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Driver and Crew Interviews

Matt DaSilva Kickin Ass and Takin Names!

September 26, 2010 by Chad Houghton

Matt Da Silva

Growing up in the racing scene, spending time with dad, learning what makes cars go and go fast!  It shows a young child that life isn't perfect and not everything goes the way you want it too.  You have to work hard in this life to get where you want to be and better yet what you want to be.  Watching his father, work hard and win 2 championships in pro 5.0 really made a great role  model for him.  By day he works in the race shop, by night stays after hours to work on his own car.  This man is on a mission setting the world on fire with his 05 GT street car to run 10's on all motor and stock bottom end.  A man who has raced the orange white flamed twin turbo car to a 6.62 @ 232mph.  A very well known and respected racer that has sent fear in the eyes of his fellow racers, and he has done all this at the ripe age of 20.  Introducing Matt DaSilva, son of Canada's favourite Ford Drag racer, Joe DaSilva.  Matt DaSilva is the next rising star with the Da Silva name plate.  Matt wants to push the limits and take the name to new ground in ADRL and eventually a funny car.  Working long hours in the shop (DaSilva Racing) with his dad creating a strong foundation, Matt is sure to become a house hold name in drag racing.    

Did you spend a lot of time with your dad at the track when you were growing?

Yes since the age of 2 I travelled with him, racing all over North America.

What age did you start racing?

 I started racing Jr. dragsters when I was 7.  My car had a gas motor that ran 14.5 sec to the 1/8th , that was the fastest I went back then.  I went from Jr's to my dad's old 86 at the age of 16.  I was taught how to drive stick on his 2000 Mustang.

You raced your dad's (86) coupe.  Did you guys buy that back and rebuild it?

Yeah we built that back in 2003-04, it's parked right now. It was a renegade car in NMRA but it has a radial on it. It ran a best of 8.67 @ 162mph.  It's on the back burner now, I'm just having too much fun with my street car.

Matt Da Silva

Do you work on the cars at the shop as well?

I would like to work more in the back, I do work there after hours but i manage the front during the day.  My dad wants me to pilot the freight of the train, so thats what I'm doing.

Do you have you own client base?

I have a group of buddies that I keep in close touch with, we have our own race team.  My dad and I run the shop together, so i would say we are one big family.

Matt da Silva

You said your having fun running your street car, is that something you put together?

Yes I built it after hours at the shop, I wanted to go 11's on a stock long block, all motor.  The next step is running 10's with a naturally aspirated mod motor.

 

You also drive the Pro 5.0 car. Is this car something you want to race?

It is something I eventually want to do.  We are really focused on the business right now, so it hasn't been out the last few years. We are thinking about putting a team together and maybe race ADRL or another sanctioning body that allows big tire cars.  So yes definitely in the future. 

 Da Silva Racing
 

Matt Da Silva

 

What are your personal racing goals?

To make a name for myself and set some records.  Personally NMRA Pure Street is my favorite class.  In the near future I would like to do build a pro car for our big team.  I'll drive anything for anyone and will try to build what I want along the way.

 

Speaking of NMRA, you won Super Stang at the Milan event.

It was a good feeling!  Last year I red lit and I wanted to redeem myself this year. I had a great feeling the whole day, it went perfect for me.  I couldn't ask for anything better.  It was good times with old friends and I met alot of new faces. Can't complain!

 

So is this a career choice for you? Racing and running the shop?

I have definitely thought about it.  I'm definitely into it, it's in my blood, anyone can tell you that.  I definitely want to make this my career.  I guess my main goal though is to pilot a 7000 hp funny car.  As soon as I can possibly get there! lol

It appears that you and your father work very well together.

Yes, we are a good team.  I consider him one of my best friends.  It's a father son relationship, like anyone we have our conflicts, but at the end of the day I wouldn't want anyone else by my side.  I'm definately best friends with my dad and I am very thankful he got me into racing. 

Matt Da Silva

 

Matt Da Silva

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I would like to thank our sponsors, Ford Racing, Brian Wolf really helped me out.  Classis design concepts, Vortech, UPR products , Tom Reider (use to own Reider Racing & Precision gear) Mac Products , Pro 5.0  And of course thanks to my pops for getting me into this sport.

 

  

Driver and Crew Interviews

Billy Glidden is Back in 13 Days!

July 30, 2010 by Chad Houghton

 

Billy Gliddens ADRL AFX Car

At the ADRL race in Heartland Park Topeka, Kansas July 2-3, Billy Glidden crashed his car. He was in the left lane when the tree came down. The car then made a hard right turn head on into the wall (Click here for photos) flipping the car on it's roof.  Billy was ok but his 2011 bodied Mustang had seen better days.  With a lot of hard work Billy and Shannon had their car back in only 13 days! They rolled in to Route 66 friday night to race in the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl which he took runner up in NMCA Pro Street.  The weekend between the wreck and getting the ADRL Mustang back I saw Billy and Shannon at the Pritchet Brothers race at Milan Mich.  Running the famed black 90GT Mustang.  Billy went to the finals but had to lift when the car came up on the wheelie bars hard and had to really drive the car when it came down.  Not wanting to risk wrecking the old black Mustang Billy lifted and left with a runner up in a car that had out of date technology and was clearly the under dog all weekend.  We caught up with Billy after the race at Route 66 to ask how he got the car back out so fast and why he brought out the old black GT 

Two weeks ago you had an accident in ADRL could you give us a brief run down on what happened with the car?

The car broke an axle tube, it didn't twist it, it just snapped it right in two.  That caused the car to make a violent right turn across the track and head on into the wall and put it on the roof.

 

That day you had the motor and trans out of the car and you sent it to the chassis shop.

About an hour, hour and fifteen minutes after the crash.  The engine and trans were out and it was up in Jerry Haas's box trailer at that race track, he took it home and got after it. 

 

Billy Gliddens ADRL Extreme 10.5 Mustang

You put the car on the roof and they had it fixed pretty quick was there really that much damage to the car.

The damage was firewall forward for the most part they replaced mostly struts, and the engine cradle, strut bars.  The front shocks are still the same shocks.  New front end, same hood scoop same doors same body, different front window.  The Jerry Haas car did a great job really it just absorbed the impact really well, it was a pretty sudden stop.  

 

Did you come to this event to test the car for the ADRL?

Houston is next weekend there is two races next week. Charlie Harmon and the Pro Media gang really help us.  They checked in on us when this happened.  This race is only 200 miles from the house rather then having to have to go some where in Texas to run. We drove 300 miles from Jerry Haas, we left friday night about 8 oclock and drove here, we got here around midnight but still in the end this allowed us to run our car and then go home to access anything we need to work on

Billy Gliddens AFX Mustang

 

Billy Gliddens ADRL 2011 Mustang

Is the car driving the same before the accident?

The car is doing great!  I came here with a different combination as well.  Same engine but our drive line has some pretty major changes  and our first run here was our first run on that with this car and this engine (Hemi).  We ran it, did some testing with it last week with the old car with the small block just to try and get a baseline or an idea so we came here with  a lot of things different, but the car drives great.  The car is doing exactly what its suppose to do.

 
   

Last weekend you brought out your old Black 90 GT at Milan.  Were you going to start using that until this car got fixed?

That was to test the new combination the two cars act quite a bit the same with setup gear racials and clutch combinations and nitrous.   So it was actually so I wasn't sitting on my hands really doing nothing.   Effectively we wanted to try and find a way to be better for the next time out.  I don't know if were going to be better but we do have a different direction that were going right here.  I know Spiro was here to test, I don't know if he ever even made it down the track.  It's pretty warm here I dont think it's as hot here as it will be in Houston but a least we raced here pretty close to the way we race ADRL.

 

Billy Gliddens Black 90GT

 When was the last time you brought out the black 90GT?

The last time we raced the old Mustang was NMCA Bowling Green 2008. We only raced it that one time that year and it's been 2007 sometime when we had run it last.

 You ran a 4.32 (to the 1/8) with that car and I think it was a 1.06 60ft with that?

