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Sunday Coverage — Inaugural Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival

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We’ve reached the final day of the Inaugural Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival presented by Force Engineering at US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan, and we’re ready to get rolling. Racers are preparing their cars for eliminations, which will be incredibly interesting and impressive, and awaiting those who go all the way are the NMCA Winner’s Circle, NMRA Winner’s Circle and Edelbrock Victor trophies. To check out results as we receive them, click HERE for NMCA and HERE for NMRA.

This is how the action unfolds on the final day of racing at the Inaugural Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival Presented by Force Engineering.

From the outside, it looked like smooth sailing for Tim Flanders and his Avalanche Gray four-eye Fox. Powered by a Fonzie Novelo-built Coyote engine fitted with Frankenstein-ported Gen 2 cylinder heads and boosted by a Force Inductions 86mm S491 turbocharger. Controlled by a Holley EFI system, it delivers more than 1,300 horsepower to the track via a Turbo 400 auto and a 9-inch. Built by Flanders in his Battle Creek, Michigan, shop, the car averaged 8.99 to take the top spot in TorqStorm Superchargers/QA1 True Street competition with help from his crew chief Mallory.

You never know what you might find in the UPR Products Car Show. Given the proximity to the Motor City, the  Inaugural Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival Presented by Force Engineering attracted some interesting rides. Andy Benedict of Bloomfield, Michigan, rolled onto the property at US 131 Motorsports Park in his Midnight Blue 2006 Ford GT. The supercar still looks as striking as it did the day it rolled off the dealer lot.

Peeking under the hood of Tony Brooker’s 2003 Mustang we spotted something unusual — a TorqStorm supercharger bolted to his Two-Valve 4.6-liter engine. It turns to that his brother is none other than Chris Brooker of TorqStorm Superchargers, which facilitated the construction of this custom kit. Tony built a bracket template out of wood, and turned to his brother’s company to create the custom bracket for the blower head unit. More at home on an autocross course, he managed to run a 13.3 at 106 mph with his stock engine fed by 10 psi. 

The Inaugural Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival was John Keepers’ first time racing in Torqstorm Superchargers/QA1 True Street. His Redfire 2003 Cobra has a Whipple 2.3L supercharger atop a stock engine, a McLeod clutch, a T56 with a 26-spline input shaft, and an IRS with a stock 3.55 gear. From Commerce Township, Michigan, Keepers uses a pair of Mickey Thompson ET Street R 26×10.5 bias-ply tires for traction. Keepers ran an 11.82, an 11.93, and an 11.92 to arrive at an 11.895 average.

Thanks to a pit accident when another car backed into his 1996 Mystic Cobra, Tom Mueller had to find a local salvage yard for a driver side door and window. He was able to find an SN95 door, but had to source a window from a 2003 Mustang. The Richmond Gear Factory Stock competitor was still able to make qualifying, where Mueller is qualified 6th with a 10.68 at 124 mph. He uses a Gen1 Coyote with a G-Force G101A and an ACT clutch.

One car we enjoyed watching go down the track during Torqstorm Superchargers/QA1 True Street, David Stoll’s 1980 Fairmont utilizes a Coyote engine, a Tremec TKO transmission with a Centerforce clutch, and an 8.8 with a 4.56 gear. The Coyote gets a little more breathing room thanks to a JLT Performance cold air intake, Boss cams, a ported 2018 intake and throttle body, and BBK long-tubes and X-pipe with Gibson mufflers. Using a Ford Performance Control Pack, OZ Tuning makes everything play nice, while the engine was also fortified with Boundary oil pump gears and crank sprocket, and an Innovators West balancer. To make the swap happen, Stoll used a UPR K-member, along with the company’s front and rear suspension paired with Viking coilovers and Strange Engineering shocks. The car started out life as a six-cylinder automatic, so Stoll swapped in a Mustang clutch and brake pedal assembly with a Wilwood master cylinder. Stoll’s True Street average was a 12.096, with a best pass of 11.63 at 120 mph. His best overall pass is an 11.51 at 121 mph.

TorqStorm Superchargers has been putting its products to the test on track ever since they began sponsoring the NMCA’s True Street class. They first hit the late-model market—and the track—with a 6th-Gen Camaro and Dodge Charger pairing, and more recently have been running a twin-supercharged Olds Cutlass. The company’s newest machine is this 1969 Camaro that Chris Brooker is driving. The Camaro is a former 4-second capable ride that utilized a 700-plus cubic-inch Pat Musi engine on spray for motivation, but the TorqStorm team bought the car as a roller and had Prestige Motorsports build them a max-effort, 388ci LS-based small-block with a single TorqStorm Supercharger. “I went from running 11s to 8.60s on my first pass,” said Brooker. “My face hurt for days from smiling so much.” As TorqStorm’s Scott Oshinski competed in Saturday’s True Street competition with his Cutlass, Brooker has entered the Camaro in LME Street King this weekend.

Chevrolet Performance Stock racer Shawn Calabrese has been making progress on on his DR525-equipped, Pontiac Firebird, and decided to try a different gear set in his Proformance transmission. Steven Wardlow handled the upgrades right here at the track, and Calabrese has his work cut out for him getting a handle on the change, as he’s experienced wheelspin in the subsequent track passes.

Scoggin Dickey Parts Center has long been known for selling Chevrolet Performance Parts, but the company also stocks late-model Mopar parts, and in the company’s booth this weekend at US 131 Motorsports Park, there is a 2021 Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak that is ready for Holley EFI Factory Super Cars. Word is they have it sold, but are picking up a few others in the near future.

NMCA TorqStorm Superchargers True Street and NMRA QA1 True Street drivers went for a 30-mile cruise before making three back-to-back passes down the track. When everything was said and done, Tim Flanders emerged as the overall winner with an 8.99 average, while Don Walsh Jr. — the 2019 NMCA VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod champion — was the runner-up with a 9.60 average. Matt Caldwell was the 9-second winner, Tyler Hassing was the 10-second winner, Cary Shotwell was the 11-second winner and Mike Baker was the 12-second winner. Other praiseworthy performances came from Rodney Ward, the 13-second winner, Ray Williams Sr., the 14-second winner and Dom Hoffman, the 15-second winner.

Late-model HEMI vehicles were out in full force for the Dodge // Mopar HEMI Shootout, where Tony Demaio was the overall winner with a 9.55 average and Alan Scruggs was the runner-up with a 9.67 average. Also standing out were Evan Smith, the 10-second winner, Jeffrey Lindgren, the 11-second winner, Jeff Smith, the 12-second winner, Ken Mason, the 13-second winner, Mac Gibson, the 14-second winner and Shawn Beverly, the 15-second winner.

Running out of the BA Motorsports camp, Jim Ault utilizes a BES Four-Valve engine with a Forced Inductions 76mm single turbo and an Extreme Automatics Powerglide with a Hughes converter. Competing in Edelbrock Renegade, Ault is qualified 19th, but Renegade is combined with NMCA’s Extreme Street class so there are a lot of competitors here at US 131 Motorsports Park. BA Motorsports’ Brandon Alsept tunes the car using a Holley Dominator EFI.

Edelbrock Renegade/Xtreme Street racer Rodney Ragan recently switched from his Bennett Racing supercharged small-block Ford powerplant to a TRE Racing Engines big-block Chevy on Induction Solutions nitrous after getting beat by a few likewise equipped machines. He still has KBX tuning the FuelTech EFI on the car, which is somewhat new to the team. With just over a dozen passes on the car, Ragan said they are getting close to where it needs to be, and are working on selecting just the right torque converter to optimize the on-track performance. A first-round win over Chris Holbrook has him going to the second round of eliminations.

Ron Rhodes claimed the top spot in Mickey Thompson Street Outlaw qualifying with a 4.19 hit. Rhodes’s Camaro features a BES Racing Engines 500ci small-block Chevy with Speedtech nitrous oxide equipment, and still runs leaf spring rear suspension. Equally impressive as all of that, Rhodes bought the Camaro in 1984 when he was 14 by mowing lawns and saving his money. He drove it from California to Delaware on the 1996 Hot Rod Power Tour when it was a low 11-second street car, and previously ran with the NMCA shortly after that in a couple of naturally aspirated, heads-up classes before finding his home in the radial tire categories.

Keith Rhea is debuting his new Fox-body coupe this weekend, which is equipped with the 4-valve modular and Bullseye-turbocharged combination he has in his 2004 Cobra, which is currently undergoing some updates to the front of the chassis.

Michigan is a long ride from Brandon, Florida, so after the Norwalk event, Junior McKenzie left his trailer at Dennis Conway’s place to make for an easier drive home and back here to US 131 Motorsports Park for the Inaugural Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival. McKenzie runs his 1979 Mustang in ARP/Magnafuel Open Comp with a naturally aspirated 408 Windsor under the hood, and a David Piercey Mustang Performance-built C4 in the tunnel with an FTI converter. Piercey also set up the car’s 8.8 rear, and this weekend he’s running a 9.87 dial. In round 1, he ran a 9.88 on that 9.87 dial, so that was good. Lisa, his wife, is the brains of the operation, McKenzie tells us, so we’re sure she had to help redo the carburetor after a float issue earlier in the weekend. McKenzie sits 10th in the points, so a victory here at US 131 would do a lot of good in moving up.

To prove that some race cars suffer from everyday problems, G-Force Racing Transmissions racer Frank Paultanis’ driver side window wouldn’t go up while sitting in the lanes getting ready to make his 3rd round qualifying hit. We’re sure he treated the door panel to a few whacks in an attempt to jar the window motor into doing its job, but alas, the motor wasn’t having it. As you know, competitors aren’t allowed to run with windows down so Paultanis was forced to go without a 3rd round qualifying pass.

