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The NMRA Ford Expo as it is called a: Columbus also plays host to the Y-Block Nationals. Even though most of them aren't as brisk as most NMRA cars by com parison, if s still really cool to see the old iron be exercised down the quarter-mile. Y-block engines were originally found in '55-'57 Thunderbirds, Fairlanes, and ether big-body Fords from that era.

Each NMRA season racers come into the Columbus race either to cement their points lead, or to make a run at winning the championship in their respective classes. By the time we hit Columbus the die is cast for many of the racers. Still others keep the competitive f ames burning with the potential of mathematical eligibility in their classes. No one is ready to give up.

Racers find themselves in one of three situations.They're either trying to extend cheir points lead, set themselves up for a late-season push, or just trying to finish strong, and gain momentum going into 201 I .With the NMRA's point format for this year, some racers gained positions going into the last few races, while others suffered mightily.

Naturally, we were there see how it all played ou: on Labor Day weekend.

▼ Ron Anderson was back riding Seabiscuit into Pure Street competition at Columbus. Ron has had 3 few health setbacks in the last year, so Columbus was a chance to get back out there and show the kids how it's done. As usual, Ron said they had too much gear in the car, but he still qualified with a 10.32 at 129 mph. Ron was a no-show in first round cf eliminations, which allowed Steve Gifford to get into Round 2 against Shawn Johnson.

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By Michael Johnson

Photos by Michael Johnson and Paul Rosner

▼ King of the Street alumnus Jacob Limb recently finished this little '85 coupe for Modular Muscle competition, and to simply havs a play toy for the track. Jacob still owns tlie teal '93 Cobra with which he competed in the King of the Street, and it was getting fresh paint when we talked to him at Columbus. Speaking of fresh paint, the '86 had just escaped paint jail, looking resplendent in Jalapeno Red. Jacob put together a Four-Valve engine on the cheap with a Tremec behind it, and has gone racing. Since it was the car's first race, Jacob had his share of teething issues. It didn't help his cause when he had to race Susan Roush-McClenaghan in Round 1, which didn't go Jacob's way.

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ASam Vincent was enjoying the sunny weatiier at Columbus, at least while it lasted. San blistered a 7.27 at 188.99 mph. Sam has got his nitrous'd small-block combo running really fast, much to the chagrin ot the rest of the Super Street Outlaw crov/d. However, as with nany nitrous cars, consistency has been the issue. In tie final against Phil Hiies, the consistency wasn't there as Phil took the win.

gotta say, when the staging lanes of a drag strip are Hied with Mustangs, there aren't too many places I'd rather be. The lanes at Columbus didn't get much rest with the amount of bracket cars, Y-block cars, and the usual NMRA Mustang crowd. Here you can see Carlos Sobrino yuckin' it up fresh off his win at zMAX, and Real Street racer Craig Baldwin on the right up against the fence. Craig's Real Street racer failed to start in Round 1, handing the round win to newcomer Eric Tate. Drag radial racers arc ready in lane three, while Pure Street takes up lane four.

A Real Street has long been the Tim and Bruce show, ard at Columbus the two would trade body blows all weekend long. Bruce ran a 9.38 in Round 2 qualifying, but Tim answered with a 9.37. However, Bruce would answer in the last round of qualifying with a 9.31 to take the :op spot. For the most part, Bruce's '86 coupe was rjnning flawlessly smooth runs, while Tim was throwing the kitchen sink at the car to sta/ in Bruce's neighborhood. Once eliminations got underway, Tim's car took to reaching for the sky. He was able to get past Real Street newcomer Eric Tate, but it didn't work in the final as Bruce took the win with an unreal 9.28 to Tim's 9.59.

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^Big-block machines have long dominated Pro Outlaw, but at Columbus the nitrous-fed 632ci machine of Jim Brown outlasted Mike Murillo when his car ran into problems at the starting line, and then Jim went straight down Broadway when Conrad Scarry got loose in the final. Conrad crossed the centerline, automatically handing the win to Jim. No matter—it was Jim's first Pro Outlaw 10.5 win so he'll take it any way he can get it.

► BFGoodrich

-^As usual, Columbus brings with it challenges for the drag radial guys. They usually have to releam the track curing qualifying and see where they can begin to put in the power down track. Jason Lee is not new to figuring out how his car likes to run. and, as such, he was best able to make proper adjustments to get the car down the track quicker than his competitors. Jason beat fellow ProCharger racer, and friend Enzo Pecchini in the final with an 8.11 to Enzo's 8.22.