We went 1.04 when we went 4.32, but you know in the afternoon when the other cars ran  we went a 4.41 there was a 4.42, 4.45 and 6s,7s.  When it the sun went down and we went the .32 the guy who was probobly the quickest car had crashed.   Our car ran good because of the different combination I'm telling you about.  It just seemed to work really well.

 

 Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting the new Mustang back on the track?

Jerry Haas and his whole group.  Everyone at Jerry Haas did a great job getting this car done.  Jim D Moore from JDM for helping us to be able to endure the hardship of getting the car done.  And everyone the fans and racers, folks for their support.  Everyone just hopes we get back out and thats what we are working towards.

Billy Gliddens Black 90 GT Mustang

 

FYI!  Looks like all that testing with the old car and at Route 66 paid off!  The weekend after the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl Billy went on to win two events in two nights at ADRL in Houston Raceway Park July 23-24.  It just goes to show you with a lot of hard work you can get back on your feet and come out ahead!

 

FRN would like to congradulate Billy and Shannon on all their hard work and a job well done.  You both deserve it!

 
   
   
Driver and Crew Interviews

Chip Havemann is Back!

June 01, 2010 by Chad Houghton

Chip Havemann

Through the years racers come and go, some never to return.  Some get the itch and have to come back, it's in their blood.  This time it is none other than Chip Havemann.  Chip put his name on the racing map 12 years ago, racing in the Fun Ford Weekend and won the very first Renegade race.  That year he also won the World Championship in Renegade.  In 1999 Chip dominated the competition and won 20 out of 25 races.  He stopped racing Renegade at the end of 2001, and in 2002 he stepped up to SSO and won one race that year at the NMRA in Maple Grove PL.  For 2003 season a new 10.5W car was built and won the clash of the Titans Championship.  Chip then had the opportunity to put together his famed black twin turbo 10.5W car and qualified 9th at the World Street Nationals in 2005 out of 115 cars.  With his many wins and successes, why did he drop out of the racing scene?  Here is his story....

This is the second NMRA event you raced this year is it safe to say your back to stay?

Oh ya, I am back in the NMRA, this is where we want to play, the car is being specifically built for it, this is where we are going to be.

Chip HavemannWhy did you get out of racing?

My Mom was diagnosed with cancer and we knew it was going to be a long fight.  My dad and I were going to take care of her cause things were going to get worse as opposed to better. The timing was sort of a blessing for me, the economy was still really good, so we liquidated everything before the economic downturn.  We took care of Mom, Dad did a wonderful job of that and she passed in January of 09, now we are back racing.

Did you know you were going to get back into racing?

The intent was to buy a car that would be a diversion for my dad.  He was such an integral part of my racing success that I bought the car so that he would have something to do and keep his mind occupied.  As it turns out he is doing absolutely fine.  He has his own projects and he hasn't been super involved in this car, which is totally fine with me.  I'm glad that he is enjoying his time.

What made you decide to come back to racing in the Super Street Outlaw class?

John Urist and I were talking at the World Street Nationals in Orlando and I said "Its about time for me to start looking for cars."  and he said, "Well, you can buy a 10.5 car, we have Outlaw 10.5 car for sale."  I said' "I've been there and not sure that I can support that anymore.  I might be interested in buying the green car."  He said, "I don't know if that ones for sale."  He called Dwayne James, sure enough the green car, after a couple of discussions I am sure back in Albuquerque, they said ya we'll unload it and so I picked it up and I'm happy I did.

What is it like going from a 10.5 Outlaw car back to a small tire car?Chip Havemann

Well it is definately fast enough to keep the excitement level up.  I had driven some slower stuff in the mean time, street cars and whatever and it doesn't give you the rush like going 185 gives you.  Honestly for me its really about the same.  It's more difficult to drive this car but, it was difficult to drive the other car.  The other car just made alot more power.  We'd run 210 or 212 mph, this one has only been to 183 but its a smaller tire so it's still alot of driver input.  I really like the turbo car so, it's kinda fun.  I like it.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

When you get asked that question, if there is someone you want to thank you talk about the people that helped you get to where you are.  So I would say first of all my Dad for helping me out and giving me some basic support.  That was really really important to me.  He taught me alot about the importance of routine maintenance and trying to pay attention to detail, doing something right.  That kinda stuff.  Obviously my family for letting me go.  Viv is back home with the kids. She is such a wonderful mother, she takes such good care of them, I really appreciate that.  John Urist and Dwayne James from Hellion for taking me as the C or D team, and let me use tools and that kind of stuff.  Hopefully I am not over stepping my bounds with their trailer but without them.  I don't think I would be able to race as cosistently as I have, so I have to thank them.  I get some help fom my buddy, Team Ragin' Cajun Bill Peltier from Louisiana, also Ben Frasier out of Houston, both those guys helped me with my program so I've got to say props to them for this year.  There is no way I could forget the man that makes all this happen, Angel Padilla from Automotive Specialties in San Antonio the shop my operation is based out of.

Did you expect the warm welcome that you have received?

It is really very flattering!  It feels so good to see people give me thumbs up or cheer for me or say that its good to see me back at the race track.  I really really thrive on that.  It makes it, even if we don't do well at the races, though we have been pretty lucky this year but, even if we don't do well at the races it certainly worth all of the effort and the money and time that we put into it.  I'm an ego maniac I totally thrive on that!  I love it!

Chip HavemannChip Havemann

 

Driver and Crew Interviews

Factory Stock Driver John Leslie Jr.

May 21, 2010 by Chad Houghton

Many get bitten by the racing bug.  They start to dump money into there car making them faster and less streetable. Factory stock is a class that you can race your car and still be street legal, pass emissions and drive over 400 miles with out any worries.  But don't think this class is for the weak and slow.  These cars are turning low 11's and high 10's right now with stock or 93 cobra parts!  We ask Factory stock veteran John leslie Jr. what the class is all about.  This is the most in depth interview you will read from one of the heavy hitters.  John tells you everything you need to show up and start racing heads up.  Without further adieu heres John Leslie Jr!

John_Leslie_Jr

 What Does a factory stock car consist of?

The factory stock class is really a glorified bolt on class.  A lot of what you see in an everyday street car that has a lot of mods done to it is a factory stock car.  The key to a factory stock car is the tuning and being able to work the suspension. We of course are allowed some after market parts, most of it being light weight internals.  For the most part we have to run a GT40 iron head or E7 stock head for the push rod, with no porting or power adders allowed.  We are allowed 160lb seat pressure thats really about all you can do, no light weight components in the heads, you are allowed to go to a certain cc in the heads but there is no porting what so ever.  No bowl porting, no porting inside the chamber.  Intakes consist of stock or Cobra.  We are very  limited in the class on the parts we can run.  Alot of the sizes and dimensions are stock but again we are allowed to run light weight components.  The most important part of the race in this class is really first 330, being able get your car to hook on a drag radial.  We are only allowed to run on a drag radial, Nitto, BFG or any street tire, we can not run slicks.  Almost everybody in the class runs a 5 speed or 4 speed with 5th gear removed.  Alot of the guys run the G-Force T5 or the Tremecs.  We can run long tubes or short tubes, most guys run long tubes with an off road X pipe.  The key in my opinion is being about to slip the clutch enough to get the car to 60 ft., of course it's nice to have the horse power to back it up but we are on a fine line in this class with not having slicks. It's really tough to get these cars to hook on a drag radial tire with stick shifts.  A lot of guys are launching anywhere between  5000 or 6500 at that high rpm its really hard to get the tires to work.  We have been having problems all year which we usually don't in that dept., but so far this year we have gone through 5 clutches in 3 races, so its alot of work. Our combo consists  GT40 iron heads, a boss 302 block provided by Ford Racing , Cobra intake,  Harland Sharp roller rockers, Stainless Works exhaust front to back, just to name a few people that helped with our program.  This class is fun but tough it's very tough, any heads up class is.

How streetable is a factory stock car?

