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Bench Racer With Steve Turner—Time Flies

Posted By: Evan J. Smith
Bench Racer With Steve Turner—Time Flies
Written by Steve Turner
Photography by 
As we get older it seems like time moves at a quicker pace. Whether it is because we already have a lot of years in the rear-view mirror or the distractions are more numerous as we age, there is no doubt that the years pass by like a race car hitting the third kit past mid-track.
Today is deadline day for FSC magazine, so I am hammering away on the keyboard to button up this column before I head out to Bowling Green for the NMRA Finals. It is stunning that this season is reaching its zenith already. It seems like the whole team met just moments ago to strategize the celebration of NMRA’s silver anniversary. Twenty-five years is a milestone worthy of celebrating, but in a blink, we are about to start thinking about the 26th season. 
Earlier this week NMCA wrapped up another great season, and in a matter of days, NMRA will do the same. Once we shift gears into the trade show season and holidays, the time will zip by again and we’ll be celebrating both series at the annual awards ceremonies. 
By no means do I want to rush past those moments, as the final race of the season is something I always look forward to—and the ceremonies make for a really special night. That said, I know it will be next season in a blink of an eye. I can’t help but peek ahead to the start of next season.
The first race of 2024 belongs to NMRA, which will begin its campaign at a major track—Gainesville Raceway—where a host of special features will help celebrate the Mustang’s 60th Anniversary year. That will be a component of the entire NMRA season, particularly at the three standalone NMRA events.
I am hoping that by then the clever folks in the aftermarket find a way to tune the latest Mustangs. As of late, the 2024 Mustangs have arrived in the driveways of enthusiasts and several shops were off to the races on a mission to stake a claim with the various first-time mile stones highlighted by those “unofficial” quarter-mile micro records.
When the S550 debuted, Ford Performance charged out of the gate with videos documenting the modified car running impressive elapsed times, but with the advent of the S650, the ball is back in the court of the aftermarket. This time, however, Ford’s security protocols have bogged down the ability to recalibrate the factory powertrain control module. That hasn’t stopped many from trying to push the envelope. Among them, Steeda put its Silver Bullet 2.0 into the low 11s naturally aspirated, and the JPC Racing crew continued their tradition of major milestones by running the first 10-second run in a 2024 Mustang GT by dropping weight, burning high-octane fuel, and other mods, then topping it off with a 50-horse shot of nitrous.
Considering that tuning wasn’t possible, these runs are already impressive, but imagine how far the Gen 4 Coyote can go when it is fully unleased with either aftermarket tuning or an aftermarket fuel-injection system. I am hoping that by the time the 2024 season begins, these cars are reaching their full potential and I can see it in action on the historic Gainesville 1,320.
It will be fun to see what these cars accomplish between now and then, and I certainly hope there are new models from other manufacturers that will garner a high level of interest in their performance milestones. As we head into the Mustang’s big year, it will have the spotlight and I am here for it.  

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