The USA drag racing scene's winter break is barely over, but the record books are already being torn up thanks to Noonan horsepower.
Justin Smith's Camaro, with Ron Green at the wheel, reset the Pro 275 world record to a stunning 3.839 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida on the weekend, with the Noonan 4.9 Hemi up front providing all the horsepower the team needed and then some.
The Pro 275 class mandates a small 275 radial tire, meaning teams have to control their available power until the car is out and moving, providing a great challenge for tuners. Smith purchased the Camaro, formerly known as the grudge car El Diablo, last year and is looking forward to hitting up some of the major small tire events around the country.
“When this car was in grudge trim it ran 3.69, we've had to put 260 pounds of lead into the car to make it legal for Pro 275,” he said. “Running that 3.83 was the highlight of my weekend, that's for sure. The best part was my little boy Bubba was there with me.
This was his first trip to the race track for a whole week, so we got to set the record and he got to see it.”This has been Smith's first experience with Noonan power and it seems the experience has been contagious.
“Ron, the driver of the car, is looking to get himself one to put in his car, so you can tell we liked it!” Smith plans to leave the driving to Green right now until he can make some changes to the cockpit to suit himself, as the team prepares for the biggest small tire race in the nation – Lights Out at South Georgia Motorsports Park.
“We make a good team, Ron is a great driver and his son Ronnie Jr did the majority of the tuning on it,” Smith said. “I also have to thank Elvis Jenkins who is an important part of our group, he can help us with just about anything in the world. “We're going to freshen the motor up and head to Duck's Lights Out race. I believe we can take the record to the 3.7s, we just need to work on the front half some.”
Smith's success was not the only highlight for Noonan Race Engineering customers over the weekend, with Tommy D'Aprile driving the Caruso family's Camaro to runner up honors in the Pro Mod class at Bradenton, while John Zappia earned his fifth straight win in Australia by taking victory at the second round of the 400 Thunder Pro Slammer series at Sydney Dragway.