Arslanian Bullish on Team's 2004 Chances
ESCANABA, MI (March 2, 2004) - After winning 13 of 19 events and finishing first and second in both the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Sport Compact division and National Drag Racing Association (NDRA) NOPI ranks, you have to wonder what Bullish Motor Racing teammates Ara Arslanian and George Ioannou can do for an encore in 2004.
"The way to top last year is to win 14 of 19 races," stated Arslanian, who captured the NDRA title while Ioannou copped the NHRA crown. "We have to keep improving every year. The goal has never been to go out and win every sixth race. What's still left on the table for 2004 is breaking our elapsed time and mile per hour records. We also want to make sure that we keep doing the right kind of engineering things like making more horsepower as reliably as we have in the past. We need to make sure that everything from the Stewart Components pump up front to the parachute in the back of the car works as it did in the past and under even more extreme horsepower and speed situations. As the competition catches up, we have to try to turn it up with the kind of products and engineering that keep us in front of everyone else."
Bullish Motor Racing lived up to its name last season as Arslanian and Ioannou beat up the competition in identically prepared Toyota Solaras. The cars, which are turned out at the team's shop located in Hackensack, NJ, not only scored championships in both divisions, but also set elapsed time and mile per hour records in the process.
"We came in first and second in the 2002 NDRA NOPI series and we wanted to somehow top that in 2003," said Arslanian. "I thought if we could win three races in NHRA and three in NOPI, I would be a happy man. That would put us in the fight for the championship in each division. To finish first and second in each series is something that has never happened before and I would have never envisioned that happening. It would have been way too much to expect. It wouldn't have be realistic because we have so much competition out there."
Unrealistic, maybe. None the less, it happened and like all forms of motorsports, Arslanian is quick to point out none of the results would not be possible without the appropriate sponsorship backing. While Bullish Motor Racing's twin neon purple Toyotas have solid financial help from primary sponsor Street Glow, it's the associate sponsors like EMP
Stewart Components that put the team over the top according to Arslanian. "The Stewart Components element has been a very important contributor to our success," said Arslanian of the Escanaba, MI based company, a leader in high performance automotive cooling system research and development. "When we make a run, we data log all the cooling information including the water and engine temperature. Based on that data, we used to turn the fan off automatically at about the 1000-foot mark of the run to now we the fan hardly comes on, usually after the race. Our Stewart Components cooling system is so efficient that we basically can turn the fan off completely and never have to worry about it. It keeps the engine cool without ever turning the fan on and that saves horsepower throughout the run."
Both Bullish Motor Racing Toyotas are fitted with an EMP Stewart Components Integrated Cooling System. The system consists of a Stewart Electric Water Pump, a Fluidyne racing radiator, an electric fan and shroud. The configuration allows for new cooling system flow paths producing 55 gallons of flow per minute in the process. The system is also lighter in weight than conventional cooling configurations.
"We debuted our new cars with the Stewart pumps at the start of the 2002 season and I believe it was pretty new to everyone's eyes to have a built-in pump on the radiator," said Arslanian. "I think Warren Johnson using it before us, but he was keeping it pretty hush hush. We took the cars out, put the on the line and opened the hoods. We got a lot of people asking 'what is this?' They had never seen anything that delivered this kind of performance and was so compact before."
Arslanian, knowing a good thing when he saw it, found an additional use for the EMP Stewart Components Electric Pump under the hood of his racecar.
"We also use a Stewart Components Electric Pump in-line on the intercooler to cool the engine turbos," said Arslanian, whose racer features a 3.0 Liter Toyota 2KZ in-line, 6-cylinder engine that produces nearly 1500 horsepower. "Before this, most everyone was using a little motor to run the water through the intercooler tank. We just used the same pump Stewart pump that was mounted to the Fluidyne radiator and mounted it in-line so we could be sure we would never have any problems cooling the turbos."
In addition to Bullish Motor Racing, several top drivers including NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon as well as NHRA Pro Stock drivers Warren Johnson, Kurt Johnson, Jegs Coughlin and Troy Couglin all bolt EMP Stewart cooling system components on to their racecars.
In the end, great cars and consistency of effort is what Arslanian thinks powered he and his teammate to record setting achievements in 2003. "We have a great crew of guys here," stated Arslanian. "They make sure the cars are ready for George and I every single time we take to the track. We know full well that we are going to have the exact same cars every time we make a run. I never get in the racecar thinking 'is the car going to work or isn't it going to work?' Knowing that the car is going to work every time is what having a great team does for you." Which leads us back to the question - what do you do for an encore in 2004?
"The 2004 season should be another good year for us," concluded Arslanian. "We came into 2003 with a pretty big target on our backs after the year we had in 2002. We'll probably have an even larger target on us in 2004 after what we did last year. That okay with us, that makes us perform better. The bigger the target, the better we perform."
Arslanian, Ioannou and Bullish Motor Racing will open the 2004 drag racing season March 13-14 at the inaugural NHRA Sport Compact Nationals at California Speedway in Fontana, CA.
For more information about Bullish Motor Racing, please log on to www.bullishmotorracing.com.