While Rick Hornback had been cruising his ’69 Chevelle to low nines in NMCA MagnaFuel Open Comp, he knew he wanted to make a move to NMCA Quick Lane at Downs Ford NA 10.5 at some time, and according to the racer from Brownsburg, Indiana, that time is now.
He took the first step toward joining the hard-launching, high-revving cars in the category in February by delivering his car to Chris Spall at Spall Chassis and Performance, where its cage is being upgraded to a 25.5.
When he has the car back in his shop, he’ll replace its bolt-on fiberglass hood with an even-lighter lift-off fiberglass hood by VFN, and he’ll swap its driveshaft with an aluminum driveshaft by Mark Williams. He’ll also replace the car’s stock steering with a rack and pinion steering by Chris Alston’s Chassisworks.
For power, he’ll continue to rely on the 565 big-block Chevy engine he built himself and has been running for some time, with machine work by and guidance from Steve Schmidt. It features an aluminum Dart block, Brodix BB4 heads ported by Steve Schmidt and a Quick Fuel 1150 carburetor, and he recently replaced its timing chain with a Jesel Belt Drive. He backs it with a Lenco four-speed transmission, and he’ll move from a single clutch set-up to a Ram twin disc clutch set-up with a Browell bellhousing and clutch fork assembly.
For next year, however, he intends to run a different big-block Chevy, which he’s currently designing.
“It seems like the guys in the class are running at a lower weight with a smaller engine combination, but I’m willing to weigh more to run a bigger engine combination and see how it fits in,” said Hornback. “There’s no doubt the class is tough, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
The car’s four-link and nine-inch Ford rear-end were built by Pro Tree Race Cars, and it rolls on Mickey Thompson 29.5X10.5 slicks.
“We want to break into the eights this year, and we know we’ll be at the bottom of the ladder, but hopefully, we’ll learn some things and be more competitive next year,” said Hornback, who’s supported by his crew chief and son, Tyler Hornback, as well as his wife, Twila Hornback, daughter, Shelby Hornback, and Rob Wetnight, Brent Wright, Steve Wright and Kelly Murphy.
While he won’t make this weekend’s 8th Annual NMCA/NMRA All Star Nationals Presented By Miller Welders at Atlanta Dragway, April 7-10, he has his sights set on making the 15th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Nationals, featuring the Dave Duell Nostalgia Super Stock Classic, May 12-15, 2016 at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky.