After driving to a 10.26 and an eighth-place finish in NMRA G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock last year, Walter Baranowski turned his focus to this year.
He carefully considered what he wanted to do over winter to his Mustang featuring a Gen II Coyote engine and a G-Force Racing Transmissions G101A transmission, and charted a course.
The Massachusetts-based driver who had just wrapped his fourth year in the very competitive category went from a 4.71 gear to a 4.56 gear in the 9-inch rear-end under his Mustang, and made changes to its exhaust that he declines to detail. He also installed a new McLeod clutch.
After putting his car on the chassis dyno at Chris Lawrence’s shop, MPE Racing, he headed to the 25th Annual Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout in late February at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida.
“I wasn’t pleased with the car’s performance with the 4.56 gear in pre-race testing there because we weren’t picking up, so we went back to the 4.71 gear before the first round of qualifying,” said Baranowski.
He rowed the gears to a 10.37 to qualify in the seventh spot, and made it to the second round of eliminations, where he turned on the red light in his car rolling on Mickey Thompson slicks.
After that, he headed to the 11th Annual Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals in April at Atlanta Dragway, where he ran 10.32 to qualify in the seventh spot and lost in the second round of eliminations to his teammate, Darin Hendricks.
“The car wasn’t running optimally, and it was down on power,” said Baranowski. “After the race in Georgia, we replaced the new exhaust with the old exhaust, tried a few different engine oils, had the car back on the dyno and saw a decent pickup of 7-10 horsepower. At that point, we knew it was going to be better.”
Baranowski went on to a 10.34 to qualify ninth and a close 10.36 in a first round loss at the Inaugural NMRA Ford Gateway Rumble in mid-May at Gateway Motorsports Park in Illinois, and now he’s focused on going rounds at the 19th Annual NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals, June 27-30 at Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania.
“I’m pretty content with how the chassis is working, and of course now I’d just like to continue to find a little more power without losing consistency,” said Baranowski, who has Ed Curtis to line him up and teammate Darin Hendricks to share ideas with. “I’m really hoping to earn my first win in the category. It has been elusive, but I think my car and combination are on the cusp of good things.”