After a standout race season and securing the NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock championship in 2018, Darin Hendricks began preparing for the NMRA presented by Keystone Awards Ceremony presented by Aerospace Components at PRI in December in Indiana.

He was in the spotlight at the ceremony, and his Mustang Cobra was in the spotlight in the Ford Performance Parts display at the trade show.

“We had a lot of good things happen last year, but we also had some bad things happen, so it was great that everything worked out the way it did and it was great to be recognized at the ceremony and at PRI,” said Hendricks, who had a season-long points lead and set records in the highly competitive category with a 10.09 and 132 mph.

Now, he’s focused on attempting to be the first driver to dip into the 9s in NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock and backing up his championship.

“I really want to be the first to run 9s in the category, but I know that it will take everything coming together at one time for that to happen,” said Hendricks, who runs a second-generation Coyote Stock engine. “I also know that other drivers also want to be the first to run 9s in the category, and that they’re very capable of doing it. Honestly, this is one of the toughest classes I’ve ever raced in.”

To give himself the best chance of getting there, Hendricks delivered his car to Pro Tree Race Cars, where Andy Smith is replacing its single-adjustable front struts with Santhuff’s double-adjustable front struts and swapped its 8.8 rear-end with a 9-inch rear-end.

“We have never had any breakage with the 8.8 rear-end, but this is an opportunity to make the car even better,” said Hendricks, whose car rolls on Mickey Thompson 26X10 slicks. “We simply wanted to go to the 9-inch rear-end because it will have the best of everything, it will be lightweight, it will have the least possible amount of friction and it will help make the car stronger, more durable and faster. We’ll also have flexibility on gear choice.”

Hendricks also sent his tried-and-true G-Force Racing Transmissions G101A transmission back to G-Force Racing Transmissions to be freshened.

“On top of the changes that I’m making to my car, Ford (Performance Parts) is giving everyone in the class a new tune for the year, which NMRA officials will upload for us in the staging lanes,” said Hendricks. “It’s supposed to offer even more power, and we’re hoping to see even better performances as a result.”

In addition to the record he set with the 10.09 in 2018, Hendricks, whose crew includes Andy Smith, Ed Curtis and Scott Soberg, set records with a 10.07 in 2017 and with a 10.20 in 2016, and wants to make it four in a row this year.

Watch him go for it at the 25th Annual Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout, Feb. 28-March 3 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida. If you can’t be there in person, catch the live feed via presenting sponsor Edelbrock along with ATI Performance Products, COMP Cams, Driven Racing Oil, Race Star Wheels, SpeedWire and Billet Atomizer Injectors.

(Photos courtesy of NMRA and Darin Hendricks)