Ford’s second-generation Cobra Jet Mustang to debut in Pomona

January 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Latest News

2009-01-20

by John Jodauga, National DRAGSTER

 
This is the new ’08 Mustang Cobra Jet that John Calvert will debut in Stock at the 49th annual Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals. The photo was taken at Phil Mandella’s shop in Montclair, Calif., where final pre-race prep work was performed on the chassis.

 
The new generation of Cobra Jet cars is powered by a 425-horsepower 330-cid DOHC engine equipped with a factory supercharger.

 
Among the features of the race-ready package are an aluminum hood with hood pins and the cold-air package hood scoop.

 
Roll cages, complete with a five-point harness, were installed at one of the Roush Industries buildings.

 
One of the long-standing factory hot rod modifications that has been popular since the early 1960s, installing the battery in the trunk over the right rear tire to improve traction, is standard on all the new Cobra Jets.

 
Other standard items with the new Cobra Jet package include special Bogart aluminum wheels, nine-inch racing slicks, and a beefed-up rear-end housing with aftermarket axles and spool.

One of the most compelling attractions about the Winternationals during its near half-century history has been the long line of significant drag racing vehicles that have made their debut at the traditional NHRA season opener. The diehard Ford fans, for instance, have witnessed the inaugural showings of such famed machines as the 427-cid Fairlane Thunderbolt, which Gas Ronda drove to SS/S class honors at the 1964 Winternationals, followed by Bill Lawton’s A/Factory Experimental eliminator victory the next year with Ford’s then-new SOHC 427 Mustang.

Another great moment in Ford history took place at the 1968 Winternationals, where the new 428-cid Ford Cobra Jet SS/E entries appeared for the first time, and Al Joniec drove his Rice-Holman Ford-backed entries to that event’s Super Stock title. Now, just more than four decades later, Ford is hoping that history will repeat itself with the debut of its second-generation Cobra Jet at the 49th annual Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals. This new entry, which is designated as FR500CJ, is a complete factory racing package that combines Ford’s modern-day racing technology with the car manufacturer’s rich muscle-car heritage.

Only 50 of these very special vehicles have been produced, and they have already all been sold or accounted for. The 2008 Cobra Jets were produced with white paint only and no radio or heater, and among their unique features are a  5.4L (330-cid)  DOHC engine equipped with a factory supercharger rated at 425 horsepower, an aluminum hood with factory hood pins and the cold-air package hood scoop,  trunk-mounted battery, line-loc, five-point safety harness, fuel-shutoff switch, custom reinforced Ford nine-inch-type rear end with aftermarket axles and spool, along with Cobra Jet unique Bogart aluminum wheels and nine-inch racing slicks, and other related items. The body and major sub-assemblies such as the dash are produced on the Mustang assembly line in Flat Rock, Mich. Body modifications and final assembly take place in Livonia, Mich., at a Roush Industries facility.

Brian Wolfe, Ford Motor Co. North America motorsports director, said, “We wanted to support Sportsman racers who have been clamoring for a late-model Ford that could be competitive and was cost-effective. These are some of our most loyal customers and help us sell new cars and trucks to their social circles. Developing a turnkey drag car to meet the racers’ demands is the first step to show our supporters and the rest of the world that we’re dedicated to Sportsman racers who campaign Fords.”

Of the initial production run of only 50 units, Wolfe said, “We want to be in this for the long haul. While demand is much higher, by offering only 50, it leaves the door open for future model years. That being said, racers can build their own Cobra Jet from any 2005-2009 Mustang with parts from the Ford Performance Parts catalog. We have assigned a part number for a body in white specific for drag racers, M-607100-CJ. We have not yet determined the pricing and what the Cobra Jet content, like the installation of a roll cage or the removal of such street-related items as the wiper bucket, will entail. This will be sorted out by spring.”

The first four new Cobra Jets, all of which are owned by noted car collector Brent Hajek, will be raced at the Winternationals in Stock: two automatic cars campaigned by JIm Waldo and Gary Stinnett and two stick-shift versions run by John Calvert and Jimmy Ronzello. In keeping with Ford’s intentions of celebrating the 40th anniversary of the original Cobra Jets, the cars will feature the lettering of four 1960s-era driver/car dealership combos: Joniec/Rice-Holman Ford; Ronda/Russ Davis Ford; Hubert Platt/Paul Harvey Ford; and Hot Rod magazine/Performance Associates (the Ford high-performance shop run by the late Ford racer Les Ritchey and currently operated by his son, Randy).

