The moment that Rich Nye joined the high-revving and highly-regarded NMCA Dart NA 10.5 presented by Diamond Pistons category in 2016, he began proving that he can row gears and rack up wins.
He has had top-ten finishes in points, including a fourth-place finish in 2017, and he has gotten quicker and faster in his Mustang, which is motivated by a 410 cubic-inch small-block Ford built by Gaby Labiosa of EIC Motorsports and topped with Edelbrock 15-degree heads and a cast aluminum intake.
With a G-Force Racing Transmissions-built GF-2000 five-speed helping to plant power, he set an elapsed-time record in the category with a 7.78, which still stands, and then went all the way to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle at the NMCA event at Memphis International Raceway last May.
“Until I hooked up with Gaby for a new engine, I had never run quicker than 8.0,” said Nye. “But, when we got home from that race, we found that my single-disc clutch wasn’t holding up to the increased rpm we were running. It was cracking. So, we went with a dual-disc seven-inch Ram clutch, but because I had never run that style before, I couldn’t get a handle on it for the rest of the season. The engine was basically just running and power wasn’t being put to the ground. The clutch was slipping, and the more that happens, the more the discs glaze over. The Ram clutch is like a Pro Stock clutch, and the learning curve was big.”
For help when the race season ended, Nye reached out to Leonard Long, fellow NMCA Dart NA 10.5 presented by Diamond Pistons driver and a multi-time champion.
“Leonard gave me the Boninfante clutch discs that he runs in his car, and they are more aggressive than the discs that I was running,” said Nye.
Now, the Pennsylvania-based driver is preparing to head to the first event on this year’s NMCA schedule, the 18th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem presented by Holbrook Racing Engines, March 5-8, at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
“We went over everything on the car, and in addition to swapping clutch discs, we put heavier arms on the clutch,” said Nye. “We also changed the rear gear in the car, and I installed a new RacePak digital dash, and fellow racer Terry Brandt will program it.”
Joining Nye’s crew for 2020 will be Ed Brady, who will help him with the clutch program and perform regular maintenance.
“We’re hoping to pick up where we left off at the race in Memphis last year,” said Nye. “And, I would love to be able to win a race in memory of my brother, Roy, who died a few weeks ago. He had been planning to come to some races with me, so this is really hard, and I want to do well for him.”
Fans who can’t be at the 18th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem presented by Holbrook Racing Engines, March 5-8, at Bradenton Motorsports Park, can see the action broadcasted live on with support from presenting sponsor , TCI, Fuel Air Spark Technology, , and .
(Photos courtesy of NMCA)