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Owner: Doctor DeBo
Year: 1992
Model: Mustang LX
Mods: Heavy
State: GA
Type: Nice Weather
ET Range: Unknown
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Stand Tall: A how-to on tall valve covers
As we make our Mustangs go faster we make changes to the valvetrain that at some point necessitate taller than stock valve covers to fit. Some like the "racy" look of taller valve covers but to the hard core enthusiast they serve a bigger purpose. The most common reason to use tall valve covers is to be able to fit aftermarket roller rockers and valvetrain stabilizers more commonly known as stud girdles. However, before you decide to simply bolt on a set of those polished, tall, Motorsport val...
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Build Which of these engines and Why???
408 Bigger is Better...
Result: 30%
393 A bit more mild.. More Reliable???
Result: 15%
347 Hard Built on a production block...
Result: 15%
331 Keepin it safe on a production block...
Result: 41%

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[03/21/2004] A record crowd, a huge car show, and fantastic racing highlight the first round of the 2004 NMRA NMRA Denso Ford Drag Racing Series


You couldn’t have asked for better weather than that at Bradenton Motorsports Park (Bradenton, Florida) for the season-opener on March 11-14. Sunny skies, mild temperatures, and low humidity combined with packed grandstands to make the 3rd Annual Nitto Tire NMRA Spring Ford Nationals the biggest ever. From the huge Dallas Mustang Auto Show & Shine (with over 200 hot Fords), to the crowded swap meet, the fans got their money’s worth at this event.

The only disappointment of the weekend was the light turnout in ProCharger Pro 5.0. Many of the cars being built over the winter just were not finished in time, limiting the class to only two cars, those of Vic Williams and Chip Havemann. David Hance was scheduled to compete with his new Pro 5.0 car, but ran into truck problems on the way to Bradenton and couldn’t get there in time to qualify. He arrived by Sunday morning, however, and made some impressive exhibition passes. Williams won the UPR Top Qualifier money and went on to win the event with a 7.27 at 186.02mph.

The show was in MSD Super Street Outlaw, where a full field of 20 10.5-inch-tire maniacs dazzled the fans with on-the-edge 7- and 8-second runs. Six cars qualified in the 7’s, but it was Jim Blair and his awesome supercharged ’95 Cobra R that set the pace in qualifying with a 7.68 at 167mph. He maintained that pace all the way to the finals where he met number 12 qualifier Sam Vincent. Vincent’s nitrous car had run 7.86 in eliminations, and he got a holeshot in the final with a .035-second reaction time, but he couldn’t hold off Blair’s thundering 7.63-second winning pass.

ProCharger EFI Renegade also had a full field of 18 cars, led by the defending champion, Kurt Gallant, with an 8.79 at 154mph pass. Legendary Renegade racer Bob Kurgan was the number two qualifier, and he met Gallant in the semi-finals. It was a great race, but Gallant’s nitrous car got the win and moved to the final round to face Larry Prykucki, who made his first-ever final round appearance in NMRA action. Prykucki knew he needed a holeshot to hang with Gallant so he went for it, but redlit with a -.238 light, handing the victory to the champ.

Edelbrock Hot Street was the Charlie Booze Jr. Show. Booze qualified on top of the field with a 9.002, ahead of Cory Roth (9.188), Scott Budisalich (9.211), Mike Curcio (9.218) and Max Gross (9.250). The finals came down to Booze and number four qualifier Curcio, and it was Curcio with the holeshot. His 9.18 at 146 wasn’t enough to hold off Booze’s charging 9.012 at 149, however, and Booze took the win.

BFGoodrich Drag Radial had a stellar turnout of 16 cars, and they were led by 2003’s number two in points, Philip Clemmons. Clemmons threw down a brutal 8.55 at 166mph pass in qualifying to top the field, and he had five other radial racers in the 8’s chasing him. Defending champion Chris Little suffered serious engine damage the weekend prior to Bradenton, but he qualified (and earned points) with a stock Mustang. Tragically, number two qualifier Peter Champani’s car caught on fire during the last round of qualifying, seriously damaging the car and send Champani to the hospital with serious burns to his face. The concerned field nevertheless went back to racing, and Clemmons took his number one standing all the way to the final round to face Frank Provenza. It was all Clemmons with a holeshot and another 8.55 to take his first-ever NMRA win.

5.0 Mustang Real Street saw Robin Lawrence sitting atop the qualifying ladder, followed by class champion Chris Tuten and then Tim Matherly in a modular-powered 2001 Mustang. All three were in the 9’s. Matherly got past heavyweights Justin Burcham, Paul Wiley, and Lawrence to go to the final, while Tuten had to beat Troy Carter, Jason Hoots, and Bruce Hemminger to take on Matherly in the final. It was all blown modular power, as Matherly took the win, his first in the NMRA, with a 9.89 to Tuten’s nitrous-gulping 9.999.

Tremec Pure Street had the class’s heavy hitters on the ladder, led by Gene Hindman with 10.59 at 125. He was followed by Rich Groh (number two in 2003 points) and the defending champion Darin Hendricks. The final round came down to the two top qualifiers, and it was a fantastic race. Groh got a slight head start with an .073 light to Hindman’s .093, but Hindman crossed the line first with a 10.531 to Groh’s 10.584. Very close!

BFGoodrich Factory Stock had a strong field of 13 cars entered, led by Bob Cosby’s ’99 Cobra and defending champ Mike Washington in the number two spot. Not surprisingly, both men made it to the final round. Looking to avenge his final round loss at Bowling Green (his only round loss of the 2003 season), Washington came loaded for bear, but it wasn’t to be as Cosby ripped to an 11.77 at 115 to the champ’s 11.80 at 114.

Vortech Modular Muscle was one of the largest classes of the weekend, with 34 Mustangs, one Mercury Marauder and one F250 truck qualified. Richard Lelsz’s wicked ’03 Cobra led the pace with a 9.53 at 142, but it was Mr. Modular, Robert Hindman, taking on Hollywood, Florida’s Joe DeCaria in the final round. DeCaria ran his race and won with a 10.619 on a 10.60 dial-in to Hindman’s 10.967 on a 10.95. DeCaria also used the tree to win, putting a rare light on Hindman.

True to form, Toyo Tires Open Comp was the biggest field of all, with 41 Fords entered. After five rounds of racing, it was number two in points John Brady taking on Chet Caminita in the final. The old pro Brady cut a great .016 light and ran a 10.81 on his 10.77 dial, forcing Caminita to chase him down and break out and giving the win to Brady.

DynoMax Truck & Lightning was led by the champion, Mark Morales, and his flying silver Ranger. He was followed on the ladder by his friend Keith Kohlmann, also in a Ranger, and Johnny “Lightning” Wiker in a 2001 Lightning. Kohlmann made it to the final round, and in the other lane was John Ashcroft in a

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