Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
November 8, 2013


Coyote Stock

After running his version of a perfect pass at MIR with a 10.38, Shiftin' Shane Stymiest came back to the pack at Norwalk thanks to his 60-foot times being slightly off. However, if Shane was off, so was everyone else in Coyote Stock. Shane was still able to qualify at the top of the class with a 10.60 at 124 mph, followed closely by Joe Charles. Both Shane and Joe got a visit from the NMRA tech team to check transmission gear ratios, and both passed the check. After that, it was all up to Shane to do the shiftin'. Shane was able to get past Drew Lyons when the two actually had to race twice on Sunday due to a track timing error. Then he was able to shift his way past Joe Charles, and then Joe Marini in the final to notch another win.

After taking over driving duties of his ‘11 GT from Justin Burcham, Joe Marini is a force to be reckoned with at every race. Joe didn't figure to be much of a threat after qualifying with a 10.80, landing him in the fifth spot. However, known to have a good time every now and then, Joe got down to business on Sunday, getting past Frank Braneaccio's Fox GT in Round 1, Jacob Lamb in Round 2 thanks to a holeshot, and a bye into the final. It was all Shane Stymiest in that match-up, though, even though Joe was once again out first with a poor redlighting effort 0.414 reaction time. Shane was still able to come around him before the stripe.


Factory Stock

If there's any racer making it look easy, it's Factory Stock racer Matt Amrine. His pit is drama-free, and the only time Matt and crew chief Brandon Alsept look busy is when they're called to the lanes. Otherwise, it's make a pass, bring the car back to the pits, cool down the engine, and wait for the lane call. Matt topped Factory Stock with a 10.74 at 124 mph, a full 0.2 quicker than number 2 qualifier John Leslie Jr. Matt was the only consistent 10-second racer on Sunday, and as such, he took the event win.

If we know one thing about Matt Williams, it's that he's probably one of the more consistent Factory Stock racers. Because of the nature of Factory Stock, times can vary due to traction, or a lack thereof since the class mandates a drag radial and most racers utilize a manual transmission. When other racers were up and down at Norwalk Matt ran consistent 11.30s in eliminations, which was enough to carry him to the finals against Matt Amrine. Unfortunately for Matt Williams, Matt Amrine is also consistently in the 10s, which didn't bode well.


5.0-Liter Shootout

We had hoped more cars would show up for the Granatelli Motorsports 5.0-Liter Shootout Class. However, what cars did show up were strong. Plus, of the five cars, three were out of Evolution Performance. Evo's Nelson Whitlock piloted Justin Cyrnek's ‘13 GT to the top spot with an 8.49 at 163 mph. You should know a little bit about Justin's car, since it competed in the King of the Street and is prominently displayed on the cover of the May '13 issue. Though the car incurred tensioner problems at KOTS, it displayed no such issue at Norwalk. Justin can't say the same for his other car, which he raced, but ran into mechanical issues during qualifying. All was not lost for Evo and Justin, though, as Nelson proceeded to take out Terry Reeves in the semis, and then Chris Cruz in the final. The big news for us is that Justin's green car, Terry's car, and Chris' car are all KOTS veterans, with Chris Cruz winning the '11 King of the Street.


Modular Muscle

It's been a while since Reggie Burnette Jr. has won a race, but to be fair, he has a right to be a little off since the passing of his dad Reggie Burnette Sr. in 2012. If he's getting back in the groove, that doesn't bode well for his fellow Modular Muscle competitiors since he is a past champion of the class. At Norwalk, he flashed the past brilliance that earned him that championship as he won the event, even beating class stalwart Gary Parker in the final.


Open Comp

In the hotly contested Open Comp class, Jim Johnson Jr. and his black Fox GT was the last man standing on Sunday. Jim capitalized on others' mistakes but he also did work at the Tree when he needed it. While other racers were redlighting themselves on the trailer, Jim took advantage to get the win. In the final against the vintage Mustang of Woody Pack, Jim had a 0.523 reaction time, while Woody went red with a -0.003 light, handing the win to Jim—but he'll take it any day of the week.


Super 'Stang

Super ’Stang Running out of the Brenspeed camp, Larry Firestone’s ’08 GT has Brenspeed’s 520R Roush supercharger package and a pair of Kooks headers with that company’s 49-state Green Revolution catalytic converters, 3.73 gears, and a TCI Street Fighter 3,000-rpm stall converter inside the stock 5R55S transmission. In NMRA Super Stang competition, all that adds up to consistent 11.80s, but Larry’s talent added up to a victory at Norwalk. He had a little help along the way when semifinal-round opponent Marvin Knack redlit and final-round opponent Diallo Walcott broke a driveshaft on the launch. Brenspeed’s 520R Roush supercharger package includes a Roush TVS 2300 supercharger with a Brenspeed calibration and fuel pump upgrade. Brenspeed’s Brent White tells us the shop converted all its racecars over to Kooks 49-state Green Revolution catalytic converters to promote emissions-friendly racing.

Running out of the Brenspeed camp, Larry Firestone's 2008 GT has Brenspeed's 520R Roush supercharger package and a pair of Kooks headers with that company's 49-state Green Revolution catalytic converters, 3.73 gears, and a TCI Street Fighter 3,000-rpm stall converter inside the stock 5R55S transmission. In NMRA Super Stang competition, all that adds up to consistent 11.80s, but Larry's talent added up to a victory at Norwalk. He had a little help along the way when semifinal-round opponent Marvin Knack redlit and final-round opponent Diallo Walcott broke a driveshaft on the launch. Brenspeed's 520R Roush supercharger package includes a Roush TVS 2300 supercharger with a Brenspeed calibration and fuel pump upgrade. Brenspeed's Brent White tells us the shop converted all its racecars over to Kooks 49-state Green Revolution catalytic converters to promote emissions-friendly racing.


Truck and Lightning

Steve Martin makes the haul from Ontario, Canada, to do battle in Truck and Lightning; at Norwalk he made the trip worth it by winning the event. We would love to tell you he consistently cut down the Tree each round, but he was fairly inconsistent at the Tree in his mid 10-second Lightning, especially in the final against Robert Chuhran when he was out of the gate with a 0.708 light. Sure, a Lightning's reaction time isn't going to be the greatest—it's probably pretty difficult to consistently cut a good light in a truck—but when he lacked in a reaction time he made up for by running his 10.50 index with a 10.57 in the final to get the win.