By Mary Lendzion
Photos courtesy of Scott Quesenberry
Scott Quesenberry inherited an incredibly impressive car from his father at the age of fourteen.
It was a 1966 Chevelle SS that Quesenberry began racing at the track near his home, Kilkare Dragway in Xenia, Ohio.
He still owns that car, and went on to have a 1963 Nova SS and a 1955 Chevy, which he raced in Quick 8 among other categories, but he stepped things up substantially several years ago when he climbed into a 1955 Chevy-bodied Pro Mod built by Braskett Race Cars. He competed in the NMCA VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod category, as well as in PDRA and other series through last year, and went as quick and fast as 4.12 and 192 mph in the car with a 526 cubic-inch Hemi, Kobelco roots supercharger and Lenco with a Bruno.
But, he wanted to take things up a notch and go quicker and faster, so when he was presented with the opportunity to purchase a proven 1941 Willys-bodied Pro Mod back in January, he took it.
“I was at the U.S. Street Nationals in January at Bradenton Motorsports Park when I was talking with Jason Scruggs and Wesley Jones,” said Quesenberry. “Wesley looked at me and told me I needed a light car to put my powerplant into, and he told me that he had a 1941 Willys that had been parked for a while and that he would sell it to me if I wanted it. Wesley had a wreck in it a while back, and Jerry Bickel rebuilt it. Well, right after the race, I went to Mississippi to look at it, and I purchased it as a roller. I told Wesley he priced the car too reasonably and I couldn’t resist.”
Quesenberry delivered the car to G-Force Race Cars in New York, where owner Jim Salemi installed a new 521 cubic-inch Noonan Hemi by Mike Stawicki of MSR Performance to be paired with a PSI c-rotor screw supercharger and Liberty three-speed billet transmission and a Quick Drive. Jim’s brother, Jon Salemi, who owns Resolution Racing Services in New York, chose a Fuel Tech system to tune the combination.
G-Force Race Cars also handled the wiring for the car, built new headers for it and modified the cockpit to better suit Quesenberry. 150 pounds were added to the car to help bring it to 2625 pounds.
“My first test session was a little while later at Empire Dragway in New York, and since then, I have been out testing at various events five times, including at the Heavyweight 8 Pro Mod Shootout at Dragway 42 and Rumble Wars Extreme 8 at Summit Motorsports Park, both in Ohio,” said Quesenberry. “I have qualified every time, and the car feels great, runs great, and shows so much promise, even though we’re still in the shakedown process and haven’t beaten down the door yet.”
Because the car was carrying the front tires to the eighth-mile, the Salemis suggested going from the single wheelie bar to a dual wheelie bar set-up, so they took care of that a few weeks ago.
“So far, we have run as quick as 3.79, and we know we will run even quicker once we turn up the tune a bit,” said Quesenberry. “This car, which has the same set-up as other drivers who are in the 3.60s, is so much faster than the old car, and drives so differently, so there is a learning curve. It’s like a new glove that I just need to put on and stretch out until it fits like an old glove.”
Quesenberry plans to introduce the car to NMCA VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod at the NMCA All-American Nationals, Aug. 25-28 at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio, and also has circled on his calendar the NMCA World Street Finals presented by Chevrolet Performance, Sept. 22-25, at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park and the R&R Auto Body and DeCerbo Construction Rumble Wars Extreme 8 during the Cornwell Tools Night Under Fire, Aug. 6 at Summit Motorsports Park.
When the season is over, he’ll turn his focus to chasing a championship at all six events on the NMCA tour in 2023.
“We want to have a good time while also being competitive and showing what we are capable of,” said Quesenberry, whose team includes his son, Bryce Quesenberry, as well as Rob Winget and Chad Wright. “With my other car, I was pretty competitive in the pond that I was in, but with this car, I want to step up and be competitive in the ocean, and I want to earn respect.”