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Sunday Coverage | RYNO Classifieds NMRA Spring Break Shootout

Posted By: Event Coverage Team
The first event of the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals series’ 25th Anniversary season kicked off in fine style at Orlando Speed World this weekend. Yesterday qualifying wrapped up in the heads-up and index classes and the latter made the move in the early rounds of eliminations.
Meanwhile, the Circle D Specialties True Street and TREMEC All-Female True Street classes completed their 30-mile cruises and three back-to-back laps to crown winners in a wide range of elapsed-time categories.  The 16 quickest rides graduated to today’s legendary BBK Performance Spring Break Shootout class, while the quickest manual-transmission True Street cars moved on to today’s TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout.
In addition to the True Street winners, the champions in both the Street and Unlimited 2020+ Shelby GT500 Shootout presented by Coastal Dyno, Palm Beach Dyno, Beefcake Racing, and ZPE GripTec went to the winner’s circle yesterday.
Today the remaining classes will decide winners who will get an early lead in the 2023 points chase. Follow this site and our social channels throughout the day to see how it all concludes.

Here’s today’s schedule of events at the 29th Annual RYNO Classifieds NMRA Spring Break Shootout Presented by Nitto Tire.

Mustang Lifestyle’s Andrew Sheridan had his 2007 Shelby GT500 at the Spring Break Shootout running in Circle D Specialties True Street. The car made its first pass two weeks ago, so he’s basically been sneaking up on the tune, which he handles himself with a Holley Terminator X EFI. Sheridan attended The Tuning School to help him get a grasp of how to tune the car, which so far has paid big dividends. He is earning his NHRA license here this weekend so he can’t really run the car to its full potential just yet. However, the car made 1,020 on 19 pounds on pump E85 thanks to a Gen 2 Coyote with Boss 302 cams, a Boss intake and a Garrett GTX5020R 76mm single turbo. Behind the Coyote is a Tremec T56 Magnum XL transmission with a Vengeance clutch, and an 8.8 with Strange Engineering 35-spline axles, a spool and 3.15 gears. Sheridan uses a Leash Electronics switch panel and circuit board, and because he is running True Street, he had to make sure his horn, lights, and all street-oriented hardware worked before passing tech. To make him legal as quick as 8.50, the car has a Fathouse Fabrication cage in it. Sheridan’s GT500 is lighter than your usual Shelby thanks to a tubular front end and an Anderson Composites carbon fiber deck lid. He tells us the car weighs in slightly over 3,200 pounds with him in it. His best time this weekend is a 9.50 at 141, but has gone as quick as 9.1 at 155 mph in testing thanks in part to KellTrac springs, shocks and struts..    

In an all Ford Falcon final round in Ford Muscle, Pataskala, Ohio’s John Butsko (Holding trophy) came away with the win. Running on a 12.25 index, Butsko’s 1963 Falcon utilizes a 302 roller short block with a Ford Performance X-303 camshaft, Proform aluminum heads, an Edelbrock Air Gap intake and a Quick Fuel carburetor. Behind the small block is a Performance Automatic C4 and an 8-inch rear with 4.10 gears. Butsko raced when he was younger, even racing motocross, but then he had a family so he had to shelve his racing career for a few years. He’s been back at it for about 10-12 years now. Probably due to his motocross days, his wife made him put a roll bar in the car to make sure he was safe while going down the quarter-mile. 

Richmond Gear Factory Stock racer Mike Bowen wishes he had something more exciting to tell us, but his biggest adjustment for the Spring Break Shootout was converting the car back to NMRA trim after racing at World Cup. That and he added Mickey Thompson wheels to the front of his Maverick. He installed a new clutch in the car for World Cup, which it was good and broke in for this race. Bowen has consistently been in the 10.teens here this weekend, and has Matt Williams in the final.       

From nearby Deland, FL, Doug Poskevich is using the Spring Break Shootout as a warmup for the NMCA race here at Orlando Speed World in a couple weeks. His 1966 Fairlane, an original 390 car, now has a 427 FE under the hood with a C6 in the tunnel and a 4.11-geared 9-inch out back. The engine combo is relatively new to the car, as Poskevich ran the 390 in the car to compete in the Nostalgia Super Stock class’ 12.0 index. With the 427 in the car, he is in the 10.80s this weekend, and he will back it down to run the 11.0 index at the NMCA race in a couple weeks. One of the trick pieces on the car, Poskevich runs an inline Davis Craig electric water pump on top of the manual belt-driven water pump to keep the car cool during quick turnarounds. We look forward to seeing Poskevich in a couple weeks.      

Coyote Stock racer Tim Matherly didn’t do much of a burnout in round 1 of competition, but with track temperature hovering around 100 degrees, that was intentional. He didn’t want to get the tires too hot against Dennis Harmon. That technique paid off as Matherly ran a 9.83 at 136 mph to Harmon’s 9.88 at 136 mph. Matherly, known for his reaction times, left first with a .463 light compared to Harmon’s .525 light. Matherly has Chad Stephens in the Thunderbird in round 2. 

Racing in the SunCoast Performance 8.60 Street Race class, Shelby Mather runs this 1971 Maverick with a Ford Performance 460-inch Windsor crate engine on a SpeedTech nitrous kit on board. Behind the small block is a Godley Transmission C4 and a 9-inch rear end with Moser axles, a Richmond 3.70 gear and a Strange Engineering center section. The Ocala, FL-based racer just recently changed up the engine combination and is still working out the bugs. Running low-9s this weekend, Mather needs a little more cowbell to get to the 8.60s.  

In round 1 of Coyote Stock, Jacob Lamb cut a .401 light against Dan Ryntz, saying, “I’ve never cut a .00-nothing in that car since running the car in Modular Muscle.” Lamb has Ed Bennett in round 2.     

Leticia Hughes made it into eliminations today in the SunCoast Performance 8.60 Street Race class despite some drama earlier this weekend. After a clean run the strong winds wrapped fellow racer Bo Webb’s parachute around her parachute mount, which ripped off the mount and the rear bumper. Leticia tracked down a new ’chute and mount then she reinstalled the bumper with 200 mph duct tape, Band-Aids, and zip ties. She was ready to go rounds in Sunday eliminations. 

Though he had some difficulties in Circle D Specialties True Street class, Donato Siercieo was happy with the all-new back-half setup on his 7-second Fox Mustang. It is all-new from the main roll bar back thanks to the work of Eric Williams at Performance Metalcraft Solutions, who did all the chassis work, and supplemented it with Menscer coilover dampers and finished it off with carbon fiber wheel tubs and close-out panels from Wild Side Composites. The prior setup was flexing and leading to inconsistency, but so far, the fresh foundation is performing consistently with its off-the-jig adjustments still in place. This Fox coupe also sports fresh, CO2-launched parachutes from White Safety.

Paul Svinicki of Paul’s High Performance hasn’t changed anything but the oil in his Godzilla-powered Cobra Jet since last year's Norwalk race. He plans to keep the hardware this consistent as he runs the full slate of ARP Open Comp races this season as he guns for a championship in honor of the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals’ 25th Anniversary. 

Easily a crowd favorite, Gilbert Correa’s Four-Eye Coyote swap coupe did a terrible burnout on his second run in Circle D Specialties True Street, but the car rewarded him with one of his best 60-ft times. He was looking to win money in True Street, but he couldn’t quite put the times together to make that happen. However, he did run a personal best 9.20 at 152 mph. Correa will be competing in today’s BBK Performance Spring Break Shootout. 

Vaughn Gittin Jr and Chelsea Denofa lined up their Fox cars on the dragstrip, and it seemed Denofa wasn’t sure how drag racing worked since he left way too early on Gittin’s Fun Haver Fox the first time down the track. It seemed he wanted another chance to beat the boss, which he did, but then he rubbed it in by flashing the hazards their last trip down the strip. While Gittin’s Fox is small block powered, Denofa’s Fox coupe has an EcoBoost under the hood.    

Circle D Specialties True Street racer Andrew Kelly could hit his house with a rock from Orlando Speed World, but he’s making a camping trip out of the weekend at the Spring Break Shootout. Kelly added a 2018 GT intake to his Coyote swap Fox coupe, along with a new McLeod Street Extreme clutch. Coyote Stock racer Clair Stewart is lending a hand with the clutch setup on the car for Kelly, who last year smoked the clutch in the car. He doesn’t want to shorten the life of the new clutch, so Stewart is lending is expertise to the cause. In the past, Kelly would usually run low-11s, but this year he averaged a 10.98, and that is with a new clutch and without a dyno tune, so quicker times are sure to come with more laps. Kelly did have to replace a fuel pump after his True Street runs, though, as the car would shut off at the top end after losing adequate losing fuel pressure. He swapped in a new Weldon fuel pump and he is good to go for today’s Tremec Stick Shift Shootout. 

Yesterday the inaugural Competition Clutch Ford Drift Invitational wrapped up with an awards ceremony. While it was just an exhibition, several participants earned hardware for their on-track efforts, including Davey Peeples who took home the Funhaver RTR Favorite award.

The day on the OSW Drift Pad closed down with an Australian-Style Burnout contest, and 16-year-old drifter Cash Staub took the crown behind the wheel of his 1988 Mustang. He scored a fresh set of four Nitto tires for his efforts.

Funhavers Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Chelsea Denofa (pictured) also put their RTR Fox Mustangs to the test on the drag strip. After a redlight start in the first battle, Chelsea came back to win the second two races in his EcoBoost-powered ride to earn bragging rights over Vaughn’s V8-powered machine.

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