DINWIDDIE, VA — For the first time in three months, the Frank Brandao-owned Edelbrock/Lucas Oil “King Kong 7” 2018 Dodge Dart will be in action and the Musi Racing team couldn’t be happier.
Lizzy Musi will return behind the wheel of the record-breaking nitrous-assisted car for this weekend’s Shakedown Nationals XVIII at Virginia Motorsports Park, marking the car’s first on-track appearance since the PDRA Carolina Showdown at Darlington Dragway in mid-June.
A hectic summer schedule of filming for the Street Outlaws TV series on the Discovery Channel has kept the Musi Racing team busy, but the team has shifted its focus for this weekend and has big plans in the Pro Mod class.
“Lizzy’s excited, the whole team is excited and Frank is excited to see his car run,” Pat Musi said. “We know the car is fast and we feel good about going there. These cars are so on edge, but I think we’ve got something up our sleeve.”
Musi kept the exact details close to the vest, but the end goal — if the conditions present themselves — is to be the first big-tire nitrous Pro Mod to run in the 3.50s in the eighth-mile.
“It’s out there if the conditions are right,” Musi said. “It’s up our sleeve and I think we can do it. We’ve gone 3.61 there, so we know it’s doable. There’s a lot of nitrous cars capable of doing it this weekend, and we know it’s there. We’ll find out soon enough.”
Before those opportunities come, Musi wants to have everything ready to make a run at another shootout-style event win, which has always been a specialty for Pat Musi. Racing against a number of different power adders in the Pro Mod class at January’s U.S. Street Nationals, Lizzy Musi qualified No. 1 and rolled to the event win.
Several months later, the team would love a repeat scenario against what is expected to be another standout group of Pro Mod competitors at VMP.
“We’ll get our hot tuneup and cooler-temperature tuneup ready for when we need it, but I think we’ll have a couple of surprises out there,” Musi said. “I compare a race like this to Bradenton, and we were able to come out on top there. It’s a great opportunity for us. Lizzy has such a hectic schedule, but we had an open window and we wanted to run the car for Frank. It’s a great car and it’s a fast car.”
It’s also a race with significant history and one that added some extra flavor a year ago with its special Radial vs. the World versus Pro Mod matchup. The Judgement Day matchup continues this year between the eight top qualifiers in each of the two classes, putting bragging rights — and an added payout — on the line as well.
Along with the chance to win the overall event and set a record, it’s a weekend loaded with opportunities and Musi Racing is ready to make the most of it.
“Lizzy has her act together on the tree, and I think we’ve upped our game so we can lean on it when we need to,” Musi said. “It’s been a while since she ran that car, so she’s excited. We’re thankful for Frank and great sponsors like Edelbrock and Lucas Oil, so we’re ready to roll.”