Jason Davis makes a big impression on the NMRA Limited Street Class with his 2015 Mustang GT
Written by Steve Baur
Photography by Kevin DiOssi
The NMRA’s JDM Engineering Limited Street class has been hugely popular, and despite the relatively “limited” rule set, the pace at which its entrants have progressed has been staggering. Florida’s Jason Davis is one of those Limited Street racers who picked a highly capable engine combination right off the bat, and showed just what it was capable of during his class debut at the NMRA season opener back in 2020.
No stranger to fast cars and racing in general, Davis has raced since 1989 and competed in the first World Ford Challenge event, as well as Fun Ford Weekend races. Competing in the Pro 5.0 category, Davis was at the top level of Ford and Mustang drag racing.
Competing at the highest levels in heads-up classes such as Pro 5.0 and Street Outlaw can be financially taxing, and welcoming a newborn into the world, as Davis did with his son, can often change one’s perspective. It was at that point that he decided it was time to pull back on the racing program for a while.
Years later and with the inspiration to go fast once again, Davis purchased a new Deep Impact Blue 2015 Mustang as a Father’s Day gift to himself.
“I put a whopping 880 miles before it went to the shop,” Davis recalled. Said shop was Blow-By Racing in Boca Raton, Florida, where owner Chris Jones began fabricating a turbo kit for it. “I wanted it to be the first single-turbo S550 car in the country. I just liked the new platform; it has a lot more creature comforts, a lot more styling cues, and I was interested in the IRS, which we still run. My best short time is a 1.19 — I’m not complaining for a 3,980-pound car!”
Impressed with the result, Davis drove his Mustang on the street for a long time and did various street-car shootouts, running as quickly as 9.43 at 148 mph with the stock motor, aforementioned turbo kit, and a Circle D torque converter mounted to the stock 6R80 transmission.
After deciding it was time to get back into a championship racing series, Davis set his sights on the new-for-2019 NMRA ProCharger Modified Street class. And after a couple of false starts at the first two events while Davis was still sorting his combination out, he opted not to continue the rest of the season, yet finished sixth in points.
While there was initially a good bit of interest in the class, the class faded away after on year, which left most of the racers in the class to decide if they should step up to Edelbrock Renegade, or reduce the size of their power adders down to JDM Engineering Limited Street specs.
“We could have gone Renegade, which would be a significant more amount of money and tough to be competitive, so we opted to change the turbo to a smaller one and go to Limited Street,” Davis explained.
Davis was looking good in testing going into the 2020 Limited Street season, clocking elapsed times in the 8.40-8.50s. He came out swinging at Bradenton Motorsports Park, taking top qualifier honors and setting the class record with an 8.44 elapsed time.
“The track changed a lot from Saturday to Sunday,” Davis recalled. “Come Sunday, we had a hard time getting traction.” After enjoying a first-round bye, Davis pedaled the gas against Willie Lujan in second round, pedaled again against Rick Erdman in round three, and would do it once more in the final round against Bill Putnam.
“It was a nail-biter! We shook the tires hard and when I got back into it, it was in full boost. It shook the tires again and turned towards the centerline, so I backed out of it.” Still, taking an ET record and a runner-up finish in the first race of the year set Davis up nicely to chase the championship points.
Going into the next race at Commerce, Georgia, Davis thought everything was fine with the car and added Menscer Motorsports shocks and made a rearend gear change.
“We found out we had a cracked cylinder head during testing before the event,” Davis said. “It was a thrash to get a set of Gen II heads, get them assembled, and put the motor back together. We also realized that we had a walking cylinder sleeve at that point.”
Despite those issues, Davis made it to Atlanta Dragway, qualified seveth, and took a first-round win over Kent Nine. In the second round, Davis squeaked out a win over Rick Erdman, but it came at a cost, as the flex coupling on the turbo hot side of the exhaust came apart, and took out the turbo by the end of the run.
The turbo and engine damage should have spelled the end of the weekend for Davis, but as luck would have it, he had a bye for the third round. His team pushed the car to the starting line where Davis fired up the injured Coyote, staged the car and took the win light. That put him into the final round against Bill Putnam once again, where he took the runner-up finish and claimed the second spot in points going into the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street legal Drag Racing at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
“We dyno’d the engine the night before the trip to St. Louis and it made really great power,” Davis told us. “We were swinging for the fences a little bit during the first run and unfortunately hurt the engine.”
The problems for the team continued after that event and Davis wasn’t able to make the following races in Michigan or Kentucky.
“We were ready to go, but needed to fix the back pressure issue before really doing anything more. We needed to make 1,300 horsepower to be competitive and doing that with a 3-inch downpipe is hard on the engine. We kept cracking heads and breaking parts.”
Looking back at his year of Limited Street competition, Davis is positive overall about his results. “We came out really strong and our 8.44 stood all the way until Kentucky,” he said.
For 2021 and beyond, Davis decided to step up into the NMRA’s Edelbrock Renegade class.
“We have the car in chassis jail, but are getting it set up for Renegade. We want to be very competitive in the class. We have a Forced Inductions turbo and FTI is jumping on board with their Powerglide — they’ve taken great care of us. They always go through our transmission for us before the far away events to make sure we don’t have any problems when we’re 20-plus hours away. We are also talking with Billet Atomizer about injectors so we can run methanol, which is where the power is.”
The Haltech EFI-managed engine combination will remain a Coyote, but with the class change, it’ll receive ported heads; new cams and timing chains from MMR; and a custom intake solution. Davis plans to continue using a stock block that’s been sleeved and stuffed with Manley rods and pistons by Chris Jones at Blow-By Racing.
As of this writing, Davis’ Mustang was at AFR Miami getting the chassis work, among other changes, completed.
“We’re getting away from the original turbo kits, which ran the factory exhaust manifolds. We’re going to a full custom turbo kit from AFR with a 5-inch downpipe now!”
Additionally, Davis is having them replace the trans tunnel, doors, and deck lid with carbon fiber versions
“We’re trying to get the car light. We’ll probably still be a 100 pounds heavy when it’s all said and done,” Davis told us. “It’s hard to get the weight out of the S550, and we’ll probably be the only car in Renegade with an IRS. The combination works, so I don’t want to take 10 steps backward with a completely new setup.”
Moving forward takes the right people and products, and Davis leans on a number of key companies to ensure success.
“I have to give a shout out to G-Force Engineering. Everything in the rearend that has stayed together because of their products. Ignite Racing Fuels have been over the top reliable, and I want to thank Chris and Scott at Blow-By Racing. They travel all around with me to every single event and test and tune. I bought a part from Chris back in like 2000, and when I was trying to get the car tuned, I went to him.”
Owner: Jason Davis
Driver: Jason Davis
Hometown: Loxahatchee, Florida
Occupation: Director of Operations
Class: JDM Engineering Limited Street/Edelbrock Renegade
Crew: Wifey Angie Davis (safety director) LOL, tuner/engine builder Chris Jones, builder Scott Crawford, Donovan Quick camera operator
Engine builder: Chris Jones
Displacement: 302 ci
Block: Sleeved Factory Ford
Cylinder heads: Stock
Valvetrain: +1mm larger valve
Carburetor or EFI system: Haltech
Power-adder: Precision 76/75
Fuel brand and type: Ignite E85
Spark plug brand: Brisk
Headers and exhaust: Stock Manifolds with 3-inch downpipe
Transmission: FTI Turbo 400
Transmission Builder: FTI
Clutch/shifter/torque converter: FTI Converter
Rearend: G Force, 35-spline axles
Differential: Ford Performance
Body and/or chassis builder: AFR Miami
Suspension (Front): Double A-arms
Suspension (Rear): G Force Engineering
Brakes (Front) Brand: Strange Engineering Disc/Drum: Disc
Brakes (Rear) Brand: Baer Brakes Disc/Drum: Disc
Wheels (front) Brand: Weld Racing Size: 17×4
Wheels (Rear) Brand: Weld Racing Size: 15×9.33
Tires (Front) Brand: Mickey Thompson
Tires (Rear) Brand: Mickey Thompson Size: 28×10.5 Pro Bracket
Body modifications: 25.5-certified cage
Fiberglass/Carbon body components: Blow-By Racing S550 Bubble Hood
Safety equipment: Simpson Harness and HANS device
Estimated or Verified Engine Horsepower and Torque: 1,350 Horsepower
Vehicle weight: 3,980 lbs.
Quickest ET: 7.95 seconds
Best 60-foot: 1.19 seconds
Fastest mph: 165