7th Annual Aeromotive NMRA Ford Nationals - Multiply By Milan
Winning Streaks Continue At The 7th Annual Aeromotive NMRA Ford Nationals
From the November, 2010 issue of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
By K.J. Jones
Photography by K.J. Jones, Paul Rosner
There's really something special about being in the Detroit Metro Area each spring for the Aeromotive NMRA Ford Nationals at Milan Dragway. As true Ford loyalists know, Detroit-fondly referred to as "The D" by those with a penchant for slang-is the home of our beloved Mustangs (Ponies are assembled in Flat Rock, actually). As such, the Motor City certainly is a more-than-appropriate place for NMRA racers, show participants, and hard-core fans like us to converge and take in the high-flying show.
With the exception of venue and a revamped schedule (qualifying and eliminations were crammed into a Friday/Saturday timeframe), the event was eerily similar to the NMRA's Atco (New Jersey) race held just three weeks earlier, as several finalists from that race once again found themselves in the ultimate show-and-prove situation-this time, on the starting line at Milan Dragway.
As the NMRA series moves on to Joliet, Illinois, and its annual meeting with the NMCA's supporters of Brand-X and other non-Ford makes, continue on through the following photos for our look back at the Blue Oval showdown in Motown.
Talk about having racing in...
Talk about having racing in your blood! At only 9 weeks old, Little Mike Murillo has a few thousand miles of traveling to NMRA events under his tiny belt. We're confident this guy will follow in his dad's footsteps, and we have no doubt that a super-trick, junior dragster for Team Murillo's next racing superstar may already be in the works back in San Antonio.
We knew we would find at least...
We knew we would find at least one '11 Mustang GT in the staging lanes at the 7th Annual Aeromotive NMRA Ford Nationals. Actually, there were a few new 5.0s at Milan. This one belongs to Ryan Shaller, who jockeyed the 100-percent bone-stock 'Stang to 13.34/107 e.t.'s and speed in a first-round losing effort in Super 'Stang.
Talk about your time warp....
Talk about your time warp. Our good friend Uncle Robin Lawrence brought Dr. Jamie Meyer's '88 LX out out of its long hibernation and delivered it to Milan Dragway, with hopes there would be an enthusiast interested in owning a special piece of late-model Mustang history. The supercharged coupe (loaded with what were state-of-the-art components during the late '90s) was built to emulate 'Stangs that competed in NMRA's Super Street Outlaw class during the 2000 NMRA season. Despite its unfortunate early retirement it's still revered as our magazine's quickest/fastest project car ever, having run in the 8s at over 157 mph. Doc (and Uncle Robin, for that matter) flies the Brand-X flag these days, so we hope some hard-core 'Stangbanger buys this ride and gets it back on the dragstrip soon.
Carlos Sobrino's familiar...
Carlos Sobrino's familiar '86 coupe isn't so familiar anymore. The Factory Stock veteran treated his former cop car to a makeover, highlighted by a change to an aero fascia, cowl hood, and sheetmetal wing out back. "I was going for the Tommy Godfrey look," says Carlos.
It's all about the old school...
It's all about the old school in the Roush-sponsored pit compound of Don Bowles. While Don and his '70 Maverick is the reigning points champ in Hot Street, another Don has joined the Roush ranks as a driver-and we don't mean Donnie. The third Don's last name is Carver, and he pilots this 351 Cleveland-powered '76 Mustang II in Open Comp.
In a moving tribute to fallen...
In a moving tribute to fallen NMRA racer and friend Michael Tymensky, racers, fans, and Mike's dad, John (center), observed a moment of silence at the close of pre-race ceremonies.
We did a double-take when...
We did a double-take when NMRA's event announcer said that '09 Pure Street champ Ryan Hecox was behind the wheel of this clean, black Fox 'Stang, and not his familiar silver steed. Initially built soley for the purpose of testing various engine/clutch/transmission combinations, Ryan has decided to run the sano '90 LX for the remainder of the season. Ryan's 10.43 placed him 7th on the ladder in Pure Street, but his new car's debut ended early on race day, as a battery problem shut the Pony down in its first-round matchup with Steve Gifford.
