When 75-80 Dragway opens for the 1995 racing season today, Ron McCall will be one of many Carroll Countians raring to go. The Westminster resident has been busy during the off-season working on his 1985 Ford Mustang. He hopes to see a marked improvement in the car's performance when he takes his first run down the quarter-mile track.
"I am still working on the car," McCall said earlier in the week. "I added a BMM super-charger and made a couple of safety modifications. I replaced the gas tank with a drag racing fuel cell, relocated the battery to the trunk and put in a aluminum fire wall between the passenger area and the trunk. Now I am anxious to go and see how the car works."
McCall is one of several Mustang owners from Carroll County who use the track as their proving ground. Instead of racing their cars on the streets, McCall and his friends use the track. They constantly share ideas and modify equipment to make their cars faster. With input from his friends, McCall will often try something new on his car. If it works, he helps others change their cars.
McCall expects to lower his elapsed time by a couple of seconds. He's not sure he'll be able to shave off the seconds the first time out, but sees no problem once the bugs are worked out.
Last year, Mccall's fastest run was 113 mph with an elapsed time of 11.91 seconds for the quarter-mile. Before the year is out, he hopes to have his car in the low 11-second or high 10-second range.
McCall has been racing since 1989 in the trophy class. Also known as the ETK class, the trophy class is for drivers who have street-legal automobiles and want to see how fast their car can go.
His first trip to the track was with his friend, Brian McKenzie of Westminster, six years ago. Soon after his first visit, McCall purchased a 1986 Ford Mustang. He has been racing since.
He used the car for daily transportation and racing on weekends until two years ago, when he had the opportunity to buy another Mustang, similar but a year older.
"I wanted a Mustang with a carburetor rather than fuel injection," said McCall, 23. "I feel that I have more control over the performance of the car with a carburetor than I do with one with fuel injection." The 1985 white Mustang is used only on weekends to drive to the track, race and return.
McCall's wife, Seigh, is more than supportive of her husband's racing. Shortly after he purchased the '85 Mustang, she raced the other car for a few months and once went as far as the fifth round. McCall expects her to do some more racing this year.
A mechanic for Whitcraft Transmission in Reisterstown, McCall expects to be at 75-80 almost every week this year with other Mustang owners like Brian Koons, Jason Warehime, Ray Wittingham and McKenzie. He wants to concentrate on dialing the car down to the time he wants and then maybe move into Class II by the end of the season.
"I would like to try for the points someday," McCall said. "Right now I am changing the car every week to go faster, so I don't have the consistency I need to be competitive."
McCall will continue working on his Mustang to keep a competitive edge over his fellow Mustang owners, then take his experience to Class II. When he makes the switch, Class II competitors will know he is there.
Weekend racing results
Two Westminster drivers started their 1994 racing season with wins last weekend at Trail-Way Speedway. Brad McClelland won the micro-sprint feature and Matt Barnes did the same in the 4-cyl stock event. David Parrish of Westminster placed 10th in the micro sprint feature while Jeff Young of Westminster was third in the 4-cyl stock main event and Craig Mann of Westminster was sixth. In other action at Trail-Way Speedway, Mike Shorb of Westminster was fourth, John McDonogh of Finksburg was sixth and Butch Harvey of Westminster was tenth in the 8-cylinder stock feature.
At Lincoln Speedway, Jesse Wentz of Manchester was fifth in the super sprint feature. In the thundercar main event, Gregg Messersmith of Hampstead was seventh. At Williams Grove Speedway, Cris Eash of Woodbine was eighth.
In late-model action at Hagerstown Speedway, Charlie Schaffer of Hampstead was fourth and Gary Stuhler of Westminster was sixth.