Calvert, who has raced Fords since 1974 and has owned one of the production Cobra Jets throughout this period, said, “I first got involved with this when I received calls from Hajek and Phil Mandella (who helped perform the final prep work on the two stick-shift cars). When you run a brand-new car from the factory that includes all of these racing modifications, it’s always exciting. To be included in the debut efforts of this program is pretty special.” Calvert, who has earned a reputation as one of the top rear-suspension experts in the Stock ranks throughout the years, will focus on applying the power from the potent supercharged engine to the track with the nine-inch tire limitation. Said Calvert, “The engine, with the overhead cams, supercharger, and all the new electronics, is somewhat foreign to me. I’ll let Randy Ritchey take care of that while I work on what I’m more familiar with.”

Said Ritchey, “This project is a dream come true for me. My father was assigned by Ford to do all the final pre-Winternationals tune-up work on the Ford factory team cars, ranging from the 390-cid and 406-cid Galaxies in the early 1960s to the SOHC 427 Mustang A/FX cars in 1965. We haven’t had many factory racing packages like that since then, and this should make for a very exciting Winternationals.”

Wolfe said, “There are a number of reasons why this is significant. Ford has not been involved in Sportsman racing for quite a few years, but now we’re going to be paying $1,000 in contingency earnings for anyone who wins an NHRA national event title in a Sportsman category, from Comp through Super Street. The new Cobra Jet is hopefully just the beginning of other similar projects to come in the future. We hope to offer a 2010 MY Cobra Jet, and details about that car should be available either late in the spring or the early summer.”

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PINKS ALL OUT Leads 2009 Racing Schedule

January 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Latest News

January 19, 2009

2009 Texas Motorplex Schedules               

FEATURE RACES

May 15-17 – Super Chevy Show produced by Autostar Productions

September 24-27 – O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals

October 8-11 - NHRA Summit Racing Series ET Finals for Division 4

October 23-24  – Len Mar World Finals V - The fastest, wildest doorslammers on earth compete on the quickest track on earth for the 2009 titles.

SPECIALTY RACES

April 18 (Saturday) – MOPARS at the Motorplex

April 26 (Sunday) -  Muscle Car Challenge XXXVII

June 27 (Saturday) – Battle of the Imports

August 8-9 – Doug Foley’s Drag Racing School-visit www.dougfoley.com or call (856)753-8000 for more info.

September 13 (Sunday) -  Muscle Car Challenge XXXVIII

October 4 (Sunday) – Big Bug Shootout

November 8, 2009 (Sunday)- Import Face Off – visit www.importfaceoff.net for more info

 


O’Reilly Auto Parts Bracket Racing Series

Texas Motorplex today announced the dates for its 2009 O’Reilly Auto Parts Bracket Racing Series.

Contested over the famous all-concrete quarter mile, this series offers the local sportsman racer monthly competition in the highly competitive world of E.T. bracket racing.  Points are accumulated throughout the thirteen race season, leading to cash and prizes at a season ending awards banquet, and the bragging rights inherent in “Track Champion” in each class.

Regional and national recognition is also offered in the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Racing Series, including a spot on the Motorplex team at the Division 4 E.T. Finals in Ennis on October 8-11, 2009.

A Racer Orientation will be held Saturday morning, February 21, where the new Competition Director, Ashley Kellough will be introduced, and the details of new O’Reilly Bracket Series will be unveiled.  Also available that day will be sign up for the O’Reilly Motorplex points, and testing and tuning after the orientation is completed.  

The Series begins on Sunday, March 1, then moves to Saturdays beginning April 11 and 25; May 2; June 6 and 20; July 4 and 18; August 1, 15, and 29; October 3; and the final points race of the season on October 31.

Full details of the purse structure and event times will be available on www.texasmotorplex.com as they are finalized.  This year’s bracket program at Billy Meyer’s Texas Motorplex will be directed by Ashley Kellough.

