After competing in NMRA Roush Performance Super Stang in her 2008 Saleen Mustang and in NMRA Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle in Lloyd Mikeska’s 2006 Mustang, Becki Cram has readied a new race car.
It’s a 2010 Mustang which she and her husband and fellow racer Joe Cram purchased as a roller in the fall of 2016, and it has received many modifications since they made it theirs.
Watson Racing installed an 8.50-certified cage in the car, and Joe and his colleagues at Ray Skillman Motorsports performed body work before sanding away the car’s grey paint.
Later, Becki, Joe and Becki’s daughter, Maci, loaded the car into a trailer and made the trip from their home in Indiana to Joey Finan’s shop in Pennsylvania, where they clocked long hours with Finan, his children and fellow racers Adam Arndt and Krista Elyse, to strip the car of its doors, fenders, windshield and more to prepare it for the paint Finan would apply to it the next day.
“I had always told myself that if I ever had the chance to build a racecar, I would have it painted deep blue, and when I saw Ford’s Lightning Blue color, I loved it, and that’s the color we went with,” said Becki.
As soon as Finan was finished painting the car, the same weary work crew reinstalled its doors, fenders, windshield and more, and pushed it back into the trailer before Joe, Becki and Maci headed home to give it a 302 cubic-inch Coyote engine purchased from Chris Holbrook. It was topped with stock heads and a Cobra Jet intake, and a Deatschwerks fuel system was put into place.
“Chris Holbrook had originally built the engine for his daughter, Sabrina Holbrook, to use in her Fox body Mustang, but we were tight on time and he agreed to sell it to us,” said Joe, who added that he and Becki also obtained various parts for their build from Cobra Jet racers Ray, Bill and Drew Skillman.
Rounding out the powerplant is a Joel’s On Joy-built C4 transmission paired with an A-1 Performance converter, and after Holbrook laid a baseline tune, Tomi Laine used Big Stuff 3 to kick it up a notch for the car which features Cobra Jet-spec suspension supplied by Watson Racing and will roll on Mickey Thompson slicks for some events and Mickey Thompson Pro Bracket Radials for other events.
When the work was wrapped up, Becki and Joe headed to the 17th Annual NMCA Quick Fuel Technology Bluegrass Nationals in May at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky, where Joe climbed into the car, entered MagnaFuel Open Comp and began the shakedown process. He ran a 10.68 in competition, but didn’t have the pedal to the metal as he went through the traps.
“Our goal for the weekend was just to make sure the car launched straight and went down track straight, and we were a lot happier than we thought we would be,” said Joe.
A few days later, they headed to their home track, Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana, where Becki belted in for her first test pass in her new car.
“It went surprisingly well,” said Becki, who was foot-braking and shifting a manual transmission in her other car and is now leaving off a transbrake and shifting an automatic transmission. “I was really happy about that because it had felt like we were never going to finish the project, and suddenly, it was all worthwhile.”
Ready to turn up the wick for her second test pass, Becki asked Joe to increase the launch rpm.
“She asked for a little more cowbell, and I gave it to her,” said Joe, with a laugh. “It threw her back in her seat.”
While Becki declines to say what elapsed-times she ran in testing, she will share that the car has reached 128 mph, and that she’s ready to tackle Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle at the 15th Annual NMRA Ford Super Nationals, June 7-10 at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio.