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No Off-Season for Soon-to-be Renegade Racer Samantha Moore

Posted By: Evan J. Smith
No Off-Season for Soon-to-be Renegade Racer Samantha Moore
By: Jeff Ament
Last August, after winning back-to-back championships in NMRA Limited Street, Samantha Moore made the tough, but not at all unexpected decision, to extensively modify her ProCharger-supercharged 2014 Ford Mustang California Special to compete in the quicker VP Racing Madditives Renegade category.
There was plenty of advance notice regarding the transition from Limited Street, but she still had to finish out the 2023 season before digging into to her familiar white Ford Mustang. When it comes to building race cars, there is seemingly never enough time, which means that Moore is currently in the middle of an off-season thrash to prepare for the season-opening NMRA Spring Break Shootout in Gainesville, Fla., Feb. 22-25.
“Oh boy, I could use some help, but it is coming along,” said Moore, who operates Vector Motorsports in Brighton, Mich. “It needs everything. The only thing that’s the same is the roll cage and the steel body. We’ve been hard at work on this car for the last few months and there is still a lot of work left to be done.
“Honestly, it is 50-50 right now that we make it [to Gainesville],” Moore said. “We’re about 30 days out and I still don’t have a lot of the parts we need. Right now, the car has no wiring. We’ve got only one or two weeks to do it, and it’s all on me to get it done. The car might not have any paint on it but we’re certainly going to try our best.”
Preparing for the move to Renegade, Moore’s biggest challenge was figuring out how to remove approximately 700 pounds in order make minimum weight for the new class. To that end, she’s left no stone unturned in the effort to put her car on a strict diet.
Step one involved a trip to Outlaw King Fabrication LLC. where they removed excess weight, fabricated a motor plate, mid-plate, engine limiters, and hung the new lighter front end bodywork. They also mounted carbon fiber doors from Larry Jeffers Race Cars, and a Motor City Carbon decklid to compliment the Skinny Kid Race Cars wing. The modifications also included triple-adjustable front struts, Lexan windows and VFN front end pieces from Brett LaSala.
At this time, the rear suspension also underwent extensive upgrades with a new Merillat Racing 9-inch rear. “One of the biggest projects was a whole new rear and suspension,” said Moore. “I got a new 9-inch from Merrillat and new Viking coil over shocks. We moved the shocks to narrow it back there. We also have wider wheels with a different offset.”
“All of this was done between the time I dropped it off to fab in mid-October, and I picked it up [in December] right after the PRI Show. The amount and quality of work is impressive,” said Moore.
When it comes to power, the car will feature a Coyote ‘plant from Holbrook Racing Engines, a set of GT350 heads ported by Frankenstein and an F1A ProCharger for boost. The transmission is from Coan with a converter from ProTorque. When it comes to gearing, Moore simply says, “We’ll figure it out.”
“We broke the crank last year in Bowling Green and that took out the whole motor, so we were going to have a build [a new one] this winter anyway. We’re trying to do in three months what takes most people a year, so I know we’re gonna have some sleepless nights.” 
With almost any race car build, the small details always seem to be the most time consuming and Moore has found that to be the case. Her “to-do” list has included mounting or fabricating a new fuel tank, fuel pump, filter, full custom exhaust (with mufflers), rear wing mounts, breather, catch can, water tank, water pump mount, brake lines, master cylinder, battery mount, shock sensor mounts, Pro Jack mounts, and quite a few other things.
Moore’s impressive list of supporters includes ZPE Griptec, Vector Motorsports, ProCharger, UPR Products, Brist spark plugs, Viking Performance, JE Pistons, Aeromotive, Turbo Start batteries, Holbrook Racing Engines, Manley, Holley, Lucas Oil Products, Modern Racing, RC Components, Vibrant Performance, ProTorque, Mickey Thompson, VP Racing Fuels, Callies Performance, AUS Injection, Frankenstein Engine Dynamics, SCE Gaskets, Strange Engineering, PAC Racing, Airflow Solutions, Race Winning Brands, ABC Performance and RJ ProFabRacing. 
Building the car is one thing, but once that’s finished, Moore will also have to adjust to driving it. She previously ran well into the 7s in Limited Street, but the Renegade package should be much quicker, even though she’ll be racing the shorter eighth-mile distance.
“That might be the biggest part,” Moore says. “I’ve been 7.7s in the quarter-mile and maybe 5.0s in the eighth. We’re going to have to run 4.6s or better to be competitive in Renegade and that’s going to be very different. Also, I’ve never had front exit exhaust, and my car has always had real glass and real doors so it will definitely be louder. We’ve also done a lot to change the suspension and we’ve never had a mechanical fuel pump or raced on alcohol. There’s a lot to consider.”
Last season, Moore won four of six races and cruised to her second-straight Limited Street championship. As the old saying goes, “Once a champion, always a champion,” but Moore has no illusions when it comes to her current project. She’s well aware of the challenge that the Renegade/Ultra Street class poses, and she’s fully prepared to pay some dues if that’s what it takes to become competitive.
“I know what’s ahead, especially in this [Renegade] class. There are a lot of very respectable teams and some of them have been doing this for close to 20 years,” said Moore. “For me and my business partner Dan Sienkiewicz we are really looking forward to the challenge and competition of racing Renegade. I ran the World Cup event a year ago and loved it. We had 48 cars, and it was really tough. It’s more work, but also more fun. You have to make big decisions every round, and you learn from those decisions. I love winning, but I don’t like winning the way I did last year.”

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