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Richmond Gear Factory Stock was fast, tight, and the most competitive it has been in many years. John Leslie Jr. sat on top of the field with top-qualified position thanks to a 10.517 at 125.97 mph, which was also low et of the event and the new class record. On Sunday, Dan Ryntz raced to his first-ever NMRA class win and he defeated James Meredith and cracked the win streak. Meredith entered the Spring Break Shootout having won the last seven NMRA events dating back to the 2015 finale. The class champion made his ninth-straight, final-round appearance. Ryntz unleashed a holeshot, .054 reaction time to Meredith’s .143 light. The Booze Brothers Racing-sponsored machine won it with a 10.701 at 123.30 mph to a quicker, but losing, 10.640 at 123.79 mph.
The longest running heads-up Mustang category is the JLT Performance Spring Break Shootout and it was nothing short of spectacular, as usual. The class has enjoyed wild success over the years thanks to its street-oriented requirement. The QA1 True Street class serves as the qualifier and Cal Hayward topped that easily with a 7.94 average. The Michigan native went on to dominate the competition with his mid-7 second machine. He beat Canadian racer Jeff Bloem in the finals with a 7.323 at 191.20 mph. Also part of the QA1 True Street party is the TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout, which the four quickest stick drivers compete in for a Tremec six-speed transmission. Local racer Anthony Heard took the class win over Harrison Cumbie, 9.192 at 149.15 mph to a 10.475 at just 108.17 mph.
Bill Putnam took his fourth class win in the Livernois Motorsports EcoBoost Battle as he set the all-time low elapsed time for a EcoBoost-powered drag vehicle with a 9.467 at 144.46 mph. He outran Alexis Fruggiero in the finals, 9.513 at 142.56 mph to a 10.298 at 132.13 mph. Local sensation and noted tuner Sai Li pushed his 2012 Mustang GT to an 8.350 at 179.24 mph, topping a wheel-standing Chris Holmes in Hellion Turbo Coyote Shootout. The racing was fierce and Justin Jordan was the top qualifier with a 7.893, but ran as quick as 7.601 at 181.48 mph during eliminations before losing to Li in the semifinals.
There were two categories that were completed on Saturday; the Ford Performance Cobra Jet Showdown presented by Watson Racing, and the ididit Outlaw True Street class. The factory hot rods used the race as a tune-up for the NHRA Gatornationals and Michelle Bongiovanni captured the win with her dad, Anthony Bongiovanni, looking on when she eliminated Paul Roderick. In Outlaw True Street, the no Time, eighth-mile eliminator capped off Saturday night’s fun with high-stakes racing. Mark Duber was the victor over Jon Anderson.
The Index categories were no less dramatic—In Aerospace Components Open Comp, Mel White drove his borrowed Mustang to the win as he defeated Gordon Harlow in the finals. The Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle class saw Roush teammates Susan McClenaghan and Donnie Bowles meet up in the final round. The propane-powered S197 machines were primed for a tight race, but Bowles went red and McClenaghan raced right into the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle.