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Paul Sienkiewicz Looks to Cap Off Strong NMRA 8.60 Street Race Season in Kentucky

Posted By: Ainsley Jacobs
There’s just one more race left to go in the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals series for 2023, and rookie racer Paul Sienkiewicz has had an impressive season already with his 1998 Ford Mustang Cobra. Sitting fourth overall in the championship points chase, Sienkiewicz has his eyes on the prize and hopes to improve further for a top-three finish.
Based out of Fenton, Michigan, the 45-year-old works by day as the VP of Operations of the CNC machinery services and sales company, Merrifield Machinery Solutions, but his true passion has always been at the track.
Sienkiewicz’s brother, Dan Sienkiewicz, co-owns Vector Motorsports along with two-time NMRA Limited Street champion Samantha Moore. “I bought my Cobra six years ago and was doing some local grudge racing and track events with it, but Sam and Dan kept telling me I needed to class race it,” laughed Sienkiewicz, who took his family’s advice to heart.
In 2022, Sienkiewicz attended several sporadic NMRA events to get his feet wet in the fledgling SunCoast Performance 8.60 Street Race category and had a blast. “I enjoyed it and the car was competitive and I decided for 2023 that I would run the full circuit,” he noted.
The Vector Motorsports crew got to work preparing the gray SN95 and completely overhauled it from front to back with an array of updates. Under the hood, a Vector-built 4.6-liter 4-valve modular engine was paired with a single Precision turbocharger, a three-speed Turbo 400 transmission from Lonnie Diers of Extreme Automatics, and a Coan torque converter.
Sienkiewicz had known the founder of the BigStuff3 powertrain management company, John Meaney, for most of his life, so of course he stayed local to the BigStuff brand when Ben Davidow took over the reins in 2021. “I’m using BigStuff’s Gen4 EFI and Ben [Davidow] has helped a ton. The system keeps the car very consistent and everything just works like it should,” added Sienkiewicz, who trusts his brother and Moore to tune the Aeromotive Fuel Systems-equipped combination. “Tom Frayer at High Voltage did the wiring to work with the BigStuff box.”

To prepare the suspension setup, the Vector group selected and installed Viking shocks at all four corners, a Vector-prepped Ford 8.8” rear end, and Moser axles. Finally, Mickey Thompson’s famed drag radial rubber was added and the car was ready to hit the Vector Motorsports dyno for some baseline sessions.
Although Sienkiewicz’s Cobra wasn’t quite finished in time for the 2023 NMRA season opener in Florida in March and he had to sit out as a result, he’s made up for it by putting in strong showings throughout the rest of the year.
At North Carolina’s Rockingham Dragway in April, Sienkiewicz got his feet wet and qualified well when he ran 8.696 at 160.43 mph to head into eliminations from the number five spot. He was happy to have scored a win in the first round, but couldn’t keep the momentum going past round two as he was a little too far from the 8.60-second goal.
Next, Sienkiewicz headed to St. Louis, Illinois, to race at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Muscle Car Drag Racing at World Wide Technology Raceway. “I was the number one qualifier and won a Nitto Tire Diamond Tree Ring!” recalled the man excitedly. Having gone 8.610 during qualifying earned Sienkiewicz a new piece of coveted hardware to add to his jewelry collection, but the celebration was fairly short-lived. “I made it to the finals in eliminations, but my transbrake didn’t hold and I rolled the beams and gave the race away.”
Unfortunately, the transbrake issue struck again for the second race in a row while Sienkiewicz was at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. Despite having run close to the number in qualifying with an 8.631-second blast to settle him into seventh, Sienkiewicz exited eliminations early in the very first round.

Having resolved the gremlins plaguing his starting line procedure, Sienkiewicz continued on to Martin, Michigan for the NMRA/NMCA Power Festival at US 131 Motorsports Park. Qualified third with an 8.627-second run, Sienkiewicz worked his way to another well-deserved final round appearance but just barely missed out on getting the win once again. “Because it’s an 8.60 class, I lifted but lifted a little too soon and it nipped me at the end there,” he explained of how he scored a runner up finish instead against Tim Flanders.
“So far, I’ve been fortunate with no major breakages or issues,” said Sienkiewicz, grateful for the continued support of his brother Dan Sienkiewicz, Samantha Moore, and the rest of his team including crew chief Kyle Laskey, Robert Sienkiewicz, Tom Sienkiewicz, Danny Buttler, and his wonderful wife, Robyn Sienkiewicz. “This is a really great class that isn’t about having the most horsepower, it’s about cutting good lights and having consistency, and everyone is competitive but also very helpful.”
Even after having skipped the Florida event, Sienkiewicz is positioned in the top five for points and is excited about capping off his season in Kentucky with a strong showing at the NMRA World Finals Featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival. “I want to finish in the top three for the class and take it to the finals in Bowling Green to get those extra points,” he affirmed. “I am having a blast running my first full year with NMRA and definitely plan on being back next year.”
Sienkiewicz prides himself on being able to truly put the “street” in NMRA SunCoast Performance 8.60 Street Race, as he accumulates roughly 4,000 miles every year with his cool Cobra that’s capable of running high 7-second passes. “It’s nice that I can get in, drive for 300 miles to the track, race it, and drive it home,” shared Sienkiewicz. “Vector Motorsports built me a very capable car.”

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