Steve Wolcott, the president and CEO of ProMedia, the parent company for the NMRA Holley Ford Nationals and NMCA Muscle Car Nationals, sat down with our colleagues from the PRI Road Tour yesterday during the Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival presented by Force Engineering at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park. “I was happy to have them at this event, along with all of the racers and industry influencers,” said Wolcott. “We talked about how important motorsports is to our society and economy, and how it affects our fans and their families. We also covered the RPM Act, and its impact on our freedom. It was a very positive conversation.”

Though it isn’t an R-model, as the wheels might lead you to believe, Ryan Johnson’s Vibrant Red stallion in the UPR Products Car Show is indeed a 1993 Mustang Cobra. A product of the storied Special Vehicle Team, this example is no stocker. Built over a few years, it is powered by a 331 stroker topped by AFR cylinder heads and boosted by a Paxton Novi 2000 supercharger routing boost through a custom intercooler. Behind that polished engine bay are a TREMEC TKO five-speed manual transmission and a stock 8.8-inch rear fitted with 3.55 gears. Johnson is still dialing in the tuning on the Cobra’s Holley EFI after adding a larger fuel pump to feed the hungry small-block. He is, however, expecting it to deliver more than 700 horsepower.

Running in Coan Stock/Super Stock, the amount of allowed engine modifications is pretty slim. For Brad Zaskowski and his dad Bill, they’re using a 1964 327-250hp engine with a Liberty four-speed, a McLeod clutch, a Browell bellhousing, and a 9-inch Ford rear end with stump-pulling 6.20 gears. From nearby Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zaskowski counts on Parsons and Myers in Dayton, Ohio for the engine work, which includes a Comp cam, an Edelbrock Victor intake, and Jesel valvetrain components. The car wears both Mickey Thompson tires and wheels. In the heat this weekend, the younger Zaskowski’s dial is an 11.05, but in good air the car run as quick as a 9.95. Bill originally built the 1966 Chevy II back in 1976, but ended up selling it in 1987. However, he bought it back in 2007. It took the Zaskowski’s a couple years to get the car back in fighting shape, which included redoing the paint and installing a new cage. The car still retains its original sheetmetal, however.

 

Dennis Hagedorn and Steve Summers had a wild time in the second round of VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod eliminations today. Hagedorn, driving the Dodge Avenger owned and built by David Janes Race Cars  and powered by a nitrous-enhanced 942 cubic-inch engine by Reher Morrison, went red by -.0009 and lifted, while Summers went into a wheelie in his Camaro, crossed into Hagedorn’s lane, worked very hard to avoid hitting him and got into the wall. “Steve did a great job of driving, and managed to miss me,” said Hagedorn. “Because he crossed the centerline, I won, and that’s definitely not the way I wanted to win against him.” The Missourian, who ran a personal best of 3.73 and 200 mph at the NMCA event in Florida last March, is preparing for the semifinal round of eliminations with help from crew chief Shannon Jenkins, as well as David Janes, Reco Willingham, Foster Janes, Lee Boettcher, Jaime Janes, Elizabeth Boettcher, Dan Hagedorn, Camren Kulp and Sean Herron. His efforts also are backed by Troy Mills Country Store and Victory Metals and Recycling.

Competing against Coyote engines in the Richmond Gear Factory Stock ranks with a Two-Valve 4.6-liter with a stock intake, stock crank and stock heads is no small task. It requires a refined combination, plenty of rpm, and a little bit of luck. It seems that Mark “Mayhem” Anderson put all three together. He draws on the experience of his an experienced group for assistance and advice, including his father Ron Anderson (engine), his uncle Rick Anderson (Holley EFI tuning), Matt Bell of Redline Motorsports (tuning/dyno), Ryan Hecox (chassis/suspension), and Adam Cox (starting line). Putting that support to good use, his Laris Motorsports Insurance-backed Fox qualified in the top spot on the merits of a 10.73 at 123.63 hit. He coasted through the first round before lining up against Justin Fogelsonger in round two, where he won on a holeshot and headed to the final against defending champion John Leslie Jr.

Chris Parisi wanted to make the most of his 17-hour commute from Florida this weekend. To that end, he triple-entered in Ford Muscle, HP Tuners Super Stang, and Torqstorm Superchargers/QA1 True Street. He narrowly missed the 12-second win in True Street, but took out number-one qualifier Marvin Knack in the first round of Super Stang by running a 12.08 on a 12.05 dial-in. Parisi recently added a Circle D torque converter and turned to Tony Gonyon at HP Tuners to dial in the calibration to get him out of the hole quicker — and it seems to be working out.

Tim Matherly (Left) is known for his reaction times, and that has been his focus during Sunday’s eliminations. He was able to get past Frank Paultanis, but he has Shiftin’ Shane Stymiest in the semi-final. For his part, Stymiest (Right) has mostly been working on getting his car to leave today.


Mary Lendzion
Formerly a writer at the Detroit Free Press, Mary Lendzion has written for NMCA and NMRA for more than ten years. She's also the director of media and public relations for Summit Motorsports Park, and spends as much time as possible racing her Mustang.
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