By Mary Lendzion
Photos by NMRA and courtesy of Keith Ciborowski
After racing in the NMRA Hellion Turbo Coyote Shootout a few years ago, Keith Ciborowski decided to dive into the series’ Edelbrock Renegade category in 2019.
He prepared his 2003 Mustang Cobra with a Rich Groh Racing-built Coyote engine, Precision 76mm turbo and Proformance Racing Transmissions-built Powerglide, and joined the category at the third event on the 2019 tour, the Inaugural NMRA Gateway Rumble in May at Gateway Motorsports Park in Illinois. There, he fit right in and flew to a 5.05 to qualify in the fourth spot, followed by a 5.01 to runner-up against Haley James in the final round of eliminations.
That, as well as the fourth-place finish in Edelbrock Renegade points in 2019 and the list of upgrades he’s making to his car for 2020, are sure signs that Ciborowski is serious.
The Illinois-based driver delivered his car, which has a 25.3 chassis, to Jim Hallowell at Xtreme Muscle Carz in Illinois, for some work.
“The intercooler used to sit under the dash in the passenger compartment, and we moved it to the front of the car to shorten up the piping, and we had to tube things to get more room,” said Ciborowski, whose father, Mike Ciborowski, is the 2019 NMRA Advanced Fuel Dynamics Limited Street champion. “To get some weight out of the car, factory frames were cut and replaced with chrome moly tubing from the strut towers forward. That got about forty pounds out of the car.”
Upgrades weren’t limited to the chassis, as Ciborowski delivered his engine to Groh to be freshened, and to have his Cobra Jet intake replaced with a Holley intake. To help plant the power, he’s replacing his PowerGlide with a Turbo 400 transmission by Proformance Racing Transmissions.
“We got the Powerglide to work well, but I think the Turbo 400 will help my smaller engine stay in its power range a little more,” said Ciborowski. “I’m hoping that having the three-speed rather than the two-speed will help as well.”
Ciborowski, who’s also rewiring his car, is raring to get his race season started at the 26th Annual Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout, Feb. 27-March 1 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida.
“I’m hoping to make all six NMRA races this year, and to finish higher in points,” said Ciborowski, who has been as quick as 4.84 at 150 mph in the eighth-mile in Edelbrock Renegade trim, and 7.20 at 190 mph in the quarter-mile with a converter change and at 100 pounds lighter. “I have help from a lot of people, including my dad, Mike Ciborowski, Eric Holliday of Justin’s Performance Center, who helps me tune with my Holley Dominator, and Mike Zachies, Mike “Keyz” Bibas and Tony Hobson of HPJ Performance.”