Author Archive

Tim Matherly has been a fixture in the world of blue oval drag racing since the mid-1980’s. This mild mannered 44 year old has pedaled everything from a Pro 5.0 Mustang, big block Cougar Eliminators, juiced fox bodies, to his current NMRA Real Street ride; a blown 2-valve modular powered 2011 Mustang GT.

Written by: Scott Lovell

Tim seems to be one of those guys who have some sort of built-in rev limiter that controls all of his emotions. Do yourself a favor and walk up to him some time at an NMRA race. You would think that under the pressure of a race weekend that he would be operating in high gear. However, that is not the case. While always friendly, his natural demeanor is one that keeps him from ever being too excited or too depressed and he always seems to be running on an even keel. That is just how Tim is. He truly is one of those people who speaks softy and carries a big stick.

Tim makes a living by owning and operating MV Performance is located in Statham, GA. MVP specializes in all things Mustang related – from chassis fabrication and engine building to dyno tuning, and high performance parts sales. When Tim isn’t racing or working, which is rare, he spends time coaching his 9-year-old son Dawson’s little league team or with his daughter, Autumn, who is 3.

In case you didn’t notice, Tim is 44 years old. Those are human years, not dog years, and so during his time here on God’s green earth he’s had plenty of time to build relationships with a group of companies that are a virtual “Who’s Who” in the world of Ford drag racing. Tim has, and likely will continue to win championships.


Tim Matherly rocking his MV Performance attire

All that being said, we wanted to find out just what is rattling around in the head of the man who puts the “M” in MV Performance. In the past, we’ve seen wars erupt on Real Street internet message boards regarding rules and who’s car and combo has an unfair advantage. Rarely, if ever, does Tim partake. We figured you, like us, would want to know exactly what he thinks about the NMRA’s 9-second bumper dragging “shift-it-yourself” class otherwise known as Real Street.

Matherly is arguably Real Street’s most dominant racer ever. He has compiled championship seasons in 2004, 2007, and 2009. No other RS competitor has better statistics in terms of championships, race wins, and record setting performances. So take a seat, open your mind, and read about it here folks because you likely won’t ever be reading anything like this on a message board!

Stang TV: Tim, the NMRA’s Real Street class has long been called a “driver’s class.” However, a vast majority of all mustangs on the streets today are automatics. If you want to keep the “real” in Real Street, why shouldn’t AOD-type Ford automatic transmissions be allowed in the class?

Tim Matherly: One of the main reasons for me choosing Real Street was the fact that there were no automatics. It puts more responsibility, ability, or lack there of, in the drivers’ hands. I ran Pro 5.0 years ago and put an automatic in my car. The next year I parked it, it was no fun any more.

Stang TV: Along the same lines as the last question, what are your thoughts on allowing 4 valve engines, carbureted engines, and non intercooled turbo engines in to the class? After all, OEM fox and newer Mustangs have come with 4 valve motors, carbureted motors, and turbo motors, yet, never has an OEM Mustang come with a centrifugal supercharger.

Tim Matherly: I support anything that would increase the car count. I am apposed to intercooled entries because that gives an unfair advantage to the fuel we have to use. The answer to intercooled would be to allow good gas. Any combo is ok as long as the rules are equal.

Stang TV: Why did you choose the 2V 4.6-liter supercharged combo for your Real Street car versus any of the other power adder/engine combos available in the class?

Tim Matherly: When we decided to get back into racing we looked at what would be best for our business and what we were working with the most. I had fifteen 2V cars in our shop at the time so that was a no-brainer.

Stang TV: Why did you switch to a 2011 Mustang body when you’ve been so successful with your old car?

Tim Matherly: Times are changing so we had to make a change as well. I was talking with Jesse Kershaw from Ford about the BIW (body in white) program and he asked if I would be interested in one when available? I said “Where do I sign?” I then bounced the idea off a few of my sponsors and they said “We back you 100%, go for it.” 14 weeks later, we had the car at PRI show for Ford.

Stang TV: Speaking of your new car, you have also chosen to build a 3V supercharged combo. Do you feel that the 3V engine has advantages over the 2v? If so, what are they? What do you feel the ET potential of your new 3V combo is in Real Street assuming your new chassis works as well or better than your old chassis?

Tim Matherly: If you have noticed, I have been running my 2V combo in the new chassis. Now that we have a grip on the chassis I can focus on the 3V. I don’t have a good answer yet on any potential for it as it is going to be hard to beat my 2V combination. Needless to say I am not impressed with the 3V yet.


A common final round battle is usually found between Tim Matherly and Bruce Hemminger

Stang TV: We all know that competing in heads-up drag racing means you are constantly pushing your equipment to the edge and parts often break as a result. Back in 2008, you seemed to have been having a lot of engine related problems. Was it in the tuning of the engine or the engine components themselves? What have you learned since then to make your engines last?

Tim Matherly: I was trying to win a championship at all costs. Knowing where the limit is and stepping over it will bite you as it did me on several occasions in past years. I was racing too hard as a result we were hurting gaskets. It is easier just to swap an engine that head gaskets.

Stang TV: Somehow, some way, you seem to always be at or near the top of the qualifying list, even in “nitrous weather”. How are you able to do this?

Tim Matherly: Every point counts towards a championship and in the past I lost by a mere 10 points. That was the difference between qualifying 1st or 2nd and that was a mistake on my part so I try not to let that happen too often. Being a smart tuner has all to do with being competitive in this class, reading the track, the weather, and your opponent.

Stang TV: If you take a look at the other engine combos in the class, in your opinion, what is the ET potential of the pushrod blower combo and the pushrod nitrous combo this year? What about the nitrous mod combo?

Tim Matherly: I really don’t believe, in my opinion, that we have seen the true potential of the pushrod blower combo yet. ET-wise, I feel they can go high-30s in the right conditions. The nitrous pushrod can go mid-30s in the wrong conditions. Who knows the potential of the nitrous modular?

Stang TV: Of these 4 racers: Chris Tuten, Bruce Hemminger, Bryan Meyer, and Yourself, who would you least like to see in the opposite lane? Why?

Tim Matherly: I have respect for all our racers in the class. I have always been told in order to be the best you have to beat the best and I would consider those some of the best. Winning a championship proves that you were the best, or luckiest, or both.

Stang TV: Rumor has it that nitrous/pushrod stalwart, and past champion Bruce Hemminger is out to prove that you’ve been sandbagging and will be racing this season with a 2V Procharger combo under the hood at some point. That is pretty much the same engine combination that you’ve been running for the past several seasons winning those championships. If this turns out to be true, how fast do you think he will go?

