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Craig Sullivan and El Mero Mero Back in Action

Posted By: Mary Lendzion
Written by Mary Lendzion
Photos by NMCA and courtesy of Craig Sullivan
While Craig Sullivan has always had extraordinary race cars, the one he debuted in 2021 is a favorite for many of his fans.
It is a 1949 Mercury named El Mero Mero, and it is an original, outstanding and often ogled work of art.
Sullivan was immediately competitive in the car built by Larry Jeffers Race Cars in NMCA VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod and other series, and he has certainly amassed a loyal following.
The racer from Indiana earned a second-place finish in 2021, followed by an eighth-place finish in 2022, and he was off to a strong start in 2023 before he unfortunately had breakage that caused his car to go into the retaining wall during a pass at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio in May of 2023.
“It was pretty heartbreaking when the front right corner of my car hit the retaining wall,” said Sullivan.
After collecting himself and checking out the damage, Sullivan took his car from his home in Indiana to Larry Jeffers Race Cars in Missouri for repairs.
“Larry had to replace the rear clip on my car, from the four-link bars back, and he installed a new carbon fiber body,” said Sullivan. “We also had to fix some wiring issues that resulted from the impact.”
When that work was wrapped up, Sullivan took the car to Kryptonite Kustomz in Oklahoma, where the car was originally wrapped, to have it rewrapped in the same dramatic design.

Thankfully, Sullivan’s engine and power-adder were not compromised in the crash, and that includes the Brad Anderson-based 521 cubic-inch Hemi Sullivan built at his shop, Wild Irish Racing Engines and Machine, and his PSI screw blower. He pairs his engine and screw blower with a Neal Chance converter, Quick Drive and 5-speed transmissions by Liberty’s Gears.
Ready to get back on the racetrack, Sullivan traveled to Florida for two test sessions and races in early 2024.
“We tested well, and we are happy with how the car is running,” said Sullivan. “It felt very good to be back in the car. I appreciate the support from Manley, Callies, Wiseco and MGP. They all have great products. I also really appreciate the support from Joe Oplawski of Hyperaktive Performance Solutions, who uses FuelTech to tune my car. Joe has helped me for 15 years.”
Sullivan is now ready for the 16th Annual NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by Sipple’s Speed and Performance, April 11-14, 2024 at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina, and fans will be happy to see El Mero Mero.
“My goal is to win the NMCA Xtreme Pro Mod championship,” said Sullivan. “That will take a lot, because even though our research and development is pretty extensive, this class is tough, and it takes a lot to win, but I am happy where I am at. We are looking forward to a good year.”

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