Already an established Pro Modified competitor, Melanie Salemi recently stepped into the Radial vs. The World battle with a purse-built new racecar sit alongside her big-tire Pro Modified Firebird.
This freshly-constructed Al-Lee Installations-backed 2019 Camaro is specifically built for small-tire competition. We caught up with Salemi as she was doing some private testing with other customers as part of her husband, Jon Salemi’s business, Resolution Racing Services.
“We raced at Duck’s last Lights Out event; that was the last time I was in any of the cars until today’s test session,” Salemi comments. “We were loaded up ready to roll out to the Sweet 16 event when we got the news that it had been postponed. We literally haven’t touched the car since then. It’s been sitting, ready to race.”
The Salemi’s will be one of the 12 invited teams participating in the Radial vs. The World competition set for May 22-23 at Orlando Speed World Dragway. The same format of a dozen invitees for an eight-car field will also take place for the event’s Pro 275 class. The DuckX Productions COVID-8 invitation-only event will make for an awesome online-aired race with a total of seven qualifying sessions to establish each field.
The Camaro was built by brother-in-law Jim Salemi of G-Force Race Cars. “Mike Stawicki, the owner of MSR Performance Racing Engines, is a partner in our team, and he’s a very important part of it,” describes Salemi. “We have the screw-blown Hemi backed by a QuickDrive Lock up drive, Neal Chance billet torque converter, and a Liberty Gears five-speed.”
Melanie mentions some minor tweaks the team wants to try with the fundamentally new car, but jokes if she told us the details, she would need to shoot us, said with a laugh.
“Between our various family and close friends’ businesses, this is what we do every day of our lives,” she continues. “We work at the shop; we work on racecars, it’s racecars this, racecars that. Ultimately, right now, just to be at a racetrack and compete in a race is fabulous, especially in these times.”
Salemi noted there will not be any great experimenting during the qualifying sessions. “Yes, there will be seven qualifying shots, but we’re all really close to that high 3.40 number. With the ever-changing Florida weather patterns, we will try to run the snot out of the car with our best tune-up every time we can. That should make for a good show to watch.”
The online broadcast begins with qualifying on Friday, May 22, and eliminations will follow on May 23. If you aren’t already a subscriber, click HERE to get signed up to watch all the action later this month on SpeedVideo. This broadcast is brought to you by presenting sponsor FuelTech, along with Edelbrock, Vortech Superchargers, Deatschwerks, and Titan Fuel Tanks.