Any lingering questions concerning the new K&N Mustang RTR’s prospective for blistering speed were unequivocally resolved the weekend of April 5th and 6th. Following their impressive inaugural showing at Sonoma Raceway, up next for Dave Martis and the K&N Motorsports team on their NASA American Iron series schedule was Button Willow Raceway Park, a few klicks outside Bakersfield, California.
K&N Mustang RTR
“Saturday’s race went well,” reported Martis, K&N’s R&D Manager and driver/builder of the RTR. “I qualified P4 and raced to second place through most of the race behind Corey Weber’s Agent 47 Mustang. Then two laps from the end, I looped it trying a late braking move and ended up in fifth. That night my back started bothering me. Sunday morning I was in a lot of pain. My back was jacked-up from the Saturday’s race.”
“Fellow racer Ryan Walton’s engine blew up during Saturday’s race. He’s a really good conscientious driver, so I asked him if he would sub for me Sunday. He said sure. He took the car out for the morning practice and he was a couple of seconds faster a lap than the competition.”
After their first outing, in which Martis drove the K&N Mustang powered by a 387 horsepower Ford Coyote 5.0-liter engine to two solid fourth place finishes, he remarked that the handling wasn’t yet in the zone. Then at Buttonwillow, the K&N crew would be called on to redial the handling once again to better suit Walton’s driving.
"We made some adjustments to get the car handling better to his liking and he qualified on the pole,” Martis said. “During the race, he and Corey battled back and forth for the lead. The car’s handling still wasn’t quite right and Ryan spun. He caught back up to the leader, only to spin again. He caught the leader once again, but got blocked by an out of class Corvette who got in the way, and kept him from making a last second move for the win.”
Built in close cooperation with their many exceptional partners, the K&N Mustang RTR will be back in action on May 3rd and 4th at Spring Mountain Motorsports Park in Pahrump, Nevada. This Southern California Region NASA race will be a crossover with NASA Arizona.