While Quick Lane at Downs Ford NA 10.5 driver Chad Neuenschwander commands attention every time he pulls up to the starting line and then pulls gears to the finish line, he added a wicked wheelstand to his show in the second round of qualifying at the 15th Annual NMCA Quick Fuel Technology Bluegrass Nationals, May 12-15, 2016, Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, Kentucky.
His burgundy beauty of a Mustang went up on the right rear tire at the hit, and as fellow racers and race fans watched with a mix of fascination and fear, Neuenschwander coaxed the car into coming down. Its return to the track surface, unfortunately, was so hard that sparks came through the trans tunnel.
While surveying the damage back in his pit area with his wife, Joy Neuenschwander, and son, Dylan Neuenschwander, he discovered that the damage to his Mustang powered by a Kuntz-built 400 cubic-inch small-block Ford and G-Force GF200 transmission was rather extensive. Included on the list of broken parts were the wheelie bars, brackets on the rear-end, a shock tower, headers, oil pan, K-member, struts and wheels. On top of that, the Mustang’s body flexed so much that the front fender moved into the door.
But, determined to return to racing as soon as possible, Neuenschwander, with help from his son, as well as from Scott Waters, got busy making repairs, and he and Waters fabricated a new set of caster camber plates.
“I thought the wheelie was a typical wheelie until it came down,” said Neuenschwander. “That was a hard landing, and I’m glad for all of the safety equipment I have. The repairs went really good thanks to Scott Waters and my son, Dylan. They help a lot. We can’t wait to see if we improved the car.”
Now, the ever-calm and collected driver has his sights set on the 15th Annual NMCA All-American Nationals, June 23-26, 2016 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.
“I’m looking for a new best time in Indy, even though the weather is not going to be great,” said Neuenschwander, who’s been as quick and fast as 8.19 and 167 mph.