Johnny Pluchino claimed his second straight PDRA Pro Outlaw 632 series championship at the PDRA World Finals. Pluchino sealed the deal with a gripping second-place finish at the final event of the season.
Pluchino yet again dominated the field. The Strutmasters-sponsored driver finished more than 300 points in front of second-place finisher Wes Distefano.
Consistency a key throughout PDRA season
That domination was due largely to Pluchino’s consistency. The New York native expertly piloted his RC Race Cars-built 2006 Ford Escort to victory all season long. True to form, even though he placed second for the day at the World Finals, he still recorded the fastest time.
Most of the cars running in the Pro Outlaw 632 series use an engine that incorporates nitrous oxide. However, Pluchino prefers a straight-ahead all-motor vehicle. This presented a unique challenge when preparing the car for races.
“The car was built to be a Mountain Motor Pro Stock car and it actually set records and did well in that trim,” said Pluchino. We run a combination that’s very similar to a Mountain Motor Pro Stock car. It has a a five-speed transmission and clutch, so all of the adjustments are the same. It was really just a plug-and-play deal for us with a smaller engine in a well-built car.”
A different approach
However, going without nitrous allowed the team to have a chassis with a wider range of tuning options. This gave Pluchino exactly what he needed to run the tables for a second consecutive year.
“The chassis really plays a large role in getting the car down the track in a couple of different ways,” said Pluchino. “It provides a big tuning window that allows you to be more consistent and makes sure the car is working properly.”
Pluchino explained the advantages of taking this somewhat unorthodox approach.
“[The all-motor approach] leads to being able to really lean on the car, since its all-motor, to get the best 60-foot times possible,” he said. “Both of these factors helped make this car work so well and played a part in our back-to-back championships; the car just worked well and stayed consistent all season long.”