Factory stock cars are very streetable mine for the first 2 years I did run around on the street with it. The only reason I don't now is that I have so much money wrapped up in it, if I break something I can't afford to replace it.  The tranmission is a TKO Tremec pro shifted.  Now they are able to  make pro shifted trans streetable, mine is more of a race conversion so, every time you shift it at a lower rpm it sounds like its going to fall out.  My suspension, complete suspension all the way around is from TRZ Motorsports and its what you would see on any modified street car running around.  With Eibach drag springs there are no problems with the car.  The way the suspension sits now is the way i used to run around the street with it street racing back in the day, thats a no no.  The car doesn't over heat I still have the fans and thermostat.  The high gear, we have a 430 gear I wouldn't recommend that for highway driving but for the most part i still have tags on my car they are from 2000 though.  Some of the other guys in the class do drive there cars around on the streets.  In the area we live in order for it to be streetable you have to have emissions testing,  so the only way we would get away with that is if we had a show car waiver.  The only drawback to driving these cars on the street is that when you get hot and heavy in the class your stuff does get more expensive and you get reluctant to drive it around.

What rpm's do you actually spin up to when you are leaving between 5500 6000 rpms?

On a good day when we have the 60 ft working and the suspension working we'll launch our car at 6500rpms we'll shift anywhere from 65-68 and we come across to about 7000.

  

John_Leslie_Jr

These cars are flying in factory stock how hard is it to find power in these combinations?

In these combos every bit of horse power is for something.  We will tweak things left and right even the minor things one horse power means the world of difference.  This class with tuning every bit of horsepower counts, 2 horsepower or 5 it all matters.

Do these cars eat up alot of parts?

We have been in this class for 10 years now, the first 3-4 years we had our own little section in Race Pages it was called the  "John Leslie Jr. parts breakage corner", because we would break anything and everything under the sun.  The last few years knock on wood, we have had a lot of luck not breaking anything.  We have broke some off the wall stuff through the years 3-4 engines, 5 drive shafts, 4 sets of axles from 31-33 spline.  The thing you will eat up most are tires.  You will go through 2-3 sets of tires, you always want a good set of broke in radials and clutches.  Maybe the only other big thing is transmissions.  As long as you have a good set up and good combo you will have no problems we have had nothing but clutch issues so far this year we're piecing together combinations trying to make it work so we are still testing so far this year but really as long as you have a good rear end and trans set up you really won't eat up to many parts.

You have been racing in Factory Stock for 10 years have you ever considered moving up to a different class?

Well everyone keeps asking me year after year when I'm going to move up.  About 4-5 years ago after being in asked that so many times I decided once I win a race.  We won our first race last year in Michigan and of course eveyone asked when are you going to move up.  I told them not til I win a championship, I would feel it was all for nothing so once we get a chamionship under the belt we'll move right up.

If someone wanted to get into Factory Stock what advice would you have for them?

If your going to get in try to be serious about it.  The class has come so far from where it used to be, when i first started there was 20+ cars at every race in this class and now it's come down to 8-10 cars maybe 12+ and I hate to say it but you have to be hard core into if you are seriuos about the class.  You don't have to spend alot of money.  |I have seen guys put together modular engines for half of what a push rod engine would cost.  Dedication of course have your car if you are going to start from scratch suspension, cage brace it up. Find a knowledgable engine builder thats familiar with the class If you want to be ral competitive out of the gate find somebody thats familiar with the class to help out I give respect to the guys that try to do it themselves.  We do alot of the stuff ourselves but we also have alot of professional help.  Just because thats how far the class has come.  When the class started it was a 14 sec class now we are in the 10s.  Seek professional help when picking out a cam or getting machine work done.  Go to a professional place thats familiar with the rules.

