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Sealed Crate Engine Showdown—What happens when NMRA and NMCA racers can’t get enough racing


Written By Steve Baur

Photography by Landon Sipple and Courtesy of Kentucky Dragway

Making its debut in 2012, the NMRA’s G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock class has grown into a popular entry level, heads-up category and when the NMCA launched the Chevrolet Performance Stock class in 2015, the stage was set for some brand rivalry. Now, these sealed crate engine racers can’t get enough time behind their respective steering wheels and in 2019, the Coyote Stock contingent put together it’s own battle of the brands race at Kentucky Dragway.

Over the last few years, many Coyote Stock racers have used their Coyote-crate-motored machines to race at a number of places out side of the NMRA. Several have competed at the World Cup Finals: Imports vs. Domestics and at that race, they can make a number of changes to the cars that aren’t legal for the Coyote Stock class and run for low-elapsed time bragging rights in the cool, fall air. Likewise, many have run in this “outlaw” trim at the Mod Motor Nationals as well, but there hasn’t been a place outside of the NMRA where they can not only run in legal Coyote Stock trim, but also compete against the Chevrolet Performance Stock racers as well—and for even more fun, Richmond Gear Factory Stock racers can enter and can drop a little weight from the normal Factory Stock rules.

Initially organized by Factory Stock racer Bart Welte, the Factory Hot Rods race nearly fell through, but fellow CS racer Jacob Lamb stepped in to secure the event at its new location at Kentucky Dragway, where track owners Aaron and Carrie Sipple welcomed the group.

“Bart [Welte] planned the race at Edgewater, but something happened and we ended up having only a week to put it together,” Lamb said of the venue change to Kentucky Dragway. Lamb, who lives just about an hour from the quarter-mile track got on the phone and collected several sponsors to boost the purse. Finish Line Performance, MV Performance, and Smith’s Automotive Machine Shop all chipped in towards the $1,200 to win, $500 to runner up prize money.

The 2018 Coyote Stock champ Darin Hendricks grabbed the top spot in qualifying with his 1993 Mustang Cobra, and was followed by Mike Bowen and his Maverick, Factory Stock champ Dan Ryntz, Factory Stock racer Bryan Gardner, Lamb, Greg Creamer, multi-time NMRA champion Tim Matherly, Keith Vaughn and his Chevrolet Performance Stock C4 Corvette, and Steve Higgins who rounded out the 9-car field.

While Vaughn was the lone CPS car to compete, he was also the closest geographically and regularly bracket races his Vette in addition to a few World Cup appearance.

“It’s a great format, as everyone shows up Friday night for a test and tune, races on Saturday and drives home on Sunday,” Lamb explained.

In the first round of eliminations, Hendricks had the bye, Lamb beat Creamer, Bowen advanced over Higgins, Ryntz defeated Vaughn, and Matherly put Gardner on the trailer. In round two, it was Lamb defeated top qualifier Hendricks, Bowen had the bye, and Ryntz was victorious over Matherly and advanced to the final round.

Meeting Ryntz would be Lamb, who got past Bowen in the semi-final round.

In the final round, both drivers were ready and their reaction times showed it. Lamb was .025 off the light, but Ryntz was .005 and outran Lamb to take the win.

Of the five racers that ran the inaugural season of Coyote Stock, Lamb is the only one still regularly competing in the class.

“The class is full of all sorts of NMRA champions, so it’s a lot of fun to race in,” Lamb told us. He’s also begun planning the second annual Factory Hot Rods race at Kentucky Dragway on April 25th, 2020. “I have 12 racers committed so far and am confident I’ll have 16, maybe more.

Lamb has also been working on the event sponsors and the purse has grown to almost $4,000 for the winner.

“We have a ton of sponsors already, and will be looking to pick up more sponsors at PRI.” In addition to MV Performance and Finish Line Performance, Lamb has recruited Laris Motorsports Insurance, Granny’s Speed Shop, ProTree Racecars, Redline Motorsports, Foxcast Media, Powerhouse Automotive, G-Force Racing Transmissions, Big Mattress Outlet, Race Part Solutions, JLT Performance, and UPR Performance Products as sponsors for the 2020 race.

Next year, Coyote Stock and Chevrolet Performance Stock racers will have more places than ever to race. For more information on the Factory Hot Rods race or to enter, you can email Jacob Lamb HERE.