Chad Wendel Goes 8.79, Puts NMRA Limited Street on Notice

As the dog days of summer drag on, Chad Wendel certainly isn’t dogging it when it comes to his combination – a recent test session produced a new personal best, just a tick off from the current NMRA Advanced Fuel Dynamics Limited Street records, and there’s plenty more left in it.

Wendel, who lives in Indiana, headed over to nearby Muncie Dragway on Friday, July 12th for a test session. “We’ve had motor issues so we haven’t had time to test between races all year long,” explained Wendel, who has had to use the first pass of each race in his 2019 NMRA season as his test run, too. “This was also our first test session where our tuner could be there.”

With Todd Dennis and Tony McKinney of Complete Auto Repair and Performance by his side to get his Moser Engineering-supported 2007 Ford Mustang GT running strong via its Holley Dominator EFI system, Wendel clicked off a few passes before finishing off the night with a new quarter-mile personal best of 8.790 at 153.21 mph with the eighth-mile trip coming in at 5.596 at 123.50 mph. The 1.253-second sixty-foot time, too, shows of the car’s potential as Wendel clocked a 1.23-second short time last year in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Currently, the NMRA Advanced Fuel Dynamics Limited Street elapsed time and mph class records are both owned by Bill Putnam and his 8.715 at 156.53 mph numbers, respectively. Wendel sits sixth in the championship points chase, and is feeling good about how the remainder of his season will go given that this new personal best of his was run in 100% NMRA legal trim.

“We just switched to an RGR-built motor that’s nothing special other than way better internal than Rich [Groh]’s normal build with literally the stockest heads in the class – just a set of cams and a bone stock casting with no porting or anything,” laughed Wendel of his 304 ci Coyote from Rich Groh Racing. During the off-season, Wendel had swapped his supercharger over from a Paxton unit to a ProCharger, and the change has been paying off. “It’s the same as it’s been, we just hadn’t been able to push it before because of the issues we were having and even this was really only about 85% of the way there on the tune.”

Backing the engine is a Turbo 400 from RPM Transmissions that hasn’t been freshened up lately because, as Wendel simply puts it, “you ain’t gonna hurt that transmission.” He’s still running his tried-and-true custom-fabricated Moser M9 9” Ford housing, of course, and all BMR suspension components remain on board as well. A switch to a slightly larger intercooler and a swap from his usual Mickey Thompson ET Street S/S radials to the ET Street Radial Pro tires instead a few days before the recent run was all Wendel’s changed in the interim.

Next on his list is getting the engine out and back over to Rich Groh Racing for a quick refresh as he’s seeing a little more blow by than he prefers and suspects the ring gap needs to be adjusted, then he’ll throw the Coyote back in his ProCharged S197 and head on over to Route 66 Raceway in Illinois for the 14th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street legal Drag Racing.

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