NHRA, John Force Racing and Don Schumacher Racing conducted testing on Monday following the conclusion of the rain-plagued United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals outside Chicago. Three concepts were tested: a 75-gallon-per-minute (gpm) fuel pump, a 413 cubic-inch engine combination, and a restrictor plate located on the inlet side of the supercharger. Of the three concepts, 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.
John Force piloted his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang with a 75gpm fuel pump, making three passes, the best being a 4.22-second time registered to the 1,000-ft marker. After the St. Louis event, the JFR team tested a 60gpm fuel pump. The smaller fuel pump is progressing nicely and continues to show promise, according to Glen Gray, vice president of technical operations at NHRA. Besides Gray from NHRA, Dan Olson, director of top fuel and funny car racing was at the test session Monday.
The John Force Racing team also tested a 413 cubic-inch engine with a 3.50:1 rear end gear ratio, tuned by Jimmy Prock. Driving the Ford Mustang Funny Car was Mike Neff. Neff made two short passes, the second pass clocking a 60-foot time of .909 seconds. The smaller engine combination has been tested extensively by Tim Wilkerson Racing and, though showing promise, still requires more development than the other two concepts tested.
“We tested the NHRA new gear and engine combination,” said Jimmy 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.”
Antron Brown and the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster team tested a restrictor plate concept. The restrictor plate was placed on top of the blower assembly. Brown made two very productive passes with his best run a 3.89-second elapsed time at 304 mph (at 1,000 feet), slightly slower than the team's race day performance. It was determined that a smaller restrictor plate will be tested in the future. It marked the first time a Top Fuel team has 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 Brian 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 on conducting the next test after the Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn. on Monday, June 21.