Maryland International Raceway’s Haltech World Cup Finals: Import vs Domestics race is always a big one for many reasons. Between the good air and the end of the season scheduling, it’s become expected that racers will shoot for the moon and crush records along the way. It is also one of the few opportunities that the quicker domestic cars get to compete on a full quarter-mile distance, presenting a unique chance to go into uncharted territory.
Last year, at the 2017 iteration of the event, Massachusetts-based driver and multi-time champion Manny Buginga reset the 275 radial tire quarter-mile elapsed time record in a big way—this year, he’s gunning to push it even further.
While racing with his MJM Construction Corp-backed ’03 Mustang Cobra in early November, 2017, Buginga blasted the 1,320 in 6.480-seconds at 218.19 mph during Radial vs Modified qualifying to set the record and also capture the number one spot, of course. The feat was accomplished with a single 98mm turbo and small block Ford DiSomma Racing Engines power in NMRA/NMCA Street Outlaw trim (minus 100 pounds) and the 275 radial record has stood ever since, but now Buginga wants to best himself and has been working hard to make it happen.
Buginga removed a significant amount of ballast from “Big Red” as he’s able to run at Limited Drag Radial-legal weight for the WCF race. He’s also upgraded to a larger 106mm Garrett GTX turbocharger, and hired noted tuner Jamie Miller of Pro Line Racing to ensure the car gets what it wants via its FuelTech engine management system. “Basically, we just put the car on a diet and then we’re gonna let it eat,” laughed Buginga.
Plans are to go testing next week at Cecil County Dragway in preparation for the 23rd Annual World Cup Finals race on October 31-November 4, 2018, and Buginga has his hopes hanging on a possible 6.26-second blast at upwards of 230 mph or faster.
To all other 275 tire drivers: consider yourselves warned, because when Buginga decides he wants something – nothing stops him.