PERRY HALL, Md. – In preparation for a solid 2013 debut in the ultra-competitive NHRA Pro Stock arena, two-time Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series world champion Lee Zane and his McHugh Zane Motorsports partner Kevin McHugh have entered into a multi-race agreement with MB Race Engines, Inc. for engine leasing and support during their first season of competition.
Benza and Martino, both longtime Pro Stock competitors with roots in the Competition Eliminator category, collectively amassed seven Pro Stock victories in 20 final rounds and won races and broke national records for e.t. and speed in Competition Eliminator. The pair brought together their extensive racing and engine building experience to form MB Race Engines, Inc. in the early part of 2012.
“Kevin and myself, along with my brother-in-law and crew chief Brian Van Poppel, all sat down with Bob and Tom, took a look at their state-of-the-art shop and what they had to offer, and realized that it was the perfect fit,” said Zane, the 2004 and 2008 Stock Eliminator world champion. “It was hard to turn down what they are able to provide.”
In addition to leasing motors to McHugh Zane Motorsports beginning in 2013 out of their Farmingdale, N.J., facility, MB Race Engines will also provide on-site support at every NHRA national event that the team attends, as well as any test sessions that the team participates in prior to a projected debut at the Toyota NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown this spring.
“We’re optimistic, but we’re also realistic,” said Zane, who will drive the Pontiac GXP formerly owned by Pro Stock icon Warren Johnson and previously piloted by Johnson’s son, 40-time national event winner Kurt Johnson.
“We plan to qualify for the events that we attend, and we think we can do that with the guidance and power that MB Race Engines can provide. We may not make any real big noise in the beginning, but we believe we’re on the right path and that we are surrounding ourselves with the right people and the right equipment. The main goal is to walk across the stage on Sunday, and then we’ll figure out how to turn on win lights from there with their assistance.”
Martino and Benza are able and willing to offer a lease program to other Pro Stock and sportsman racers as well as teams on the circle track circuit, but they are particularly enthusiastic to join forces with Zane and McHugh in the first of what they hope will be many seasons in the thrilling Pro Stock category where races are won or lost by mere thousandths-of-a-second.
“We’re very optimistic and we believe that with testing before their debut, Lee will have every opportunity to qualify,” said Benza. “Pro Stock is very difficult, but the research and development at MB Race Engines is moving along at a very fast pace, and we’re making more and more progress every day that will serve all of our customers, both current and future. We know that Lee will have all the power he needs to qualify, and he is a good driver.
“Their team is a young, start-up Pro Stock operation, but Lee and Kevin are going about it methodically and putting together all the right pieces. We think they have the right components and the right level of desire to really get this thing started, and we are looking forward to being part of it.”