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Sunday Coverage | 2022 NMRA Spring Break Shootout

Posted By: Event Coverage Team
The Holley NMRA Ford Nationals season kicked off in style this weekend at Bradenton Motorsports Park. With Chamber of Commerce weather in full effect, racers and fans flocked to the track to enjoy the action on the track, beautiful show machines in the UPR Products Car Show, and a wide variety of aftermarket hardware on the vendor midway. Today the racing comes to its conclusion with eliminations in the heads-up and index categories.
Additionally, competition in two special classes adds to the Sunday excitement. The TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout pulls the eight quickest manual cars from the TorqStorm Superchargers True Street ranks to battle in a quick-eight shootout. Meanwhile, the BBK Performance Spring Break Shootout class collects the quickest 16 TorqStorm Superchargers True Street rides for a heads-up showdown.
Stay tuned to this page and our social media throughout the day as the first NMRA event of the season concludes.
Sunday's schedule is as follows. Please note that E1 of Coyote Stock will be run at 9:30 a.m., E1 of 8.60 Street Race will be held at 9:40 am, and E1 of Spring Break Shootout will follow immediately after.

Charlie Booze Jr. (right) started out running strong in testing with Scott Milhimes’ 1990 Mustang, but after trying some new tires in qualifying, he wasn’t pleased by placing low on the qualifying sheet. After stewing all night, he went back to his original tires and found the hook. With the car working like he expected it should, Booze blasted to the top qualified spot in G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock on the merits of a 9.68 at 137 mph run. "If we get out of here with a win, it will be hard for these guys to overcome the momentum," he cautioned.
Embarking on his second full season in Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle, Matt Harget is feeling pretty good. Back in 2020 he purchased Frank Paultanis’ Gen 1 Coyote Stock engine and enlisted Paultanis Racing to revamp his 1979 Mercury Capri for racing. He’s owned the car for 30 years, so it was due for a refresh. In the offseason, he took it to Vector Motorsports where Samantha Moore dialed in a custom tune that dropped its elapsed times from the mid-10s to the low-10s. He is hoping those improvements also help lower the number on his windshield this season.
Those in attendance this weekend enjoyed a massive selection of tricked-out Fords in the UPR Products Car Show. The judges have their work cut out for them, but one that caught our eye was Jeff Duda’s 1993 Mustang Cobra. It gives off all the retro vibes thanks to the towering Vortech Mondo Cooler, a.k.a. The Igloo— fed by a matching Vortech centrifugal blower — poking out through its hood. Today several rides will drive away with awards.
Racing has its ups and downs, but when things are going well, it will put a huge grin on your face. In qualifying, that was the case for G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock racer Randy Soper, and his number-one supporter Toni Harbin, picked up sponsorship from Driven Racing Oil in the off-season. In qualifying, some front suspension tuning advice from Team Timmy main man Tim Donathen yielded Soper’s first 1.30-second  60-foot time, which led to a 9.73-second qualifying rip. He is feeling confident moving into eliminations.

Lakeland, Florida's Taylor Chambers represented the Stick Shift Mafia very well in TorqStorm Superchargers True Street. Running a 347 with a Trick Flow cam and intake, AFR 205 heads, a Holley 850 carburetor, a 175 horsepower shot of nitrous and a Tremec TKX in the tunnel. Taylor usually runs slicks on his Fox coupe, but for True Street competition the car has a new pair of Mickey Thompson ET Street S/S drag radials out back, which he is trying for the first time. He is still getting the hang of them, but he averaged a 10.76 in True Street.  

Sporting purple hair to match the purple accents on her 2017 Mustang, 22-year-old Nicole Vogt is back in action after a year off from racing. On Saturday, Vogt had a three-run average of 13.185-seconds in TorqStorm Superchargers True Street and a quickest individual pass of 12.950-seconds. Her car is equipped with a GT350 intake and throttle body, headers, H-pipe, and a full bolt-on exhaust with Roush mufflers.

One of the cleanest rides in TorqStorm True Street was the 1979 Mercury Zephyr of Carlos Acuna. Hailing from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Carlos bought the Zephyr from the original owner roughly 10 years ago. It may look factory fresh, but these days the car benefits from a 302/C4 combo with a 4.56 gear to put him solidly in the 13s.

