Tim Savell of Terry, Mississippi, is sitting at the top of the VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod qualifying sheet having clocked a 3.76 at 197.97 mph. Driving for the Bankstown Boyz Racing Team in its nitrous-oxide-injected, 2013 Chevy Camaro Pro Mod, Savell currently has Ray Commisso covered by a tenth going into Q3.
Tom Stringer chose this event to introduce himself and his Brad Anderson HEMI and DPME M4-blower-powered ’63 Corvette to VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod, and the 3.95 and 186 mph he ran yesterday has simultaneously put him in the fifth qualified spot and his name on the category’s map. After wrecking the car two years ago, the Somerset, Kentucky-based driver was forced to spend time in a trauma center to recover, but he’s back, and that qualifying run marks his first full pass in the car built by his brother, Stephan Stringer, who’s also in competition in the same category this weekend (see item below). When we caught up with Stringer in his pit area, he was modifying the mount on the wheelie bars on the back of the car, as they had gotten caught in the wheelie bars, because of the vacuum being created at the top end of the track, he believes, but he’s confident he’ll be ready for today’s qualifying.
All eyes were on Stephan Stringer’s ’68 Camaro when he rolled it out of the trailer this morning, and for good reason. The stunning car, which features a 521 cubic-inch Brad Anderson HEMI, DMPE M5 blower and Lencodrive transmission, went through the traps at 3.92 and 189 mph yesterday, landing the Somerset, Kentucky-based driver in the third qualified spot out of sixteen cars going into today’s qualifying. “It was a nice, easy pass to get me into the program,” said Stringer. “Now, we have it set up to go even faster, and we’re looking for a 3.84.”
In qualifying yesterday, Quick Lane at Downs Ford driver Dwight Ausmus smoked his tires at the hit and drove to an 8.22 and 170 mph in his ’72 Firebird, which is powered by a 568 cubic-inch BES-built Pontiac engine, and while he sits in the second qualified spot going into today’s qualifying, he’s looking to improve upon his numbers. “The air is very unique this weekend,” explained Ausmus, whose crew this weekend includes his wife, Becky Ausmus, Curt Jamison and Tom Andriopoulos. “The water grains are in the 30s, which makes more power, but we need to tune the car to hook. For our next pass, we’ll be more conservative on the tune and loosen up the front suspension to plant the tires.” Of note is that Ausmus has been working closely with Dale Cubic of CFM Performance Carburetors on the research and development of a carburetor, and while he declines to share specifics, we’re confident that he and Cubic are cooking up something good, as they always do.
Mickey Thompson Radial Wars hotshoe Frank Mewshaw was swapping spark plugs when we happened by his pit area today, a task he said he does at each event to keep the 538 cubic-inch Nelson-built big-block Chevy in his ’88 Trans Am happy. It’s fronted by twin 88mm Precision turbos, and while the veteran driver posted an off-pace 5.24 in qualifying yesterday, he has been as fast as 4.06 and 197 mph this year. “I have the tune for the car to go a little faster, but I’m struggling with the middle part of the track this weekend,” said Mewshaw. “I’m trying to work around it.”
Quick Lane at Downs Ford NA 10.5 driver Mike DeMayo, Jr. is back and very likely better than ever in his SN95 Mustang. It was repaired over winter after a late-season wreck in 2015, and all of its components from the firewall forward were replaced, as were the ladder bars and the rear-end housing. A Joe Van Overbeek-produced one-piece carbon fiber front-end and carbon fiber ground effects were installed, and additional Joe Overbeek-produced carbon fiber components include the wing, wing struts, tubs and transmission tunnel. All of the work was done at DeMayo’s shop, Blackbird Motorsports, in Pennsylvania, as well as at Lundsford Engineering in Georgia, and when it was all said and done, DeMayo painted the car at his shop. His engine, which was not hurt in the wreck last year, is his very stout EIC Motorsports-built 415 cubic-inch small-block Ford, which is topped with Ford D3 heads, an Edelbrock intake and Braswell carburetor. A new set of Mickey Thompson slicks are wrapped around a new set of Weld wheels, and despite having no time for testing, DeMayo posted an 8.10 and 164 mph in qualifying yesterday, which puts him in the second qualified spot going into today’s qualifying. Now that he has that first post-wreck pass under hit belt, a 7.84 is on his mind.
Reigning Quick Lane at Downs Ford NA 10.5 champion Leonard Long went for a bit of a wild ride in qualifying last night and had a handful of steering wheel, but he managed to keep his SN95 Mustang off the retaining walls to trap an 8.31 at 153 mph. “I hit a gust of wind and drifted, and then the tires started to spin,” said Long. “I corrected it and it came back, and that’s when I saw Robbie (Blankenship), who was in the next lane. I was just hoping I wouldn’t hit him. Luckily, he had trouble and stopped.” Long, who relies on a small-block Ford and G-Force Transmissions GF2000 five-speed for power, went on to post an 8.19 at 170 mph in today’s qualifying.
Reigning ARP Nitrous Pro Street champion Joey Bucaro is currently qualified second with a 7.32 and 185 mph, but he’s not completely content, as he was forced to click it early and his ’04 Mustang is not getting from A to B as quickly as he would like. “We should be running 7.20-7.25,” said Bucaro, whose car has under the hood has a nitrous-enhanced Zapp Racing Engines’ 430 cubic-inch small-block Ford engine. “We’re making changes to the four-link and pulling power out to try to accommodate the track before our next pass.”
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