Veteran Northeast Pro Modified racer Fredy Scriba and his family-owned Chevrolet Camaro clocked the quickest nitrous oxide-assisted pass in history during last weekend’s Atomizer Racing Injectors Door Wars at the Maryland International Raceway.
The Millersville, Maryland native carded a 5.676 at 250.51 mph during qualifying, becoming the quickest nitrous racer on the planet — regardless of vehicle or tire type — over a quarter of a mile. The pass — which came as a result of a .93-second 60-foot, 2.49 to 330-feet, and a 3.72 at 201 mph to the 1/8-mile — is the first sub-5.70 run by a nitrous car in official competition in any sanctioned racing series.
“I was pretty sure it was going to run mid-5.60’s, just from looking at some of the sixty-foots and the graphs,” said Scriba, who tunes the family’s beautiful Sorcerer machine with his father, Fred. “I could tell on the 5.72 it was going to run a lot quicker than that. We just hadn’t made enough runs on it. We’d had problems with the car going straight, and we finally got that sorted out. But looking at the graphs, we could see the upper limit of what it would run.
“We were pretty happy with the run,” Scriba went on to say. “We pride ourselves on being more consistent, so that’s something we have to work on. Our goal isn’t necessarily to set records, but to make it as consistent as possible because that wins races. We made a really good run, but then we lost first round. It was cool and everything, but I’d rather have a car that’s a little bit slower but goes down the track every lap.”
Scriba’s beautiful Camaro was constructed by Jerry Bickel Race Cars a season ago — power comes from a 959 cubic-inch Pat Musi mill backed by a Liberty five-speed and a RAM clutch. That he and his father alone — with well over a decade of experience in the Pro Modified arena — call the shots on the Camaro bucks any and all notion that professional-level budgets or a fly-in tuner are necessary to compete at such a high level.
“We got the car out a couple times toward the end of last year and went a 5.78 and a 5.75, and then at the end of the season went a 5.72 with it,” Scriba notes. “We didn’t have enough runs on it yet to make good tuning calls, but we went out and tested a couple of weeks ago and finally got a couple things worked out at Door Wars where it’s running better.”
In the first round of qualifying at MDIR, after shaking the tires during Friday’s day of testing, Scriba ripped off a 5.72 at 249 mph, setting the stage for a dip into the 60’s. Unfortunately, the father-and-son team missed the setup in the opening round of eliminations and shook the tires, ending their weekend and their opportunity to improve on the 5.67.
Scriba’s performance comes at a time when the viability of nitrous oxide as a competitive power adder stands out as a hot-button topic, from the NHRA Pro Modified ranks to Radial vs The World and all points in between. His record-breaking run, and those clocked at Donald Long’s Sweet 16 a month ago, suggest those beliefs are, for the time being anyway, a moot point.
“There’a a big difference, from what I can tell, between the 908 [cubic-inch engine] versus the 959. You’re picking up about three horsepower per cubic-inch, roughly, so when you go to an engine that’s almost 60 cubic-inches bigger, you’re going to pick up around 180 horsepower. It was a good run, and you figure the Pro Nitrous cars are running mid- to low-3.60’s and we went a 3.72 [with a 1/4-mile setup]. There just aren’t many cars running the big motor 1/4-mile and not many opportunities to do so, so it’s hard to compare what we did to everyone else,” Scriba says.
I think it’ll go a little quicker…I’m not sure how much quicker, but we’ll wait and see. It all depends on the weather and track conditions.”