STREET NIGHTS
Both Street Nights and Test and Tune geared to racers with slicks will be scheduled throughout the season.  High School competition will also be a part of the Texas Motorplex program in 2009.

SPECIAL EVENTS
April 24 – Relay for Life.  Presented by the American Cancer Society of Ennis, TX. – This event matches teams of participants walking all night long to raise funds for cancer research and programs.

December 5 – The 2009 Racer Appreciation and Awards Banquet will honor the racers and their families who compete at the Texas Motorplex. It will be held in the Champions Club.

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Texas Motorplex today announced the dates for its 2009 O’Reilly Auto Parts Bracket Racing Series.

January 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Latest News

2009-01-16

Texas Motorplex today announced the dates for its 2009 O’Reilly Auto Parts Bracket Racing Series.

Contested over the famous all-concrete quarter mile, this series offers the local sportsman racer monthly competition in the highly competitive world of E.T. bracket racing.  Points are accumulated throughout the thirteen race season, leading to cash and prizes at a season ending awards banquet, and the bragging rights inherent in “Track Champion” in each class.

Regional and national recognition is also offered in the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Racing Series, including a spot on the Motorplex team at the Division 4 E.T. Finals in Ennis on October 15-18, 2009.

A Racer Orientation will be held Saturday morning, February 21, where the new Competition Director, Ashley Kellough will be introduced, and the details of new O’Reilly Bracket Series will be unveiled.  Also available that day will be sign up for the O’Reilly Motorplex points, and testing and tuning after the orientation is completed.  

The Series begins on Sunday, March 1, then moves to Saturdays beginning April 11 and 25; May 16; June 6 and 20; July 4 and 18; August 1, 15, and 29; October 3; and the final points race of the season on October 31.

 

Full details of the purse structure and event times will be available on www.texasmotorplex.com as they are finalized.  This year’s bracket program at Billy Meyer’s Texas Motorplex will be directed by Ashley Kellough.

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Texas Motorplex today announced the dates for its 2009 O’Reilly Auto Parts Bracket Racing Series.

January 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Latest News

2009-01-16

Texas Motorplex today announced the dates for its 2009 O’Reilly Auto Parts Bracket Racing Series.

Contested over the famous all-concrete quarter mile, this series offers the local sportsman racer monthly competition in the highly competitive world of E.T. bracket racing.  Points are accumulated throughout the thirteen race season, leading to cash and prizes at a season ending awards banquet, and the bragging rights inherent in “Track Champion” in each class.

Regional and national recognition is also offered in the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Racing Series, including a spot on the Motorplex team at the Division 4 E.T. Finals in Ennis on October 15-18, 2009.

A Racer Orientation will be held Saturday morning, February 21, where the new Competition Director, Ashley Kellough will be introduced, and the details of new O’Reilly Bracket Series will be unveiled.  Also available that day will be sign up for the O’Reilly Motorplex points, and testing and tuning after the orientation is completed.  

The Series begins on Sunday, March 1, then moves to Saturdays beginning April 11 and 25; May 16; June 6 and 20; July 4 and 18; August 1, 15, and 29; October 3; and the final points race of the season on October 31.

 

Full details of the purse structure and event times will be available on www.texasmotorplex.com as they are finalized.  This year’s bracket program at Billy Meyer’s Texas Motorplex will be directed by Ashley Kellough.

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Texas Motorplex Names New Competition Director and Event Supervisor

January 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Latest News

2009-01-16

Ennis, TX—(January 16, 2009)—The Texas Motorplex, home of the NHRA’s O’Reilly Superstart Battery Nationals in September, today named Ashley Kellough as Competition Director and Event Supervisor.

Kellough will be responsible for directing and promoting the track’s Sportsman racing program as well as assisting in the facility’s staging for all feature, specialty, and national events.

A Waco, TX native, Kellough is an experienced racer and has competed throughout the north and central Texas region, starting as a Jr. Dragster and advancing to funny cars and roadsters.

“Ashley’s racing background and enthusiasm for the sport makes her the ideal person to direct our new racing program,” said Glenn Menard, president of the Texas Motorplex. “We’re looking forward to some fresh approaches to an enhanced racer experience.”  

Kellough most recently directed on-site sales and web site merchandise sales for Pedregon Racing. 

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