Pro Outlaw 10.5
Pro Outlaw 10.5
Conrad Scarry locked down his third straight win of the season in Pro Outlaw 10.5, one-year-to-the-day after his debuting his '09-championship-winning Mustang at Milan Dragway (the team was forced to build a new car after an accident at the '09 season opener in Bradenton). In addition to the win, Conrad's turbocharged New Edge beast whistled to a record-crushing 6.69/204.14 e.t. during qualfying. "It's a fight now," says Conrad about his points lead and the remaining races. "To stay on top, we've got to keep fighting."
For the second race in a row,...
For the second race in a row, we saw two Mustang racers with NMRA and Fun Ford Weekend championships on their résumés meet in an NMRA Pro-category final round. And, once again, Mike "Buster" Murillo wound up in the bridesmaid spot, taking another loss to Conrad Scarry after his 'Stang got out of shape early in the final at Milan and rolled through the top end at 11.82/71.42.
Super Street Outlaw
Super Street Outlaw
Chris Tuten can finally add Super Street Outlaw to the list of NMRA classes in which he has won at least one event. "Finally!" was among the few words the usually long-winded Chris was able to say, when we caught up with him at the winner's circle. "I had the wrong converter in the car, and it really gave me a hard way to go with trying to get the turbo to spool (quickly). It really hurt us in qualifying, but I guess the man upstairs took care of us."
Despite overcoming a last-minute...
Despite overcoming a last-minute thrash just to make it to the Milan race (we were told John Urist and his crew were still assembling their Pony's engine at Livernois Motorsports just one day prior to the event), the reigning SSO champ experienced an uncharacteristic red-light loss (that was compounded by spinning tires) in his final-round clash with Chris Tuten.
Jason Lee's high-flying, four-eye has been a fixture in Drag Radial final rounds for the last two seasons. Once again, Jason led all qualifiers at Milan with a 7.94, and recorded his third win of 2010 with an 8.03/174.43 over class newcomer Steven Biggs.
"Who is Steven Biggs?" was...
"Who is Steven Biggs?" was the buzz question at the 7th Annual Aeromotive NMRA Ford Nationals shortly after the Drag Radial rookie put his turbocharged, 5.4-motivated New Edge in the second spot on the ladder. Steven actually is the son of Sonny Biggs, who piloted the 'Stang last season, but he's definitely made a name for himself after posting consistent near-7-second e.t.'s and making it to the final in his first NMRA event.
Chris Van Gilder...
Chris Van Gilder followed up his strong Atco finish (runner-up to Dan Rawls) by scoring his first-ever NMRA event win at the 7th Annual Aeromotive NMRA Ford Nationals. Chris was unopposed in the Milan final, as Joel Howard was unable to get his Pony to the line.
We were happy to see Joel...
We were happy to see Joel Howard's super-clean, juice-fed '86 GT return to NMRA action and treat us to what should be patented, wheels-up launches. Joel made the most of his cameo appearance by getting to the Renegade final, but a broken engine unfortunately prevented him from challenging Chris Van Gilder's 7-Up LX.
Don Bowles erased...
Don Bowles erased all doubts about the condition of the racing surface at Milan Dragway. In the Hot Street final, the front of Don's '70 Maverick instantly shot skyward in an e.t.-killing wheelstand, giving Charlie Booze an easy cruise to victory.
"We ran good all weekend,"...
"We ran good all weekend," says Hot Street winner Charlie Booze Jr., who until now had never advanced beyond the semifinals at Milan. "This place really had my number for a long time, with red lights in the semifinals ... I'm just glad that I finally got the Milan monkey off my back." Charlie's big red '92 GT never ran slower than 8.64 throughout eliminations.
Bruce Hemminger seems to have a knack for joining his Real Street bretheren at mid-season and picking up right where he left off the year before. Once again, Bruce, the 2009 Milan-event winner, qualified in the top spot and worked the class en route to another Aeromotive NMRA Ford Nationals win.
Dan Baumann may not get to...
Dan Baumann may not get to every event, but the Real Street rookie definitely makes the most of the races he does attend. (He finished second at the season opener in Bradenton). After missing the Georgia and New Jersey NMRA races, Dan returned to the final round at Milan, where he came up a few tenths short against Bruce Hemminger in a classic nitrous-versus-supercharger clash of coupes.