
Not only was SVTPerformance.com the presenting sponsor of the Livernois Motorsports EcoBoost Battle, but CEO Travis Hill was there to represent in the class racing Project Samhain. After driving it from SVTP headquarters to Bowling Green, he qualified the Comp Orange Mustang in the eighth spot thanks to a 14.70 at 103 mph. However, that dialed him in for a clash with Brian Campbell’s 12-second machine, which let us get back to covering the event.
We have covered some of the build-up on Dasan Hollaway’s Revolution Automotive-prepped machine, and he qualified the car in the sixth spot thanks to a 13.23 at 96 mph. Unfortunately that meant he drew Justin Stumfy Justi’s 11-second machine in Round One, and that was that.
As the only Explorer in the class, Brandi Phoenix’s machine definitely took home quickest Explorer honors. She qualified in the seventh spot with an impressive 14.02 at 98 mph. Apparently not just EcoBoost Mustangs respond well to mods. As impressive as her SUV was, it didn’t have the steam to best eventual winner Bill Putnam in Round One.
Rounding out the class was another non-Mustang. Charlie Callahan’s machine was definitely at a weight disadvantage versus the Mustangs, but it was the quickest F-150. Charlie clocked a 15.83 at 93 mph to qualify in the ninth spot. He stepped it up in the first round with a 14.79 hit, but it wasn’t enough to top BJ McCarty’s Comp Orange ’Stang. EcoBoost Battle Gallery