By Mary Lendzion
Photos by NMCA and courtesy of Frank Hoffman
Frank Hoffman was making palpable progress in NMCA Dart NA 10.5 when he hurt the LSX engine in his Mustang at the NMCA World Street Finals presented by Chevrolet Performance last fall at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana.
The Michigander had gone as quick and fast as 8.70 and 159 mph, and was working toward going even quicker and faster, but he has pushed the pause button on those plans and put together a 414 cubic-inch small-block Ford engine.
And, with that 414 cubic-inch small-block Ford engine comes a move from NMCA Dart NA 10.5 to NMCA MagnaFuel Open Comp.
Built around a Ford Racing Sportsman block, the engine features JE pistons, Eagle rods, a Scat crank and a Comp solid roller camshaft. It’s topped with Edelbrock Victor Jr. heads and an Edelbrock intake, and it sips fuel from a ProForm carburetor.
All of the parts for his new engine came from his uncle, Tom Hoffman and his friend, Jim Johnson, who both race in MagnaFuel Open Comp, and from Johnson’s brother, Craig Johnson. He had a new set of headers made by ZWN Performance.
“Jim and I put the engine together in the past couple weeks,” said Hoffman, who will back it with his Turbo 400 and Hoffman’s Ultimate Concepts converter. “We had to rewire my whole car because all of the previous wiring was for the LSX engine, and we installed a new MSD Grid.”
Hoffman, who drove Jim Johnson’s Mustang in MagnaFuel Open Comp at the Inaugural Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival presented by Force Engineering in July at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan, said he’s looking forward to being back in the category in which he competed from 2006 to 2009.
“It will be nice to go back to my roots for a few years,” said Hoffman, who is now using his previous MagnaFuel Open Comp competition number of 9764. “Then, when I do go back to Dart NA 10.5 down the road, it will be with another small-block Ford.”
Hoffman is heading to the NMCA All-American Nationals, this weekend, Aug. 25-29, at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. He’s anxious to debut his new engine, which he’s confident is capable of low 10-second passes.
“I’m looking forward to joining my uncle Tom, my friend, Jim and the other Open Comp racers,” said Hoffman, whose Mustang rolls on Mickey Thompson slicks and frontrunners. “I’ll start by going from A to B to get dialed in, and go from there.”