Veteran small-tire racer Frank Mewshaw has been noticeably absent for the better part of a year after a devastating engine explosion ravaged his Firebird. That downtime has been used to rehabilitate his F-body, and now Mewshaw is making his comeback to the heads-up racing scene. The next stop for Mewshaw is the 46th Annual Snowbird Outlaw Nationals for some radial tire racing.
Mewshaw’s Nelson Competition-powered Firebird has competed in a variety of small-tire classes over the years and always been a contender. The versatile car has raced in everything from Outlaw 10.5 to Limited Drag Radial during its life. Mewshaw has always done his best to keep the Firebird ready to race but after an on-track incident, it was time to give the old bird some love.
“The car had a big engine failure and after I got into the fluids coming out of the engine it smacked the wall causing some damage. At that point, I decided it was time to just go through the car and have it updated since it was built using old Outlaw 10.5 rules. The front half of the car was really gone through the most and a lot of weight came out of the car. Now we can run in Outlaw 10.5 or Limited Drag Radial, and I can even run Radial vs The World since there is plenty of weight that can come out of the car,” Mewshaw explains.
How much weight did The TRZ Motorsports chassis update pull out of the car? Before the crash the Firebird weighed just over 3,200 pounds, now it weighs just 2,700 with Mewshaw buckled in and ready to race. The engine package from Nelson is also cranking out a lot more power than before. These might seem like great things on the surface, but big changes can lead to some headaches when it comes to getting a car down the track.
“I struggled at the World Street Nationals trying to get a handle on the car. After the rebuild, the car is so much lighter and the engine is making a lot more power. Everything that worked in the past doesn’t now, so it’s back to square one trying to learn the car and what it likes. The potential to go really fast is there because the engine is making so much power, but now I just need to learn how to get it to the track. I’m going to try and get out to test as much as I can before the Snowbird Outlaw Nationals to be ready,” Mewshaw says.
At the Snowbird Outlaw Nationals Mewshaw plans on entering the Pro Drag Radial class so he can get some more laps in on the car. This event is one of his favorites and he’s ready to get in on the radial tire action.
“I’ve always loved this event with the history it has and it tends to be a lot of fun. The weather is great temperature wise for racing in Florida and the car counts are always strong. Getting to race against all of the different racers from across the United States that you normally don’t get to see is great. I think it’s going to take a car that can run in the 3.70s to win and we will still be trying to chip away at this new setup to compete,” Mewshaw explains.
You can see Frank Mewshaw put his Firebird to the test at the 46th Annual Snowbird Outlaw Nationals. All the action is coming to Bradenton Motorsports Park November 30-December 2 and SpeedVideo will broadcast every round of racing LIVE RIGHT HERE. This broadcast is brought to you by COMP Cams, TCI, Flying A Motorsports, Moroso Performance, Blow-By-Racing, Jerry Bickel Race Cars, and Royal Purple.