Robert Chuhran (pictured, right), the 2013 NMRA Detroit Locker Truck and Lightning, had a few “trunk monkeys” with him helping out this weekend. Crew chief Tony Ganno, along with crewman “Tony from Malta,” and the 74-year-old driver’s son, Joseph William (pictured, left), are all on hand to help keep Chuhran’s 1999 Ford Lightning running smoothly and Chuhran started eliminations from the number eight position. Lucas Oil Products courtesy of Clair Stewart Racing and a Johnny Lighting Performance-built 6.3-liter stroker engine are also a part of Chuhran’s program, while a new set of Santhuff rear shocks and Viking fronts will be installed to help tame the truck’s wild wheelies once Chuhran returns home to Michigan. He proudly holds the current record for the quickest 2-valve and supercharged Lightning with a 9.13-second run at 140+ mph.

It was an expensive off-season for Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle driver Charlie McCulloch, as he wound up breaking the blocks in both his Mod Muscle 2004 silver Mustang Cobra and his ARP Open Comp red 1998 Mustang Cobra. This weekend, “The Professor” cut an 0.012-second light in the silver Cobra to qualify sixth in Mod Muscle and the car is sporting a new bullet with a Coyote crank machined for a 4.6-liter engine from MMR. McCulloch has been careful to break it in and is working to get the combination dialed in for his trademark accuracy. The red Cobra, meanwhile, has been slowly transitioning into “full racecar mode” with a new Hogan air-water intercooler which will constantly circulate to help with consistency, billet intake, Strange brakes and a Racepak data logger dash. Fortunately, McCulloch has been busy doing a lot of siding work with his North Georgia Exteriors business to help soften the spending blows.

In her first season, and first race in HP Tuners Super Stang, Jenn Fahey just won her first round of competition. That's a lot of firsts. Her Mustang has a 2018 GT intake, long-tube headers, an X-pipe, a Flowmaster axle back exhaust, a JLT Performance cold air intake, several BMR Suspension upgrades, Strange Engineering shocks and struts and an HP Tuners/Tony Gonyon calibration. The sponsors helping Jenn get off on the right foot are National Parts Depot, Spikes Performance, the 352 Shootout, Power by the Hour, Belak Industries, KWS Images, and DF Reproductions, but we feel like that list is going go to grow if she keeps going rounds. 

Scoring the overall runner-up honors in TorqStorm Superchargers True Street on Saturday, Larry Albright had an impressive three-run average of 8.230-seconds even while spinning the tires in his street legal 1991 Ford Mustang and also earned an entry into today’s special BBK Performance Spring Break Shootout. Albright had made a shock change to accommodate the hot track on Saturday, but hit the undo button on that adjustment prior to the Spring Break Shootout and scored a first-round win as a result.

The NMRA family of racers is growing quickly as we’ve had a massive influx of racers making their licensing runs this weekend, thanks to the NHRA’s recent announcement regarding significant enhancements to its Street Legal program which allows a broader and more diverse range of vehicles to get out on track.

This inspired young race fan was definitely dreaming big about driving a Mustang one day, and perhaps we’ll see him back in a few years in NMRA competition!

It is said you need an unlimited budget to go racing. Shane Williams proves that is not always the case. He is racing in both Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle and in brackets. Using a Lincoln Mark VIII short block with Two-Valve heads, reground cams from 2001, a Dorman intake, a freshened up C4 with a Dynamic trans brake, Shane makes smart use of his racing budget.  

After taking a break since Bowling Green, Becki Cram is back behind the wheel of her Whipple-supercharged 2010 Mustang in VP Racing Madditives Renegade. With a fresh torque converter in the tunnel, her S197 is running well in the heat, clocking a 4.63 earlier in the weekend. When her competition couldn’t make the call, she cruised into round two on a single. 

You know what they say about best-laid plans. Chris Holbrook hoped to test a fresh combination in advance of the 28th Annual Spring Break Shootout. A broken-down motorhome delayed the trip and thwarted that plan, so he returned to last season’s setup in time for the first round of VP Racing Madditives Renegade eliminations. The experiment didn’t last long, as he clashed with number-one qualifier, Kieffer Simpson, who cruised to the win.

In Richmond Gear Factory Stock, Chris Niebauer finished his 1985 GT just before the Michigan race last year. At that event, he was running 10.40s, but at Bradenton he had those times beaten by three tenths, and he gives much of the credit for those improved times to his wallet. Chris runs a Gen2 Coyote with a C4, and uses a pair of Mickey Thompson Pro Bracket Radial 28x9s out back.Fellow Factory Stock racer Mike Bowen tunes the car using HP Tuners software.

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