Paul Rosner
March 1, 2009

New York International Raceway in Leicester is nestled just down from the Niagara Falls and is home of the Mustang On Mustang heads-up pro-tree racing series (www.momsracing.com), where the racing can be as brutal as the weather. Especially if you're trying to get consistent 8-second e.t.'s from a ProCharger-blown, five-speed Mustang.

Joe and Wendy Zito finally achieved what they believed was the unthinkable, capturing the '08 MOMs Racing Grand Championship title. Joe says his better half got burned more than once collecting the carnage over the last 10 years as they exposed the weak links one at a time.

We featured Joe's little small-block-powered coupe in the Aug. '01 issue, in which he was dubbed "fastest and quickest Kenne Bell Mustang in the country." Since then, he and his crew chief, Bob Kennedy of Kennedy's Dynotune in Tonawanda, New York, have switched gears in their G-Force Racecars-built hotrod, upgrading to a ProCharger-powered, 336-cid powerplant.

The MOMs racing series has been operating at the raceway since 1994 with six Open Comp-style heads-up classes. There's something for everybody, with a couple naturally aspirated classes, as well as the big, blown nitrous oxide-injected and turbocharged power-adder classes. The rules are minimal, with classes split into drag slick, radial, or street-tire categories.

Ranger Remembered
Lifetime Ford fanatic Don Bowles, a familiar face in the drag racing world, asked us to pay tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces when a longtime friend from Madisonville, Kentucky, lost one of his sons.

Sgt. William P. Rudd was a graduate of North Hopkins High School in 1999 and joined the elite Army Rangers in 2003 with the ambition to defend our great country. He served in two deployments in Afghanistan and five missions in a volatile Iraq. Sgt. Rudd got his nickname, "Ricky," from the popular NASCAR driver with the same last name.

Don not only added the Third Battalion Rangers insignia on his 8-second '05 Mustang and helmet, he also talked Jack Roush into letting Rick's Third Battalion, 75th Regiment insignia ride along with David Ragan's No. 6 car at Atlanta in remembrance. David's Ford finished eighth, while teammate Carl Edwards took the checkered flag.

Ricky's best girl, Charity, would send him Mustang magazines to fuel his dreams of building a cherry-red, 302-powered '98 Mustang when he returned home. However, Sgt. Rudd was killed during a secret mission in Mosul, Iraq, pursuing a high-ranking terrorist leader. Godspeed.

Flying On Radials
Many people have used different methods to test the capabilities of drag-racing radial tires, but commercial aircraft maintenance mechanic Bill Wolf has found the ultimate testbed. He figures any tire that can survive the rigors of 200-mph touchdowns ought to be safe to run on his '91 'Stang racecar.

We hope he's kidding about the tests. BFGs are great tires, but I don't think they rated at the 100,000-pound gross weight of one of those behemoths.

Bill also told us there are no plain parts--or plane parts, for that matter--on his hot rod. Nothing but the best. Jamey Swanson of Majerus Garage put together a sick, 350-cube powerplant from a 9.5-inch-deck Dart block with AFR 225 heads, an Edelbrock Super Victor intake, and a C&S Specialties 4150 carburetor. With the ProCharger F-1R blow-through supercharger onboard, crew chief Brian Collert says lack of power is never an issue but getting her to hook on the radials is sometimes a challenge. A handful of Race Factory upgrades to the Team Z-enhanced chassis resulted in more consistent low-8-second e.t.'s in 2008.

Bill and Sally Wolf bought their '91 coupe new and it's been a long journey. A trip to the winner's circle in 2009 would be a sweet reward for their relentless efforts.

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