Carey Bales is trying to put the finishing touches on one of the best seasons of his racing career as he prepares for the 23rd annual Haltech World Cup Finals – Import vs Domestic at Maryland International Raceway. With a Modified Pro Compact championship at Orlando Speed World Dragway within his grasp, Bales wants to add a WCF champion to his list of accomplishments in 2018, too. Bales plans on bringing all the firepower at his disposal to Maryland International Raceway so he can drop a bomb on the Radial vs Modified class.
After retiring his record-setting Honda S2000, Bales moved on to his current Don Ness-built Honda Accord that still sports a small but mighty Honda powerplant. Bales has campaigned the Accord in both Competition Eliminator and Top Sportsman, but its best results have come in the Modified Pro Compact class. By running in Modified Pro Compact Bales has the ability to get plenty of racing in each year before the WCF event.
“The rules for this class are pretty well the same for World Cup except we have to be 100 pounds heavier. For us, that extra weight isn’t a big deal and we’ve been running in World Cup trim all year so we don’t have to make any big changes. We have been preparing for the World Cup all year running the Modified Pro Compact class and we’re excited to run in the WCF again,” Bales says.
To prepare for the WCF, Bales has been testing different turbos and will be bringing an extra engine to Maryland International Raceway so he can be as prepared as possible to go the distance.
“We have tried some different turbo setups throughout the year and recently added one of the new Garrett Gen2 88mm turbos to the mix. We put it on for the last event and tested during qualifying and on our first full pass, it went 6.80 with low boost and in some bad air. We’re pretty excited to see what that turbo can do in better conditions.
Since both of these races are back-to-back we’re going to head to Orlando with a 2.0-liter engine in the car and then head straight to the World Cup. We have the 2.2-liter engine in the trailer just in case we need it. If something happens we can go to the bigger engine for the World Cup since it has made a little more power in the past,” Bales says.
Bales has collected both NHRA wins and records in the past but he always enjoys coming to the WCF every year. Making the trip to Maryland International Raceway in the fall is like a family reunion for Bales that includes the opportunity to set records on a world-class racing surface.
“The World Cup is really the only race where we get to see our import and domestic racing friends at the same time. This event is also our only real shot at racing in some great air along with some of the best track prep we ever see. It provides an opportunity for us to lay down our own personal best and this year we’re trying to become the world’s fastest Honda. The current record is a 6.506 so our goal is to go high 6.40s and this will be our best shot to do it in Radial vs Modified,” Bales explains.
Being competitive at the WCF is more than just having a fast car — you have to have a strategy going in and be ready to execute. Bales and his team know that the Radial vs Modified class is going to be fast but getting sucked into a game of home run derby won’t win the race.
“I know with four rounds of qualifying the number one qualifier will be running in the 6.30s and maybe the 6.20s. When you get into that good air the elimination rounds can become a war of attrition and our plan is to not race above our means. We are going to run our race and just be consistent so the car stays together,” Bales says.
Don’t miss your chance to see Carey Bales try to win big at the 23rd annual Haltech World Cup Finals – Import vs Domestic. All the action will be broadcast live from Maryland International Raceway on Speedvideo.com RIGHT HERE. This broadcast is brought to you by presenting sponsor ProCharger, along with Strange Engineering, Driven Racing Oil, Ferrea Racing Components, Race Star Industries, Miller Electric, OSTAR Motorsports, GFORCE 1320, McLeod Racing, ATI Performance, Blow-By-Racing, Hot Shot’s Secret, and Firestone.