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9-Second Over Norwalk—Shelby GT500 Mustangs Tackle The Track In NMRA Competition

Posted By: Evan J. Smith
9-Second Over Norwalk—Shelby GT500 Mustangs Tackle The Track In NMRA Competition
The NMRA 25th Anniversary Ford Homecoming was quite the show, with Blue Oval power on display including the incredible performance from the slew of 2020-present Shelby GT500 Mustangs that ate up the Norwalk quarter-mile quicker than we ate the $3-per pint ice cream.
After the weekend concluded, Jamey Holcombe and Dylan Royer emerged as the champions in the Shelby GT500 Shootout held during the Mickey Thompson NMRA Ford Homecoming at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk.
Holcombe earned the victory in the GT500 Unlimited class, while Royer prevailed in GT500 Street category. Both racers earned a generous payout of $2,750 provided through a number of event sponsors. 
Ford released its most prolific specialty Mustang with the 2020 Shelby GT500 and it immediately captivated the community with 10-second times off the showroom floor. Better yet, it’s response to bolt-on modifications is astounding, as they can run deep in the 9s with just a few aftermarket parts and tuning by specialists like Coastal Chassis Dyno in Tampa.
The category is open to any VIN-verified 2020 through 2023 Shelby GT500. The NHRA safety rules are in effect and allow vehicles with fully functioning factory safety equipment and proper driver equipment to run as quick as 9.00 or 150 mph. 
In Norwalk, the Mustangs were separated into two classes, GT500 Unlimited, and GT500 Street, depending on the number of modifications. The Unlimited class featured a fixed 9.00 index, while the Street class runs off a 10.00 index.
Holcombe, of Ft. Inn, S.C., was the top qualifier in GT500 Unlimited with a 9.270 in his ’21 model year Shelby. Holcombe went to the final by beating Jeff Taylor and then he earned the trophy with a 9.45 at 155.29 mph after opponent Billy Franklin, of Monroe, Ga., fouled. 
In GT500 Street, Tampa’s Geoffe Maze led the pack with a 10.033 run, and reached the semifinals where he lost to Royer on a holeshot, 10.23 to a 9.95. Mize previously won the GT500 Street title at the NMRA season opener in Orlando.
Royer, of Waynesboro, Pa., then won the final round with a 10.250 after his opponent, George Tisdale of Palm City, Fla., red-lighted by just nine-thousandths of a second. Royer kicked off the season by reaching the semifinals at the Orlando event.
The Shelby GT 500 Shootouts have been successful largely due to the efforts of Sam Lippencott, owner of Coastal Dyno in Tampa, Fla. The twice-a-year event might also feature one of the largest gatherings of Shelby GT500 Mustangs anywhere in the country, but unlike most car shows, these Shelby owners aren’t the least bit hesitant to unleash the potential of their factory muscle cars.
“We build and modify a lot of Shelbys in our shop and the beauty is that the owners aren’t afraid to take them out and race them,” said Lippencott. “We had the first [GT500 Shootout] in Orlando and it did well, but we’ve got a decent field of cars for this race, so the program is definitely growing and that’s great to see. We also offer a pretty good payout, thanks to a number of sponsors, so that also helps.”

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