Josh Klugger is behind the wheel of Chad Opaleski’s 66 Chevelle this weekend fulfilling a desire to drive a screw blown car before he got out of drag racing. Josh and Chad have been friends and competitors for years racing the Outlaw Radial circuit and since Josh sold his operation a year ago the two have talked it over on a more serious note. The move will allow Chad to get a new perspective on hos the car works and tuning under the tutelage of noted Top Alcohol racer and tuner Bob Newberry. Bob came on board while Chad was still running a Procharger combination on the Hemi to address some oiling issues he was having with the engine and it was not long before he sourced a PSI C rotor screw blower from Frank Manzo off his Outlaw Pro Mod car than saw limited use in Qatar.
Chad recently made the switch to Pro 275 at the US Street Nationals and has just five runs on the new tire. The car was also converter over the winter from stock suspension to a full 4 link by Neumann along with some weight reduction. Klugger piloted the car to a 4.11 at 180 in qualifying, landing tenth in the Pro 275 field and more left as it wasn’t a clean run due to the lean out system not working. He later attempt struck the tires near the 60′ but was on a pass prior to that. If the car sticks today he should be in the 3.90’s come first round.
“I got out to focus on my business as a custom home builder with Center State Construction and spend more time with my son after getting divorced, I’m by no means saying I am done for good and it sure feels great to be behind the wheel of this monster.” Josh told us. “It’s very different from the turbo combos I was driving before. I’m really enjoying this experience driving a screw car and working around Bob Newberry, he wants you to learn and is great at explaining things, he’s a great teacher. As a small tire racer I have a lot of experience and I can share those insights to Bob and help the Chads program advance. Bob is teaching Natalie how to tune as well, and with me driving it gives them a new perspective to watch the car and learn some different aspects you just can’t get behind the wheel cause you can’t see what the car is doing. It’s a whole lot easier to drive than a turbo combo with the staging procedure, building boost and bumping into the beams. It’s basically like an NA car, just super loud and tons more power.”
Round One Elimination Results
Martin Connelley has not broke into the fours yet in DXP Street but he is going rounds and being consistent. He ran a 5.05 in round two to earn a win over Michael Walker to advance to round three. The tech department has been crawling over Martin’s entry this weekend and he was the first to have hit plate swapped out for a “house unit” to ensure rules compliance in this new class, receiving plate number 007, which he picked in honor of his father who is a big James Bond fan. The car is group effort between Martin and his cousin Jason Waterman, aka Cheeseburger who loaned his engine and transmission to the cause. They have been discussing the class since November with Eric Mitchel. Dalton Winfield and Tony Bischoff was recruited to be a part of the program and they did some dyno testing before putting the engine in the car and testing. They changed a few things to run the SS tire which is similar to the Pro Drag Radial and also has a different street compatible tread pattern.
They worked with Josh Lindsey to get set up with the suspension, shocks and springs. They are using a VMS Haltech box to control the nitrous power management instead of a stand alone progressive controller. The rules mandate a distributor so it limits what can be done with the new style coil on plug ignitions found in other classes. They were allowed to check the flow pattern in a bucket before installation and Martin was very appreciative of that. Martin uses Trick Flow cylinder heads and RPM Transmissions, Mencser Motorsports shocks and struts, BES Racing Engines and topped by a Bob Book carburetor and an MSD Ignition box to control the spark. The crew from left to right are Eddie McCarty, Brent Daniel, Cory Brooks, Dalton Winfield, Martin Connelley, and Jason Waterman who was in the lanes and not pictured.
David Farlow is entered in both X275 and the Carolina N/T class featuring boosted small blocks this week. It’s definitely a little strange to see a car run no time in one class and turn around at the same event and post times on the board but times they are a changing as they say and the no time grudge game is changing right along with it. In fact several cars over the past year or so have transitioned from clocks off racing to class racing and as the times have leaked to the general public it’s created quite a stir among the grudge racing community and arguably, upset the apple cart. Justin Swanstrom and Jack Green are two notable examples of this trend and after speaking with Carkey Mims here today the N/T game may be in store for major changes as more people exit the game and come class racing as the secretive grudge world isn’t quite a secret any longer and it’s become harder for bigger players to find action.
Farlow qualified 20th in X 275 with a 4.61 at 155 with the class legal turbo, he did not disclose any numbers or specs on his clocks off ET or turbo specs besides telling us he runs a 5.4 based modular Ford engine displacing 350 cubic inches topped with navigator heads built by TKM and backed by a Cameron Torque Converter Services transmission and converter. Modular Head Shop assists with some parts and knowledge. “ We have had good luck with the combo and are just trying to go some rounds and win some money here this weekend.” Farlow told us.
It’s been an epic event that lasted until nearly well after 3AM, thanks to a lot of hard work by the staff and racer cooperation we made it through and set some records in the process. We will have the class round by round results coming later Sunday along with a recap of the later elimination rounds.
Despite that he made it past top qualifier Norman Chang’s Turbos Direct backed Mustang but was unable to make the call for the semi final with Manson, who struggled staying hooked in later rounds as the heat was gone from the track. The final round saw both racers off pace and Shane Stack earning the win coming from nineteenth qualifier position with a 4.80 at 147 after very close reaction times for the two veteran racers.