Photos by Race Pages and Courtesy of Alton Clements
Two-time NMRA Edelbrock Renegade champion, Alton Clements, will be stepping up his game and moving into the fiercely-competitive world of VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw for the 2018 season.
After spending the better part of a decade running Edelbrock Renegade, Clements and his father, Alton, Senior, have acquired a new-to-them Fox body Mustang platform and are hard at work developing the new car. “We bought it from Dennis MacPherson at DMC Racing. The previous owner had bought the car and wanted to make a Renegade/Street Outlaw-style car that he could also drive on the street,” noted Clements, who knew that the 25.3-spec car he purchased would need a lot of going through. “We’re basically finishing someone else’s project.”
The Fox body was a hatchback in its original form, but DMC cut off the body and converted it into a coupe instead. “A coupe is the only way I roll,” Clements laughed, adding that several Dzus tabs have been installed to help take the hood and quarter panels on and off in a flash. “This new one will be blue like my current car, too.”
Clements took a good look at the NMRA rule book and decided to take advantage of some scenario which state: “Small block boosted entries using 15 and 20 degree Windsor based inline valve heads may deduct 100 lbs from their original base weight” and “365 CID and smaller pushrod engines may deduct 200 lbs from their original base weight.”
Running a 365 ci engine built by his father topped with AFR 225cc inline valve heads and a Neal Racing Transmissions turbo 400 as his Renegade-style combination, Clements can enjoy a significant weight break and can also run with a larger Vortech supercharger with a Supercharger store gear drive.
“I would love to have the new car done for [the 2018 NMRA season opener in] Bradenton, but the probability of that happening is low,” shared Clements, who has a Plan B in his back pocket.
Originally, he and his father intended to purchase Manny Buginga’s ProCharged, DiSomma Racing Engines small block Ford-powered ’93 Mustang Street Outlaw entry, but those plans are currently up in the air as driver Rich Bruder had unfortunate contact with the retaining wall at the top end of the track while racing at the World Cup Finals: Imports vs Domestics race at Maryland International Raceway in November, 2017. “We talked to Manny and we’re still in for buying the car if he can get it fixed in a timely period,” Clements calmly noted.
Ironically, Clements took home the big win in the Street Fighter category after defeating fellow NMCA racer, George Farkouh, in the finals at that very same race. “It was unexpected, but we’ll take it! We started off by burning up a set of cylinder heads on Friday, but we qualified number four with a 7.48 at 182 mph pass with the smaller Vortech blower and the car was a bad ass all weekend,” he said of “Old Blue,” his ’89 Mustang’s performance. For his efforts, Clements took home the big WCF trophy and an even bigger check for $5,000.
In the meantime, work will continue on his new Fox body. If Clements winds up with Buginga’s ride in time for the start of the 2018 season, he’ll focus on campaigning that in Street Outlaw for the year while he works out the bugs in his new blue combination. “When you step up to a new class, sometimes you find certain things you want to change,” he explained of his plans to play things by ear and take his time.
However, if things don’t pan out with Buginga’s Mustang, Clements will continue as planned with his build and debut it whenever it’s ready. He’s committed to running the NMRA calendar, and will add some NMCA races, if possible, depending on scheduling and the need to put additional laps on his new coupe.