Evan J Smith
December 25, 2014
Contributers: Evan J Smith

Bongiovanni Racing CJ Wins Best Engineered

In its very first outing, Anthony Bongiovanni’s Arrow-sponsored 2014 Ford Cobra Jet Mustang captured the Best Engineered award at the recent NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Auto-Plus Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, located outside of Reading, Pennsylvania.

Bongiovanni’s Super Stock Mustang qualified 7th—an impressive feat considering the Ford Mustang had never made a run prior to the event. “We brought a brand-new car with a new 5.0 Coyote engine to a national event, which is something you don’t normally do,” said Anthony Bongiovanni. “It went smoothly down the track, running 8.76 at 156 mph. Winning Best Engineered is a testament to our team’s hard work,” he added. The Best Engineered award is selected by NHRA technical officials and is based on quality of construction, attention to detail, outstanding workmanship, and vehicle uniqueness.

“Bongiovanni Racing is thrilled to walk away from the NHRA Keystone Nationals with a Best Engineered award, and we’d like to thank the NHRA Tech department for its consideration.”

Charlie Wescott Jr. to Run Ford Pro Stocker

Six-time Hemi Challenge champion and engine builder, Charlie Westcott Jr., recently announced his plans to compete in the tough NHRA Pro Stock ranks driving a Ford Mustang. Westcott purchased the Jerry Haas Mustang of the late Jim Cunningham and will likely enter the Pro Stock shark’s tank in 2015.

“I really like the Ford Mustangs,” said Westcott. “They are nice-looking cars, and it’s nice to have people root for you, but I need to figure out how to go fast to give them a reason to root.”

The Parma, Michigan, racer went on to say, “I wanted to build a Pro Stock engine, and the Dodge guys said it would be $13,000 to $14,000. Then I got to know Jesse Kershaw at Ford Racing and he sold me parts cheap enough to be worth my while. That’s how it happened. I have some parts and can keep myself out of trouble for a few years.”

With Wescott’s diehard attitude and wealth of racing knowledge, we expect he’ll be a threat and that Ford fans will get behind his effort. “I should be in the hunt, and when I’m fast enough I’ll go to a race. To me, it should prove that you can do your own stuff. Everybody thinks you have to have CFE do you heads, and they’re spending money on stuff that may or may not be necessary,” Westcott proclaimed. “I get an idea and I figure out how to do it rather than copy.”

According to Westcott, being competitive will require wringing upwards of 1,400 to 1,500 hp from the 500-cube naturally aspirated engine. “It’s a relative number, and different people lie about how much power they make. When I make 1,400 hp, that’s when I’ll go testing,” said Westcott. “Basically, the top teams have a head porter who hand ports the head and then they digitize the port. When I work on the cylinder head model, I draw the ports on the computer and then do it. It saves time and money.”

He added, “But you have to work all the parts of the engine together. I’ve evolved in my engine design so I can get the ports, valve angles, rocker geometry, and the lifter location all set. It all has to work together to get a good valvetrain. It worked pretty good on the Spintron.

Hayward Blasts to First-Ever 7-second True Street Average

Tremec True Street racer Cal Hayward rocked the Nitto NMRA All Ford World finals in Bowling Green, Kentucky, delivering the first-ever NMRA 7-second average in his Bullseye Performance 1991 twin-turbo Mustang. Drivers have been on the cusp of busting the barrier in the popular Tremec True Street class for two years.

“We’ve been testing at Milan Dragway and U.S. 131,” said Hayward. “We went a 7.71 driving it over 40 miles to the track and then driving it home. I knew the first pass in Bowling Green was good (7.636), but on the second run it got out of the groove and I had to lift. It still ran 7.895, then the real deal set in. I just wanted to back it up, and when I pulled the chute on the third run I knew it was in the 7s, and it was unreal."

Tremec True Street participants must first complete a 30-mile road drive and, with no refueling or tuning, make the three quarter-mile passes.