Jason Davis and the crew from Blow-By Racing made waves in the NMRA’s JDM Engineering Limited Street class while racing at the season opener in Florida earlier this year with the team posting the quickest pass in class history, but it ran into unanticipated trouble at the next outing in Georgia and tore up a bunch of parts in the process. After going from high to low, though, the crew has rallied and made the needed repairs so that they can return to racing with their turbocharged 2015 Ford Mustang at the Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing presented by HPJ Performance at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois, at the end of July.
In Florida, Davis’s 8.44-second blast put the competition on notice and he went all the way to the final round to face current class points leader, Bill Putnam, but tire spin left Davis in the runner-up position.
After the race, the team found some minor engine issues which they addressed, but the issues wound up being caused by much more significant problems.
“We discovered a cracked cylinder head and a broken cam cap in the days leading up to Atlanta, so we were scrambling to reassemble the car in time,” noted Pete Epple, who works with Chris Jones from Blow-By Racing on the chassis tuning.
In Georgia, it became evident that the engine issues were not completely resolved. Davis qualified on the bottom half of the ladder and his car just wasn’t performing like it had in Florida. With a little luck and a bye run in the semi-finals, Davis once again found himself in the other lane against Putnam at the end of the weekend. When the team rolled to the starting line without doing a burnout, though, it was apparent that Davis’ Mustang was hurt too badly to even make the run.
“After the guys got back home to South Florida, Chris [Jones] and the Blow-By crew disassembled the engine and found a broken flex coupler in the exhaust system,” Epple stated. “A long piece of metal from the inside of the coupler had unraveled and found its way into the turbo.” Unfortunately, the discovery meant the team would be rebuilding—again.
Refusing to give in, Davis and Blow-By Racing got to work preparing for the Illinois event. A new turbo was ordered, and they made significant changes to their S550 Mustang in an attempt to make more power, while also increasing the consistency of the car.
The camp is remaining fairly tight-lipped about the specific engine changes, but they let slip that a small compression change was made and hinted at a new camshaft profile.
“Blow-By is also currently in the research and development process of making some changes to its Coyote engine program for Davis, and hopes to have the updated engine in the car by Michigan,” Epple added.
Significant chassis changes have been made to make Davis’ Mustang more consistent on the starting line, including a new set of struts from AFCO Racing with custom valving from by suspension masters at Menscer Motorsports. According to the team, the car desperately needed the upgrade.
The nearly 4,000-pound Mustang still uses the factory independent rear suspension, but the last of the factory IRS bushings have replaced with spherical versions from UPR Products recently. The rear gears and factory differential were also replaced, and a spool was added. Along with the gear change, the team also upgraded the half shafts to much stronger versions from GForce Engineering.
“While we were fast in Bradenton, the car wasn’t as consistent as we wanted,” explained Epple. “We didn’t get down at all in testing, and honestly we weren’t trying to go as quick as we did. We knew the car had it in it, but with the air as good as it was, it was essentially an accident. I think we have a handle on the chassis at this point, and now we can move our focus back to making power. We’re excited to get to Illinois. We really want to go home with a Super Bowl ring!”