Pete Epple Technical Editor
August 31, 2011
Photos By: Mike Yoksich

The 5th Annual JE Pistons NMCA Muscle Car Nationals at Milan Dragway played host the Ford Racing Performance Parts Cobra Jet Showdown. The event was held from August 26th - 28th, and MM&FF's editor, Evan J. Smith, took to the track behind the wheels of Anthony Bongiovanni's multi-colored '08 CJ, which has graced the pages of MM&FF as feature car (Applied Intelligence, September, 2011).

The Cobra Jet Showdown was broken down into three classes: the 2.3L, and 4.0L classes, which were designated by supercharger size, and the CIC class was open to Cobra Jets built from bodies-in-white. The CIC class was also open to competitors running the 352ci and 428ci pushrod engines, 4.6L-based engines, and 5.0L engines, as well as 2.3L supercharged cars built to run NHRA Super Stock.

Smith and Bongiovanni competed in 2.3L and CIC class respectively. Bongiovanni took his '08 CJ to the Final Round of the CIC class, taking out Chris Holbrook, and Jimmy Ronzello in the process. Bongiovanni ran a best e.t. of 8.92 at 149 mph, but unfortunately, his day would be cut short when Charlie Downing defeated him in the final.

Smith was the man to beat in the 2.3L class, running a best e.t. of 9.35-seconds at over 143 mph. Smith took the class win, defeating Adam Gimbel, Rick Rodgers, Carl Tasca, and Don Fezell to take the top spot. And if a class win wasn't enough, Smith then went on to the King Of The Hill race where he faced off against Blaine Ramey and his '10 4.0L supercharged CJ. With near-identical reaction times, Smith made it to the stripe first to become the overall winner of the 2011 Ford Racing Performance Parts Cobra Jet Showdown.

Congratulations to Evan Smith and Anthony Bongiovanni on a great outing!

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