Street racers looking for a little action can find it during the NMRA Grudge Night at the 18th Annual Nitto NMRA All Ford World Finals, Sept. 29-Oct, 2 at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky, and among those ready to rumble are Sergio Rojas and Raul Torres.
The Floridians will be bringing Rojas’ ’88 Saleen Mustang, which packs an MPR-built Dart block-based 363 cubic-inch small-block Ford topped with Trick Flow Twisted Wedge 11R heads and an extrude-honed Edelbrock Performer 5.0 RPM II intake. It’s fronted by an 83mm Bullseye Power turbo with a Power by the Hour kit, and below the surface is a Ford 4R70W overdrive transmission.
Rojas uses EFI Analytics MegaSquirt2 to tune the car which sips E85, features UPR suspension components and rolls on Mickey Thompson drag radials wrapped around Bogart wheels in the rear and Weld wheels in the front. The stunning car wearing black paint with blue pearl still sports air-conditioning, power windows and power steering, so those wanting to line up alongside them should be cruising in something comparable.
“Raul and I are still discussing whether he’ll drive the car or I’ll drive the car for NMRA Grudge Night, and I think it’s going to come down to a coin toss, even though I own the car,” said Rojas, who met Torres several years ago while both were grudge racing. “He’s towing the car to the race, so I kind of owe him, but on top of that, he cuts such good lights that we call him the Tree Chopper.”
Rojas, who used to drive the car on the street before rock chips and rain threatened to take their toll on it, is on the PYP (Pick Your Poison) Race Team with a group of fellow drivers, including Torres, who are always up for some grudge racing. While they do plenty of smack-talking, they also hold their own.
“I enjoy the excitement of grudge racing,” said Rojas, who also took part in the NMRA Grudge Night at the 22nd Annual Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout in March in Florida. “Believe it or not, winning is at the bottom of my list. I prefer watching hot heads get hot because I don’t get hot.”