Photos Courtesy of Justin Cyrnek
Other than the start of racing itself, of course, one of the most exciting things about flipping the calendar to a new year is seeing all the off-season builds come out from under their veils of secrecy. Illinois-based racer and MX235 hot shot, Justin Cyrnek, stole the social media show recently when he posted some photos of his nasty new Mustang.
Prior to the spy shots making the rounds, in November of 2017, Cyrnek announced that his Larry Jeffers Racecars-built, turbocharged 2013 Mustang GT had been sold to his friend and fellow radial tire racer, Brad Medlock.
During his 2017 season, Cyrnek captured multiple wins with the car and reset the 8.5/235-tire elapsed time and speed records multiple times. His quickest and fastest 235 radial world record (non-class-legal) eighth-mile pass of 4.47 at 170 mph in October of 2017 was joined by a 4.56 at 160 mph hit in MX235 competition, and a 4.44 at 168 mph blast in Outlaw 8.5 trim.
“I bought that car brand new in 2012 and it was really sentimental, so I wasn’t originally considering selling it,” Cyrnek recalled of the tough decision to part with his pony. “But I gave Brad a number and he said ‘okay,’ and that was it. It was tough to see it go, but he’s a great friend and we compete together and talk a lot so it will be like it’s staying in the family.” The car’s tuner and mastermind, Matt Bell of Redline Motorsports, will stay on with it to help Medlock.
In addition to his now-jettisoned green car, Cyrnek had simultaneously purchased another base-model 2013 GT, except the second was silver. “We raced that car in 2015 and 2016 in MX235 and did some 26” tire No Time stuff with it, then at the end of the season, I dropped it off at Larry Jeffers Race Cars to do some improvements,” explained Cyrnek of where the silver sister had been hiding.
LJRC was tasked with honorable job of upgrading the chassis to SFI 25.3 specs. In the process, the team back-halfed Cyrnek’s Mustang and tubed the front end. They also fabricated the sexy, sleek one-piece carbon fiber front end in-house, and flanked it with a set of carbon doors from Ultra-Carbon. “The car was at Jeffers’ for about eight or nine months. It wasn’t a rush deal, since I had my other car running, and I really wanted them to take their time and do it right,” Cyrnek noted of the process that paid off bigtime.
“I started examining the MX235 rules, and I decided to go with a twin Forced Induction turbo setup,” Cyrnek elaborated of the choice to run the twice-the-fun combination. Although Jeffers fabricated the plumbing for the turbo system, it was Tony Schroeder of Automotive Engine Specialties (AES) Racing Engines who took point on the powerplant itself. “Tony took the MMR Gen X billet Coyote block and topped it with high-flowing GT350 heads. He spent a lot of time refining the heads even further, too, to make them even better.” The completed, competition-ready 351 ci engine was then paired with a ProFormance Racing three-speed TH400 automatic transmission and Coan converter.
With the engine delivered and installed, LJRC continued their work on the three-link, stock-style suspension-equipped Mustang. A Racecraft K-member was installed, along with a set of Santhuff struts in the front and Penske Racing shocks from Adam Lambert in the back. Up front, stoppers from the Brake Man can be found, while Strange Engineering supplied the rear set. Finally, Weld V-series wheels wrapped in diminutive Mickey Thompson drag radial rubber were bolted on.
“All throughout the process, Matt Bell of Redline Motorsports and Eric Holliday of JPC Racing have chipped in a ton of advice and help. We talk pretty much every day, and there’s no doubt I wouldn’t have gotten it to this point without their help,” Cyrnek said, grateful of the guidance and support he received from the industry greats.
Cyrnek selected a Haltech EFI system and teamed up with Summers Motorsports, and was happy to have Steve Summers on board, adding “Steve can do anything. He’s helped set up everything from wiring to the chassis. You name it, Steve can do it – and do it right. He’s so particular on every detail, it’s quite impressive.”
Summers’ performed his trademark expert wiring and finishing work so that Cyrnek’s silver Mustang was ready to be loaded into the trailer just a few days ahead of Donald “Duck” Long’s “Lights Out 9” race at South Georgia Motorsports Park in early February, 2018. Once there, Cyrnek will begin testing (in either Limited Drag Radial or Pro 275) and working through refining the new combination, while tuning will be a collaborative effort between several different parties.
After LO9, Cyrnek intends to follow the MX235 schedule as much as possible with his newly-finished yet already-intimidating Mustang, and will add various other events such as Tyler Crossnoe’s “Outlaw Street Car Reunion V” race in April. “After that, we’ll just see what the car wants and go from there,” he asserted of his plans.