Steve Matusek, the co-founder and president of Aeromotive Fuel Systems, scored the first major Pro Modified win of his career on Sunday as he powered his twin turbocharged Ford Mustang to victory over ADRL standout and longtime doorslammer ace Jeff Naiser in the final round of the annual Throwdown at T-Town at the Tulsa Raceway Park in Oklahoma.
Matusek qualified fourth with a stout 4.001, behind class leader Clint Satterfield and his 3.920, Ron Muenks, and Naiser, but on race day, it was Matusek and crew chief Chuck Samuel that cranked up the wick and the consistency, running 3.99 in the opening round, 3.97 in a spectacular side-by-side semifinal with Satterfield that was decided by just .02-seconds, and a killer 3.93 in the final round that was all for show as Naiser went .006 red.
The victory has been a long time coming for Matusek and the Aeromotive team out of Kansas. After selling the Ford Modular program that he contested in Pro Street and Competition Eliminator in 2010, Matusek embarked on a new Pro Modified venture that centered around the development of a 500 cubic inch, twin turbo Blue Oval powerplant in conjunction with the engine wizards at Roush-Yates Engines. The development was a lengthy process and the learning curve was steep, but Matusek and company were committed to making the effort a success.
Matusek debuted the new Larson Race Cars-built Mustang and the 500-inch mill — the only one in his arsenal at the time — at the NHRA O’Reilly Auto Parts Nationals in Houston in the spring of last year, and really saw the fruits of his labor come together at the NMCA World Street Finals in Indianapolis last October when the sleek Mustang topped 250 mph.
Matusek brought veteran heads-up doorslammer driver and tuner Chuck Samuel onboard for the 2012 season with the hope of taking the program to the next level and the move paid off with the team’s first five-second run earlier this season and consistent mid-pack qualifying performances in the NHRA ranks, all of which preceded the popular victory on Sunday night in Tulsa.
Our hats off to Matusek, Samuel, and the entire Aeromotive team for their accomplishment and the tireless efforts that made it a reality.
For more information on Aeromotive Fuel Systems, log on to Aeromotiveinc.com.