By Mary Lendzion
Photos courtesy of Jackie Slone
After soaring to a 3.73 last year, NMCA VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod driver Jackie Slone set his sights on capturing 3.60s in his Camaro this year.
By the time the winter snow had begun to fall over his shop in Michigan, he was freshening his Pat Musi Racing Engines-built 959 cubic-inch engine, which he backs with an M&M Transmission-built transmission and converter. He gave it new GRP rods, Bill Miller pistons and Total Seal rings, and he had his lifters rebuilt by Jesel and put new PSI valve springs in his Dart heads.
While he was at it, he went from a five-stage nitrous system to a six-stage nitrous system by SpeedTech, and SpeedTech massaged his Musi-built sheetmetal intake. He had his shocks re-valved by TJT Motorsports, and installed a new ring and pinion by the Ring and Pinion Shop.
While Slone missed the 18th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem presented by Holbrook Racing Engines in March at Bradenton Motorsports Park, he hit the road for the PDRA event on the last weekend of May at Galot Motorsports Park in North Carolina.
But a few hours into his trip, the turbocharger on the diesel engine in his motorhome lost boost, and he had to turn around and drive — at a mere 45 mph — back home. Not willing to throw in the towel, he drove five hours each way the next day to pick up the parts he was told that he needed to make repairs, but as it turned out, he needed additional parts that he wasn’t able to get his hands on.
“Thankfully, my buddy, David Fallon, loaned me his Chevy Duramax to get to the track, but then I had two flat tires along the way,” said Slone, with a laugh. “I’m telling you, I had bad luck. We got to the track late Wednesday night.”
Finally ready to roll into the beams in his Jerry Bickel-built car, Slone blasted to a 3.74 on a test pass, followed later by a 3.76 to qualify in the fourth spot.
“With the new six-stage nitrous system in place, we were being really careful and conservative while we were getting a handle on the new tune-up, and we were watching things like wheel speed and engine rpm,” said Slone. “So, we were happy with the 3.74 and 3.76, and we were pretty close to Jim Halsey, Tommy Franklin, Lizzy Musi and Chris Rini. We felt that we could be competitive that weekend.”
Unfortunately, Slone had trouble when he was pulling into the waterbox for the first round of eliminations.
“My car would start and then shut off, and then start and shut off again, so I didn’t get to stage,” said Slone. “When we got back to the pit area, we found out that a throttle position sensor had gone bad. We had three new throttle position sensors in the trailer, and we could have swapped out the bad one if it had happened earlier in the weekend. That was a lot of disappointment for a $20 part.”
In the next few weeks, Slone, who was hoping to go rounds in recognition of his father’s birthday at the PDRA event, will put a new set of Hoosier slicks under his car and take on the 12th Annual Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals, June 25-28 at Atlanta Dragway.
“We want to see the full potential of our combination, and get to low 3.70s or high 3.60s,” said Slone, whose crew includes his father, Jack, brother, Rodney, uncle, Larry, daughters, Ashley and Tori, fiancée, Lindsey Taylor, his Pro Hose Connections partner David Fallon and Justin Carey, and who flies banners for GMPartsOne.com, GM Genuine Parts, Lafontaine Performance Parts, Chevrolet Performance Vehicle/Parts, Hands of Hope of Illinois, Mullins Auto Supply and Service, Fallon Construction, Pat Musi Racing Engines, Hoosier Racing Tires, Merillat Racing, SpeedTech Nitrous Systems, Drzayich Inc. and The Fence Company. “And, we want to qualify in the top four and win. We’re close. I know we are.”