Larry Prykucki Climbs the NMCA Stainless Works 275 Drag Radial Ladder

Larry Prykucki’s love of Mustangs began when he got his first one at the age of eighteen, and while he’s had several since then, it’s the black, red and white ’92 Mustang he bought eleven years ago that is making waves these days.

At first with a supercharger and then with nitrous, he raced it in the high nine-second zone in the NMRA Blow-By Racing Renegade class from ’99 to ’05. He followed that with an upgrade to a 25.2 chassis and a few years of testing, and this season, with a ProCharger F1X supercharger where the ProCharger F2 supercharger used to be, he gave NMRA ProCharger Super Street Outlaw a go at the Florida race and the Michigan race, where he runnered-up.

Then, he swapped the slicks for radials to run the NMCA Stainless Works 275 Drag Radial class at the Michigan race and kept them on for the 11th Annual FuelLab NMCA World Street Finals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana last weekend. There, he laid down a 7.39 at 189 mph and collected low ET and top speed honors after having his combination tuned by Jason Lee and Patrick Barnhill of PTP Racing. His previous best was a 7.50.

While his car was set on kill as he pulled up to the beams for the first round of eliminations, his transbrake didn’t hold, causing him to turn on the red, but his data shows that the car likely would have gone even faster had he been able to drop the hammer.

“Larry did an outstanding job wheeling a very fast car this weekend,” said Jason Lee, who won the event in the same class in his oh-so-familiar ’86 Mustang. “I believe this was his first time racing on radials in the 1/4 mile. 7.39 is not bad at all and I am looking forward to making that thing faster.”

We caught up with the Michigan-based driver — whose car is outfitted in Rated PG vinyl to reflect the first initial in his last name Prykucki and the first initial of his crew chief, Mike Gabrysh’s last name — about his road to a top spot on the ladder.

Not only does your car scream going down track, it looks good doing it. What is the combination?

It’s a ’92 Mustang with a 360 cubic-inch engine and a ProCharger F1X and BigStuff 3. I have a sheet-metal nine-inch rear-end and an automatic transmission, but we’ve been going back and forth between a two-speed and a three-speed and deciding which one is going to work better. 

What are your thoughts on your foray into the ProCharger Super Street Outlaw class?

The year before last, I tested constantly, and last year, I couldn’t make the commitment to test as much and I got bummed out about it. I was struggling and I couldn’t get the car to run better, and if I couldn’t be competitive, I didn’t want to go. Dave (Werremeyer) from ProCharger, who had helped me with the switch from my F2 supercharger to the F1X supercharger, encouraged me to be ready for this year’s Florida NMRA race and the SSO class and he is the one who suggested I call Jason and Patrick. They came on-board at that point. Jason’s combination is really close to mine. I liked SSO, but I was out-powered between John Urist and Phil Hines. If I would have brought my car out in ’11, things would have been different, but they picked up two and a half tenths by ’12, just based on progression throughout the season. Anyone who runs the same combination is going to get better at it. 

Speaking of those two superchargers, have you noticed a sizable difference between the two?

Yes, they are two different animals. The F2 made more boost, but I was still feeling like I was outgunned in Super Street Outlaw because those guys were going 7.0s and the best I had with the F2 was a 7.50.

What prompted you to try drag radials for the first time for the NMCA race in Michigan?

Besides Jason telling me I should try it? To do that, we had to set the suspension up for the change and add 475 pounds to the car, because in Super Street Outlaw, I only had to weigh 2800 pounds and in Drag Radial, I have to weigh 3275 pounds.

Your car definitely approved of the drag radial set-up and tune.

I think everything just came together. I took care of the engine and the chassis, but so much of it had to do with Jason’s and Patrick’s knowledge and experience. On top of that, I have a good car. It’s faster on radials. My previous best was a 1.20 60-foot and a 7.50 at 188 mph on 28X10.5 slicks, and my new best, from the race at Indy, on radials, is a 1.18 60-foot, and a 7.39 at 189 mph.

What are your plans for next season? We sure hope to see you back with us in the NMCA and NMRA.

I’m kind of waiting to see what is going to happen with the rules, like everyone else. That will determine when and where we race. I want to thank my wife, Shawn, and family for all the sacrifices they have allowed me to make to make my racing successful. 

By Mary Lendzion