Double Dip: Johnny Pluchino Ready For Another PDRA Win At Darlington

Johnny Pluchino kicked off his 2020 Extreme Pro Stock season by winning the East Coast Nationals in convincing fashion. Pluchino plans on running in Extreme Pro Stock full-time behind the wheel of his family’s Strustmasters.com backed Mustang. The Pluchino clan is ready to take what it learned at GALOT Motorsports Park and make a run at the Extreme Pro Stock title this year.

Before he made the switch to Pro Stock as his primary class, Pluchino earned a pair of PDRA Pro Outlaw 632 championships. Making laps in his Jon Kaase Racing Engines-powered Escort was great training and made the transition to Pro Stock much easier.

According to Pluchino, a few things made the win at GALOT possible, including a brand new engine after an offseason dyno session issue.

“We basically built a new short block after we lost the crank on the dyno. John Kaase Racing Engines put a lot of work in over the winter with our engine program. We went out there and were top speed for every round, and that shows a lot of promise. We also had a new set of tires and a new Ram clutch we had never used before. The plan was to test as much as we could on Wednesday and Thursday, but the rain put a stop to that. We really had to pick away at the car every run as we sorted out the new parts with a car we had good data on.”

 

Picking up the win at the East Coast Nationals was a huge confidence booster for Pluchino and his team. They feel there’s a lot of untapped potential in the Mustang after reviewing their data from the race with just seven runs on the car. The team was also encouraged by how well the car responded to the changes they made, and this has given them a clear path on what needs to be addressed going forward.

Pluchino and his team plan on combining the data they have on the Mustang’s chassis at Darlington Dragway with the new engine and clutch data to formulate a plan for the Carolina Showdown.

“Working with John Kaase Racing Engines, Hoosier Tire, Ram Clutch, and NGK Spark Plugs gives us a great chance to do well since we have so many quality parts on the car. We’re going to try some new shock stuff with Precesion Racing Suspension at Darlington and keep trying to get faster. If you sit still and don’t improve your program other teams will go right around you,” Pluchino says.

You can see Johnny Pluchino try to win two in a row at the PDRA Carolina Showdown June 11-13. All of the racing from Darlington Dragway will be shown live RIGHT HERE on SpeedVideo. This broadcast is brought to you by Vortech Superchargers, Flying A Motorsports, Jerry Bickel Race Cars, Howards Cams, SCE Gaskets, and TCI.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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