 

Driver and Crew Interviews

Interview with Scarry's Crew, Randy and Keith

March 14, 2010 by Chad Houghton

Last year at the 2009 NMRA opening in Bradenton Florida the 2008 Pro Outlaw 10.5 Champion Conrad Scarry and his crew came back to defend their championship.  The new big block combination, in their tried and true chassis, sparked interest and a little fear in the eyes of their competition.  But an unforeseen event would change the faces of the Scarry crew.   In qualifying they had an accident that totalled their car, and were left with a wreck of mostly useless parts.  The team was now faced with more than the repeat succcess they were expecting.   It took determination and dedication to rebuild the car in 10 short weeks pushing the limits of the team and friendship.  They only missed one race, returning with a  new chassis and new big block combo, but no data for the car or power plant.  They set out on a mission to regain so much of what they lost.  In the last race of the season the Scarry crew made a pass in the 6.60's,  that summed up their whole season... Finally! Success.

Randy The Scarry crew have come a long way since this event last year, what was it like when you brought the car back to the pits?

 (Keith)  Heart Breaking!

 (Randy) We destroyed a brand new car we had just updated, it was destroyed!  Had to start over from scratch.  We bought the new one Monday morning it was an unfinished chassis I happened to know where it was, bought it and started from there.

How many hours in a day did you put into building the new car?

(R) Between 15-19hrs a day for 10 weeks.

(K) Well I have a regular job, working 8-5 then at 5 I would come in and stay till midnight or so and then in the end I was staying till 1-2 O'clock in the morning.

(R) Everything was fabricated in house, Hank Hill came over and helped us get the car setup, the way he wanted the struts mounted, 4 link mounted, so that way it would be hooked up and gone.

(K) Well I took all the wiring out of the old car and put it in a box, then took it out of a box and put it all in the new race car, and had to get everthing right for the new car because things where just mounted different places and things, its hours and hours running wires.

(R) All the turbo tubing was destroyed, the turbos were knocked loose, they went back to percision and percision rebuilt the turbos. Proline racing engines went through the motor, and got all the gravel out, and we went through the transmission.

(K) We couldn't take a chance, so we changed the rear end and put in new axles.  Strange gave us a good deal on all the front parts and rear axles.  We wound up putting in a ring gear and pinion in it too.  It broke everything in the drive line, as well as bending the chassis.

You only missed one race, and had a whole new chassis and engine combination. How hard was it to get back to where you were with the previous chassis and motorKeith combination.

(R) We haven't got there yet.  We are still working on it, and hopefully we will get this car back as consistant as the old car, see if we can start winning some races again.

(K) We are still struggling with the new car, it's getting better, it 's starting to make a turn now.

 What are your indiviual jobs on the team?

(R) I take care of the motor all the driveline.

(K) I take care of the wiring, all the electronics, race pack,all the computer stuff, and tires! I'm the tire guy. Check them every pass and make sure they are wearing even and in overall good shape. I do all the sheetmetal, thats hard to do. I did all the sheetmetal in the car.

How many hours between races do you put into the car for maintenance?

(R) Probably 40-60hrs and I'm there all day.

(K) I get there about 6 Oclock, I come in on the afternoons, do what ever I have to do. Whether its sheetmetal fabrication or wiring.

How nerve racking is it getting all the bugs out of this new car, Trying to get back to where you were in your racing program?

(R) A lot of arguing a lot of fighting and sometimes grinning!  When its good its good!  Last year was bad all the way around.

(K) We really get a long pretty good at the shop, trying to get everything fixed and back on its feet again.

(R) Everyone watches OCC on TV, well keith, our dad and me, thats what you get.

Last year you guys started with a brand new car and engine combination.  What advice would you give someone who wanted to step up to big class like this with no experience with this type of car.

(R) Go see Steve Petty, Hank Hill, the upper people and you will get where you want to be.

(K) You try and do it by yourself, your just going to spend alot of money and break alot of parts. We know because we did that the first season we raced.  This is a different animal then anything else you fool with, you try to step into one of these things and don't know whats going on, you break parts and lots of them.  It gets expensive in a hurry.

I just wanted to point out how much the scarry crew help out other crews with their cars.  At night fall you put your car away and turn into a weld shop.  Your dedication to the sport and your support to the racers in the NMRA is the best I have ever seen.

