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R2B2 Pro Mod News
Hard Work Pays Off
When driver Eric Dillard rolled into Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR) with crew chief Steve Petty late last month, they probably were not the first choice among the gathered R2B2 Racing hands expected to make news in the extended test session.
After all, with Melanie Troxel also making laps for the Atlanta-based team in both a nitro Funny Car and a supercharged NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod, plus blown Pro Mod veterans Ray Commisso and Al Billes, turbo Pro Mod master Brad Personett, and, of course, team owner Roger Burgess on the PBIR grounds testing each of their R2B2 mounts, the competition for attention would be tough.
And at first it looked like the pair from Woodstock, GA, would just be making another few sorting-out passes, as they opened with a couple of tire shakers in a new ’53 Corvette built by R2B2 employee Jim Geese and carrying a twin-turbocharged, Pro Line Racing-built AJ 481X Wedge motor backed up by an OEM Turbo 400 transmission and fitted with a Pro Torque converter.
But on the last day of January the combination finally gelled as Dillard delivered a 5.88-second pass at exactly 255 mph, unofficially the second-fastest run in NHRA Pro Mod history behind only Personett’s 255.39 at the U.S. Nationals last September. That made everyone sit up and take notice until the next day when Dillard dropped the E.T. to 5.86 and then to 5.83 at just over 254 mph.
"I haven’t aborted a run and we’re more excited about that than anything else,” said Dillard, a co-owner at Pro Line, where Petty leads the company’s research and development efforts and serves as its primary tuning consultant.
Remarkably, prior to beginning testing in the R2B2 Corvette, Dillard had made only five quarter-mile passes in a Limited Street car and had never before driven a “big-tire,” tube-chassis car.
“We started testing six months ago, but about the first four test sessions we had a lot of issues with the car and couldn’t even run it, so we really started testing the Monday after the (NHRA) national event in Charlotte; that was the first test session where we really got to make a lap,” he said.
Still, their first decent runs came very early this year at PBIR and resulted in a series of 6.13, 6.12, 6.11 and 6.09 passes, topping out at approximately 246 mph.
“We’ve actually been working on the Pro Mod deal for about two years now,” Dillard said. “We started with Coby’s (Rabon) car and then we met Roger (Burgess), he’s local to us, and we got the opportunity to go talk to him and show him what we can do and a year ago he gave us the go-ahead and now we’re finally getting it to all come together.”
And then, after four years of blown Pro Mod competition on the NHRA trail, Burgess strapped into the new, twin-turboed Vette Feb. 9, and promptly laid down a solid 5.95-second pass followed by a 5.92, both times going through the traps at 254 mph.
Obviously impressed, Burgess met later the same day with Dillard and Petty to let them know the new R2B2 plan is for him to take over the car for its competition debut Mar. 10-13, in the 42nd annual NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville, Florida, and he’ll drive it the rest of the year with Petty as his tuner.
The hard-working newcomers to the team won’t be left out of the mix, though.
“He (Burgess) is actually going to build me a new car in the R2B2 chassis shop and we hope to bring it out by the middle of the year and Steve (Petty) will be crew chief on that one, also,” Dillard said.
"Roger said he appreciates what we’ve done for him, so now he’s going to build us a ride and we’ll finish out the year with it and then take it from there."
"I’m really excited, man, I can’t stop smiling. It’s just that you always dream of something like this and now that it’s here we’re just trying to enjoy it."
~Drag Racing Online~
Andrew DeMarco Goes 7.22@193
The NMRA Super Street Outlaw class is about to have a new front-runner, Andrew DeMarco. In his 1986 turbocharged small block Mustang, he attended a test session at Palm Beach International Raceway this past weekend.
After several impressive runs, Steve Petty and Andrew were able to get the car to go 7.22@193mph! If this were an official race, it would have broken the current E.T record which stands at 7.33.
We, here at Pro Line Racing, couldn't be happier for him and we look forward to seeing what his recently rebuilt 414ci motor can do!
Eric Dillard Goes 5.88@255 MPH
Eric Dillard, driver of the R2B2 turbo Pro Mod Corvette, owned by Roger Burgess, made a trip to Palm Beach International Raceway for a test session. Dillard and Steve Petty have spent a great deal of time on this car and all of their hard work is paying off. After a string of low 4 second passes they decided to take it the 1/4 mile. On their first pass they went 6.00@248mph, and on their second 1/4 mile pass Dillard went 5.88@255mph in legal NHRA trim!
