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WHERE'S SPRING? ALSO, DRAG RACING WITH A MODERN MUSCLE MACHINE
Mar 22, 2013
Author: Bobby Martin

I hope things are turning green where you are. Here, not so much. In fact it's snowing as I write. That doesn't mean we're not thinking about racing though. We've been working diligently at Bobby Martin Racing to put together a program for the new season. I appreciate all the inquiries and concern. So I thought I should provide our website visitors an update. We have interest from several very cool marketing partnership prospects so we're very excited. But at this point there's isn't anything in the way of hard news that I can report. In this business, it's hard to report on progress. You really can't talk about a deal until it's official. When that happens, you'll be the first to know! In the meantime, I'm a free agent for any marketing program or driving job anyone might want to discuss.

As you do know, I've been doing various programs since CAP ended its 14 year run with us. We had some great success teaming up with Parkertech Racing, taking wins at Norwalk and the U.S. Nationals. Then I had a little foray into doorslammer racing with the Rush Willys Outlaw Pro Mod. Pro Mod racing is a blast. In 2012, I got more involved in the Modern Musclecar scene. The stuff that's coming out of Detroit today is fantastic. The cool thing is, it's just like the old days only better. It's the same in that you can buy some serious performance right off the showroom floor. And now you can hot rod the car to your heart's content. What's better is, the cars are even faster today and it's not all that unusual to see a thousand horsepower with some aftermarket tweaks.

My modern muscle machine is a 2011 Challenger SRT8 392. It's a real boulevard cruiser with metallic redline paint and all the fun options. But it's a genuine 12 second car just as she sits. So far, my best is 12.62 at over 107mph at Quaker City in Salem OH. Longtime area racers know that times at Quaker are generally about two tenths slower than most other tracks. In fact, when NHRA ran their divisional meets there, the indexes were adjusted accordingly. So that '.62 is pretty stout -- especially considering the car is totally original, right down to the tires. I did not play with the tune-up or take stuff off (like the air cleaner or any belts). But, being a drag racer, I did my best to optimize performance as a driver.

How to Run Your New Challenger - One thing the car likes is to run cool. If the engine is real hot, it's not quite as quick. It'll repeat, so it's okay for bracket racing, but to make a run for time, let her cool off a little more. What about driving technique? As simple as it gets. My car is an automatic (I'm a drag racer, not a road racer - in spite of Norwalk '08!). Put it in Drive. Traction control FULL ON. Stomp on the gas when it's time to go. That's right, no bringing the R's up. No manual shifting nonsense. Any other method will fry the tires. I know this because I tried them all. The SRT8 392 will do a great imitation of a nitro funny car burnout if you try to make a run with the traction control off. It's ridiculous! Now remember, I'm talking about the original equipment tires. In my case they are the Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercars. They ride and handle great, look cool, and provide enough traction on the strip to run those mid 12's. So this is a pretty good setup because it's really easy on the car, and you can just drive out the gate when you're done. Most street brackets don't go under 12 seconds anyway. Obviously, you can go quicker with different tires and leaving harder, etc. Then you can start playing with the tune-up. (Yes, you can now tune a 392, all the way to supercharging or turbos.) So that's the fun part. You can run quick and reliable, or go nuts. Just remember, you will usually compromise some other aspect of the car. People are having lots of fun with these cars. If you haven't driven one yet, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.

That's it for now. Please keep checking back for updates. Thanks for visiting.



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