Young driver outruns pack of Mustangs


May 22, 1994|By STAN DILLON

Last Saturday 75-80 Dragway in Monrovia was the site of the P.A. Transmissions East Coast 5.0 Mustang Shootout and All Ford Day Show and Race. It was the place to be if you owned a Ford.

One of the most popular Fords in recent years has been the Ford Mustang 5.0. Because of their popularity, 75-80 had a shootout for the pony car.

The event attracted over 60 Ford 5.0 Mustang owners, including Brian Koons of Taneytown. He has only been racing his car since he purchased it a year ago. Last Saturday he put together a perfect day and went seven rounds to win the 5.0 shootout.

"The car ran real well and real consistent. I was very impressed with how the car performed," said Koons.

Winning wasn't easy. With over 60 competitors registered, Koons, 20, had to go seven rounds before he won. Round after round, Koons kept winning. His reaction time stayed close to a perfect 5.0. As the temperature dropped, the car got faster. Koons continued to win. With each round his confidence grew.

"I won a bye round in the semifinals," said Koons. "I began to feel that things were going my way, that I could win this."

In the final round, Koons had another good light. He went through four gears of his five-speed transmission taking his car from zero to 106 mph in 12.70 seconds. The race was so close he didn't know he won until he crossed the white line at the end of the quarter-mile and saw the light at the end of the track in his lane flash on indicating that he had won.

Koons started racing three years ago with a pickup truck. He raced with different vehicles, waiting for the chance to buy a high-performance car.

Over a year ago, he purchased the 1993 Ford Mustang with a 5.0 Litre engine. Koons is now one of over 15 friends his age that have purchased similar Mustangs. They use their car for everyday transportation and to race.

"I purchased the Mustang because it is the most available way to go fast," said Koons. "It is one of the better cars on the market and parts are easy to get."

Although his Mustang looks like any other Mustang 5.0 off the showroom floor, Koons has made a lot of changes, mostly to the powertrain.

"I've upgraded the clutch to handle the force of drag racing," Koons said. "I have changed the gear ratio and the exhaust."

Koons considers his car the guinea pig for the group. The guys come up with ideas to improve the performance on the car and they normally end up trying it out on his first. If the changes result in increased performance, then the rest of his friends will adopt the idea and modify their Mustang engines.

"We want to see how fast we can get the cars to go and keep them street legal," said Koons.

Koons' Mustang is fast for a street car. Its speed reaches more than 110 mph in the quarter-mile. He has lowered the elapsed time of his car from 14 seconds down to the low 12 seconds.

His first goal is to make his Mustang a 12-second car, something not everyone can say. Later, he hopes to have a full-blown race car.

Weekend results

It was a big two-day weekend at 75-80 Dragway in Monrovia. On Saturday, it was P.A. Transmissions East Coast 5.0 Mustang Shootout and All Ford Day Show and Race. In Class I, George Hoff of Westminster defeated Frank Gugliotta of Mount Airy. Corey Hess of Taneytown went to the semifinals before losing to Gugliotta. In the Quick 8 Class, Joe Doffmeyer of Westminster won.

On Sunday, Jim Peddicord of Westminster made it to the final round before the rains came. He will face off today against Donnie Hottinger of Frederick in the final round. Dan Householder of Sykesville went to the semifinals.

In Class II, Ben Snouffer of Mount Airy made it to the final round along with Ed Talbert of Union Mills before the event was postponed because of rain. The race will be finished Saturday with the winner racing against the winner of Class I for the Top Dog Title for May. In other Class II action, Steve Hoff of Sykesville went to the semifinals, Chris Hruska of Mount Airy and George Hoff of Westminster went five rounds and Matt Springs of Westminster went four rounds.

In motorcycle racing, Marion Ford of Hampstead defeated Dave Belt of Westminster.

In oval track racing at Trail-Way Speedway, Mike Stull of Westminster was second in the micro sprint feature followed by Westminster's Steve Owings in third, Brad McClelland, sixth and Dave Parrish eighth. Greg Messersmith of Hampstead was fifth in the eight-cylinder main event followed by Mark Shorb of Westminster seventh and John McDonough of Finksburg eighth. Westminster's Jeff "Crash" Young was third in the four-cylinder feature and Matt Barnes was fourth.

At Lincoln Speedway, Jesse Wentz of Manchester was fourth in the super-sprint feature. Rick Jones of Westminster finished third in the late-model feature. He has finished in the top five in all six events this year.Hagerstown Speedway had two 25-lap late-model features. Gary Stuhler of Westminster finished second in each main event. Paul Crowl of Upperco was eighth in the first feature and ninth in the second. Charlie Schaffer of Hampstead was 11th and 13th. Luke Dempsey of Westminster was third in the Jr. Novice Division.

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