While Dave Roemer had campaigned various race cars through the years, he moved to a 1968 Camaro-bodied and Jerry Bickel Race Cars-built Pro Mod in early 2013 and headed to his first Pro Mod race that summer.
Unfortunately, he was involved in a accident there, but moments after getting out of the car, he made the decision to repair it in time to take part in the Summit Racing Equipment Shakedown at the Summit presented by Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, which was debuting in the fall of 2013 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
That’s where he discovered that it was going to take time to sort out his combination consisting of a Buck Racing Engines-built big-block Chevy sipping fuel from a carburetor, SpeedTech nitrous system, Lenco transmission and a Ram clutch.
Roemer, who owns R&R Auto Body in Ohio with his brothers, Mike and Joe Roemer, began taking part in test sessions before loading up for the Shakedown at the Summit at Summit Motorsports Park in 2014, and made progress, but was still not completely content with his combination.
So, in 2015, he replaced his Lenco transmission and Ram clutch with a Bruno-Lenco transmission and Neal Chance lockup converter, and at the same time, decided that he would introduce himself to NMCA VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod at Summit Motorsports Park that year and return to the track a month later to race at Shakedown at the Summit.
It was a solid move, as he dialed-in his combination enough to know that in addition to wanting more horsepower, he wanted to win, and his next step was replacing his engine with a Buck Racing Engines-built 903 cubic-inch engine on a Dart billet block topped with Dart billet heads and a CFM carburetor.
“We struggled at first because the chassis couldn’t accept the added horsepower from the engine, but then we made some changes this past winter, and it’s been game-on ever since,” said Roemer, who displayed his car in Summit Motorsports Park’s booth at the Summit Racing Equipment Piston Powered Autorama in Cleveland in March.
Those changes involved having his struts and shocks redesigned, re-valved, and tested by Kinetic Engineering in Missouri before debuting the new set-up at the NMCA season opener at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida in March. There, with a relatively mild tune-up, he qualified ninth in a full field of sixteen with a 3.93, and after turning the wick up for the second NMCA race of the season at Atlanta Dragway in April, he posted a series of 3.80s.
“The car was taking the power we were giving it,” said Roemer. “In fact, we were on a 3.82 pass at the NMCA race at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Kentucky in May before we burned a valve out of a cylinder.”
With the repaired Buck Racing Engines 903 cubic-inch engine back in place for the NMCA race at Summit Motorsports Park in August, Roemer ripped off a stout 3.85 and qualified in the seventh spot in the full field of 16 cars, and won first round of eliminations.
“We performed well at every turn at Norwalk, and we made three 3.80s passes in a row,” said Roemer. “That’s the best we had done since we got this car, and the most exciting part is that we have a good combination now as we head to Shakedown at the Summit at Summit Motorsports Park and the final NMCA race of the season at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. The only thing missing is my dad, Ron, who used to race with me before he passed away a year and a half ago. He would have liked to see how the car is running.”
Catch Roemer and his crew, including his brothers, Mike and Joe Roemer; son, Daniel Roemer; Kyle Rapson, Matt Rainey and Charlie Taylor, in action at the Summit Racing Equipment Shakedown at the Summit presented by Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, Sept. 14-17 at Summit Motorsports Park — where he’ll be racing for a share of Pro Line Racing Pro Mod’s $66,000 purse — and the 16th Annual SDPC Raceshop NMCA World Street Finals, Sept. 21-24 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana.