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Oct 18, 2011
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The Gathering
Mod Motor Mustangs presents a drag race dedicated to modular machines
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Mod Motor Mustangs

It’s hard to believe that there was a time when Ford’s modular engines didn’t get a lot of respect. When the Two-Valve 4.6-liter engine took over in the Mustang GT in 1996, enthusiasts weren’t thrilled and most gravitated toward the Four-Valve 4.6-liter in the SVT Cobra. Jump to the present day and the modular family of engines blossomed with many potent performers, including the modern Coyote.

One of the early proponents of the modular powerplant is Justin Young, founder of the Mod Motor Mustangs Facebook page and its many related entities on social media. And this year Justin is ready to make the jump from the virtual world in to the real world of event promotion to take his modular passion to the next level with the 2016 ModNationals.

“I sort of love underdogs and when I bought my Mustang back in the early 2000s, it was very much an underdog compared to the LS1,” Justin explained. “But fast forward 16 years, the overhead-cammed modular engine isn't the underdog anymore. In most aspects, it has proven to be equal or superior over LS based engines.”

Today the modular engine is anything but an underdog with cars like the of in the M2K Motorsports Ford GT holding the standing mile record at 280.1 mph and Accufab Racing clicking off a staggering 5.88 at 250 mph in the quarter mile with its 3,000-horsepower machine, which will be attending the first-annual ModNationals held September 2-4 at Memphis International Raceway.

“My goal with Mod Motor Mustangs was to create a community of modular enthusiasts on social media to have a one-stop brand that they could go to if they wanted to find out information about anything on social media. There was too much division and separation. People working against one another and not with one another,” he said. “Mod Motor Mustangs has over eight Facebook groups with over 60k people total, an Instagram page with over 55,000 people and the main Facebook fan page of 414,000 followers. That’s more fans than most all of the LS pages combined which was validation enough that we succeeded in what the main purpose of creating MMM. Now the question was, what’s next?” he said. “The next logical step was to host an event. There is an LS Fest, why not a Modular Fest? So I formulated a plan, talked to some potential sponsors, talked with my friends and family and made the call to create ModNationals.”

That event is set to bring in some of the quickest, most powerful modular-powered machines around and payout over $26,000 to racers. You can see Accufab’s John Mihovetz in action at the event, but here’s what his machine looks like running fives…

[video=youtube;PSb1nRKIJTA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= PSb1nRKIJTA[/video]

“John has been a long time supporter of myself and Mod Motor Mustangs. His reputation is well respected and the fact that he believes in what I am trying to do with the community, is truly awesome,” Justin said. “I approached John about ModNationals and he didn’t hesitate to get involved. When you have a guy of that caliber in your corner, you feel that everything else will fall into place. I’m truly humbled to have his support.”

Of course, this event is designed to showcase more than just the most extreme cars. It is built to offer something for every modular-powered combo with the following classes:

Battle of the Underdogs: Power-adder equipped Two- and Three-Valve machines square off.

Boosted Coyote: As you would guess, this one is where the power-adder 5.0 cars battle for bragging rights.

Coyote Stock: Much like the familiar NMRA class, this class pits vehicles running the Ford Performance sealed Coyote crate engine against one another.

Driver Mod: This one is puts the drivers to the test in bracket combat. Only manual-transmission cars are allowed. May the best driver win.

King of the 4V: Vehicles powered by dual-overhead-cam 4.6-, 5.4- and 5.8-liter engines will settle the score for which platform rules the Four-Valve world.

LS vs. Mod Motor Shootout: Eight of the quickest Brand X-powered racers will face eight of the quickest Mod Motor machines in the ultimate battle from brand bragging rights.

Modular Outlaw: Extremely modified modular-powered machines battle for supremacy.

Modular True Street: Street-legal, modular-powered machines will make three back to back passes and the cars with the quickest average runs in the 8.00-, 9.00-, 10.00-, 11.00-, 12.00-, 13.00-, 14.00- and 15.00-second categories will score trophies.

Open Comp: If you’d rather worry about reaction times and consistency than rules, this class allows for all makes and models and you can run a tenth quicker than your dial-in.

Modular Truck: All the fun isn’t for the modular-powered cars. There is even a class for mod trucks to do battle.

If those classes aren’t enough, there will be open grudge racing and test and tune running each night from 6-9 p.m. so racers can settle those scores or dial in their combinations. One highly anticipated grudge race will be a friendly competition between two of the most powerful street S550s around driven by Hellion Power Systems’ Melissa Urist and Straight Performance Racing’s Sheldon Lewis, who also runs a Hellion twin-turbo system.

Aside from all the racing action, there will be plenty of modular fun away from the drag strip as well. On Wednesday prior to the event, the crew at Dynospeed Racing is hosting a cruise-in highlighted by food trucks, a DJ and lots of cool modular-powered rides.

Speaking of modular-powered rides, those that want to attend and show off their pride and joy can enter the three-day car show. The show is open to all vehicles, but limited to 300 per day. What makes this show special, however, are its awards. Trophies will be presented to winners on all three days of the show.

“We couldn’t grow Mod Motor Mustangs without the support of fellow racers, family, and businesses and we definitely don’t expect to grow ModNationals without them either. This year will be a huge learning curve but I fully expect it to be a successful race and we’ll continue to expand it each year,” Justin said. “There is definitely going to be a second year regardless of how this year goes. We have so many companies and racers that are dedicated to the race and what this event could turn into. It would be a disservice to our racers and sponsors to only do one year,” Justin added. “I fully expect this to stay around for a very long time and hopefully grow to the level of LS Fest for the GM crowd.”

For fans of Ford performance it’s difficult not to get excited about an event like this. Since that’s our game, your friends at SVTPerformance are pretty pumped to be an official media source for the event, providing post-event coverage of all the action.

“If it’s a Mustang event and SVTP isn’t covering it at some level, it hasn't arrived yet,” Justin said. “SVTP has been covering huge Mustang events for many years and I’m just as humbled to have you guys involved with this race. I hope with your help and coverage, this race can happen for many, many years.”

With that in mind, you’ll definitely want to be at the inaugural event, so mark your calendars for September 2-4 and make your travel plans for Memphis. The ModNationals looks to be a must-attend event for modular fanatics.


Looking to see the baddest modular-engine Fords clash against each other (and some Brand X LS-powered machines)? The first-annual ModNationals is the place to be on September 2-4, 2016.


To ensure the Memphis International Raceway is hooking for all the competitors, the ModNationals enlisted note track-prep guru, Tyler Crossnoe, to perfect the racing surface.


You’ll see every modular variant—Two-, Three- and Four-Valve—competing in the inaugural ModNationals. There are bracket, heads-up and open-comp classes so any combo can find a place to run.


In addition to the racing action, the ModNationals will host a three-day car show that will award trophies to winner each day. The show is open to any vehicles, but modular-powered entries get first dibs and the show is capped at 300 vehicles.

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