Despite the remnants of Hurricane Nicole passing through the day before this event, the TREMEC-shifting drag race action at the 2022 Mod Nationals couldn’t be stopped at South Georgia Motorsports Park. The TREMEC Modular True Street class featured a tight field with multiple 8-, 9- and 10-second cars vying for top honors. The 2020-up GT500 class was a showdown of Mustangs with TREMEC TR-9070 DCTs, featuring 9 cars with qualifying times in the 9-second range. And the Driver Mod 8.50 class (all manual transmission-equipped) had 22 entries with half the field in the 9- and 10-second elapsed time (E/T) range for qualifying.
What had been Hurricane Nicole moved through the area on Thursday and Friday, washing out any test and tune runs on Thursday, and also limiting Friday’s racing to only one run for each class. Saturday was dry with moderate temperatures and humidity, making for ideal track conditions and good air to make power with. In the wee hours of Sunday morning a cold front moved through that dropped temperatures by 30 degrees along with a significant drop in humidity. While the air had even more power-generating potential, the much colder ambient temperature negatively affected the racing surface early. But the South Georgia Motorsports Park crew did its best all weekend to keep the track surface in the best possible racing condition despite the constantly fluctuating weather.
For racers the changing weather parameters were a challenge. Sitting in the staging lanes the temperature dropped 10 degrees at one point, forcing drivers to quickly try and change their tunes in response to the cooler air and how it affected the track. All weekend, the racing action kept everyone on their toes.
TREMEC Modular True Street
All entries in the TREMEC True Street at the Mod Nationals must be street legal, tagged, on DOT-approved tires and capable of completing a 30-mile road cruise. After the street cruise, cars are lined up in the staging lanes for cooldown where the drivers can adjust tire pressure, turn on nitrous bottles and open their hoods for cooldown and to visually inspect things. Then three back-to-back runs for each car sets an average E/T to determine the winners of the 15- through 9-second class, and then the overall winner determined by fastest average E/T.
Overall Winner – Randy Thomas
The big trophy for winning the overall TREMEC Modular True Street class went home with Randy Thomas after he posted an average E/T of 8.581 in his 2010 GT500. The car has a built 5.8L Trinity Platform engine under the hood built by Tony Bishop at BES Racing. It makes 1,250 horsepower to the rear wheels. Randy had the car dialed in perfectly for the weekend and it ran like clockwork on every pass.
9-Second Winner – Bubby Mitchell
The 9-second class had multiple cars in it before time trials started, but in the end only two drivers could put together a 9-second average E/T for the class. Bubby Mitchell took home the prize with an average E/T of 9.015 beating out Jason Wagoner’s average E/T of 9.139. The car features a sleeved Coyote V8 with a Gen V Whipple 3.0 on top. During time trials he fought the track some with the changing weather conditions, tweaking his launch method so the car would hook before he gave it full throttle. The Mustang is wrapped in an Avery Gloss Lightning Ridge covering.
10-Second Winner – Robert Saner
It was a street fight to win the 10-second class, with the variable track and whether conditions throwing curves at the 9-second cars that had them competing for the 10-second title instead of the 9-second crown. But Robert Saner came out on top with runs of 10.067, 10.026 and 10.049 for a final average E/T of 10.047. This was just 0.025 quicker than the class runner-up Gant Twilley who had an average of 10.072 with his three runs of 9.750, 10.010 and 10.457.
11-Second Winner – Roger Feldner
The 11-second True Street class was packed with the toughest competition and narrow margins of E/T between the cars. Roger Feldner won the 11-second class with a perfect 11.000 E/T average, with two runs in the 11-second range and a 9-second pass. The car went 11.556, 9.834 and 11.611 to bring home the trophy and money.
12-Second Winner – Mike Baker
The only Fox Body Mustang in the TREMEC True Street field, Mike Baker’s coupe took the class with runs of 11.871, 12.054 and 12.076 for a perfect E/T average of 11.000. The 1991 LX coupe originally belonged to Mike’s dad. Now it has a Gen I Coyote V8 with a 2018 intake manifold under the hood, mini-tubs and narrowed 8.8 rear end in back. A veteran of the NMRA and NMRA series, Mike has won 23 True Street events in the Mustang.
13-Second Winner – Jennifer Fahey
Jennifer Fahey fought some adversity to take home the 13-second crown in TREMEC Modular True Street. Normally her naturally aspirated 2011 Mustang GT runs mid to low 11-second E/Ts, but just before the street cruise the car kicked an O2 sensor that hobbled it. All the codes were cleared for the street cruise and plans were to go for the 12-second class. The car ran 11.635 and 11.560 its first two runs, but on the third pass went into fail-safe mode and limped to a 16.803 run. But luck smiled upon Jennifer, and she ended up winning the 13-second class instead.
14-Second Winner – Elijah Franklin
Taking home the trophy for the 14-second class was Elijah Franklin in his 2017 GT. His time trials started strong with an 8.958 E/T, but the next two runs the track was fighting him and he registered 11.339 and 22.016 E/Ts to give him the winning 14-second average of 14.104.
15-Second Winner – Thomas Ayre
Winning the 15-second class in TREMEC Modular True Street was Thomas Ayer from Aiken, South Carolina in his 2011 Crown Victoria P71 police interceptor. The car is bone stock except for a cat delete in the exhaust system, but he plans to build up the car this winter. He’s had the car a year after owning a 2003 Cobra, and autocrosses the Crown Vic regularly along with high performance driving experiences. Thomas had a 15.121 average elapsed time to win.
Driver Mod 8.50
The Nationals Driver Mod 8.50 class is a manual-transmission-only class with a breakout E/T of 8.50. There were 23 entries into the field with six 9-second and six 10-second cars followed by five cars with 11-second average E/Ts. Competition was tight on elimination day, and after two rounds the field was tight with all 9-second cars remaining. Unfortunately, due to a couple of major oil-downs and cold temperatures leading to unsafe track conditions, no further eliminations could be ran and the purse of $3,000 was split evenly between the remaining six competitors shown below.
Jeff Smith 2004 Cobra – 9.396 @ 156.10 qualifier
Alex Martinez 1995 Mustang – 9.688 @ 122.08 qualifier
Kyle Miller 2004 Mach 1 – 9.376 @ 158.19 qualifier
James Chow 1996 Mustang – 9.947 @ 143.86 qualifier
Steve Shrader 1999 Mustang GT – 9.195 @ 159.12 qualifier
Anthony Costello – 9.226 @ 156.63 qualifier