|05/09/09 10:49PM||Ford, Muscle Cars, Mustang, NASCAR|
A Mustang Racing in NASCAR?
Brent Hajek already has a passion for living, but that passion burns brightest when he’s talking about racing, racing history and his love of all things Ford. Fortunately for fans of Ford, Hajek’s passion has prompted the Ames, Oklahoma native and owner of Hajek Motorsports to pursue his own place in racing history.
Hajek Motorsports has been around since the 1970s, and over the years Brent Hajek has amassed an impressive collection of historical race cars, predominantly Ford, that once carried some of the biggest names in racing.
Those vehicles include a NHRA Gas Ronda ‘66 Ford Mustang, Bob Glidden’s ‘88 Ford Thunderbird, Parnelli Jones’ ‘63 NASCAR Mercury Marauder, David Pearson’s ‘69 Ford Torino Talladega, and Bill Elliott’s ’87 Ford Thunderbird, which is the all-time NASCAR speed record holder.
For Hajek, a successful oilman and a farmer, owning motorsports history wasn’t enough. He wanted to make his own racing history.
“It all changed when I first saw the Mustang FR500C,” said Hajek. “That car was amazing and it really got me thinking about how we could really accomplish some cool things if we put our minds to it. The FR500C has won championships and it has won high profile races, but I felt like it hasn’t received the credit or attention it deserves. So I decided it was time to chase some of these records and to make a little history. I started talking with the guys at Ford Racing and they have been incredibly supportive of our efforts.”
Last August, he took an E-85 converted Mustang FR500C to the Bonneville Salt Flats in search of the land speed record for an Ethanol powered car. Forced to run in the unlimited fuel class, his E-85 Ethanol powered Mustang posted an initial run of over 252 mph. A mechanical failure didn’t allow the team to make the validation run, but the 252 mph run earned their car the unofficial designation by some as the ‘fastest production Mustang on earth.’
On Wednesday, May 13, Hajek Motorsports will embark on its next challenge, with technical support from Ford Racing, when they attempt to break the 22-year-old NASCAR speed record held by Bill Elliott. Elliott himself will pilot Hajek’s E-85 Mustang FR500C, which has been reconfigured to NASCAR specs, at Talladega in an attempt to break his 212.089 mph qualifying lap from 1987 at the same track. FIA officials will be on site to verify the attempt and to validate the record.
Hajek Motorsports and Ford Racing hopes to continue the success from Hajek’s last Ford Racing-related program. It was Hajek who eagerly accepted the challenge of taking delivery of the first 40th Anniversary Mustang FR500CJ, better known as the Mustang Cobra Jet. With only a month to prepare, he entered four Cobra Jet’s for the NHRA season opener in Pomona, Calif. Not only did his team meet the deadline, but Hajek’s Cobra Jet driven by John Calvert duplicated the success of the original CJ’s by winning its debut race at the NHRA Winternationals.
“Brent and his team typify the high level of enthusiasm and dedication we see from a lot of our grass roots racers and private teams that campaign Ford cars and trucks in a wide variety of series every week,” said Brian Wolfe, director of Ford North American Motorsports. “Hajek Motorsports has set their focus on breaking a variety of racing records and, although they are a private team, we are glad to aid them with engineering and technical support in their quest to make motorsports history while driving a Ford.”
“It got to the point where I was running out of cars to collect so I decided I better create some new classics,” said Hajek. “Nobody has ever taken the same car to Bonneville and Talladega, so we decided to be the first.