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John Leslie Jr switches to a Coyote Engine in NMRA Factory Stock!

March 10, 2015 by Chad Houghton


 John Leslie Jr, an old dog in NMRA Factory Stock, has some new tricks up his sleeve, or should we say under the hood for the 2015 season. 

It all started at the NMRA season opener, last year when Johnny pulled his car out of the box for the first time.  I was standing there, talking to his crew chief, Tony Meier, and noticed a ticking sound coming from his engine.  A brand new engine and it had spun a rod bearing before even making one hit, setting the tone for team JlJ racing the rest of the year.  Johnny and his crew tried their hardest to keep the car and engine in the fight.  Tim Matherly from MV Performance jumped on board rebuilding the engine after the second event.  After the long hours and countless efforts the writing was on the wall for the 2V mod engine program.

The mid season rule changes, allowed the automatic Fox Body and SN95 Coyote Stock cars to enter in Factory Stock.  Seeing the repercussions of how they were running had John and Tony taking notice.  We never went pass first round all season John adds.  After the season's final race John and Tony sat down to discussed their options. " It really was a no brainer, to build a 2V to compete against the Coyote cars would cost as much as the old push rod engines to build.  Pound for pound dollar for dollar the Coyote, even with the added weight for running a stick, was the best option.

A phone call was made to Tim Matherly and the next thing you know, the car was on a trailer, heading to Tim's shop.  Tim looked over the rule book and built an engine that would run on top of the class.  "We just didn't have the steam with the 2V.  The most power we had was in the 330 range.  Now we around a 100hp more than the old combo, and feel we can make a good run in the class" says John.  The hardest part about this whole build process was keeping it under wraps from everyone in the class.  This project was so secretive that his own sister, Sondra Leslie who races in the class, didn't know what he was up to.

John adds, he couldn't do this without his supporting sponsors.  ACT Clutch will still have their name on the doors while Team Z Motorsports suspension is on the front and back of the car.  Strange coilovers and shocks are under the car while John's new sponsor, JLT cold Air intake is under hood.  Leading the charge on the front nose will be MV Performance and Pappa Shine will keep all the logos shiny throughout the year.  John would like to give big a special shout out to his Crew chief Tony Meier Jr. and Sr, at Meier's Automotive.

In the 2014 season we saw John and Tony go through hell and fought throughout the whole season just to make lane call. Talking to John, his spirits are high for the 2015 season and he's looking forward to hurting some feelings this year.