For years we in the drag racing community have spent our days looking towards certain classes and what the future holds. Yet, at the same time we have neglected to pay attention to some of the most exciting classes in all of drag racing.
Everyone knows the excitement that a nitro car brings to fans. The 10000 horsepower, ground shaking, head throbbing power of those beasts is undeniable. Or maybe it’s pro mods, with so many different bodies and combination to make power, all while trying to harness the power and get down track. Then there is a class that has, without a doubt captured the eyes, ears, and pocketbooks of many, and that is drag radial. Whether it be radial vs. the world, X275, Ultra, etc. the radial world has dominated the headlines for the better part of this entire decade. What about the classes that you may not know about or get exposure to? Well we are going to touch on that today.
The NMRA, which has been around for twenty years or so has a class that I personally think everyone should be paying attention to. This isn’t a class where the biggest pocketbook wins either. It is a class where driver skill and understanding a clutch matter. I am talking about Coyote Stock. A class where everyone runs the same engine and you can’t touch it. This isn’t a class where you are dropping $10k on a set of heads, or another $15k on a shortblock. This is a class where the entire engine package is less than what most heads-up racers spend on a set of heads.
Small tires and hi RPM is the name of the game in the NMRA when we look at Coyote Stock. So let’s take a few minutes to check out what this Coyote Stock is all about. We are talking about taking any 1954 and newer Ford bodied vehicle and dropping a coyote engine in it. You are going to have to weigh 3100 pounds with driver when you cross the scales though. This is not a radial style class, you must run a slick and it be no bigger than 28 x 10.6. Most drivers run smaller than that though.
There are absolutely no power adders allowed in the class. This is a naturally aspirated class, where a cold air intake is about the only aftermarket modifications allowed when it comes to bringing the power into the engine. I am sure you are wondering about tuning these cars as well. Scratch that idea right off your list. There is no electronic tuning allowed. A “canned” tune uploaded into your ECU by the staff at NMRA is what you have to go off of. If you are looking to define parity, I think we just did.
So, a sealed engine that you can’t “tune” and you can’t add a power adder to. An engine that is rated at over 400 horsepower that you can’t add a turbo, supercharger, or nitrous to. A program where the base horsepower should be the same across the board, and you, the driver, have to make it work at 3100 pounds. Why in the hell would any race fan enjoy this stuff? Well I will tell you exactly why.
Obviously the NMRA is a Ford lovers heaven. And in Coyote Stock, the car of choice is the popular fox body Mustang. Now there have been others competing in cars other than Mustangs, but the 79-93 bodied Mustang is the overwhelming favorite. Now take a minute and imagine in your mind, two 3100 pound Mustangs taking the lights, the stage light comes on and you hear two naturally aspirated, high revving Mustangs sitting there at almost 8000 RPM waiting for the tree to drop. The ambers drop and the front ends go sky high. They carry those front ends in the air out to the sixty foot all while shifting a clutched transmission into second gear. The front end comes down and they are side by side, passing by each timing block until reaching the 1320’ mark, at which time a 10.2x comes up on the board at over 130 miles per hour. And all of this is done with the same engine your new Mustang GT comes with at the dealership.
In case you have to read that last paragraph two of three times, let me reiterate, almost all the entries in this class are using a manually shifted, clutch assisted transmission. This is where driver ability plays a big role in winning and losing. Hundreds of a second between shifts can mean going home with a check, or just going home. That my friends is racing. There is no autoshifter, no boost controller to turn up, no electronic starting line aids. It is two cars with the same engine, the same tune, and the same rules all making the most of what they have and going true heads up quarter mile racing.
Over the last few years this class has been growing in popularity, not only among the drivers, but among the fans and sponsors as well. There is nothing closer in true heads up racing to a showroom Mustang than a Coyote Stock car. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong on that point.
With only two races left in the season, Darin Hendricks is leading the pack in his beautiful teal Cobra. Nipping on his heals is last years World Champion Jacob Lamb, who if you haven’t noticed has unarguably one of the most beautiful four-eye Mustangs in the country. Clair Stewart and the kid Tyler Eichhorn aren’t out of the chase yet either.
At the end of this month we will see these drivers along with a lot more battle it out for supremacy at the Suerbowl of Street Legal Drag Racing in Joliet, Il. This is the 13th annual, and I can say that I have only missed it twice I believe. This is an event that is a must see for any Ford fan. I have heard rumblings about upwards of twenty coyote stock cars being on the property for the Joliet race. I know where I will be when these drivers are making that sweet sweet music and hanging the hoops up high. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Coyote Stock, you are missing out on some of the best heads up drag racing in the world.