By Mary Lendzion
Photos by NMRA and courtesy of Mike Ciborowski
At the start of the 2021 race season, Mike Ciborowski set some goals for himself.
Among them were laying down quicker and faster laps in Edelbrock Renegade, and landing in the NMRA Winner’s Circle.
The Illinois-based driver certainly has what it takes, and so does his Mustang set up by HPJ Performance and standing out with a Rich Groh Racing Engines-built Coyote engine, VMP Performance supercharger and BMR suspension, but a few issues have surfaced.
“Over winter, we changed the rear suspension on the car, went with a new Moser rear end housing and moved the coilover shocks in, so we were all set, but at the NMRA race in Florida, we found out that my anti-roll bar wasn’t heavy enough,” said Ciborowski, who has clocked a 4.82 and 146 mph with his combination. “My car was rolling to the right, and that’s not a good thing, so we got a new Racecraft anti-roll bar before the race in Georgia, and the car starting leaving the line nicely, but then the engine was down on power at the race in Illinois, so as you can see, we had a lot happen at once.”
Upon arriving home after the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing, which was in May at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois, Ciborowski decided that he would send his engine to Rich Groh to be inspected. Meanwhile, his generous son and fellow Edelbrock Renegade racer, Keith Ciborowski, offered to let him use his Rich Groh Racing Engines-built Coyote engine and Garrett 76mm turbo.
“We put Keith’s engine in, and when we trial-fit his headers, they went on like they were made for my car,” said Ciborowski. “My car is now at Wagon Wheel Performance, where the turbo is being mounted and the crossover for the exhaust and plumbing for the cold side are being taken care of. We hope to have it back in about two weeks.”
When work at Wagon Wheel Performance is wrapped up, the Ciborowskis will run some wires, plumb some lines for the CO2 and boost control and add some weight to the car, as it has to weigh a bit more with the turbo combination than it did with the blower combination.
Then, with Keith’s Proformance Racing Transmissions’ Turbo 400 and a new ProTorque converter backing the power, and a Holley EFI engine management system in place, the Ciborowskis will start testing at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois.
“Keith, who will tune the car with input from Eric Holliday of JPC Racing for the converter program, will make the initial passes to make sure everything feels right,” said Ciborowski, whose other son, Kyle, races in NMRA QA1 True Street. “Then I’ll have to get used to driving a turbo car because it will sound different and feel different, but everyone says that it’s fun, and you know, you’re never too old to try something new.”
Ciborowski, who is holding down the eleventh place in Edelbrock Renegade points, won’t have a ton of time to get acclimated to the new set-up as he plans to be in competition at the Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival presented by Force Engineering, July 22-25, at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Michigan, but he has proven that he’s up to the challenge.