Melanie Salemi Racing
Martin, MI – Pro Mod and RVW standout Melanie Salemi and her Buffalo, NY based team will venture a little off of their common path and head to US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan this weekend. Salemi will campaign her “Purple Reign” 68 Firebird Pro Mod and compete for the $10,000 winning prize. “We haven’t raced at US 131 in about four years so we are really looking forward getting back on the track there. It’s a beautiful facility and the weather looks great for the weekend. We look forward to running against some different but yet stout competition, which always makes it exciting”, stated Melanie.
“Although most of the Mid-West Series races are far travels from Buffalo, NY, Martin, Michigan is only about 8 hours.” Jon Salemi said, “It’s a great area of the country, pretty close to home for us and new potential cliental for all of our business’. At the end of the day we run our car to promote, Resolution Racing Services, G-Force Race Cars and MSR Performance Racing Engines as well as our dedicated marketing partnered companies. It’s a great way to reach out and race in a familiar but not often traveled to area.”
The event kicks off on Thursday with testing for all classes followed by qualifying Friday evening with eliminations on Saturday.
Female Pro Mod standout Melanie Salemi and her Buffalo, New York based team plan to set the stage once again as Salemi will debut the Eddie Whelan owned, screw blown Radial Vs. The World 2019 Camaro at the World Street Nationals in Orlando, Florida November 7-12, 2019.
Salemi will become the first female to aggressively campaign in the wildest class in Doorslammer racing. She states, “I’m extremely excited for the awesome opportunity for my team brought forth by Eddie Whelan. We owe all of this effort to him and his Al-Lee Installations team. He continuously provides us the opportunity to have the best of the best. I don’t doubt that in due time this car is going to be at the top of the class”.
The Al-Lee Installations state of the art 2019 Camaro was built and assembled by Melanie’s Brother in law Jim Salemi of G-Force Race Cars. Power for the new ride will be brand new C rotor screw blown Hemi from Mike Stawicki, owner of MSR Performance Racing Engines. The engine will be backed by a five speed transmission from Liberty’s Gears coupled to a QuickDrive Lock up drive unit managed by a Neal Chance billet torque converter. The car will also feature the brand new V2 Masterspline billet 11 inch rear end housing dressed in Strange Engineering brakes and hubs.
Leicester, NY – The Mid Summer Mayhem race kicks off tomorrow with Pro Modified testing followed by all qualifying and elimination rounds on Saturday. If you are anywhere close to Western New York this weekend, make sure that a stop at Empire Dragway is on your agenda. Some of the hottest Pro Mod cars in the country will be facing off for a $5000 prize along with Nostalgia Nitro Burning Funny Cars and Outlaw Dragsters. It will be a fun filled couple of days for everyone.
“After the last Pro Mod Mania event got rained out, we collectively came up with a new date for the Pro Mod’s to race at Empire and with the Funny Cars and Dragsters being already scheduled we figured it was a perfect fit. The stands will be full and friends and family will enjoy seeing a variety of cars.” Explained Melanie.
Before testing begins on Friday, be sure to tune into Buffalo’s FM 103.3 The Edge. Melanie Salemi and Mike Janis will be on air with Shred & Regan at 9:20am to talk about this weekend’s race and all things PRO MOD! It should be a great segment.
Melanie Salemi’s 68 Firebird Pro Mod will make a rare appearance in the Western New York area this weekend at Empire Dragway in Leicester, New York July 5th-6th. Salemi, who is fresh off her runner-up performance at the PDRA Summer Nationals in Valdosta, Georgia, will be joined by an impressive bunch of other national and regional based Pro Mod’s to do battle on the famed Empire Dragway track.
She stated, “I haven’t raced at Empire since the 2014 season when I competed in my Top Dragster so I’m excited to get back and race locally for all of our family, friends and fans. Owner Jerry Scaccia and track manager Patrick Budd have been working hard on all of the great improvements at the facility and each year it gets better and better. There is nothing that builds our sport more than having a quality facility and they are on point with that. It’s also very special to be able to compete at a track that Jim Salemi and Mike Stawicki competed at on a weekly basis back some 30 years ago to build the foundation for Jon and I to carry on the tradition and love for this sport”.
Melanie Salemi had a couple of objectives to focus on as her team rolled through the gates of Virginia Motorsports Park for the final race of the PDRA season. First and foremost was to continue the strong performances that her G-Force Race Cars built 68 Firebird has been known for. Secondly was to capitalize on the great atmospheric conditions that this event continually produces year after year. That was taken care of as she staged her Resolution Racing Services tuned ‘Purple Reign’ Pro Boost entry and ripped right from A to B on its first test run with a staggering 3.64 at 205 mph run. That set the stage for what was going to be an epic race for the team based in Buffalo, New York. Melanie would also produce another 3.64 but this time at 206 mph to close out Thursday testing.
As qualifying run number 1 approached, Salemi would have her one slip up at this event. Husband and tuner Jon Salemi stated, “I just missed the tune up on Q1. The car was too slow early and it set the car to the right and when the lock up came in it forced the car into a huge power wheelie and was close to the wall so Melanie was forced to lift subsequently, giving up the top spot in qualifying. As conditions through qualifying changed the MSM team made low ET runs for each session of the race in every round.
Salemi’s 3.66 at 206 ended up #2 on the sheet and then she systematically removed each opponent with an onslaught of runs between 3.66 and 3.62 all between 204 to 206 mph. In round 2 Melanie blasted to a national Pro Boost record of 3.624 @ 206.20 mph. She then went on to win the event which couldn’t have been a better way to close out the 2018 PDRA season.
The Shakedown at the Summit has been one of Melanie Salemi’s favorite races ever since she made her first ¼ mile pro mod blast down Summit Motorsports Park’s surface in 2015. Although she had made many ¼ mile runs in her dragster over the years, being in her pro mod was a new learning experience. Going 5.88 at 239 on her first full lap was something she had only dreamed of.
Fast forward to 2016 when Melanie saw herself in the final of the first $40k Shakedown at the Summit. Her and her team were quite confident they had what it was going to take, to take the win as Melanie had made consistent 5.80 passes throughout eliminations. That was quickly halted as Kevin Fiscus motored on down the track for the win in the final as Melanie struggled to get off the starting line. Ever since that day Melanie and her team has been determined to go back to the shakedown to redeem themselves.
2017 Melanie qualified #1 with a 5.71 @ 250 and saw herself out in the semi final after a red light start.
In drag racing we always say there are so many ways to loose, and only one way to win. With a little luck on Salemi’s side this weekend her team was able to conquer their goal of finally winning the Shakedown at the Summit.
Salemi and her team are planning on attending the Firecracker Nationals and then will re-evaluate what will happen from there. A lot of time and effort has gone into working on their NHRA program, so they are not going to be totally shelving it, but right now, getting the car back out there and going back to a familiar combination should help the team stay afloat.
“I’m really looking forward to competing in the Pro Boost class again, I have enjoyed the few NHRA races we attended, but like one of my fans recently reminded me, PDRA is my home. We wanted to be able to run both NHRA and a few of the PDRA races but as things became a reality there just wasn’t enough funding to do that. With that being said, our businesses needed tending to and that’s what we have all been focusing on the last few weeks. ”Stated Salemi.
Retuning to PDRA competition in the Moroso Pro Boost class is something that Melanie and her team are excited about. “I’ve missed driving my car in “outlaw trim”” explained Salemi. “The quarter mile will always be my favorite but driving the car with the 5 Speed Liberty, the Neal Chance lockup torque converter and Quickdrive has always been really fun. It’s like a whole different car between the 2 different set ups.”