Everyone that has been involved in drag racing, whether a tuner, driver, owner, crew, or spectator knows that races can and do come down to inches. It's those inches that can mean the win, the money, or even the championship. At Menscer Motorsports LLC, they are doing everything possible to make sure that your shocks aren't the thing that costs you those inches.
For those that don't know, Menscer Motorsports is a smaller shop located in Fayetteville, NC. It is owned and operated by the Shock Nerd himself Mark Menscer. The staff is made up of Shop Manager Craig Shuffield, John Mellon & Rick Ramos. Each of these guys is a shock and strut specialist. You will certainly see their rig at most small tire races providing track side racer support, or find Mark providing chassis tuning assistance to some of the quickest and fastest cars on the planet. Cars from small tire radial to big tire pro mods.
What is the one thing beside the ability to make power, that is more important than anything else in drag racing? The answer should be simple, it's suspension and chassis. It doesn't matter if you make 400hp or 4000hp, if you can't get it to the ground you aren't going anywhere. That is where the Menscer Motorsports 4-way adjustable shocks come in to play.
The 4-way adjustable shock that Menscer Motorsports offers is something that was a project taken over by Mark with the single purpose of fine tuning it for drag racing purposes. Mark said that he saw a need for an unorthodox tuning approach and for more fine-tuning with the high horsepower radial cars. The design for the 4-way was conceived for circle track and road racing use by Afco Engineer Alan Wilber. Mark saw immediately that it could be a great tool to use in a straight line as well. Mark stated to us "Alan is extremely smart and doesn't hesitate to break new ground. This design is truly exceptional, as well as elegantly simple at the same time."
There are a lot of technical stats that I am going to cover in just a minute for you so that you have a better understanding of what this piece can really do. First, let's look at which car was the first to test and run these shocks. If you follow the radial world, you already know exactly who the Bruder Brothers are in their gorgeous X275 foxbody Mustang. They were the first to use the new Menscer Motorsports 4 ways and the performance spoke for itself. The first race with them on was NMRA/NMCA Superbowl in Joliet last year. At this race, Bruders won the race. To really put the cherry on top, during the first 91 passes with these shocks, they only spun the tires 3 times. They also reset the X275 record three separate times during the rest of the season as well.
Now I think we should get into some of the details. There are a few things that make this shock different. First and foremost is that this shock works by way of a single circuit recirculating design, instead of the more common design which involves pulling and pushing the piston through oil. In essence the 4 way shocks dampen suspension forces by acting like a pump. Although this is not the first shock to utilize a recirculating design, the metering system used is unlike any shock available in drag racing.
This system allows for fully independent adjustment of high and low speed rebound and compression damping. Each adjustment affects the pressure drop across the main piston, resulting in response times that are up to 10x faster than conventional, piston-type shock absorbers.
Results are a substantial gain in traction and tire stability. Another benefit of the single circuit recirculating design is an extremely wide range of adjustment, which combined with the ability to alter the signature of the shock, gives tuners the most versatile package available in drag racing today.
These shocks can be tuned to act as a linear, digressive, progressive, and even as a regressive signature on both compression and rebound. They allow for targeted adjustment to traverse bumpy conditions without sacrificing the all important starting line performance. By balancing the pressure on both sides of the piston there is a moderating effect that takes place when these shocks are put into tire shake, which allows them to resist ratcheting caused by lock up. The result is a reduction of aborted passes due to tire shake.
All this adjustment is done after analyzing information gathered from shock sensors. These shock sensors are connected to a Racepak data logger and reviewed after each run. Sensors are measuring displacement from ride height. Through the data logger software, the customer can create math channels to monitor what is called shaft velocity. That is the speed in which the shaft in the shock is moving up and down. This information helps to determine the particular adjustments needed to fine-tune performance. What that means for you the consumer is that you will see every little transition in the track, every part of the run where the tire is unhappy, and have the tools to tune for those.
What about the other things that a potential customer may need to know? The cost of this set of shocks starts at $4850 and goes up to $6000 fully loaded. Mark stated that the average freshening is annual, but that will depend on the amount of laps you put on them. The stated turn around on a refresh is 3-5 business days. A huge selling point for any of you out there thinking about running these is that Mark is personally involved in the building and tuning of each and every one of these shocks. Their shop is very small and specialized. Each of the three employees is first and foremost a shock absorber specialist that Mark has trained and mentored. They can all be found on the weekends at various race tracks tuning cars as well as assisting customers with their racing program. Unlike other places, where you have no idea who is working on them, at Menscer Motorsports their 4-way adjustable shocks will always have Mark putting his eyes on hands on them, and assisted by the best shock specialists in the business.
Since we have covered some of the specs in layman's terms, we can talk about who this shock is right for. At this price point and at this level of tunability there is a certain type of car that needs these. The three classes that stand out the most are X275, RvW, and Pro Mod. You can also add Top Sportsman, Pro Stock, Outlaw 10.5, and anyone at those power levels. As you can see just by looking at the top 32 qualifiers in RvW at Lights Out 7, Menscer Motorsports is the shock company to have on your hotrod. Out of those top 32 qualifiers, 30 of them were Menscer Motorsports customers.
Since the shock debut in January they have found their way into the winners circle at most of the radial tire events in the the country, and have become standard place in the world or resetting radial e.t. records. They have been as quick as .984 short time as well. The are also setting the MPH records on cars like Dewayne Mills and Daniel Pharris. Aside from radial, they have shown how amazing they work in Pro Mod as evident by recent NMCA Pro Mod winner Kevin Fiscus and NHRA up and coming pro mod superstar Michael Biehle's Mustang.
When you look at who dominates in the radial world, there are two things that they all have in common. Those two things are that the car makes huge power numbers and they put that power to the ground. It's become very obvious that Menscer Motorsports is the front runner of putting power to the ground and making these car work at 4000hp.
Still in doubt on whether or not you should step up your program to these shocks? Here's a small list of clients using the Menscer Motorsports 4-ay shocks. Dewayne Mills, Daniel Pharris, Josh Klugger, Kevin Fiscus, Kevin Mullins, Keith Berry, Brad Edwards, Steven Fereday, Andrew Alepa Racing, Keith Haney's Radial Car, Grant McCrary/Rick Thornton, Bruder Brothers, Charles Hull, Fletcher Cox & Shawn Ayers, Michael Beihle, along with some of the quickest grudge and N/T cars in the country.
If you are looking to contact Menscer Motorsports to further discuss your shock needs, you can reach them via their website www.menscermotorsports.com, Facebook, Instagram, or more traditional methods of email firstname.lastname@example.org & phone 910-491-2798.