NHRA, John Force Racing, and Don Schumacher Racing conducted testing Monday, June 7, following the conclusion of the rain-plagued United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by Miller Welders outside Chicago.
Three concepts were tested: a 75-gallon-per-minute (gpm) fuel pump, a 413-cid engine combination, and a restrictor plate on the inlet side of the supercharger. Of the three, the restrictor plate was being tested for the first time by Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald of Don Schumacher Racing, using the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster driven by Antron Brown.
Force piloted his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang with a 75-gpm fuel pump, making three passes, the best a 4.22 registered to the 1,000-foot marker. After the Madison event, the JFR team tested a 60-gpm fuel pump. The smaller fuel pump is progressing nicely and continues to show promise, according to NHRA Vice President-Technical Operations Glen Gray. NHRA Director of Top Fuel & Funny Car Racing Dan Olson also was at the test session.
The JFR team also tested a 413-cid engine with a 3.50:1 rear-end gear ratio, tuned by Jimmy Prock. Mike Neff drove the Ford Mustang Funny Car. Neff made two short passes, the second with a 60-foot time of .909-second. The smaller engine combination has been tested extensively by Tim Wilkerson Racing and, though showing promise, requires more development than the other two concepts tested.
“We tested the NHRA new gear and engine combination,” said Prock. “We only made two attempts, and it will take some time to evaluate what we saw. It is in the early stages of evaluation, and we are glad to help. This is something that the NHRA is looking into and they have invested in, so they asked us to run it so they could look at the results.”
Brown and the Matco Tools Top Fuel team tested a restrictor-plate concept. The restrictor plate was placed on top of the blower assembly. Brown made two very productive passes, his best a 3.89, 304 (at 1,000 feet), slightly slower than the team’s race-day performance. A smaller restrictor plate will be tested in the future. It marked the first time that a Top Fuel team participated in the testing sessions.
“We ran a 21.56-square-inch plate on top of the blower [supercharger] that reduced the inlet size,” said Corradi. “We also ran a smaller fuel pump, backing it down 5 gpm at one point in the run and around 7 gpm at another point to compensate for less air going into the motor. I’m not sure if it will run that well all the time, given we don’t have enough test runs or data after just two runs and only one at full pass. With that said, we were happy with the car’s performance as this combination didn’t hurt any parts. Our goal at DSR is to work with the NHRA and do what we can to make the sport as safe as possible.”
NHRA plans to conduct the next test after the 10th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol Monday, June 21.