New Windsor's Kinna can't wait to try out his new transmission


January 15, 1995|By STAN DILLON

Donald Kinna is one of many Carroll countians looking forward to the first race in March at 75-80 Dragway.

He has changed the transmission in his 1988 Ford Mustang GT from a stick shift to an automatic and can't wait to check out the car.

Kinna has been racing for only two years. Three years ago he started going to the racetrack with his best friend from high school, Ray Wittington. Before that, Kinna had never been to the races. He started going to the track as a favor to his friend, to video his racing.

Toward the end of the season, Kinna was showing sincere interest in racing, so much that Wittington let him take a spin in his car.

After that drive, Kinna was hooked on driving a Mustang and decided he wanted one to race himself. Kinna and Wittington looked around and within a couple weeks they found a Mustang for him.

Since buying the car two years ago, the 20-year-old from New Windsor has made a lot of changes, and each change has resulted in faster elapsed times for the quarter-mile.

The Ford Mustang is known for quick response without any modifications. But the factory manufactures a line of performance parts to make the car even quicker.

Kinna has changed the intake and exhaust systems on the car vTC along with the gear ratio. He estimates that he has spent more than $2,200 to improve his car's performance. He feels it has been worth it.

When Kinna started racing, his elapsed time was 14.88 seconds. With the changes, he has improved his time to where he ended the season at Mason-Dixon Dragway in Hagerstown last November with his fastest run, an elapsed time of 13.13 seconds or 104 mph.

Kinna expects at least a three-tenths-of-a-second improvement right from the start in 1995 with racing slicks that his girlfriend, Lauren, gave him for Christmas. He is also eager to try out his new C4 automatic transmission.

"When I first started out, all I knew how to do was to change oil and spark plugs," said Kinna. "Now, thanks to friends like Ray Wittington, Ron McCall, Eddie Reed and Galen McKenzie, I can do most of the work myself. I can tear down an engine and change a rear. Now when I have problems with the car I can repair them myself.

"When I started going to the track I figured I would go just once a month, but I absolutely love it and go every week."

Kinna plans to race in the Trophy Class again this season and possibly switching to Class II in the summer. He also looks forward to competing in the Mustang 5.0 meets at the local tracks and the Ford Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa.

Kinna has won his share of trophies in the two years since he started. Although he didn't make it to the final round last year, he made it at least to the quarterfinals most weeks. This year he will be concentrating on being more consistent as he prepares to move up to Class II competition.

When Kinna is not racing or working on his car, he is doing volunteer work for the New Windsor Volunteer Fire Department as an emergency medical technician on the ambulance. A graduate of Francis Scott Key High, he works for the Chesapeake Ambulance Company taking IV tech training. He plans on taking paramedic courses this fall and hopes someday to be a MEDIVAC paramedic.

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