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Cookie Monster—Sal Trejo’s Turbocharged Mustang by Triangle Speed Shop

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By Ainsley Jacobs

Photography by Kevin DiOssi

Triangle Speed Shop’s Daniel Pachar can wheel practically anything, so when Sal Trejo gave him free rein to build a Mustang for NMRA’s ProCharger Coyote Modified class, Pachar met the challenge head on.

Pachar, 36, has spent his entire life around cars, thanks to his father’s influence. Eventually, he found himself following in his father’s footsteps and acquired a 1994 Ford Lightning when he graduated from high school in 2000. A few test and tune nights, some small-scale local races, and Fun Ford events when they came through Pachar’s home state of Texas, kept him busy initially, but his racing slowed as he shifted his focus to entrepreneurial endeavors instead.

“I’m not real sure why we thought this was a good idea,” laughed Pachar, “but eventually my brother, Craig, and I started Triangle Speed Shop in 2002.” Pachar and his brother soon found that their spontaneous decision had merit, as business grew. A two-acre lot and 8,000-square-foot shop soon transformed the Pachar brothers from weekend wrenchers into nationally known Modular engine and turbocharging specialists.

Over the years, Triangle has collected countless wins, records, and championships with many successful NMRA and NMCA racers on their roster, including James Meredith, Dom DiDonato, Curtis Catalon, and others. As Triangle’s reputation grew, Pachar had the chance to get back into racing.

Daniel Pachar drives Sal Trejo's Terminator, which is powered by a Turbo Coyote engine.

“It wasn’t until after the business was more established that I found I could get back out there and get even more exposure for the shop,” noted Pachar, who also realized that being involved in the industry meant that opportunities to tear up the tarmac were more readily available.

He wasted no time in hurting some feelings, as Pachar arrived on the scene at South Georgia Motorsports Park in October of 2010 for the ORTC Radial Revolution race with his turbocharged ’04 Cobra flagship shop car. There, he took the lead in Goodyear 8.5 qualifying when he ran 5.17 at 143 mph in the eighth-mile. When eliminations began later that weekend, Pachar took down three other drivers on his way to the finals where he met with Trace Meyer. Meyer had reset the 8.5 tire record with his 5.11-second blast, but thanks to Pachar’s quicker reaction time and holeshot advantage, he took the lead and held on to make his big deal win official with a 5.16 at 143mph run.

In 2011, Pachar finished eighth overall in points in the 275-tire Xtreme Drag Radial category.

“We ran a few Street Outlaw events and some X275 things around that time with our ’04 Cobra,” added Pachar, who more than held his own with his Modular motor against bigger high-dollar builds. In 2014, he was sixth in championship points for Street Outlaw.

Despite having campaigned the Cobra heavily in NMRA contention, Pachar eventually realized that racing had to be put on hold.

“The business got busy. Family, life, growing up, and everything else took precedence, so I wasn’t racing quite as much,” Pachar shared candidly. Although his own driving duties slowed, his customer projects picked up. “We don’t get many weekends off and didn’t have much of a chance to mess with that car anymore.”

Fortunately, Pachar’s friend and Triangle Speed Shop customer, Sal Trejo, stepped in and put a stop to the misery of missing out.

“Sal wanted to build a car to campaign, so he cut us loose to do whatever we wanted,” said Pachar. “We bought this 2004 Ford Mustang Mach 1 in early 2017 from Austin Hickman, who had traded another car for this one and it was just sitting in his garage.”

What originally prompted the purchase was the decision by Pachar and Trejo to run in NMRA ProCharger Coyote Modified.

“We thought Coyote Modified would be a good challenge for us to figure out. We liked the class and that it used the Coyote platform, so we thought we would give it a shot. Plus, we had a lot of customers running in Edelbrock Renegade, so it didn’t make much sense for us to run against them there,” explained Pachar of the decision to go right to the top with ProCharger Coyote Modified.

Once it was agreed that Pachar would once again be driving, and work began on Trejo’s Mustang.

“It was a really nice car that came with some really nice stuff, so we didn’t have to change a lot,” Pachar recounted of when he and Trejo first took delivery of the 25.3 chassis. “We sat down, came up with a plan, and executed it. Luckily, it worked out well.”

As Triangle has had a longstanding relationship with Rich Groh Racing, it was a no-brainer when it came time to choose an engine builder. RGR Engines put together the 302ci Gen 1 Coyote power plant, which is comprised of a sleeved, stock block with RGR’s ported cylinder heads and RGR custom cams.