This is the quickest converter driven pass and the quickest automatic transmission pass ever!
Luppino & Gauci Win at Calder Park
We love to hear from our international customers to see how we at PLR have helped out their racing program. They bring a different variety of cars, large crowd turnouts, and just the pure excitement that drag racing brings us all. Our customers in Australia, Dandy Engines and Profab, are finding their way to the top with record setting passes and multiple event wins!
The Calder Park True Blue Championship was Australia's source of drag racing action last weekend.
Domenic Luppino, Australia's #1 Pro Street driver, began qualifying with several hiccups. His 449ci SBF Mustang with twin 82mm turbos, qualified in last place after suffering a transmission failure. With a lot of ground to cover and being matched up with the top qualifiers, Dom unleashed a fury of low 7 second runs to take the win in the Pro Street class! His best pass of the weekend was a 7.20@202mph. This marks the Second win in a row for Domenic!
About a month ago, we featured another Australian driver, Joe Gauci. In our last update he became Australia's #1 Modified Street driver with a 7.45@195mph pass in the Profab 370ci SBF Cortina with twin 70mm turbos. This weekend was going to be a little different. With track temps reaching 150°, the ideal track conditions were not present. He did however, consistently run in the 7.60's with the fastest pass in his class, a 7.62@192mph. His consistency paid off and put him in the Modified Street winner’s circle!
Jeremy Callaghan made the long trip to race in the Pro Street class in his Profab built Torana powered by 427ci LSX with twin 82mm turbos. Jeremy qualified #2 with a 7.66@190mph but was taken out in the first round of qualifying. This marks his fastest pass in this car and it was the first time racing with his new AMS-1000 boost controller.
Steve Bezzina recently stopped by Dandy Engines to make the switch from his supercharger setup to turbo. His Ford XW Falcon hosts a 434ci SBF with a single turbo. On only his third pass ever, Steve went email@example.com! This pass made him the fastest stock suspension Falcon in Australia!
Todd Kasper to Drive Outlaw Big Tire
Cecil County Dragway in Maryland, is one of the better venues to find ultra-competitive Outlaw drag racing especially Outlaw 10.5. TJ and Tom Kasper were #1 and 2 in the Outlaw 10.5 standings last year.
In 2011, Cecil County Dragway will be starting a new class in the place of the 7.50 Index class. The new class will be called Outlaw Big Tire. Tom's brother, Todd Kasper, will be moving up from the 8.50 Index class to drive in the new Outlaw Big Tire class. Todd will be driving the Kasper Certified Auto and Performance 1994 Lincoln Mark VIII, powered by a Pro Line Racing 449ci SBF with twin 88mm turbos. This car turns heads with its radical paint job and aggressive looks. It's fastest pass in the 1/8th mile was a 4.60@164mph.
With another Kasper behind the wheel, you can bet that he will give the Outlaw Big Tire class a run for their money.
Bobby Lashley's N/A LSX 8.29 @ 163mph!!!
A couple weeks ago we went to Atlanta Dragway to witness Bobby Lashley's Naturally Aspirated 427ci Camaro go firstname.lastname@example.org. Steve Petty said that it has a lot left in it, and he expected it to go in the .30's. Last weekend, Bobby's driver, Chris Woods, proved Petty right with an explosive performance.
Without the help of any type of power adders, Woods was able take the car from start to finish at an 8.37@161mph, 8.31@162mph, and an 8.29@163mph! With each pass he made, he improved and broke the record even more! It is very enjoyable to see a car go this fast, powered by motor alone.
Pro Line Racing sends our congrats to Lashley and Woods. We can't wait to see this car in competition.
PLR Down Under
The success stories of our customers and our engines have spread from the United States to the other side of the earth! Australia has become a drag racing hot spot and huge crowds are flocking to the action. At Calder Park in Melbourne, Victoria, a crowd of 16,000 racing fanatics gathered to see to biggest race of the year.
One of our exclusive dealers in Australia, Dandy Engines, buys complete engine builders packages from us, which they build in their shop to create powerful race cars. Some of their cars are built at Profab, a chassis shop nearby. Dandy and Profab brought two of their most prized cars to this race and National Records were on the menu.
Joe Gauci, from Profab and driver of the blue Ford Cortina, went 7.45@194mph off the trailer to make him the driver of Australia's #1 Modified Street car!
