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Saturday Coverage | 2022 NMRA Spring Break Shootout

Posted By: Event Coverage Team
For many, Saturday is a day to take it easy, but for NMRA racers, the stakes get higher. Today qualifying wraps up in all the categories, and several classes move into the first round of eliminations. 
Meanwhile, the massive field of TorqStorm Superchargers True Street machines completes its cruise and three back-to-back quarter-mile runs to crown champions in a wide range of elapsed-time categories. An elite group of these racers will move on to tomorrow’s TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout and BBK Performance Spring Break Shootout categories.
Plus, the car show brings in a bevy of beautiful Blue Oval machines that are all vying to stand out from the crowd and drive away with some hardware. 
Stay tuned to this page and our social channels for updates on all the action.



Here’s how all the action unfolds today at the 28th Annual Spring Break Shootout at Bradenton Motorsports Park. 

It’s always a good weekend when you’re at the track, but add the Florida sunshine and your favorite doggo and it goes from good to great in a snap.

Detroit Locker Truck & Lightning regular Johnny "Lightning" Wiker went on a parts run and made it back just in time for a qualifying run, but when he pushed the start button, his Kenne Bell-boosted Modular engine did not roar to life as it should. Turns out the starter failed, and he had to swap in a spare to get his truck race-ready for the next round. It worked out, as he topped the qualifying sheet on Friday.
Looking striking riding on gold wheels, Shawn Paite’s 2016 Mustang California Special, which was resurrected as a salvage title, runs out of the DPM Racing stable. The shop sorted out his ProCharger D-1SC-supercharged combo with a custom HP Tuners calibration. It cranks out just shy of 900 horsepower from its stock Coyote engine. He also still runs the stock manual transmission and rearend in TorqStorm Superchargers True Street.
Though his 1967 Mustang was still running strong, Ronnie Haislip noticed the temperature gauge was reading much higher than it should. After some troubleshooting, he determined the electric water pump needed a fresh motor. The Nashville, Tennesse, resident was trying to pry it free when we stopped by and he hoped to replace it in time to keep racing in ARP Open Comp.
Since last season, Dennis Hilliard added a few tweaks to his 2019 Mustang GT, including carbon fiber bits from Anderson Composites, a 5,000-stall torque converter, and a Cobra Jet intake manifold that he ported. Hilliard said he really found some power with the porting, but he is still dialing in the launch with the current setup. He believes leaving on the transbrake could get the car into the 10.40-second range in Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle this weekend.
Mike Roup is the defending Detroit Locker Truck & Lightning champion, but his usual Drag Rat Ranchero doesn’t look quite as familiar. His pal Bryan Parker convinced him that the victory earned his pickup a well-deserved makeover. After spending seven weeks working over the body and welding up rust, he had it painted in Sonic Blue, a factory Ford hue familiar to fans of the Terminator. He also spruced up the interior with fresh carpet, a new dash pad, and a new headliner. Underneath it is still running the same 427-cube Windsor and still running just as strong as ever. After a couple of redlight starts early in the weekend, Roup said he will have to put on sunglasses to ensure he doesn’t jump the tree too early again.

Stacey Roby’s ProCharger supercharged Mustang is identifying as a nitrous entry in JDM Engineering Limited Street for 2022. Roby and Chad Neuenschwander were perusing the swap meet and came across a hood scoop, so they decided to have some fun and taped it on to Roby’s 2014 Mustang before rolling up to the staging lanes where they certainly got a lot of confused looks and plenty of laughs. On Friday, Roby ran 8.308 at 165.82 mph in qualifying with his RGR Engines-powered and Holley EFI equipped machine and is sitting second with two more sessions left to run today.

The UPR Products car show is in full swing and packed to the max with stunning Fords of all model years. From classic cruisers to modern muscle and everything in between, big crowds of Ford fans are perusing the rows of blue oval beauties as they enjoy the mild to wild builds beneath the beautiful Florida sunshine.

G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock racer Jacob Lamb has gone as quick as 9.76 here at Bradenton, but spun in round 1 of qualifying. Jacob added more gear on Friday, and says the smallest change with a Coyote Stock car can pay huge dividends, but those same changes can also have a large negative impact, as well. Overall, he's happy with the performance of his car, and looks to go rounds in eliminations. 

VP Racing Madditives racer Walter Drakeford had trouble getting ahold of the starting line, so he made a few adjustments, and then the car stood up on the next pass. Running a Haltech EFI system for tuning, and a ProCharger F-1A supercharger for motivation, Walter was happier with that result, knowing just a couple small changes would hopefully help the car arrive at the appropriate level of starting line traction. Walter is a couple tenths off the number 1 qualifier, so he's hoping to close that gap with a few changes.

New Jersey native Mike Jovanis’s wicked street legal Fox body is on display this weekend in the Baer Brakes booth on the vendor midway and the driver is tearing it up in TorqStorm Superchargers True Street. He recently switched to a new combination consisting of a Garrett turbocharged DiSomma Racing Engines-built 423ci engine with a Hughes Performance transmission and converter is a bit of a step up from his former 349 ci powerplant that produced a 7.55-second personal best, but between that and the addition of a GearVendors overdrive, the Mustang is 150-pounds heavier than before. The car’s roll cage is only certified to 7.50 elapsed times, so Jovanis has been working his way closer to the number. In testing yesterday with the density altitude at 1500’, he improved from a 7.75-second run to a 7.60-second blast. Jovanis is tuning via a Haltech EFI system and plans to put more power to it today so he can run even quicker.

G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock racer Frank Paultanis, a design engineer with Ford Motor Company, worked with Ford Performance engineers to help develop a two-step using the company's ProCal. Not only that, but engineers also found the torque value issue plaguing many Coyote Stock racers. Engineers found the issue while dyno testing Frank's ride, and were able to put it to bed. Frank also changed up his car's suspension, adding a Team Z 9-inch with Strange axles and a new PST aluminum driveshaft. After two rounds of qualifying, all of Frank's hard work is paying off with him leading the pack with a 9.73. 

Another Coyote Stock racer helping with the tune issues is Clair Stewart. He worked with Livernois Motorsports and Ford Performance to solve the tune issues Coyote Stock racers have faced. Clair also has a new G-Force Racing Transmissions unit in the car, along with a new Indy Gear-built center section, to go along with the car's existing ACT clutch and Fidanza flywheel. He uses Lucas 75/140 gear oil in the transmission, along with many Stifflers suspension and chassis upgrades. The hard work in the off-season paid off with a right-off-the-trailer 9.82. 

Lisa Matherly, back at home watching the live feed, knew husband Tim's G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock car needed wotk on the 60'. She was right, as Tim and Jason Sloan set out to add more gear to the car between rounds 1 and 2 of qualifying. The car did pick up, but perhaps not as much as Tim and Jason had hoped. They hope to stay in the front half of the qualifying ladder going into eliminations. 

After three years with the same combination, Bill Putnam switched his JDM Engineering Limited Street SN-95 to a ProCharged combination. Pre-race gremlins prevented his usual, fastidious testing regimen, so that meant learning this weekend. The new combo required a fresh torque converter and revamped suspension settings to accommodate for the boosted Coyote’s new ascending powerband. However, he and crew chief Sharad Raldiris were chasing a bolt on the crank support that kept backing out, but they hope to improve on the UPR Products-backed entry’s 9.34 at 159 qualifying run as the weekend moves on. 
Not lacking in confidence, Haley James said with a smile that she came to the NMRA Spring Break Shootout to dominate. After freshening her Harts Turbo-boosed Coyote in the offseason with fresh pistons and bearings, she and her team had plenty of data to draw on for this weekend’s setup, and early in qualifying, it yielded a 4.58 at 157, which put her near the top of the sheet in VP Racing Madditives Renegade. 
John Leslie Jr. was feeling good heading into the 28th Annual NMRA Spring Breakshootout after a successful pre-race test session. However the performance of his 1989 Mustang started to fall off, he had to swap the clutch and then repair stripped-out driveshaft U-bolts to get it back in fighting form. He hopes to run bottom 10s as the action heats up in Richmond Gear Factory Stock.

Right out of the gate, the Suncoast Performance 8.60 Street Race class is hot fire, and a familiar name racing the new category is Terry "Beefcake" Reeves. Sporting a built, turbocharged Coyote underhood, his blue S550 has the power to run right up to the limit in the class. To plant that power, he recently swapped to bias-ply slicks, so he is still dialing in the launch, but between rounds, he discovered a cracked brake rotor and had to track down a replacement.

