Frank Varela made the most of a long haul from New Mexico to nail down a win over 27 other 30-mile-cruiseable Fords in Wild Street. He showed us a 9.03 at 150 mph in his final-round victory over Damon Dais, but we understand the bad '91 GT is motivated by an intercooled turbo system from HP Performance. It's eight-second capable when it needs to be.
Brian Keiser credits a move to UPR's front and rear suspension and a short shifter handle as the keys to his success in WFC's Cobra Challenge. Brian's '03 Snake is otherwise stock, except for a ported Eaton supercharger atop the Four-Valve 4.6. It carried him to an on-the-brakes 11.64/107 in his win over Mike Furth.
Dave Helser's cool '88 LX coupe runs nines with a ProMotion pro-shifted TKO 500. It boogied to the Promised Land at WFC without any nitrous, turbos, or superchargers and without having a bye round throughout eliminations. "I run it all on the motor," says Dave of the 385-inch Windsor sitting underhood. "My dad and my friend, Dave Senderhauf, kept the car running great, so all I had to do was stay focused and cut good lights (0.009 in the semis) each round."
Janel Hartjes scored one for the ladies at WFC. By taking advantage of a few good breaks in the early rounds and guiding her 12-second '98 GT to a Modular Street win in the final over Brandon Peterson, Janel became the first female winner in any WFC category.
Ray Johnson exorcised the ghost of WFC6 by taking out Johnny Lightning Wiker in this year's Pro Lightning final. The two squared off for all the marbles in 2004 at Gateway, with Johnny prevailing. "I owed him this one," Ray says.
Speedin' Bob Peden recorded another WFC first with his Street Lightning win over John Lipps. Think about it: When has a Harley Davidson Edition F-150 won in this category before? Speedin' Bob cites a unique tire mix as one of his performance advantages. The Harley truck wore its stock street tires in the first three rounds, which were swapped out for Mickey Thompson ET Streets in the semis and final. Why? They're not called "speed secrets" for nothing.
Johnny Lightning narrowly missed out on a chance to double-up as champion in two classes-Ford Diesel Challenge and Pro Lightning-a feat he accomplished in 2004 and 2005. Immediately after finishing Second in the Lightning final, Johnny hopped out of his turbocharged race truck and into his E-350 tow rig, and he sawed the Tree down on Ron Simko (0.061 to 0.255), en route to his third victory in the wildly popular black-smoke extravaganza. "Any time you get to the finals is great," Johnny says. Having been there as many times as he has at WFC, it's safe to say he speaks from experience.