Long time customer of Dandy and Pro Line Racing, Dom Luppino, was present with his SBF Twin Turbo Mustang. He belted out an incredible email@example.com. This run made history repeat itself again, Dom broke his old record as Australia's #1 Pro Street car! Not to mention, Dom was the winner of the Pro Street class!
With performances like this, its not hard to see why they can bring in large crowds like this and we expect to see more and more action coming from our friends in Australia!
Bobby Lashley's N/A LSX 8.47 @ 160mph!!!
Bobby Lashley brought his Camaro with a Pro Line Racing built Naturally Aspirated 427ci C5R to Atlanta International Dragway for a private test session. His driver, Chris Woods, was ready to break records and truly show what this car can do. This was the first time they had the car on the track since they changed it to a manual transmission. On his second pass, he went a firstname.lastname@example.org, with no power adders!
The current record for a Naturally Aspirated LSX is; ET - 8.58 and MPH - 157.8. This makes Bobby Lashley's Camaro the fastest NA LSX in the world! Steve Petty was helping them tune the car and said he thinks that it has a lot left in it, and he expects it to go in the .30's. Congrats to Bobby and Chris for this great achievement!
Pro Line Racing Seminar at PRI
Check out this article from the PRI Trade Show website. We hope to see you at our seminar at 8am on Friday, December 10th!
"Race Engine Builder’s Website You Have To See
Building race engines will always be first and foremost about winning races. If your engines don’t win races, you’re going to struggle. Even a great website won’t help you. But imagine a great website for a race engine company that also, by the way, produces engines that win races and championships.
At PRI, our message for over two decades is that technical proficiency comes first, but the companies that can provide technical proficiency with creative, consistent promotion and aggressive selling techniques will find the annual road to profit a lot smoother.
Take a look at the website for Pro Line Racing Engines(www.prolineracing.net). You can find the latest news (a championship at the moment I write this), an online store, classified advertising, a history of the company and a description of the Pro Line team, client projects….and a lot more.
At this year’s PRI Trade Show, we have Pro Line’s Eric Dillard, Matt Petka and Doug Patton presenting a seminar at 8 a.m., Friday morning, giving us a behind-the-scenes look at how they operate their busy race engine shop. Part of the presentation will be about their website, how it was put together, and how it brings them business.
Our guess is that most race engine builders view their website as a necessary evil. But, if the race engine builder can identify someone who can speak the language of racing and understands the culture, plus has the capacity to implement a great website, the potential is very much in evidence in the Pro Line Racing Engines website.
For most race engine builders, our guess is that they generally don’t know much about social media on the Internet, and don’t care. And that’s OK. We’re in the learning stages, too, at PRI. But Facebook is part of the daily life of most young people, and that includes a lot of gearheads, too. It’s an amazing way in which young people are staying in contact with each other on a daily basis.
Imagine a young racer who checks his Facebook every day, which also includes regular messages from the business that builds his race engine.
Outstanding. We hope we’ve provided some inspiration here, via the great work by Pro Line.
At PRI, we say, “Promote, promote, promote.”
And don’t miss the Pro Line Racing Engines seminar at the PRI Trade Show!"
Coby Rabon Goes 3.88@195
Carolina Dragway was the center of Automatic Pro Mod action last weekend and some of the fastest doorslammer cars were ready for battle. Coby Rabon, owner and driver of the PLR 670ci Pro Mod Mustang, was ready to show what his car could do.
In qualifying, Coby went 3.93@193mph and 3.92@194mph to qualify #2 in the 24 car field. In eliminations, Danny Blankenship broke and Rabon started the 1st round with a bye run. Coby wasn't just going to make a slow pass to move to the next round. He wanted to see what this car could really do and he did not disappoint. Coby went 3.88@195mph (60ft- .976, 330ft- 2.614, 1/8th- 3.885) breaking the Carolina Dragway record!
In round 2, Coby faced Brian Williams and won with a 3.97@191mph to Williams' 4.11. In the 3rd round Coby was matched up with Bubba Livingston. Rabon ran a 3.98@19mph to Livingston's 4.08@179mph; Bubba took the win on a holeshot. We are still working out bugs on the tune. The motor stumbled on the transbrake and caused a late start and an early dismissal from the race.
Coby has a large list of accomplishments with this car and we think he's just begun to tap into its possibilities.
Photo by CompetitionPlus.com
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