Steeda Autosports has taken its Silver Bullet test mule to the next level with an Edelbrock E-Force 2.65 supercharger, a Bret Barber short block, using the car's existing heads and cams from its naturally aspirated days, a Fore Innovations fuel system wth ID1700 fuel injectors, and a Lund Racing tune. Getting the car ready for Bradenton was met with many hurdles. Steeda's Scott Boda and Chris Cervenka eagerly awaited the UPS man Friday morning, and had the car on the Dyno by noon. However, on the way to Bradenton from Steeda's Valdosta, Georgia location, the team had to endure a blowout on the highway. All these issues could've been a bad omen for the weekend, but Scott's first pass was an 8.54 at 162 mph. His second pass he leaned on it a little harder, resulting in a wheel-standing 8.46, again at 162 mph. 

Pretty in pink, when BHP Racing's Becky Moldenhauer isn’t busy sky diving or scuba diving, she’s driving flat out in her G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock entry. The feisty Floridian’s 1994 Ford Mustang “Sally” got a new Gen 3 Coyote heart over the off-season, and its Ram clutch was recently resurfaced. Moldenhauer is still learning the ropes in what is only her second season behind the wheel and working to get the combination dialed in as it has less than 10 passes on it to date, but she’s making quick progress thanks to help from her fellow Coyote Stock classmates as well as her husband, Adam Moldenhauer, who races in ARP Open Comp. After a brief bit of trouble with the line lock which has since been sorted out, Moldenhauer made her first-ever 9-second hit when she ran 9.986 at 135.22 mph. The milestone was made even more memorable by the fact that her wonderful competitors were eager to celebrate her success with their support and congratulations.

Famed Ford Performance collaborator and proprietor of Paul’s High Performance, Paul Svinicki ditched the Michigan winter weather in favor of Florida fun with his FuelTech-controlled and Godzilla-swapped 2010 Cobra Jet monster. Svinicki was hunting for an 8.6-second record-setting blast during Friday morning testing, but when he launched the CJ, it went left which forced him to lift momentarily. He got back into it quickly and the car delivered all 600-horsepower of its Nitrous Outlet nitrous at once which prompted the 445 ci engine to give up the ghost in dramatic fashion. Instead of quitting, Svinicki called up Evan Smith to borrow an engine and then headed over to Abe Tango’s nearby shop to start an all-night thrash. The engine swap session wrapped up around 2:30am, and, despite a lack of sleep, Svinicki was nothing but smiles by Saturday morning when he was back at it testing out his new timing chain setup from Paul’s High Performance and headers from Diamond Fabrication in both ARP Open Comp and Mickey Thompson Tires Grudge Test & Tune.

Fresh out of Richmond Gear Factory Stock and newly initiated into the G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock camp, Aaron Worstell is actively working towards wrapping up his NHRA competition licensing passes with his Fox body. Thanks to help from friends and fellow racers Nathan Stymiest and Shane Stymiest of S & B Motorsports, Worstell’s Mustang is sporting a new Gen 3 Coyote crate engine this weekend and the driver is enjoying the new ProCal two-step launch control from Ford Performance. Along with his father, Worstell installed his new roll cage last weekend to prepare for the NMRA season opener. Thanks to help from Holley as well as Grant Scott at GS Performance and some adjustments to his Ace Racing clutch, Worstell made some big steps forward but is still looking to secure his first 9-second pass.

Back-to-back class champion, VP Racing Madditives Renegade racer Joel Greathouse had a valve lash issue during qualifying that proved problematic for his Bennett Racing Engines-built small-block Ford, but his KBX Performance crew consisting of crew chief and tuner Justin McChesney and car chief Ben Thomas (pictured) were ready to get it righted in a hurry. They quickly determined it wasn’t a push rod or a rocker arm, so they pulled the head and intake to see whether it was a lifter or cam trouble. Turns out, a rough roller bearing on the lifter and also a loose rocker stand was the root cause, and the top-tier team expects to have the Harts turbocharged Mustang repaired in short order so they can spend the evening enjoying a nice supper. Greathouse will begin Sunday’s eliminations from the number two qualifier position thanks to a 4.560 at 156.63 mph hit from his 1993 Mustang.

Today’s action concluded with the TREMEC True Street Party where racers, crew, sponsors, and media enjoyed ice cold beverages and pizza in anticipation of the TorqStorm True Street results.

NMRA’s staff and Total Venue Concepts track prep team have been working hard to give our racers a great surface this weekend, and we’ll be ready to kick off eliminations on Sunday morning to crown our first winners of the 2022 season.

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