Orlando seemed like a great place to host an event like the Stampede due to it being centrally located. — Glen Vitale, Steeda
Last weekend, Steeda Autosports hosted the first ever Steeda Stampede outside of its Pompano Beach backyard. The company has long hosted events near its South Florida and Valdosta, Georgia, facilities, but this year the company decided to dip its toe into the Central Florida waters at Orlando Speed World.
“As you already know, Florida might have more Ford enthusiasts than anywhere else on the planet. The location in Orlando seemed like a great place to host an event like the Stampede due to it being centrally located within the state,” Glen Vitale, the company’s Vice President of Operations, told us before the event.
Steeda Autosports brought its Steeda Stampede to Orlando Speed World in Orlando, Florida, for a day of drag racing and car showing.
Like the company’s Pony Wars event, held at OSW’s sister facility, South Georgia Motorsports Park, the Stampede featured drag racing and a car show. It attracted Steeda and Ford performance enthusiasts from near and far who took advantage of ample track passes and a laid-back atmosphere.
“Enthusiast events give the people a chance to experience their vehicles in a way that they were designed to operate in, but in a much safer environment than on the public roads,” Glen added. “In addition, they allow Steeda to directly interact and get a better understanding of what our customers, and even hopefully soon to be customers want and need for their vehicles.”
Naturally Steeda was on hand with a full display of its wares and was offering discounts for attendees. In all it was a fun day and there were a wide variety of cars — from clean Foxes to modded S550s — on hand.
When your Insta handle is StickShiftDude, you expect to do well in the Stick Shift class. Things didn’t go as planned there as Jeff Smith’s Pumpkin lost to Chris Crosby in the first round. However, Jeff fared much better in the True Street class, where he defeated John O’Hara’s 2012 Roush Mustang in the final round (10.29 vs. 10.53).
The company isn’t sure if it will return to Central Florida for another event, but the feedback from those in attendance was quite positive. Steeda’s next outing is the annual Camp Steeda high-performance driving experience, which was recently moved to Father’s Day at Sebring International Raceway and the aforementioned Pony Wars will take place in October.
Until then, check out some of the cool Fords we spotted at the Steeda Stampede…
We had an immediate appreciation for James Bickham’s 1990 5.0 LX, which became his after his son graduated college and moved to Japan. This clean Fox features an Edelbrock intake, AFR heads, a Comp cam, BBK long-tube headers and a DynoMax exhaust, which adds up to 336 horsepower and 355 lb-ft of torque at the wheels. We weren’t alone in loving the car as James took home first place in the car show.
With the likes of Rick Kaknes and Jeff Smith banging gears in the Stick Shift class, it was Chris Crosby’s Termi-swapped Mustang sleeper that prevailed. In the finals, Rick had the quicker car, but Chris chopped down the tree (.124 vs. .238) and beat him over the head with it to take the win despite a slower e.t. (9.87 vs. 9.78).
If you are the type to judge a book by its cover, you might assume that Shea Marion’s 2016 Mustang GT drove onto the OSW property for the car show. That wasn’t the case as he was competing with his bagged S550 in the Open Comp class. His GT puts down 610 horsepower courtesy of a Nitrous Express kit, but he lost in the first round.
In the stacked Open Comp class it was Bill Lee Jr.’s 1990 Mustang GT that survived to take the win. There he faced off against NMRA stalwart James Steamer in his 2001 Lightning. Both vehicles were close to their dial-ins, but Bill got the jump at the tree (.049 vs. .072) to take the win. He also took him top honors in the 11.00 Index class, where he cut a perfect light in the finals.
With Orlando close to VMP Performance’s headquarters it was no surprise to see Travis Deane out clicking off some low 12s in the company’s TVS-supercharged Coyote F-150 in the True Street class.
This car is a cool blast from the past. Chris Figueroa picked up this used SN-95 and began researching its Steeda heritage so he could restore it to its former glory. He recently added the Vortech supercharger and added fresh paint, including painting on replicas of the original Steeda decals.