Tim Matherly: I will answer this question with a quote from the “Famous In His Own Mind” Robin Lawrence: “The water is warm, come on in…” I know where we are in our program and I know what it is capable of. I sure wouldn’t try and switch to his combination and expect to be on top right out of the gate.

At the time of this writing, Tim was busy defending his 2009 Real Street championship status at the 10th Annual NMRA Ford Nationals in Atco, NJ. Tim tallied yet another race win and record setting performance by running as fast as 9.44 at 144 mph in what was a problem free weekend. The car was fast off the trailer and stayed that way. Not only that, but the two other MV Performance backed cars on the property that weekend also brought home the bucks in the Modular Muscle and Factory Stock classes. Not a bad weekend for Tim, wouldn’t you agree?

At this time, we at StangTV.com would like to thank Tim for his time in answering our questions. We tossed him one more opportunity to talk about anything he wanted. His response: “I need to put out a special thanks to my partner Shane for staying at the shop so I can race and to my wife for putting up with me for so many years of racing. She has been raising the kids and staying home alone so I can get that edge to beat Bruce…” Last but not least, Tim owes a great debt to his lovely wife, Lisa, who is his crew chief and has been by his side for all the highs and lows of his racing career.

Evolution Performance has been particularly upfront about their horsepower and track numbers, garnering a lot of attention to their work on the 2011 GT. We’ve already had several posts on Evolution Performance’s work on the 2011 GT. First was their low 12-second run with basic bolt-on’s, and then a high 11-second pass, then low 11s, and finally ending on 10.80s last week. They have now upped the ante and broke into the 10.50s, and they say she isn’t even done yet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwJsmTVN9vY

I called Fred at Evolution Performance to get the low down on their new record from two days ago. He mentioned that some of the upgrades included a lightened interior, slicks instead of radials, and a Eaton TrueTrac differential. The main reason for the new differential was because the stock unit died after their 10.80 passes. The 1.40 60 foots can be mainly accredited to the drop in overall ET, though they did up the jet size to net a 125 shot over the previous 100 shot. They also compression check the motor after each run and so far the 5-liters rings are still holding, despite all the nitrous abuse.

One piece that is surprisingly stock is the clutch. Fred remarked that their were some hot spots and you can smell it a little after a hard nitrous run, but it is still living in comfortably in between the 5-liter and newly equipped 6-speed transmission. Fred feels that with a few more passes that the Evolution team can get the Mustang into the 10.30s. Keep an eye out for the possibility of one more test session this week as they gear up for the NMCA Maple Grove race next weekend. Nothing like seeing a bolt-on showroom fresh Mustang hanging both front tires a foot in the air…

Mooresville, North Carolina based Roush-Yates Performance Engines recently announced heads-up racer and engine builder Sandy Wilkins will head up their drag racing engine program. Wilkins, a longtime drag racer, started his racing engine business in 2006 and recently expanded into lightweight wheelie bar wheels and other racing parts. Wilkins also has a knack for driving and has competed in IHRA and NHRA Top Sportsman and ADRL Extreme 10.5 classes. At the wheel of the Wilkins Motorsports Cavalier he has six Top Sportsman wins in twelve final rounds. In 2005, Wilkins was runner-up in IHRA Top Sportsman points and was the NHRA Division 2 Top Sportsman champion in 2003.

While known for his expertise in small block Chevrolet engines, Wilkins will soon be working his magic on small block Ford powerplants and heading-up Justin Humphrey’s NHRA Pro Stock engine program. Roush-Yates Engines is currently building Humphrey’s GM powerplants for the RaceRedi Motorsports GXP while developing the new Ford Pro Stock engine for a new Mustang scheduled to debut mid-year. Roush-Yates is also working with Steve Matusek on a turbocharged Pro-Modified Ford powerplant based on the 500 cubic inch Pro Stock block and heads.

“I look forward to the high performance technology that Roush Yates Performance Engine Group has to offer” said Wilkins. “I always wanted to have the means to do everything I think I can with an engine. Now with the help of George Gable at Roush Yates I have the ability to develop and implement these ideas.”

George Gable, General Manager for Roush Yates Performance Engine Group, is looking foreward to having Wilkins on the build team. “Sandy Wilkins is a proven engine builder that can help take our drag racing engine program to the next level” said George. “Introducing our engine program into drag racing is something that everyone at Roush Yates Engines has worked hard to achieve and we are very proud to have Sandy Wilkins join our team.”
The addition of Wilkins to the Roush-Yates team shows that Doug Yates is serious about expanding the NASCAR engine building powerhouse into new markets. Roush-Yates employees 170 engineers and technicians who design parts, build, test, and service over 1,500 Ford racing engines a year. The company’s engines compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, ARCA, NHRA Pro Stock, Grand-Am, FIA GT3, Dirt Late Model and Sprint cars.

When it comes to driving styles for enthusiasts on the road, there are two main types. There are those that run skinny tires up front and ultra wide drag radials in the rear for the maximum traction in a straight line with the least resistance. Then on the flip side are those that enjoy traction through turns more than a straight line. While tire design between the two driving types are completely different, one aspect they have in common is that a grippy tire doesn’t come cheap – that is until Nitto released their summer performance tire, the NT05.

The Evolution of the Budget Summer Performance Tire

Through the 1990s there was a shift in what first-time car buyer enthusiasts wanted out of their budget performance vehicle. There was a shift from a mostly drag racing centric market to people that cared more about speed through the corners. Up until the late 1990s, if you wanted a sticky summer performance handling tire, you were going to pay an arm and a leg for them. Used tire depots became a popular place to try to find lightly used sets for a bargain, because most couldn’t afford $1000+ for a medium sized 17-inch set that were new.

Tire manufactures realized this and the younger companies began to introduce budget performance tires in the late 1990s, while more prominent names were too proud to create a Casio version of their Rolex tires. For the smaller companies, the budget performance summer tire served as the heartbeat that made them grow larger as this trend grew fast. Now young enthusiasts had the ability to buy brand new performance tires for pennies on the dollar.

These tires offered stiff side walls to reduce flex under cornering, decent water grooves for light rain driving, and a soft compound that did not require warm up to work well. Before anyone knew it, these budget tires became the choice of autocross classes like STS and STX that were street tire only classes, and were nearly banned for performing so well. The problem with early generation versions, is that they would have a narrow operating temperature and would get greasy if they were run hard for an extended period of time – the polar opposite of an R-compound.

Procedure Nitto Takes on Designing a New Tire

The NT555 has been a flagship tire amongst Mustang enthusiasts especially for years, but Nitto new this design was dated and needed an update. When it comes to developing a new tire line, the first measure Nitto takes is to make sure that it does not directly compete with any other of their tire lines. Taking from their mantra, “Fueled by Enthusiasts”, Nitto gets feedback from shops and manufactures on their new idea, analyze current popular vehicles for sizes, analysis on competing brand designs, going to new car shows, and take surveys at various races or events.

Nitto’s Miyazaki test course in Japan

For a design concept, Nitto uses a team of designers to draw up possible tread designs that unique, but that can also be functional. The Japan head office then has the technology to analyze the designs to find out which ones will be the most suitable, along with the tread compound. “We use proprietary software that allows us to analyze on pattern noises and make adjustments in the software to compensate for that,” Stephen Leu of Nitto remarked. Once this is done, a hand cut tire prototype is made and reviewed before final design is agreed upon. This even includes the font and logo designs on the sidewall of the tire. From there, prototypes are developed and testing is underway.

Nitto relies mainly on their test facilities (two facilities that include off road and high performance driving) and their sponsored motorsports drivers when it comes to feedback before the final compound and construction is locked in. When it comes to developing different sizes, a new mold has to be purchased. “Similar sizes can be covered by one mold is some cases”, Leu says. “It isn’t labor intensive when introducing a new size, but there is a large monetary investment by having to buy a new mold.” During this whole process, which can take over a year, the team at Nitto is constantly monitoring market trends to make any adjustments before final production takes place.

Nitto’s New High Performance Summer Tire – The NT05

The design of the NT05 stems back to 2007 from when the first ideas were conceived. Working through nearly two years, Nitto released the NT05 at the 2009 SEMA Show. They now currently offer about 25 different sizes. “With our initial sizes developed for the NT05, we went after the current popular vehicles like the Challenger, Mustang (1994 to current), 2010 Camaro, WRX, Evos, BMW series, to name a few.” Nitto prides themselves in being one of the few (if only) that offers a summer performance tire in this range for 20-inch wheel equipped vehicles.

Features of the NT05

At first look at the NT05 you can see how square the tire is. This helps push the maximum amount of traction down to the concrete, including the minimized rain grooves for added rubber

  • Reinforced shoulder tread blocks and three ply sidewall construction provide exceptional rigidity and stability
  • The continuous center rib consistently provides optimum tread contact with the road to maximize dry performance
  • The specifically engineered silica-infused (silica is what helps the tires stick to the road) and reinforced internal construction enhance construction, handling and high speed capabilities.
  • High tensile steel belts increase tread stiffness
  • Spiral wound cap ply provide stable high speed performance and improved uniformity

Hard Core Driving Characteristics

The one concept Nitto knew they wanted with the NT05 was its consistency. They wanted a tire that will constantly perform through its heat cycle and not become plagued from overheating while running them hard. Even though the NT05 is a great street tire, it’s built perform on the race track.

Talking with Nitto Engineer Alan Ngo, he told us a little about the NT05. “The operating temperature of NT05 is 160 to 220 degrees,” said Ngo. “Given that there are a lot of variables in play to heat up a tire to optimal temperature, like the weight of vehicle, the camber, and length of track, the average laps required for the NT05 to heat up will be 1-2 laps.”

Even during its limited time to market, the NT05 in motorsports has been used by Matt Dennison during 2009 time attack events under the Stock Class AWD. In the 2008 Super Lap Battle, Ryan Gates used the production sample of the NT05 (before the product release) and received second place. This is the first time the NT05 was used for competition purposes.


Mounting our NT05s is just like mounting any other tire, though when it comes to plus sizing, putting the tire onto the rim becomes more challenging. Select a reputable installation shop for mounting tires onto new wheels. If care isn’t taken when mounting them, you could end up with scrapes on the lips of your new wheels

Testing the NT05 with Forgeline Wheels on our G8

One of more popular projects lately has been our Pontiac G8 GXP. Equipped with factory 19-inch wheels and tires, and a performance-tuned suspension, it has been called a 4-door Corvette. We decided to up the ante and perform testing with Nitto NT05 tires, 245/40/19 and 285/35/19. To fit the extra size rear tires, we went to our friends at Forgeline Wheels and had them whip us up some custom GXP sizes that will perfectly fill the wheelwells and give the GXP a wicked stance.

We spoke with Forgeline executive David Schardt who designed a set of S03P wheels with some custom design flairs. Gloss black powdercoat with what Forgeline calls their “Diamond-edge” finish – which is the diamond-cut effect you see on the edge of each spoke.

Forgeline is one the best custom wheel makers in the business – building light, high-performance racing wheels that can be driven daily on the street. But the real magic is the Forgeline sauce is the custom offsets – you see Forgeline has their own in-house CNC equipment, so they can custom made almost every single offset known to man, even as tight as 1/8-th of an inch.

Although Forgeline won’t give away the information on the G8 offsets they made for us, rest assured, they will build you a set, and you can fit perfectly the 19 x 10 and 19 x 9.5 wheels that we chose. The only thing worth mentioning – with this wide tire we chose, we did need to roll the fenderlips!



Driving Impressions

Unlike many competition tires, the Nitto NT05’s were fairly sticky from minute 1 of our testing driving. The stiffer sidewalls gave the car a firmer side than the O.E. rubber, but not so firm that driving, potholes, and speed bumps were uncomfortable. The tire felt more stable under cornering and that confidence extended to the driving experience. After about 5 minutes of hard driving, we did feel the tires get a little more grippy, especially when pushed to the edge. Straight line traction was impressive — full throttle in first gear with the traction control disengaged did produce some moderate wheel spin, but an impressive amount of stick for a 390 rwhp car on regular street radials with a 5-speed.

In terms of comparing this to Nitto’s existing line, the NT05 occupies a very nice niche for the late model Muscle car. The NT555 is a great tire – less expensive and certainly a slightly older design, but it doesn’t provide the performance of the NT05 with dry traction. The Drag Radial works fantastic for straight line power, but doesn’t offer the handling flexibility or wet handling that the NT05 brings to the table.

All in all, the Nitto NT05 is a perfect upgrade to the NT555. If our words don’t do the trick, you should see our smile behind the wheel.

Source:

Nitto Tire
Web: www.nittotire.com
Phone: (714) 252-0007

Forgeline Wheels
Web: www.forgeline.com
Phone: (800) 886-0093

The save of race at the NMRA Bradenton season opener last weekend was Victor Nieblas. This car was only out once last year, driven by Chris Little, so there is no doubt Victor is still getting use to it. During the third round of qualifying, Victor’s Mustang would launch with the car pointed left. By the 60 foot cone it was nearly over the centerline. Victor then over corrected, then narrowly missed the wall. Trying to regain the Mustang, it nearly went over on its side. At the end of the day, he just needed two new rear slicks from rolling them over, but no damage to the actual vehicle. Good save Victor

One of the most important aspects for a properly operating engine is the air/fuel ratio. An air/fuel ratio that is too rich will waste horsepower, and one that is too lean will cause certain destruction to your engine. Although in these difficult economic times you may be tempted to cut costs while working on your project car, don’t skimp on the most crucial parts and accessories.

One of those critical gauges, the wide band air/fuel ratio gauge, has up until recently been an expensive one. Thankfully, however, FAST has released a budget wide band air/fuel ratio gauge that allows you to tune on the road without breaking the bank. “We wanted to find to find a way to get wide band tuning into the hands of everybody,” says Matt Patrick of Comp Cams. “The hand held units have been a big step in that direction, though can be an expensive. We had already designed the processors for dynos and had those in place for a couple of years now – they have proven to be very reliable units. So we figured we could attach a simple gauge to it so it is a nice, low cost kit that allows someone to go out and tune their car with.” We happily went to work installing one on our Project “Riced Rat Rod” 240sx.

What About Renting a Dyno?

Renting a dyno is expensive, especially considering the fact that you need to keep renting one every time you make a change on your car. Tuning on the street is much more efficient as it allows you to tune in a ‘real world’ environment. EFI and carburated vehicles alike need a correct air/fuel ratio, and FAST’s new budget wide band air/fuel ratio gauge makes tuning on the street possible as well as affordable.

When building our 240sx, we were required to do it on a budget. Our small block Chevy utilized Dart’s budget 400 CI Chevy SHP short block with a Pro 1 top end kit. It was also affixed with a Holley 830 CFM carburetor, Comp Cams valve train, TCI balancer, and a Pertronix ignition. With 525 horsepower naturally aspirated on the engine dyno, the air/fuel ratio readings were perfect. But once off the dyno and mounted into a lightweight 5 speed equipped chassis, the tables turned. Our air/fuel ratios were still spot-on during wide open acceleration, however, they suffered from partial throttle hiccups.

Since this car is so light and has great gearing from our Tremec TKO-600, the throttle blades were barely opening under low throttle acceleration. Also, we noticed that while on the highway our gas mileage was less than desirable. With these issues in mind, we were looking to the FAST air/fuel gauge to help remedy these problems.

The FAST Budget Wide Band Gauge

FAST Budget Wide Band Kit PN-#170634
• 2-1/16th Analog White Gauge
• Reads from 8:1 to 16:1
• Real Time Monitoring
• Bosch Wide Band O2 Sensor With Internal Heater
• Processor For Converting The O2 Sensor Voltage
• Weld On Bung

The FAST air/fuel ratio gauge is just that. It is a simple to install and easy to read gauge that displays in real time. The 2 1/16 inch gauge reads from 8 to 16 to 1, and is back lit for night time monitoring. The gauge hooks up to a FAST processor that relays the signal from the wide band O2 sensor that is mounted in the exhaust. “The voltage that outputs from the processor directly correlates to a given air fuel ratio,” says Patrick. “In the instructions, there is a formula that allows you to wire it into a data-logger or standalone. Using that, it will allow you to calibrate the formula to anything you want.” The wiring is a simple ground, plus constant and switched 12 volts.


The simple, mocked up wiring.

For the installation, we went back to our local Nissan performance shop, Mckinney Motorsports. The hardest part of the installation is the drilling and welding of the O2 sensor bung. Before removing any exhaust components, check the location of where you want to mount the 02 sensor in the exhaust to make sure there is no interference. FAST recommends installing the sensor before the catalytic converters. If this isn’t possible, then they recommend installing them at the next closest location. Keep in mind that you will see some light variance in your readings if you install the sensor after the catalytic converter.

Be sure to mark the sensor location with a legible pen so you know where to drill when the exhaust is removed. Also, do not install the gauge in the bottom of the exhaust pipe. Not only will this break the O2 sensor into pieces at the first bump you hit, but it will also collect condensation in the sensor which will damage it.

Mack and Gary then removed the H-pipe that was affixed to our Hooker LT-1 style headers and placed it onto the vice where a small drill hole was cut and deburred to snugly fit the O2 sensor bung. A few minutes with the TIG welder and the bung was secured for life at a 2 o’clock position on the passenger side. Two T-bolt clamps and a rear axle back flange later and the exhaust was back in. The O2 sensor came pre-lubed with anti-seize to make future wide band removal easy.


The exhaust is being installed and the O2 sensor is being screwed in place.

With the O2 sensor installed, we began routing the wiring for the processor. We fed everything into the car through the gaping hole in the firewall that once housed the OEM engine wiring harness, and we fit the processor safely behind the stereo. FAST provides more than enough line to allow you to run the processor wherever you would like. I asked Matt about the little plug on the back of the processor and he explained, “That plug is what we use for programming the processor. This allows us to program the output voltage however we want or for lamda. We also have the ability to adjust the sensitivity of the gauge, depending on the application.”

The O2 sensor plug was then routed down to the male end of the O2 sensor. Next, Mack and Gary simply slid the two pieces together and flipped the gray latch over the tab to lock it in place. They secured the wiring away from the exhaust so it would not hang and get burnt.


The gray U-shaped tab will flip forward to lock the connectors together.

The only task that remained was the wiring. The gauge comes with its own plug that gets connected to the wires on the processor. Going for an extra clean and durable connection, Mack soldered all our connections and covered them in shrink rap. As we show in the mock-up diagram above, the black and brown wires from the processor connect to the black wire from the gauge plug, which then gets connected to a chassis ground. The red wire from the processor connects to the gauge’s blue wire and runs to a 12-volt switched source. The brown wire from the gauge plug is for a 12 volt constant, though you can also wire it to the red/blue wires like we did.

The orange processor wire and blue gauge wire are the final wires that join the two electronics. The orange wire from the processor can also be used as a signal reference for any electronics that feature a O2 sensor plug-in. The white wire on the gauge plug is our last wire, which connects to a headlight trigger source for night time illumination. Since we lacked a home for the wide band gauge at the time of our installation, we temporarily placed it snugly in the pocket below the stereo.

Installation Done and Time for Testing

With the installation completed, we flipped on the power switch located on the dash. The gauge swept from 8 to 16 and back again, proving to us that the gauge was operating properly. After a couple of seconds of waiting for the O2 sensor’s internal heater to start working, we fired up the car. The gauge instantly responded and read the air/fuel ratio as real time. It was a pleasing sight as our idle air/fuel ratios were floating right on target in the 14 to 14.5:1 area.

After idling out of the parking lot, we made our way to the streets. As the carburetor came out of the idle circuit around 1500 rpm under cruising speeds, we noticed that the accelerator pump was introducing too much fuel into the main circuit and was dropping the air/fuel ratios into the 10.5:1 range. Not requiring much accelerator pedal effort to get the car moving, we knew this was going to be an issue. We also encountered another problem of running too rich while cruising on the interstate when again the air/fuel ratio averaged 11:1 with the throttle barely cracked. It was now time for us to tune our part throttle.

In order to remedy our situation, we began by reducing our main jets by 3 jet sizes and bumping up the secondaries by two so we could compensate for the difference. For the accelerator pump, we swapped out the pump cam to give a softer increase of fuel from the pump on the main circuit transition. We noted, however, that reducing the accelerator pump nozzle could do the same trick.

We then took the 240sx back out for some test driving and noticed a dramatic improvement. Not only did our cruising air/fuel ratios lean out, but the low throttle acceleration became much more friendly. After only a few simple hours installing our FAST budget wide band sensor, we were able to increase our drivability around town as well as gain much better gas mileage numbers on the highway. Not only did we improve our project car, but we also kept some money in our pockets!


Since our entire 240SX was built on a budget, why not extend that to the mounting of the FAST Air/Fuel Ratio gauge. We figured, why not stuff this super strong gauge into the small opening under the radio, distorting the stock dash and almost breaking it. Didn’t matter, the FAST Air/Fuel ratio gauge worked just great.

Sources:

FAST
Web: www.fuelairspark.com
Phone: (877) 334-8355

Mckinney Motorsports
Web: www.mckinneymotorsports.com
Phone: (951) 304-9300

NMRA Bradenton 2010 Same Day Coverage

Friday, March 5th, 2010
It is the first race of the year as it always is in sunny Bradenton, Florida. The weather will be cool all weekend though there is a high pressure front rolling in, allowing for some truly record runs. Check back throughout the day, and all weekend for the updates from Bradenton

Special thanks to our event sponsor SCT Performance. Check out www.sctflash.com for all their great tuning solutions.

Friday Photo Gallery – Click Here

Jump to Saturday News – Click Here
Saturday Photo Gallery – Click Here

Jump to Sunday News – Click Here
Sunday Gallery – Click Here

Videos – Launch Full Video Player

Weekend Videos

FRIDAY VIDEOS

Friday Morning Highlights Video
Qualifying Round 1 – Part 1 of 2 – Factory Stock, Pure Street, Real Street, Drag Radial
Qualifying Round 1 – Part 2 of 2 – Hot Street, Renegade, Super Street Outlaw, Pro Outlaw 10.5

SATURDAY VIDEOS

Saturday Highlights Video
Qualifying Round 3 – Part 1 of 2 – Pro Outlaw 10.5, Super Street Outlaw, EFI Renegade, and Hot Street
Qualifying Round 3 – Part 2 of 2 – Drag Radial, Real Street, Pure Street, and Factory Stock

SUNDAY VIDEOS

Sunday Highlights Video
Elimination Round 1 – Part 1 of 2 – Pro Outlaw 10.5, Super Street Outlaw, EFI Renegade, and Hot Street
Elimination Round 1 – Part 2 of 2 – Drag Radial, Real Street, Pure Street, and Factory Stock
The Finals – Part 1 of 2 – Truck and Lightning, Super Stang, Open Comp, Modular Muscle, Factory Stock, and Pure Street
The Finals – Part 2 of 2 – Real Street, Drag Radial, Hot Street, EFI Renegade, Super Street Outlaw, and Pro Outlaw 10.5
Comp Cams Wild Ride of The Event – Victor Nieblas miraculously keeps his car off of the wall after showing the crowd each of his doors!
SCT In-Pit Feature with Mike Murillo, JDM Engineering, and Brenspeed. We then posed the question “Why SCT”?

Mike Murillo Gets New Wrap for 2010

Monday, February 22nd, 2010
Murillo’s first NMRA championship came in 2002 at the wheel of his infamous Super Street Outlaw ride, the “Star Car.” That paint scheme was revisited in 2008 and by 2009, SCT had jumped on board as Mike’s title sponsor. Now for 2010 the Mustang will get a fresh, new wrap in full SCT trim as they continue the sponsorship on Murillo’s fox body.

“We are very excited about sponsoring Mike Murillo and his team again in 2010. Mike not only does a great job of representing SCT, he is a genuine nice guy,” says Tim Roi, Marketing & Media Relations. ”Mike doesn’t just collect a sponsorship check, he uses our products and software in his shop to tune customers vehicles, he tows his race trailer all over the country using one of our towing tunes and he takes the time to stop and talk with race fans and sign autographs every chance he gets. We couldn’t ask for a better spokesperson to represent our company and our products.”

It was this car and it’s single-turbocharged power plant that carried Murillo to his championship in 2002, but not without the inevitable struggle that comes along with heads-up drag racing. Fast forward to 2008, and to the return of Murillo to the NMRA behind the wheel of the totally revamped chassis that he had originally purchased from Kevin Marsh in 2001. The beautiful chassis featured several innovative items, such as trunk-mounted twin turbochargers, (which have been since ditched) a NASCAR style oval exhaust system, and more. Mike Murillo expressed his excitement by saying, “Murillo Motorsports is happy to announce the continued support from SCT in 2010. Our relationship is a match made in heaven with the fact that SCT is exclusively all we use on our customers and personal vehicles. We are also stoked about a bigger and better program from Precision Turbo and Trickflow.”

Mike’s fox body will make its way to Orlando a few days prior to the NMRA season opener next week to have the wrap applied. They will then make the short drive to Bradenton Motorsports Park for the first race of the 2010 NMRA season. Check back then as Stangtv.com and Dragzine.com will have complete Bradenton coverage and shots of Mike’s completed wrap.

The basic design of a carburetor is well over a hundred and twenty five years old, as invented by the founder of Mercedes-Benz in 1885. Although they have long been superseded by EFI in passenger vehicles, carbs are still widely used today in street/strip and racing applications. And they have not stopped evolving, as the most recent addition to the carburetor evolutionary ladder is the all-new aluminum lightweight Holley Ultra series.

Holley’s Jump Into Aluminum Bodies With the Ultra Series

The biggest achievement with the new Ultra line is Holley’s foray into the aluminum body market while previous generations were made from zinc. Zinc itself is a bright silver-like metal, and the problem with untreated zinc is that it reacts with air and water to make a powdery material known as ‘white rust’. The green of the typical Holley carburetor actually comes form a chromic acid solution, which forms a thin layer on the surface of the metal and helps protect the surface.


The Holley 4150-style Ultra Avenger with blue and red accents, with the 4150-style Double Pumper in black.

Holley’s jump over to aluminum bodies was much more involved than you would think. “The characteristics of a zinc body is completely different from an aluminum body,” says Jay McFarland of Holley. “We had to completely redesign the carburetors from the ground up. Nothing really changed, it was just compensating the design for how the aluminum pours and reacts versus how the zinc does.”

The 4500-series Holley Ultra Dominators come in red or black.

New Carburetor Design Receives a New Tune Up

Holley has always done a great job with the out-of-the-box performance on their carburetors. Regardless of application, they will generally get the car running and idling correctly and offer a safe fuel curve under calibration. Generally, one would find themselves dropping jet sizes down a little since the stock calibration is a bit on the safe side. With the Ultra series, these carburetors received 100% fresh-tune set-ups.

“One thing we did with the Ultra Series is that we completely went through and re-calibrated all the fuel curves on them,” commented McFarland. “This allows for better throttle response and drivability. When the double pumpers were first released in the late ’60s, that had a little richer fuel curve to them. Over the years we have learned a lot from them and that allowed us to tune them in a little better.”

Holley re-calibrates their carburetors in three different ways:

  • Flow Bench Testing
  • Engine Dyno Testing
  • Real World Vehicle Testing (with wide band 02 sensors).

This ensures that the tune up will be more aggressive than years past, but not too aggressive to cause problems. You wonder, how much? Holley says around 5-15% leaner, depending on the carburetor.

The Ultra Double Pumper weighs a mere 7 pounds.

Additional Options on the Ultra Series

While the Double Pumper and Avenger carburetors received mainly aesthetic and weight changes, the Dominator’s received some performance enhancements. The main difference between these two street carburetors is that the Avenger operates with vacuum secondaries and the Double Pumper is mechanical. Also, before the Ultra line, the Double Pumper did not have an electric choke, though it now comes with one.

The weight savings on the street carburetors is five pounds while the Dominator drops nearly four. Also, the street versions are offered in blue, red, and black accents while the Dominator only comes in red or black. “Another great thing about the aluminum bodies is that they are very easily polished. You can do a hand polish on them and almost make it look like chrome,” said McFarland.

Billet Metering Blocks and Base Plates

Another cast component that takes the kick to the curb is the base plates and metering blocks. In it’s place, you get fully machined billet components offered in red, blue, or black. Since the Dominator’s have integrated base plates (which are aluminum now), the billet versions are only available for the Avenger and Double Pumper. The billet base plates won’t snap if an over-tightening situation occurs, and they also will never deflect over time and lead to vacuum leaks. The billet metering blocks allow for a true mating surface between the main body and bowls to prevent leaks. Also since the metering blocks are billet and not cast, porosity problems will be a thing of the past.


Glass Fuel Level Sights

Making sure your float bowls have the proper amount of gas in them is important when it comes to ensuring a properly running carburetor. Too much fuel in the bowls will push additional gas into the carburetor and too low will cause the car to stumble as they run dry. If you are trying to reduce the float level while the car is running, this can cause fuel to pour out of the side of the carburetor and onto a hot engine. Temporary plastic sight levels will get smoky if you leave them installed. The glass levels allow you to quickly check the level and adjust it without spilling any fuel.

Further Performance Enhancements on the Dominator

The billet metering blocks in the Dominators offer more fine tuning options. They come with changeable idle feed restrictors to change idle air/fuel ratios, changeable emulsion bleeds to help with fine tuning, and tunable power valve restrictors for smoother fuel transition to the main circuit.

Previous generation Dominators had an internal throttle shaft when it came to changing the rate of opening on the throttle blades. These were time consuming to adjust and contained moving parts that racers feared could come apart and fall down into the intake manifold. They have been simplified by a new external linkage design that allows for a 1 to 1 or progressive opening. The linkage has different selector holes for changing the opening speed and can be fine tuned with the adjustable linkage.

Rounding out the additional benefits includes teflon-coated slabbed throttle shafts with lower profile screws for improved airflow, hand polished venturi inlets, and 12 hole billet booster inserts to allow for better fuel atomization plus crisp throttle response.


The new external linkage design makes changing the opening rate a breeze.


The Dominator metering blocks, featuring changeable idle feed restrictors, emulsion bleeds, and tunable power valve restrictors.


No more linkage here! Don’t worry about any loose parts coming down into your intake manifold.


Hand polished venturii inlets and 12 hole billet boosters.

Installing a 750 CFM Ultra Double Pumper

If you have been following Street Legal TV, you might have seen our Project: Riced Rat Rod 240sx. The stock fuel injected 2.4-liter has been yanked in place of a 400ci Dart SHP short block with Pro 1 Top End Kit. This light 5-speed equipped car makes 525 horsepower at the crank with a Holley 830 CFM HP carburetor. With an Ultra 75 CFM Double Pumper on hand, we wanted to see how it compared to the 830 HP.


Swapping the carburetors couldn’t be easier.We started by cracking the -8AN line at the regulator and soaking the fuel up with a shop rag. From there we removed the quick disconnect throttle bracket and return spring. Finally, the carburetor was set free by removing the four base plate mounting bolts.

Before we installed the Double Pumper we wanted to see what it weighed compared to the HP. The Ultra Double Pumper came in at about three pounds lighter, and don’t forget that the Double Pumper has components like the electric choke and choke tower that adds extra weight over the HP.


Reinstallation of the Ultra Series carburetor was just as simple as taking it off. The only other item we needed to add was a switch 12 volt wire for the electric choke. As the small block Chevy came back to life again, we were greeted with a healthy sounding idle thanks to Holley’s out-of-the-box tune.

Concluding our driving test, we found that the cold start idling did not require us to sit with the car for a few minutes while we warmed it up. Also, we were pleased to note that the partial throttle drivability was enhanced. The 830 HP performed with slightly crisper throttle response and more ‘seat of the pants’ horsepower above 5,000 rpm. The tough decision comes down to determining exactly what you are looking for out of your vehicle.