(R) Anybody that enjoys racing I enjoy helping. Anybody that has the dedication to come out here and do this I don't mind helping. As long as they appreciate it. 

(K) We don't mind helping anyone as long as they thank us when where done.

Cold beer usually helps?

 (K) That always helps!

 (R) 12 packs and cases, help out a lot!

Anyone you would like to thank?

(R) Garrett Turbos, KooKs, DFN, Strange, Tony Barker Race engines, Pro Line race engines, Mickey Thompson, All the people that helped us get fast!

(K) All the people that helped us go from a wrecked car to a winning race car again!

Anything else you would like to add?

(R) Ya! We will beat Dan (millen) and Scotty, they ain't off the hook yet!=)

Conrad Scarry

 

 

Driver and Crew Interviews

2009 NMRA Super Street Outlaw Champion John Urist

February 12, 2010 by Chad Houghton

John Urist is the winningest driver in the NMRA with 5 championship rings under his belt, 4 championships in a row.  The real and only question is... can this man be beat?

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Driver and Crew Interviews

2009 NMRA Drag Radial Champion Jason Lee

February 12, 2010 by Chad Houghton

In 2008 Jason Lee showed he had a setup that was not to be reckoned with, but switching back and forth between two drag radial series took it's toll on Jason's performance.  In 2009 he decided to only run the NMRA in a quest for the championship.  The first event he set the bar high with two 7sec passes and the event win.  Forever putting a foot print in NMRA Drag Radial.

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Driver and Crew Interviews

Interview with NMRA SSO Racer Chris Tuten

February 11, 2010 by Chad Houghton

We caught up with Chris Tuten at the final leg of the 2009 NMRA series in Bowling Green Kentucky. It was all smiles for Chris Tuten, as of saturday mid day he was #1 qualifier in Super Street Outlaw.

This is your first full year in SSO, how happy are you with your performance?

Obviously coming off a real good run, on paper it looks like we are really happy but like i said to you earlier you just don't know how we are going to run in the heat. In good weather I am very happy.

Do you think you have had a consistent year with this set up?  Have you had any tuning issues?

No we've just had a lot of ups and downs with parts failures and stuff like that. In this race here, so far no failures and everything is just running good. We can actually run the car over and over to figure out what it needs to make it run.

Being the only turbo entry that actually ran the whole season how well do you think the rules are going to play out for next year for turbo entries?

You know thats an interesting question, judging by this race on paper everything looks even.

You went in qualifying #1, What was that pass?

7.39 & 190mph, however (John) Urist went 194 and he hasn't made a clean pass in this good air. He might be able to go a low (7) 30, in that case there still needs to be a little bit of work done.  You just don't know.

Since the Super Charger entries are running direct drive do you think they will change the rules and give the turbo entries a 98 mm, giving them a bit of an advantage over last year?

I don't know, when it comes to turbos everybody is kinda scared, its like a black art. Theres a mystery behind them, everyone thinks you can just secretly turn them up. I don't know if they are going to do anything.

What can we expect from you in the 2010 season? Maybe a different motor combination?

I am actually very happy with the motor and everything in the car. We are just going to work on refining, pick away at it little by little and I think maybe our goal will be to try to go a 7.40 in the heat. If we can do that when we get good weather again we should be able to go mid 7.30's and maybe thats where everybody else is by then.

No wheelie bars next year?cris-tuten-car

Absolutely not! I'll hold on to no wheelie bars as long as I can.

In drag radial you ran a super charger and now in SSO you are running a turbo. Do you have any advice for someone switching from a supercharger to a turbo?

 Gosh darn! thats a loaded question. It depends, the first thing is learn to drive. A turbo car is a difficult car to drive period. Getting your starting line and your boost right every single time is key. My biggest advice is before you even go to the track practice atleast 20-30 times in the shop. Pulling the car up to the line, make sure the boost is right. Then cool the car,and the torque converter and do it again. Get all that right and behind you before you get to the track. A lot of people don't do that and when they get to the track, they are all pumped and don't know what they are doing. It's a waste of a day. That stuff you can get done at the shop. Get it done before you ever go to the track.