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“Then we learned about Ford’s new engine program; they were coming out with that new 500-cubic-inch engine for Pro Stock. So we came to the PRI show (in 2009) and said to Roush-Yates, wouldn’t it be interesting to take this 500-cubic-inch engine, put twin turbos on it, put it in a new Mustang and go Pro Mod racing? And everybody loved the idea, and then it’s like, damn, now we’ve got to do it.”
Jeff Clark, national sales director for Roush-Yates Performance Engine Group, confirms it was a project enthusiastically received from the beginning.
“They (Matusek and Aeromotive) heard and knew that we were getting involved in Pro Stock with Justin Humphreys and based on that and the new engine that Ford was bringing out they wanted to know if we would have interest in going to their market, to their division. So it was not our idea, I’ll admit, it was more their idea, but when we started to study it, it was obviously a fit,” Clark says. “We were looking for new markets, things that pertain to new valve-train technology that we have, high RPMs, quick acceleration rates, and that’s exactly what drag racing is all about.”
Development of the new powerplant fell to former Top Sportsman and, most recently, ADRL Extreme 10.5 competitor Sandy Wilkins, who about a year ago moved most of his engine building equipment to the former Roush-Yates NASCAR Nationwide shop in Mooresville, NC, where he now serves as the company’s drag racing program manager.
“We’re adding my experience to Roush-Yates’ experience and trying to build an even better drag racing program than what I had,” he states. “Steve (Matusek) would not have brought (his turbo engine project) to me at Wilkins Motorsports; that’s a higher level project than I would normally have taken on. But with Roush-Yates we do have the resources and ability to build anything we need in house and when we need it and that makes it nice to do a one-off project.”
Wilkins explains the new Matusek motor is based on the same 500-cubic-inch iron block and hemispherical cylinder heads used in Ford’s new Pro Stock application, but with a lower compression ratio to deal with about 40 pounds of boost from twin 88-millimeter Precision Turbo turbochargers.