Two daughters embark upon journeys of a lifetime

Written by Moore Good Ink Courtney Force, the twenty-four year old and youngest daughter of the 15-time NHRA Funny Car national champion John Force, scored her first victory of the year by winning the NHRA 2013 Winternationals at Pomona, California. She was driving the Traxxas Ford Mustang. In a remarkable start to the season she prevailed as No.1 qualifier. Rewarded with the accompanying bonus points, she then propelled her way to victory through four rounds of eliminations on Sunday, February 17. She defeated Phil Burkart Jr., Matt Hagan, Bob Tasca III and finally Ron Capps to earn her second career victory in the Funny Car category. Coincidentally, it was during the Winternationals of 2012 at Pomona, California where Courtney made her Funny Car debut. Later in the year she recorded her first Funny Car victory at Seattle where she defeated Matt Hagan in the finals and by year end she was bestowed the Rookie of the Year award. Courtney’s older sister Brittany (26) is the third daughter of the Force family to become a professional drag racing driver and the first to drive a Top Fuel dragster at John Force Racing. Coming from a household where racing has always been first and foremost, one can only imagine the motivation for this particular career would be high. John Force, a racer who is universally well liked, has nothing if not a complete passion for the sport. Making her Top Fuel driving debut at this year’s Winternationals, Brittany is a college English major trained as a schoolteacher and a rookie driver of one of the world’s fastest race cars, capable of...

How the Jeep dazzles as its power doubles

Written by Moore Good Ink Oceanside CA: Turn Key Engine Supply recently introduced a vibrant, new conversion for Jeep Wranglers, JK models 2007 to ’11. Switching from the original lackluster V6 202hp engine to a General Motors’ LS Gen 4 unit with attendant 6L80E six-speed transmission has introduced nearly twice the power and torque to the popular Jeep Wrangler. Provided in Builder Kits or in a finished, ready-to-run condition, the adaptation also dramatically improves the Wrangler’s driveability. Two engine variations of GM’s Gen 4 V8 are offered: 5.3 liter (330hp) or the 6.2 (440hp). Both aluminum engines feature variable valve timing and active fuel management. In addition, the kits include an aluminum heavy-duty two-row cooling system, exhaust system with OEM catalytic converters and engine accessories, comprising alternator, air conditioning, and power steering. Of particular interest, Turn Key ensures the shifter, which is provided with cruise control and tap shift, remains stock in appearance as do all of the Jeep instruments. Even more reassuringly, the conversions comply with the emission requirements of 50 states, including California. In fact California customers receive the CA BAR emissions certificate when Turn Key’s conversion is completed in-house. Clearly with over 600,000 Jeep Wranglers in production these vehicles are popular. However, some owners contend they suffer from a chronic lack of power, and it looked like it might remain this way. But fate decreed otherwise when Kolby Enger’s Turn Key Engine Supply firm took the initiative and launched their conversion kits during last year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas. Predictably, their enterprise was rewarded with much interest and orders stemming from the show continue to...

Shirley Muldowney: What could have been…

Written by Moore Good Ink Fascinating news circulated recently citing a possible come back for the remarkable Shirley Muldowney to NHRA Top Fuel drag racing. Apparently, plans for her return to competition involving a four-race program were defeated when potential sponsorship evaporated. Originally from Burlington, Vermont she was known as the “First Lady of Drag Racing,” and a pioneering figure of the sport. In the nineteen seventies she was the first woman to receive a National Hot Rod Association license to drive a Top Fuel dragster, and during her professional career she won the Top Fuel championships of 1977, 1980 and 1982. Although one of the most popular female drag racing drivers, Muldowney knew how to survive the rough and tumble of the profession she had chosen and, indeed, inspired the making of the movie Heart Like a Wheel, a 1983 biographical film based on her racing career. Moreover she was the first person to win two and then three Top Fuel titles. Driving with consistent brilliance she claimed 18 NHRA national events. If sponsorship prevailed we could once again be mesmerized by the prospects of pink fire suits and helmets, already in her possession and awaiting action. Here is an exclusive image of Shirley Muldowney’s ride that might have been.      ...
Beerhorst on boosted engines and how a Spintron finds power and detects trouble

Beerhorst on boosted engines and how a Spintron finds power and detects trouble

Written by Moore Good Ink: HOT ROD magazine has been at our industry’s forefront longer than most of us have been around. Though they’ve been sustaining the momentum of hotrods since January 1948, often it’s to their big ideas they owe their supremacy. Reflect for a moment on one of their biggest and brightest: HOT ROD Drag Week™. Presented by Gear Vendors, this may be the toughest test ever invented for the engine builders of high horsepower road-registered muscle cars. The rules require the cars to travel approximately 1,400 miles on public highways over the course of five days in late spring and participate in a week of drag passes. Those that survive the journey and record the best five-day average at the drag strips win their class. Clearly, the emphasis on survival is high, particularly in the Unlimited and Modified classes where some vehicles pack 2,000hp at the rear wheels. Of the approximately 186 starters in last year’s Drag Week, which also included Daily Driver classes, 106 powerful Muscle cars started but only 87 of them finished, 7 of them failing on the first day. So how do these extraordinarily powerful engines succeed in this most grueling test? Accomplished race engine builders are individuals with rare abilities. They have endlessly inquiring minds, unusual vitality, and remarkable resilience—Facebookers and Tweeters they ain’t. They simply don’t have time for it. So how can you reach them when they aren’t working? In a 25-minute chance meeting at the Trend Performance booth at last December’s IMIS show in Indianapolis, Norm Beerhorst agreed to answer a few questions on his successes with centrifugal...
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