► BFGoodrich

<Filthy Phil Hines and the little dirties aren't supposed to be in the Super Street Outlaw mix. No one really gives him a chgnce when the class also serves as the playground for John Urist, Johnny Mac, and Sam Vincent, but at Columbus he used his ProCharger-equipped 423ci machine to take care of Johnny Mac in Round 1, and then Sam Vincent in the final.

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•^Bob Cook had all kinds of troubles at the zMax race, so coming into Columbus he was looking to have a better weekend. Boy did he ever! Bob was at the wheel of his famously clean Fox GT again at Columbus, and he was back to his consistent ways. Though Brian Mitcholl was at the top of the qualifying sheet, it was Bob whc took out Brian in Round 2. He then took out Chris Van Gilder in the final. Bob ran in the 8.40s all weekend wth his Roush Competition Engines-built 310 with a Vortoch supercharger. Bob still utilizes a Dynamic Racing Transmissions C4 with a TCT converter.

a Bruce Hemminger keeps gettirg quicker as the season goes along. He and engine builder Rich Groh, of PGR Engines, worked on some intake improvements before Columbus, and they showed results with Bruce being able to run in the 9.20s before the weekend was ove'. Bruce was consistently in the 9.30s all weekend, but a 9.28 in the final against Tim Matherly is flat out silly. Real Street is going to be a dogfight going into Sowling Green with both Tim and Bruce within fighting distance of each other for the championship.

▲ Charlie Booze had the black wheels up front of his Hot Street car at Columbus. It has been many racers experiences that bright front wheels cause red lights. Some people would use shoe polish to dull the wheels, but Charlie's method certainly looks cooler than shoe polish. At Columbus, the only thing Charlie reeded to worry about was keeping the front end down. Charlie's Kuntz and Co.-powered GT still runs a 400ci combination, and it was good fo' 8.50s all weekend. Charlie took out Don Bowles in round 2, and then had Robbie Slankenship for the final. Robbie had been running 8.60s so he knew he had to push the tree, but unfortunately, he pushed too hard with a red-ligh- start

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(Pfcto&se Blw^jtem ¿\ [P^afira&jj. Stop^toss to Ml never truly happy with his racing program. He could be running reall/ well, but still be singing the blues. Truthfully, his car was a tad off-pace during qualifying, but a lot of radial cars wire off-pace during qualifying. However, Malt got it figured out by second-round eliminations, which was just in time to take out number-one qualifier Tommy Godfrey. In the final, Carlos Sobrino knew he had to come out of the gate swinging, but he swung too early, handing Matt the event win thanks to a red-light start.

^Shawn Johnson was once again at the wheel of Jim St. Charles record-setting Pure Street car at Cclumbus. Pro-Tree Race Cars really has the car coming off the line with its Two-Valve/a utc combination. Shawn has really prospered at the wheel of Jim's car. Shawn won zMAX just a few weeks prior to the Columbus race, and he repeated that feat with another final round victory over Brandon Alsept.

▲ In the Bowles family, racing is in their blood. Don Bowles races in his Maverick in Hot Street, while son Donnie Bowles races tiis '05 Mustang GT in Modular Muscle competition, among other classes. At Columbus, ilnnnie was really on his game wilh consistency both on reaction times, and running on his dial. His competitors also knew Donnie was sharp Both his semifinal and final-round opponents went red in an effort to get the jump on him. Donnie's worst reaction time in eliminations was a 0.575 light (0.500 is perfect in Modular Musclei in the semi's.

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▲ It wasn't long ago that Shannon Papier first learned to powershift her '03 Mustang GT, and she has the Brenspeed guys to thank for that We're sure the rest of the Super Stang class wojld be OK if she hadn't learned the technique Shannon was ridiculous on her 13.33 dial-in, but her 0.507 reaction time in the final agaiist class favorite Chris Parisi made Chris breakout trying to catch her at the top end, handing Shannon the win. Shannon also broke out on that pass, but not as much as Chris. Way to go, girl.

▲ It wasn't long ago that Shannon Papier first learned to powershift her '03 Mustang GT, and she has the Brenspeed guys to thank for that We're sure the rest of the Super Stang class wojld be OK if she hadn't learned the technique Shannon was ridiculous on her 13.33 dial-in, but her 0.507 reaction time in the final agaiist class favorite Chris Parisi made Chris breakout trying to catch her at the top end, handing Shannon the win. Shannon also broke out on that pass, but not as much as Chris. Way to go, girl.

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