The story of MagnaFlow friend and NMRA (National Mustang Racers Association) veteran Danny Towe is the tale of a man and his car. The car in question is a classically beautiful orange 1970 Mustang. Believe it or not, this timeless muscle-turned-racecar began its journey with Towe as a daily driver that he bought off his brother-in-law back in 1993.
Even then, the bright colored pony was the apple of Towe’s eye. So much so, in fact, that after a couple years of driving the vehicle and affectionately doting on it with care, the ride was in show-ready condition. Proud of his prized Mustang and own hard work, Towe started bringing the car to shows and meetups where the ‘Stang garnered plenty of attention.
A couple of years into his show-car routine Towe heard an ad on the radio announce that Fun Ford Weekend, an all-Ford drag racing series, was coming to his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. Recognizing this opportunity, Towe decided to enter his prized ride into the race. That weekend marked a turning point for Towe and was the beginning the next chapter of both his and his dependable Mustang’s journey into the world of drag racing.
From Fun Ford Weekend to NMRA Ford Muscle
Towe would go on to compete in the Fun Ford Series for a few years before moving on to race in the NMCA (National Muscle Car Association), as well as the NHRA Division 2 Index class. At the strong recommendation of his friend, NMRA driver Shane Williams, Towe decided start racing in NMRA’s then-new Ford Muscle class back in 2016. In Towe’s own words, “He said it was the perfect class for me—quarter mile, foot brake, index…”
Index racing involves getting as close as you can to a target time or ‘index.’ The car itself can run in the low 11 second range at speeds approaching 120mph. That being said, to keep the vehicle in good condition he usually runs in 11.75 to 12 second index races to avoid routinely pushing the 50+ year old car to the ragged edge of its capabilities. These intricacies make every one of Towe’s runs a balancing act in relentless pursuit of improved consistency. Instead of simply trying to go as fast as possible every time, he knows the time he needs to hit, but it’s up to his skill as a driver and the reliable performance of his car to get his times closer to the index than the rest of the muscle cars in his class.
As it turned out, Towe’s friend was right: Ford Muscle was indeed the class for him. In the class’s 2016 premier season Towe won both the first-ever race and overall championship, leaving an indelible mark on the fledgling competition. Towe ended up having to take a break from the series after placing fourth in the 2017 season. He had been working two jobs at the time: one with the United States Postal Service and another running his one-man garage. When he moved to a new town he had to close the garage, and, in his words “the [garage] business was where all the racing money came from, and, well, you don’t take your house payment to go racing.” Despite this setback, Towe still managed to make it to a few races across the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Last year, Towe made his triumphant return for the 2020 season. Even though he sat out most of the previous two years, he still finished a strong 2nd place in the series. The current 2021 season is also going swimmingly for him. He’s won each of the three races he’s attended this year (Atlanta, St. Louis and Norwalk), having only missed one race due to a surgery. If he keeps it up, it looks like this could once again be a championship year!
His Loyal Steed
Of course, Danny Towe’s story wouldn’t be possible without the presence of his magnificent Mustang. The love and care he put into his ride made it nice enough to take to car shows all those years ago, and it demonstrated that it was more than just good looking when it became champion among its peers. Of course, that championship didn’t come out of nowhere. It was the result of Towe learning how to race and developing a mechanical setup for the car that worked best for him.
To begin with, the 393 ci (6.4L) V8 was built by Towe himself. It runs on E85 fuel and features a COMP Cams hydraulic roller, Edelbrock intake and Edelbrock heads, as well as a QuickFuel carburetor. He’s also installed Calvert Racing Cal Trac bars and springs. His buddy Red built the ‘Stang’s Powerglide transmission. Per class regulations, he races on a set of drag radials.
Towe’s relationship with us began when he was looking to replace his Mustang’s old exhaust. He ended up choosing MagnaFlow when offered a choice between us and a competitor, because his wife had nothing but great things to say about her experience running a MagnaFlow exhaust system on her own car. He was also looking for a solution that offered a more compact fit than his previous system. Like his wife, Towe has loved the performance and sound of his MagnaFlow Ford Mustang Street Series Crossmember-Back Performance Exhaust System (#15819) and never looked back!
A closer look at the car reveals that Towe’s team runs under the banner “Cheap Bastard Racing.” As humble as that name is, Towe and his ‘Stang have both more than earned their stripes. Speaking of stripes: In addition to the sleek black stripes on its hood and sides, the car also sports the name of respected roller rocker arm manufacturer Harland Sharp, whose name has been on the car since 2006. It’s clear that Towe values quality engineering when he experiences it, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with him going forward.
The Exhaust of Champions
Looking to become a champion yourself? We’re here for you at MagnaFlow, where we have everything you need to create your own race-winning exhaust, including performance exhaust kits, builder parts and more! You can even specify the year, make, model, trim level and more to find the exact components, exhaust kits or catalytic converters you’re looking for.
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