Although Kenny Sampson first got started in the import world, he doesn’t limit himself. Now, after years spent tuning in the small-displacement scene, Sampson is going to be putting his skills to work as a driver in NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock for the 2018 season.
“I got into Hondas when I was younger because the technology really excited me. A small block Chevy and a small block Ford are basically the same architecture, but then the Coyote motor came out and I always thought I’d like to do something with one,” explained Sampson of what first piqued his domestic interests. Over the years, Sampson had helped several customers of his to go stock motor racing – both as a tuner for revered import shop SpeedFactory in Tacoma, Washington, and with his own business, TurboGixxerTuning. “I like that you have to think outside the box to even get down the track competitively or correctly.”
The 33-year-old tuner has dabbled in drag racing before, but never anything too competitive. In the summer of 2016, he bought a notchback ’89 Ford Mustang that was prepped for an LS swap but instead decided to give the Coyote engine a try. Working entirely on his own out of his garage at home, Sampson swapped in a Coyote powerplant and used the platform for research and development. “I wanted to see what I would need to change and get my feet wet before going out there and racing for the first time,” he elaborated.
As the Fox body’s bullet wasn’t a sealed engine, and Sampson had decided to go racing with NMRA for 2018, he acquired another in order to be class legal. Focusing mostly on function rather than form, he chose to keep the build simple and straightforward, emphasizing only what needed performance attention.
He chose, of course, the popular G-Force 101A transmission to match the Coyote, and will add a set of leftover Kooks headers from the previous build. Sampson fabricated his own intake, and will be running an AEM system for data acquisition purposes. Team Z suspension products will be installed throughout the Fox platform, with Strange brakes and axles complimenting the components.
Sampson expects that his new domestic duty Mustang will be finished up by the beginning of the new year, but as he lives in the Pacific northwest in Washington state, knows testing won’t be likely until early March. After that, he hopes to be able to sweep around the northern states and his as many NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock events as the long-distance travel will allow.
“I never thought this moment would come, me showing up to a race to drive,” laughed Sampson, who receives mechanical and trackside assistance from B.O.M. Performance and Revolution Speed Shop as well as fabrication and welding work from Under Pressure Race Development, all also based out of Washington. “I know so many people in the class have been working so hard for years, so I don’t expect to jump in and set a record, but I want to make a good impression on people and do my best to go fast.”