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RUSH WILLYS "FEELING THE LOVE" AT MAPLE GROVE
"We love you guys!" -- Vito Micciolo, NEOPMA
The debut of Spike Sterling's Rush Willys with the Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Association was a resounding success. If you look at our last installment to see what our goals were, you'll see that it was "mission: accomplished." First of all, the response of the NEOPMA leadership and the racers to our car and team was over-the-top amazing. The above quote from Association Marketing Director Vito Micciolo actually happened! It was in our pit area. How often do people talk like that to each other these days? This spirit emanated from President John Mazzoranna, who treated us more like we were guests in his home than business associates, and many of the racers were the same way. One of the biggest stars of the series, Dina Parise, came over and spent more than a half hour with us, showing us the ropes and just generally goofing around. We also had a great time with our neighbors Pete Farber, with his wild chopped, narrowed, and sectioned '69 Daytona, and "all motor" John Montecalvo, one of IHRA's major Pro Stock stars. John took his massive 830+ cubic inch ride to the final. Also, the fans loved the car. There were folks in the pits all day asking questions and taking pictures.
We were all a little jittery about making our first quarter mile runs. The last time out with the car was Lancaster and it was there where we made our first full eighth mile runs! Nobody knew how the car would behave at speed. One comforting thing, though, was that the track surface at Maple Grove was the best I've ever seen. We knew the track wasn't going to upset the car in any way. Our first run was basically an experiment to see if the fuel system was up to quarter mile duty. It was; we took plenty of fuel away for run number 2. Still, we were in the show at #8. Second session we stepped up, but so did everyone else. Our 7.15 at 188 looks tame by TA/FC or even top level Pro Mod standards, but when you consider the fastest I had ever driven this car previously was 154 mph at Lancaster, that's significant progress.
We just have a few minor things to take care of now. One is the parachute launchers. The chutes come out, but they bend the air launchers. You can see some of the weirdness in the photo. The chutes aren't comfortable yet. We also need to increase the blowby capacity. Billy's Oddy 524 is a serious powerplant. We need a Funny Car puke tank so it can breathe. We had Randy Eiler, Mike Meeks, Larry Radke, and special guest wrench Kyle Pelfrey crewing at this event, and we all just loved it. Spike, the entire crew, and I would like to thank John Mazzoranna, Vito Micciolo, the drivers and teams of NEOPMA, and Maple Grove Raceway for staging a fabulous, fun event, and for making us feel so warmly welcomed. We love you guys too!
Vito, NEOPMA, and their friends do such a marvelous job of covering these races, there's no need for me to repeat it. You can see detailed results, and professional, hi-rez photos by clicking these links. Here's a preview: Bobby Martin and his team brought to the Grove a sweet little 33 Willy's Coupe featuring a blown and injected Big Block Chevy, this thing is classic Pro Mod / Gasser looking mix of short wheelbase and wild graphics. Martin took his passes as a primer in this association's first appearance and the fans loved it, honking through the traps with a slowing 7.151 @ 188.31 but no Pro Mod fan would have a frown on their face seeing this car handle the track and drop the laundry.