At the beginning of last year's race season, we chronicled the genesis of NMRA's new class, Coyote Stock. The premise is simple: take any 1954-or-newer model Ford, install a sealed version of Ford Racing Performance Parts' 5.0L modular crate engine, Ford's Control Pack, your choice of automatic or manual transmissions, and the required safety gear. This is a heads-up class and the competitors leave on a Pro Tree, so the action is exciting. A minimum weight of 3,200 pounds helps level the playing field and allows for a option of building virtually any Ford built since the mid-'50s. We were hoping a variety of cars from Fairmonts to Mavericks would find their way into this class, but so far it's been Fox body and newer Mustangs. In this, Coyote Stock's first year, there were just a handful of regular competitors, but we happened to catch up to most of them at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing in Joliet, Illinois, and spent time with each of them, shooting pictures and gathering feedback on the class. The bottom line: It's fun. And growing, too. NMRA officials tell us they're hearing rumors of several new orders for sealed 5.0 crate engines from Ford Racing Performance Parts, so look for a larger field next year. We'd also like to see Chevrolet Performance and Mopar get in on the action with a similar sealed-engine class of their own. Of course, that just begs for a three-way Coyote, Hemi, LS Engine class shootout, doesn't it?
To race in Coyote Stock, you'll need both of these: an M-6007-M50S Sealed 5.0 Crate Engine and an M-6017-A504V Control Pack. You'll also need a car built to NMRA's safety specifications; full class rules can be found on NMRA's website, NMRAdigital.com, but everyone we talked with liked the concept and said this was probably one of the most affordable ways to get into a heads-up racing class. These are production engines and are rated at 412 hp just like a '12 Mustang. NMRA Race Pages Editor Mile Galimi told us no one was surprised by Coyote Stock racers e.t.'s dipping into the mid-10s. "The 412hp rating from Ford includes a factory airbox, short exhaust manifolds, 2.5-inch exhaust, and the front engine accessories. Coyote Stock racing allows long-tube headers with 13⁄4-inch primary tubes, 3-inch exhaust with mufflers and turn downs, a minimal amount of frontengine accessories, and a cold-air intake system. The tuning is a special Ford Racing Performance Parts calibration [which differs from a production car's tuning]." Galimi figures in race spec, these engines are making close to 490 hp at the crank, and that makes for fun, wheels-up launches. The sealed engine format helps keep the cost of entry down and make the class more competitive overall, because no super-rich guy can build a ringer engine for the class that puts everyone else on the trailer. In addition, the ECMs are not allowed to be tuned in the pits, and at any point in time, an NMRA official can plug in to the car and re-flash the ECM with Ford's stock programming. The designated fuel is VP Racing C-10, which is more than adequate for these 10.0:1 engines, and will keep them safe from detonation to ensure several seasons of racing.
2001 Mustang Bullitt
HiPo Joe is the inaugural year's class champion, clinching the title at NMRA's All Ford World Finals at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Formerly a racer in the now-departed Real Street class, his Bullitt that has gone as fast as 9.1s in its previous Real Street configuration. Joe had to do very little work to get his car ready for Coyote Stock. Basically, all he needed was the engine, accessories, and controller. The rest of the car, from the Tremec TKO-600 transmission to the 8.8 rear axle, was stout enough for low 9s. He's got a UPR front suspension, Metco parts in the back, and QA1 springs and adjustable shocks control all four wheels.
"The car just works," he says. His biggest challenge was figuring out where to set the preload of his clutch pressure plate. "It doesn't need to be as stiff as we had it for Real Street." By mid-season he had the clutch figured out and could then concentrate on his launch RPM and tire tech. "Tire pressure and where you launch the car makes a big difference," he says.
1985 Mustang GT
Port St. Lucie, Florida
Coyote Stock was Joe's first foray into competitive drag racing at this level, and he told us he was having a blast. He's owned this '85 Mustang for 19 years: "That's the original paint!" he exclaims. He heard about Coyote Stock right about the same time he bent a couple valves in his car's stock 302, so he decided to take it off the street and go racing. He replaced his six-point bolt-in rollbar with a 10-point rollcage, plumbed in a fuel cell in time to make the first event at the NMRA's season opener, the Spring Break Shootout at Bradenton Motorsports Park. He ran the first two races with a TKO-500 transmission before switching to a C4 automatic.
"I like the class," he tells us. "You don't need to spend $1,000,000 to be competitive. Because the engines are sealed, driver skill is key."