“It’s really just a standard deal with good parts in it, nothing extravagant. Diamond pistons, Oliver rods, stock crank… we basically turned them loose and told them to send us what they thought we needed,” Pachar detailed of the engine’s specs. “We actually have two engines from RGR for the car. There are some minor differences, but overall they’re fairly similar.”

As Triangle Speed Shop has 15+ years of professional experience with turbocharged applications, it was a given that Trejo’s project would also be boosted. Under its hood, the Mustang gets a whole herd of extra horses thanks to a single, class-legal 76mm Precision turbocharger and air-to-air intercooler.

Injector Dynamics 1300cc fuel injectors were fitted to feed the engine, and a MagnaFlow fuel pump with matching filters and regulators keeps the flow right where it needs to be with plenty of supply. Managing it all is a Holley EFI system, as Pachar has trusted the company’s products for years.

“Holley’s plug-and-play stuff for the Coyote platform is really nice and has a lot of features and interesting end-user capabilities with the software. We’ve learned to make stuff work really well with it,” he elaborated.

Next, Pachar called Dave Klaput at Proformance Racing Transmissions and ordered up a Turbo 400 to handle the shift duties. To finish out the drivetrain, a torque converter from Circle D Specialties was installed.

The stock-style suspension SN95 Mustang had come from its former home with a host of Racecraft goodies and Santhuff shocks and struts.

“We made a few minor modifications to some things that needed to be updated, but nothing crazy—it was really good already,” Pachar outlined of the (lack of) work that went into the suspension setup.

Strange Engineering brakes were added at all four corners to help convince the Mustang to chill out after a pass, while Weld wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson rubber frame each rotor and caliper combination. “We chose Mickey Thompson because, in the drag-radial world, they’re the leader,” Pachar affirmed.

Exterior work was kept to a minimum, as Pachar isn’t one to indulge in paint and body unless it’s truly necessary. Instead, he kept it simple and chose only to add a carbon fiber hood and front bumper sourced from “heck if I know” manufacturing.

After months of work, Trejo’s Mustang was finally finished and Pachar’s plans paid off.

“It’s really nice when a customer allows us to do something like this, to do exactly what we know will work, and we treat it as if it were our own,” confessed Pachar, who really enjoys the collaborative process with Trejo. “He’s awesome, easy going, and really great to work for.” The pair has actually worked on several projects together, most recently a Ford Lightning that could be headed for Limited Drag Radial use.

Trejo’s Mustang was officially christened at the 19th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in October of 2017. Things went well, as expected, at first, as Pachar pushed the pony into the number-three spot in ProCharger Coyote Modified qualifying with a 7.797 at 167.05 mph quarter-mile trip, just one-tenth of a second behind the leader, Tommy Annunziata.

Pachar got a first-round win over Joe Cram, but the victory came at a cost.

“We made a mistake in the tune up, since it was a new deal, and shot ourselves in the foot,” he humbly admitted of the lesson learned that meant he went out in round two thanks to a hurt engine.

With repairs quickly made, Pachar and Trejo hit up the 22nd Annual Haltech World Cup Finals: Import vs Domestic race at Maryland International Raceway less than a month later. In early November, Pachar showed that he paid attention in Kentucky and put that new knowledge to use—his 7.723 at 176.53mph run qualified him firmly in second for the large twenty-seven car field. Although he didn’t win, he was well on his way to getting a handle on the new car.

When 2018 began, Pachar had data and knew what to do with it. At the 23rd ANNUAL NMRA Spring Break Shootout season opener at Florida’s Bradenton Motorsports Park in March, he qualified third with a 7.737 at 168.53mph best effort and made it through to the semi-finals.

Pachar continued to improve at the second stop of the season, the 10th Annual NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia. Setting the bar in qualifying with a record-setting 7.643 at 171.10 mph, Pachar was on a roll and no one could stop him. A bye run in round one was followed by a win over Haley James in round two, and Pachar pushed the class elapsed time record even lower when he clocked a 7.583 at 172.32 mph in the finals to mark a new personal best, while simultaneously taking his first-ever ProCharger Coyote Modified class win when he put John Kauderer on the trailer.

Next, Pachar packed up for Pennsylvania and headed to the CJ Pony Parts 18th annual NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals presented by Vortech Superchargers at Maple Grove Raceway. A 7.646 at 175.05 mph inked his name in the number-two spot for qualifying, and that’s when things got interesting.

“I was flying back and forth because we had a big no prep race that same weekend, too,” detailed Pachar of his insanely hectic schedule for the weekend. “Well, the weather forced a schedule change to get the race in, and I didn’t make it back in time.”

Hitting the fourth event of the year, the 15th Annual NMRA Ford Super Nationals at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio, Pachar was pumped as he knew Trejo’s turbocharged Mustang was running on point. Once again, he took the number-one spot in qualifying, this time going 7.771 at 173.74 mph. Unfortunately for him, though, luck ran out in eliminations when Pachar was unable to continue after the second round.

The unexpected absence in Pennsylvania put a serious kink in Pachar’s plans, and he knew he would have to figure out a plan to make up for the lost points.

“We have our work cut out for us to make sure Haley [James] doesn’t get too far ahead in points,” joked Pachar, who takes his racing business seriously. With only two races left before the year concludes and a champion is crowed, Pachar plans to give it everything he’s got and leave nothing on the table. There will be testing, of course, before each remaining race.

“We’re always working on refining the program, tweaking converters and transmission and suspension stuff, trying to make changes for the better—not for the worse, although we sometimes do that unintentionally.”

Most recently, however, Triangle and the Pachar brothers have changed gears slightly and found success in the rapidly growing no-prep scene.

“We run operations for a few customers, and we have a small-tire, no-prep car that we’ve been really successful with,” shared Pachar, who drives a Vortech supercharged, LS-powered early ‘90s Mustang on behalf of Racetech Motorsports.

Pachar quickly realized that his heads-up racing wheelman skills translate easily to the no-prep style, as the latter is now a far cry from its street racing origins.

“Honestly, it’s almost turned into class racing. People think it’s unsafe, but as long as you’re smart and you hit your tune up right, it’s no different than a prepped track. There’s a lot of money in no-prep, and we go racing for $10,000 per race, so it’s really enticing for a lot of people. Plus, the Street Outlaws show has made it more popular so you get a lot of fans coming out to watch,” he added.

As the 2018 racing season transition into the second half of the year, Pachar has already started making plans and thinking ahead. “Of course, our goal this year was to win the championship and we’re pretty close to being where we wanted to be, but we’re still working hard and pushing towards it,” he committed. After the current NMRA schedule wraps up, though, Pachar isn’t entirely sure where Trejo’s Mustang will be headed for next. “What we do with the car really depends on NMRA’s plans. Sal [Trejo] loves NMRA, and we really enjoy going, too, so it’ll definitely be something there—just we don’t know exactly what yet.”

The Details

Owner/Driver

Owner:            Sal Trejo                    

Driver: Daniel Pachar

Hometown: Orange, Texas

Occupation: Business Owner

Class: Coyote Modified

Crew: Craig Pachar

Car Make/Model/Year: 2004 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Powertrain

Engine: Coyote

Engine builder: Rich Groh Racing Engines (RGR)

Displacement: 302 ci

Block: Stock

Bore: Stock

Stroke: Stock

Crank: Stock

Rods: Oliver

Pistons: Diamond

Heads: Stock with RGR porting

Valvetrain: Stock with PAC springs

Cam type: Custom RGR

EFI system: Holley EFI

Power-adder: Precision Turbo

Fuel brand and type: VP Racing Fuels C16

Headers and exhaust: Custom

Transmission: TH400

Transmission Builder: Proformance Transmissions

Clutch/shifter/torque converter: Circle D 252mm

Rearend: Racecraft 9-inch

Chassis

Suspension (Front): Racecraft stock-style tubular components

Suspension (Rear): Racecraft stock-style tubular components

Brakes (Front): Strange Engineering disc

Brakes (Rear): Strange Engineering disc

Wheels (front): Weld Racing V-Series

Wheels (Rear):  Weld

Tires (Front): Mickey Thompson ET Front, 26.0/4.0-17

Tires (Rear): Mickey Thompson ET Street Radial Pro, P275/60R15

Aftermarket body modifications: Carbon Hood and bumper cover

Vehicle weight: 3,300 lbs

Quickest et: 7.58

Best 60-foot: 1.14

Fastest mph: 176

Sponsors: Triangle Speed Shop, Racetech Motorsports, Circle D, Proformance, LaBastarda Racing


Ainsley Jacobs
Ainsley Jacobs
P.TEN Marketing's Ainsley Jacobs is a freelance motorsports marketing professional with extensive experience in marketing and communications, website development, social media management, photography, journalism, and more.
http://www.PTENmarketing.com
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