Project Grandma – Testing the Ultra Series 3-Circuit Dominator

Since we tried out one of the street carburetors on one of our street cars, we decided it would only be fitting for us to try out one of the Dominators on one of our race cars. The lucky vehicle that will be undergoing this test is Project Grandma, our 555 cubic inch Musi/Edelbrock big block Chevy-powered Malibu.

The carburetor of choice is the 1050 CFM 3-circuit version. While 3-circuit isn’t really designed for a street car, it will work perfectly for our Malibu that only spends its time at the track. The extra circuit adds an intermediate circuit between the idle and main. This allows us to adjust the carburetor’s intermediate circuit to tune the air/fuel ratio on the transbrake for a crisp delivery to the main circuit when the button is released. This will keep the car from bogging while on the trans-brake when releasing it.


More to Come From Holley in the Future!

Even though the Ultra line was a significant revelation to Holley’s line of carburetors, there are plans to continue pushing still further. “Look for more to come soon,” McFarland told us. “We plan on expanding out into the bigger CFM on the street carburetors – including a 570 and 870 Avenger as well as 600 and 850 Double Pumpers.” Both of these CFM ranges will be offered in both the standard zinc and Ultra line of aluminum carburetors.

Source

Holley
Web: www.holley.com
Phone: (270) 781-9741

After years of competing with the only Ford product in NHRA’s Pro Stock class, Jim Cunningham’s dedication to the Blue Oval appears to be paying off. Hopefully in 2010, the days of packing-up the trailer on Saturday after not making the tough 16 car NHRA Pro Stock field are over. Since entering Pro Stock, Cunningham has been down on power compared to the GM DRCE and Mopar Hemi powerplants . Even though 2009 was not a very competitive year in terms of qualifying for Cunningham Motorsports, the team was able to work with Ford Racing as the development team in its return to the factory hot rod class. Cunningham Motorsports is now hoping to get back into the winner’s circle!


Check out the full gallery here.

A new 2010 Mustang Pro Stock carbon fiber body was designed by a team made up of chassis builder Don Ness, Ford Racing aerodynamics engineers, and Cunningham Motorsports. For the fist time since production began in 2005, the S197 Mustang body went through extensive wind tunnel testing prior to NHRA’s approval. Ford is returning to Pro Stock in 2010 with four to six competitive drivers and is going to be an official vehicle sponsor for NHRA. Because of this, Ford wanted to ensure that its entry was as good as the sleek Pontiac GXP, Dodge Avenger, and Chevrolet Cobalts that compete in the same class.

Although 2009 was a tough year for Cunningham, it wasn’t a complete wash. The team was not an NHRA “Wally” for a Pro Stock win, but Cunningham Motorsports was awarded the 2009 US Nationals Best Engineered award for the 2010 Mustangs entered at the Big Go. The team parked the bright red Mustangs after Indy to concentrate on the new Ford Pro Stock engine. At the NHRA Finals in Pomona they tested the new engines with Ford Racing engineers on hand. We had the opportunity to talk to Cunningham Motorsports crew chief Marcus Bowen, driver Erica Enders, and Ford Racing engineer Mose Nowland about the Ford Pro Stock Program.

Cunningham Motorsport’s Crew Chief Marcus Bowen Ready for 2010

After years of massaging, tinkering, and trying to coax more speed out of the old Mustang Pro Stocker and Ford Racing A500 block / E460 head, Marcus Bowen jumped at the opportunity to help develop the new Ford Racing Mustang Pro Stock bullet. “Ford Racing has gone above and beyond with this being the first year for this program,” said Bowen. “Brian Wolfe came in and wanted to do the Pro Stock program with us, so we got right on it and he put his best people on it. Everything has been done in under a year’s time now. I was in a meeting last November and Jim was like ‘whatever it takes to do it Brian’. They came out to our shop in Maryland to see what we had. A lot of teams out here are more on the assembly shop side of things. They order their parts in, assemble the engines, and dyno them. We are doing all our own CNC work and our own dyno work. A lot of our stuff stays in the shop and does not go out. After the meeting Brian and the Ford Racing engineers were pretty gung-ho to get this program going.”

According to Bowen, Jerry Hass originally designed the first 2005 Mustang that Cunningham ran for five years. The carbon fiber body was never an aero “tweaked” body with no real wind tunnel testing. The Mustang body was something that was created by “Hairy” Glass for the IHRA racers that were running Fords. “The 2010 Mustang Pro Stock body is sleeker with a lot of help from Ford Racings aerodynamic engineers,” said Bowen. “We had both bodies in the wind tunnel back in February of this year along with a couple of GM and Dodge cars. Ford was able to compare all four cars and they were really happy with the results. It’s now right on par with the Pontiac GXP which is the best aero car in the Pro Stock class.“

Along with the new Mustang body, Ford Racing has been working with Cunningham Motorsports on a new 500 cubic inch Pro Stock block and heads. The new engine is based on a Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) block that is much lighter than the old grey iron A500 block. The new block is more rigid and incorporates a “flexible” core package that allows Ford Racing to offer two cylinder head derivatives, one featuring a mirror-image port layout, and another featuring a sequential port layout. Ford Racing is also offering many of the components needed to complete the Pro Stock engine as well, including valve covers, camshaft spools, crankshaft seal retainers, stud kits, head gaskets, and cam drives.


Jim Cunningham getting ready for a round of qualifying

After casting and rough finishing in one of the Ford Racing’s Midwest foundries, the heads and blocks are shipped to Cunningham Motorsports in an unfinished form so the teams can perform the finish work at their own shops. Cunningham’s Crofton, Maryland based shop is equipped with the latest in MasterCam controlled 5-axis Millport CNC mill machines for the final prep work. As of press time, the only heads Cunningham had tested were the mirror image head. The symmetrical heads were still at the supplier and were scheduled to ship in a week. The team plans on working with both sets of heads in the offseason to see which set fits their program the best in 2010.

“We got our first set of parts on October 2nd, and we had two engines done by the end of October,” recalled Bowen. “We’ve had a little bit of dyno time on these engines. These engines are our first two initial builds of our first design and we drove 2,800 miles out here (Pomona) to see where we stand and give us an idea of where we need to be.”

Erica Enders Excited about Ford’s Return to Pro Stock

Erica Enders made waves back in 2005 when she made her NHRA Pro Stock debut with a family-run team and then later joined Cagnazzi Racing in 2006. Enders scored runner-up finishes in Pro Stock at Chicagoland in 2005 and Gainesville in 2006. Enders joined Cunningham Motorsports in 2009, and her experience will help the team sort out the new 2010 Mustang in testing.

