Words by Steve Matusek
Photos by Jeff Burk, Ron Lewis and courtesy Steve Matusek
Aeromotive President Steve Matusek is another drag racer who started up a racing business to support his drag racing habit. And, fortunately for all concerned, he has been very successful in both endeavors. Steve is a second generation Ford racer. He is following in the step of his dad who raced Ford-powered altereds with ‘Cammer “ big block engines and later switched over to a Ford Wedge-powered Maverick. Steve took over the driving chores of the Maverick about the same time he and his partners started the Aeromotive fuel systems company. It wasn’t too long after that when Steve ordered a 2000 model Mustang and ran that as a 8.90/9.90 car with the Ford “Shotgun Hemi” engine. He ran that car for several years.
He eventually sold that car and took some time off, but then decided to build a new car with a new engine combination -- one that could compete in a variety of classes including the NHRA’s Competition Eliminator BB/AT class, the NMRA top classes, and even in the ADRL Extreme 10.5 class or Pro Nitrous class that also allows turbocharged powered cars to compete.
In his first full year of competition Steve and his crew have experienced just about all of the highs and lows that a racer can experience. Steve had a major crash in the Mustang at St. Louis early in the season injuring himself and the’stang then a near crash at Chicago. After the ST.Louis incident the team rebuilt the car, came back and so far this season has qualified number one in NHRA Competition Eliminator four times. The Mustang, using a turbocharged Ford “Modular” engine, has become one of the most successful turbocharged cars in NHRA competition since Buddy Ingersol ran a turbo-charged Pinto some 30 years ago.
So, DRO decided to do a feature on this car and team and, in a radical departure of policy, we have allowed Steve to write his own story after reviewing what he wrote. Not only did we get a unique first person tech/car feature, but we saved the cost of paying a writer to do the story. It’s a win/win situation.