By Mary Lendzion
Larry Albright has been attracted to NMRA QA1 True Street for as long as he can remember.
He’s all about the 30-mile cruise, the three back-to-back passes and the thrill of the chase to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle.
He has been competitive in the category through the years, and ran as quick and fast as 7.71 and 177 mph last year in his Mustang set up with a small-block Ford built on a Dart block by Tim Eichhorn of MPR Racing Engines, boasting an Eagle crank and rods, Diamond pistons, Trick Flow High Port heads and a Trick Flow intake and boosted by an 85mm Precision turbo.
Albright relies on a Holley Dominator EFI system to flow fuel through the engine, and a Powerglide by JW Transmissions and PTC converter to put power down in the car rolling on UPR suspension and Mickey Thompson 275 drag radials wrapped around Holeshot wheels. Intent on improving upon an already impressive combination, he turned his engine over to Eichhorn toward the end of last year for some finessing.
“Tim and I had been talking about how we needed to freshen up my engine, so he replaced my old crank with a new-to-me Callies crank and my old rods with new-to-me Oliver rods, and he sent my Diamond pistons out to be coated,” said Albright. “We were confident that the fresh parts would help me pick up some more power.”
When Eichhorn was done with the stout new shortblock, Albright handled the final assembly, and headed to a test session at Orlando Speed World Dragway in his home state of Florida in early January. While he didn’t make a full pull, he was pleased with his combination’s potential.
“I had a mild tune-up in the car for that test session, but I could definitely tell that the car was working just like we wanted it to,” said Albright.
With a few adjustments to his car’s chassis, and with a slightly more aggressive tune-up, he headed to a second test session — this time at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida — about a week later. There, he recorded a 1.18, 1.17 and 1.15 in the 60-foot, and a 7.56, 7.54 and 7.52 in the quarter-mile.
“Those were personal bests,” said Albright. “It was great to have confidence in the engine with fresh parts. I’m really amazed by how well the combination works.”
Albright, who has help at the races from his friend, Paul Lewis, will take part in another test session in late February at Bradenton Motorsports Park, and plans to hit the shift a bit earlier down track in an attempt to pick up even more in his 3340-pound car, which still has a full interior and sees the street fairly regularly.
Then, he’ll load up for the beloved NMRA Spring Break Shootout, March 4-7 at Bradenton Motorsports Park, which, in addition to his favorite category, QA1 True Street, will also feature the ACE Racing Spring Break Shootout for the fastest sixteen cars from QA1 True Street competition.
“I’ve won in QA1 True Street before, but not at the event in Florida, so that’s my goal,” said Albright.