Once the new car starts to provide data, she will provide valuable feedback in 2010 as the team fine-tunes the new combination. “I was really excited, especially with Ford expressing so much interest in getting back into Pro Stock,” said Enders. “There are a lot of drivers that don’t have a seat right now, and I’m really blessed with this opportunity. I’m really optimistic about our improved performance. Good things take time though, and I knew that when I came on board. These guys have worked their butts off, and I think we’ll do well next year.”

When asked about the learning curve in driving the 2010 Mustangs, Erica feels every new car is different and she is still adapting to all the changes. “The most important aspect to a new car is getting comfortable so you don’t have to think about anything else but driving,” said Enders. She’s been driving Pro Stock cars for over 5 years and understands all the mechanics of everything, but she knows you can never have enough seat time in a car. With every pass in a car, she is able to hear or feel something that she can then give feedback on to the team.

The 2010 Mustang was debuted at Indianapolis at the US Nationals with the old A500 engine. With the new motor in the car at Pomona, Erica was still getting comfortable with the car but could definitely notice a change in the power band. “With this motor in the car, it’s a completely different sound and feel. It’s got a lot more horsepower than our old motor. The throttle is a bit more responsive when driving the car and finessing the throttle in the burnout. All of the things we have to do to get it right are all part of the learning,” said Enders. “The whole run process is new with the new combination. For these guys working 37 days straight at 18 hours a day to get these two new motors in is an accomplishment. It’s a brand new car, and we haven’t been to this track in a year. Plus, we have new transmissions, new rearends, and new carburetors so it’s amazing we got down the track as well as we did. I could not be prouder of them. When we fired it up and pulled into the water box, I could tell a big difference. I know it sounds cliché, but with the new motor, I’m excited.”

Mose Nowland – 55 Years of Ford Racing Engines

2010 marks the 55th year of Mose Nowland’s engineering efforts with Ford Motor Company, having been with “Blue Oval” since 1955. Most of his engineering career has been working with the Ford race engine group. One special project he worked on was the original 1960’s FE family of racing engines, starting with the 406 and later the 427 cid engine. Nowland also provided factory support with the Holman Moody team and the GT-40 team that won at LeMans in 1966 and ’67. Most recently, Nowland headed up the team that developed the FR9 engine program for NASCAR.


Ford’s Pro Stock Hemi “Mirror Image” Head

When Brian Wolfe assembled the team to build a new Ford NHRA Pro Stock engine, Nowland was the natural choice. Nowland was at Pomona seeing his baby make its first runs down the quarter mile. When asked about his thoughts on being at an NHRA dragstrip after a long absence, he said he loved the NHRA atmosphere. “I’m delighted that we are back in NHRA Pro Stock. It’s important that we race cars that the customers buy and drive to work and the customer races on the weekend. It’s great for our dealers and for our performance parts business,” said Nowland.

Mose Nowland was assigned to design an engine and a head for NHRA Pro Stock within the timeframe of only one year when typical engine programs take two to three years. The team went to work to design a block and the mirror port head. For the sequential wedge head, Ford Racing contracted Pro Stock cylinder guru Darian Morgan. “Our connection with Darian was that he was contracted to do the sequential wedge head,” recalled Nowland. “Our role with him was to make sure the bolt spacing, block dimensions, and lifter arrangements would match his heads. We sent 3D models and sketches back and forth during development to make sure it fit the block.”


Ford’s Wedge Head Option

The new engine started from a clean sheet of paper, and, with Nowland’s years of experience building race engines, they applied the latest in block and head technology. “We used some of the information and data from the NASCAR program along with elements from the Glidden days to come up with an engine that is robust enough to meet today’s Pro Stock engine standards.” Ford Racing also consulted with several Ford drag racers, including Bob Glidden, on the needs and wants for the new engine.

“The other thing we looked at was trying to save an engine builder as much money as we could using bearings and parts that are in the market today” said Nowland. “We did not want to make people have to invent new parts and pieces and wonder if it was going to be durable. We are 11 months and 3 weeks into this program, so the development time was pretty quick.”

Mose’s goal for 2010 is to see a number of wins and ultimately a Pro Stock championship for Ford. His visit to Pomona’s NHRA Finals was a trip to let Ford Racing know what to work on in the offseason. After years of battling GM and Dodge in NASCAR, Nowland welcomes all the new racers to the Ford Racing family and looks foreward to racing against GM and Dodge in 2010.

First attempt at Racing the New Engines

At the 2009 NHRA Finals, both Erica Enders and Jim Cunningham made one qualifying pass on Thursday and two passes on Friday. Unfortunately, both cars failed to make the Pro Stock show. Erica’s best qualifying pass was made in the fourth session at 6.72 /204 mph which gave her the 20th spot. Jim Cunningham had the new car blues on all four qualifying passes, and he ended up last in the 23rd position.

Cunningham Motorsports was running both a Don Ness Mustang and a Jerry Haas Mustang at Pomona. The logic behind using two different chassis builders was that Ness had previous experience with body design for Ford, and therefore the team allowed him to build a chassis buck that they could use. Also, Cunningham figured they could get the new car in a reasonable amount of time since it was the prototype 2010 car for Ford. After the runs at Indy and Pomona, crew-chief Bowen and the team were still gathering data from the two drivers. “There are a lot of design differences for sure between the two cars,” said Bowen. “Chassis set-up is different, but with only five runs on the cars it’s tough to really say.”

Plans for the Off Season

When asked about the team’s plans for the offseason, Bowen said it was all about testing. “We really just plan to do a lot of dyno time and track time in the offseason. We just have to get on the dyno and just start wearing stuff out. The mirror image stuff is so new to us compared to our old program. Compared to the A500 block, the new engine showed about 25% more power on the first few pulls. It was considerably better above 9500 rpms.”

In addition to Jim Cunningham and Erica Enders, Larry Morgan and John Nobile will debut a Mustang at the 2010 Winternationals. Robert Patrick, Richard Freeman, and Frank Gugliotta will have Mustangs in NHRA competition by mid-2010. When asked about the team no longer being the lone Ford in NHRA Pro Stock, Bowen was looking forward to more Mustangs. “We were pretty excited about other racers coming over to run Fords. A lot of information does not get shared out here, but Ford will get up to speed with more teams on board. Brian Wolfe’s plan was to get more racers involved, and with Jim sticking with Ford it has now paid off,” said Bowen.


Jim Cunningham with the powerTV Booth Model at the 2010 PRI Show

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