Horse Sense: Marty Chance confessed that he made the trip to KCIR and entered Super Street Outlaw more for the opportunity to dial-in his '87 coupe for Extreme Street competition at upcoming NMCA events than to actually make a run at beating the NMRA's big dogs. On Sunday, the popular torque converter guru surprised everyone (including himself) and totally dispelled the old "knife at a gunfight" adage when his heavily outmatched (the ProCharger F-1R he uses is common on NMRA EFI Renegade or Drag Radial Mustangs, not SSO rides) LX scored round wins over SSO veterans Mike Trimandilis and Don Burton before losing to John Urist in the semifinals.
As a scientific term, "heat" is defined in the dictionary as, "a form of energy associated with the motion of atoms or molecules that is capable of being transmitted through empty space by radiation." However, looking at the definition in simpler terms, it's "the condition of being hot" that was an understatement at the second annual Aeromotive NMRA Ford Nationals; the midway event of the nine-race, NMRA season.
Temperatures that averaged in the mid 90s, humidity that hovered in the 40 percent range, and altitude well beyond 4,000 feet above sea level all contributed to an event that had slower performances and a lot more attrition than usual. Several teams experienced major engine damage between Friday and Sunday, with most of the carnage occurring during the second round of qualifying/heat of the day on Saturday. Folks clamored for a chance to head over to nearby Longview Lake with ProCharger's Dan Jones, in an effort to cool down and catch a thrill on the company's 70-mph, blown personal watercraft. "Heat" will always be an applicable term when talking about all-Ford drag racing during the dog days of summer because the action and atmosphere are bound to be hot at every show.
Representin' Noo Yawwk to 'da fullest! Jay Mingolelli's JBA-sponsored ragtop '03 was leaving with the wheels up like this all weekend, with 60-footers in the high 1.20s. Despite a second-round exit, Jay and Crew Chief Damen Dinolfo had reason to celebrate, as their number-four qualifying spot (the team's highest ever in Renegade), first-round win all season (versus Greg Price in round one) and finally cracking the 8-second barrier (their ProCharger-blown Cobra motor carried the GT to an 8.98/149 in the second round of qualifying and marked the first, 8-second pass by a Four-Valve modular in EFI Renegade history) were among the highlights and was redemption for the early exits and engine problems the team struggled with in the first half of the season. "We've been dedicated to running mod-motors for a long time," said Damen. "And with the way the car is working now, we're finally seeing a return on that commitment."
SAM students got a crash course in "low-tech," front-end alignment Sunday morning following an overnight thrash to repair their Hot Street Cobra. The car suffered minor bruises when a broken A-arm sent Pat Topolinski into the wall in the second round of qualifying. Jason Smith at PA Racing, FedEx "same day" service, a local racer who stepped up with a set of Goodyear front runners, and the roll of twine and tape measure that you see in this photo helped get the car race ready, but it wasn't quite up to handling Mike Abdalla's 9.28/147 in round one. Patrick lifted when the car got out of shape and finished with a way-off-the-pace 13.07 at 66.23 mph.
Healthy burnouts were about the only thing Wild Bill Devine could muster in Kansas City. Bill and his wife, Cheryl, battled through a broken datalogger, severe tire shake, and a series of other gremlins brought about by several wholesale changes made to the car prior to the race. In the first round, the wild one clocked what had to be the slowest-ever round win in Pro 5.0 history; he crawled to a 27.58 at 36 mph (thankfully) on a single, when he basketballed the rear tires and knocked his transmission out of gear. Bill's competitor, Michael Hauf, was unable to make the call Sunday morning after a broken rod knocked his '04 GT out of action in qualifying.
We didn't try to fry an egg in the staging lanes, but the readout on this temperature gun gives you a good idea of just how hot it was out there. At its highest point during the proverbial "heat of the day," track-surface temperature reached a scorching 145 degrees. Couple that heat with a steamy humidity index and 4,500-foot elevation, and it's a miracle that cars even moved from the line, let alone got down the track.
After an all-night thrash on Saturday to replace pistons, rods, and a transmission, Don, Burton, SSO's lone nitrous competitor at KCIR, was certainly hoping his luck would turn around. Unfortunately, the bad luck turned horrible on Sunday. After blowing head gaskets in the first round, Don brought his wounded 'Stang into round two with hopes of somehow getting by Marty Chance. In a scene taken from the NMRA season opener at Bradenton, both drivers took what seemed like more than a full minute to stage. And, while the apparent staging duel wasn't quite as long as the Don versus Jarrett Halfacre classic (which Don lost), it was long enough for the water in his injured 'Stang to finally reach the boiling point and let loose on the starting line. Don's car was pushed off the line after the party foul, and all he could do was watch as Marty motored away and into the semis.
Editor Turner was psyched to hear about fresh blood in the the Real Street ranks in Kansas City. Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you Michael Bell of Dayton, Ohio, and his '92 LX. Michael was off the pace, qualifying with a 10.92 at 129.44 mph, but we we'll see this new racer again, as well as many other Real Street newcomers in the future.