On September 16th (this past Saturday) the two headed Pro Mod Monster of Jones Racing Enterprises left their shop from Weatherford, TX heading towards the new Xtreme Raceway Park in Ennis, TX for a Texas Outlaw Pro Mod Association (TOPMA) event. Seasoned Driver/Tuner Brandon Pesz and Rookie Driver Justin Jones had goals of practicing their burnout and staging routines while experimenting with new setups.
Team owner and Top Alcohol Funny Car pilot Jeff Jones stated before the event on Thursday “We’ve had a lot of issues with Brandon’s car this season. At Ennis during the opening event of the Mid West Pro Mod Series the transmission wouldn’t engage reverse in 1st round. Then at Tulsa Justin went to the pole and got a little excited turning it red in the opening round while Brandon’s car wouldn’t shift properly.” Jeff went on to explain “At St. Louis my son Justin earned a new nickname of ‘Cowboy’ after driving the car like Tuff Hedeman on the back of a bull bucking on the [wheelie] bars-to the nose-back on the [wheelie bars]-to the nose… you get the picture.”
As Jeff Jones talked about the trials this young Texas proud Pro Mod team you can see a little glimmer in his eye. As if he knew something that nobody else did. I asked him about his optimistic manor and he elaborated with the following. “We’re starting to get this new engine package together. Chris Frank and his engineering team at Frankenstein Engine Dynamics have created a new top end package called ‘P-48’ for Pro Mod HEMI stuff and it’s taken us a few events and test sessions to get a grasp on the amount of power we’re making. We keep throwing fuel at it and we’re still lean due to the amount of airflow these heads have created! We still haven’t found out just how much power we can truly make. Brandon [Pesz] and myself have never seen anything like it before.” He elaborated that they’ve had issues blowing through the converter, or 4 Link adjustments that used to induce tire shake from too much bite now grip and cause uncontrolled wheelstands.
“This new Frankenstein P-48 cylinder head, intake manifold, rocker arm, and valve cover package is really something else” says Tuner Brandon Pesz. “The amount of power we’re making is truly something I’ve never seen on this platform. We don’t have our arms all the way around it yet but when we put the coals to her…” his eyes grow in size “… you better be ready.”
During TOPMA eliminations the Frankenstein/Imperial Construction team found them selves in a particular situation heading into the semi finals. They were on the opposite sides of the ladder and if they were both able to turn on winlights it’d be an all Jones Racing Enterprises final. “When we left home we considered the TOPMA event a cheap test session close to home. We mainly focus on the Mid-West Pro Mod Series for now and are constantly feeding the Frankenstein engineers data after every event” driver Justin Jones explains. “The MWPMS keeps adding weight to us due to our previous performances, so we decided to test for our next outing at Topeka.”
After two elimination passes in the late North Texas night there were only two cars left in the Pro Modified field. One of them a ’69 Camaro Pearl White in color with the words “Frankenstein Engine Dynamics” along the side at a 20 degree tilt. The other an early 60’s modeled Corvette with similar paint scheme and vinyl package, but sporting a primer front clip from an earlier meeting with a barrier. The team owner Jeff Jones walking about the pit area with a smile that couldn’t be peeled away by any means known to man.
Cole and Chris Dollar, Car Chief & Assistant Car Chief respectively, work diligently setting valve lash, shock settings, timing curves, and final fuel tuning in preparation of the first all JRE final round.
After the initial fire up of both machines the Corvette pulls through the water first, followed by the Camaro. Pesz grabs the gas and lights the tires moments before Justin follows suit. After reversing through the stage bulbs Justin Jones pulls forward, Brandon Pesz lights the Pre Stage bulbs on the tree. Both vehicles stage and within moments 7,000 horsepower between two vehicles rise up to their predetermined RPM and in the flash of six LED’s are turned loose. Justin’s Stage bulb goes out first leaving Brandon at a disadvantage. But young Jones doesn’t make it through the “shake zone” and smokes the tires as Brandon Pesz sings a full 660′ song ending with an 11,000 RPM stanza to a scoreboard with bulbs lit brightly above.
Nobody is disappointed, smiles are found all around the starting line as a sea of black shirts and green hats congratulate one another. The comrades gather around both chromoly and carbon fiber weapons of competition as the heat and smell of speed are still fresh in the hot, young morning to pose for a picture. A rookie now seasoned beams with enjoyment on his face as his dad hugs him early on a Father’s day morning. The crew chief fulfilled and invigorated already has his mind in motion of what needs to be improved upon the next week at the shop. Beers are cracked while laughing and music carry through XRP as a small village of friends and family pack an entire racing operation into the trailer. The team has accomplished every goal one can at any event having Justin qualify on the pole while Brandon set low E.T. and fastest M.P.H. of the event. Couple those bullet points together with an all team final, that’s not a bad night of testing.
Title picture courtesy of Randy Curtis at 2XDRAG.com