We spoke with Mark Menscer, the Founder and head shock nerd at Menscer Motorsports today regarding their entry into the late model market. We were also lucky enough to spend some time discussing this with John Mellon, who really heads up this project at Menscer Motorsports.
About three years ago Mark stated that they were doing some custom applications for late model setups, and that is when they decided to start getting into the late model market. By starting with some of the custom applications, it allowed Mark and John to learn what is needed when it comes to a 4000-pound car with 600 horsepower. This was the start of what turned out to be a jump into the huge late model performance market.
In speaking with Mark about the late model market, I asked what makes Menscer Motorsports shocks and struts different than other companies that have been in the market longer. He stated that one of the biggest differences is that unlike off the shelf setups you would normally see someone buy, at Menscer Motorsports, you are going to get the same quality, R&D, and performance with your late model setup as their 4000 horsepower RvW clients do.
John reiterated what Mark said and went on to say that when you call for your late model needs, he will ask you a lot of the same types of questions he would ask an X275 or RvW racer. How much does your car weigh? What tire are you running? What kind of horsepower range are you at? All of these are questions are used to make sure that your shocks and struts are set up for your specific combination.
My concern when first looking at this was the wear and tear that a shock/strut setup in a late model car would be subject to versus a race only setup. Mark said that because of the technology already built into their race setups that street setups would be perfectly fine. There isn’t any worry about side load, heat, etc. One of the biggest things that Mark mentioned was that the Rockwell Hardness of their shafts is much harder and more durable than almost anyone else in the industry. What that means for you is that you are going to get a product that is going to withstand that punishment you are going to dish out.
Talking to John gave me some very valuable insight about their decision process as well. He said that they felt the late model market was well underserved when it came to high quality shocks and struts. Cars like Mustangs, Mopars, Camaros, and Cadillacs deserved the same amount of quality that their race car clients received. John went on to discuss that most of their clients are late model race cars, but both he and Mark said that there wouldn’t be an issue with using these setups on a daily driver as well. They in fact have clients that compete in Drag Week each year as well.
Another thing that I found that seems to set the Menscer Motorsports product apart from others is the time they spend making sure that even the smallest aspect of each build is viewed as important as the other. Mark specs out his own shock oil. This is the same type of oil you would find in 24-hour endurance race cars. Along with the oil, the seals, O-rings, and just about every other part and piece that is used to build your shocks and struts. With that said, Mark did mention that he recommends sending your shocks/struts in at the end of each season to be freshened up. This ensures that the investment you make into your setup continues to perform at its absolute best year after year.
Since this project was really John’s baby so to speak, I wanted to know what he finds the most difficult with the late model market. There were actual a couple of things that he addressed. The first of which is the constant manufacture changes that are made on different models. Take for example the new S550 Mustang chassis. He is still working on being able to fit a coil over on the S550. Another obstacle to overcome was one that every company fights with, and that is just getting the word out and educating the late model base on the importance of using high quality shocks & struts. Hence the reason that Mark and John were speaking exclusively with E3xtreme about their late model setups.
I know that most of you think of Menscer Motorsports as just drag racing shocks and struts, but in talking with John, he did state that they have clients running ½ mile and standing mile races as well. John would also like to make sure that potential clients know that they can set these shock packages up for not only drag racing, but distance racing and even land speed record racing.
John, Mark, Craig, Rick, and Ally haven’t done this all on their own though. John stated that Mike and Todd from TRZ have been a huge support to this move into the late model performance market. Obviously TRZ is a leader in aftermarket suspension, as the timeslips have shown. Their quality is some of the best in the business as well, and this is something that Mark prides his own business on. Working with TRZ has really helped this project move forward by leaps and bounds over the last two years.
If you are wondering who happens to be running the Menscer late model setups, you need not look any further than a record book. As usual, Mark and the guys over at Menscer Motorsports quickly put their stamp on the industry by having supplied setups to drivers like John Reed, who holds the quickest/fastest modern Mopar IRS record. Add Steven Fereday, the owner of Late Model Racecraft and his record setting performance C7 Corvette, which became the first C7 to light up the boards with a seven second time slip. Cal Hartline, and his Cadillac CTS-V ran a wheels up, jaw dropping 1.253 sixty foot with Menscer late model setup. Josh Tonski and Taylor English with their C6 Vette has been crushing it with their setup.
So what cars are mark offering a setup on? Well right below is a list of the late model setups that they are offering a shock/strut package for.
1979-2014 Ford Mustang. Includes Cobrajet up to 2014 with factory spindle.
All C5-C7 Corvette
2009-2015 Cadillac CTS-V
2006-2010 Charger & Challenger
2011-2018 Charger & Challenger (Includes HellCat)
All 4th-6th Gen Camaro (Includes Copo)
Coming down the pipe:
2nd and 3rd Gen VW Jetta and Golf
Currently there are no plans to get into the import market.
As you can see, there are plenty of applications available and applications that are going to help you whether you have a 400-horsepower street car or a 900-horsepower beast. If you give John a call, and give him your info, he will get you set up with everything you need to make that car go straight, quick, and fast!!
Head over to Menscer Motorsports and check out their offerings.