As the gates opened at Bradenton Motorsports Park, the VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw field got friendly with a new racer, Vinny Palazzolo out of R&S Automotive Specialists. The Pennsylvania-based competitor quickly made his presence known by scoring a runner-up finish in the hotly contested category and has quickly pushed his steed into the 4.40s at speeds well over 160 mph.
Palazzolo’s instant-success should be of no surprise given his experience in the X275 ranks over the past few years and aligning himself with some heavy-duty partners. Bennett Racing Engines is responsible for the powerplant under the hood while its sister company, KBX Performance, orchestrated the turbo system and power management program from the turbo up front to the drivetrain behind the potent engine. With a best of 4.41 and 167 mph, Palazzolo is right there with the top runners but there is always more lurking.
“The inlet air temps were up early into the run. “Palazzolo explained. He informed Race Pages that this seems to have happened ever since converting the car from the 85mm turbocharger to the larger Precision 98mm unit.
The conditions during the Ford Motorsport Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway were near perfect and even after trying a new water pump and re-routing the lines to be more efficient, the team decided it was time for an upgrade. The hotter inlet air temperatures offer several disadvantages with one of them being the inability to command more ignition timing. Palazzolo relies on a Haltech Elite 2500 stand-alone EFI system to control his turbocharged powerplant.
A noted fabrication shop, Shearer Fabrications, recently moved just minutes down the road from Palazzolo’s shop, R&S Automotive Specialties, so it was no surprise when he rolled over there for one of the company’s intercooler solutions. “Vinnny had a smaller 2000hp core intercooler and we upgraded it to a 3000hp unit,” said Ron Shearer of Shearer Fabrications. The shop specializes in intercooler, turbo fabrication, and other unique go-fast goodies. Though not a new idea, the intercooler remains under the hood just as KBX Performance originally placed the smaller unit. Shearer custom built the larger intercooler to fit properly and neatly. The under-the-hood intercooler has become popular, once again, for a variety of reasons from balancing the 275 radial cars with front-to-back weight biases as well as shorter, more efficient discharge piping for less boost drop.
Palazzolo has the car back at his shop and is readying it for this weekend’s 13th annual NMRA Super Nationals at National Trail Raceway (Hebron, OH). He is currently on top of the point’s list for Street Outlaw and has advanced to round two in the rain-shortened eliminations from the Ford Motorsport Nationals last month. The eliminations will be completed this Saturday in conjunction with the qualifying efforts for the Ohio race.