Category Archives: Racing News

Steeda Supports the 4th Annual “Get Your Heart Racing” Event

This past weekend Ford sponsored the 4th annual Henry Ford Hospital “Get Your Heart Racing” charity event and Steeda Autosports was there to proudly support what has become one of the largest charity racing events to date. The annual event attracts racing and auto enthusiasts from all over the midwest and consistently raises record contributions to benefit the Henry Ford Hospital locally. Over the past 3 years “Get Your Heart Racing” has raised more than $ 1.8 million and the total will continue to grow once the final donations are tallied.

"Get Your Heart Racing' Mustang 5.0

“Get Your Heart Racing’ Mustang 5.0

The event began with a Pit Party Reception on Friday evening in downtown Detroit’s famous Eastern Market area. On display at the reception was the fabulous Borg Warner Indianapolis 500 Trophy (valued at over $ 3.5 million) along with an equally impressive assortment of historic and notable race and pace cars. Also included in the display were the Steeda sponsored American Iron series race cars belonging to Ford’s own Robin Burnett and Anders Sjoblom. Another iconic vehicle on display was the Indianapolis 500 Lola race car driven by Detroit native Robbie Buhl, and the historic Indianapolis Ford Mustang Pace cars from 1965, 1979, and 1994.

Borg Warner Indianapolis 500 Trophy

Borg Warner Indianapolis 500 Trophy

1965 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car

1965 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car

1979 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car

1979 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car

1994 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car

1994 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car

This year Ford took the opportunity to feature the newest addition to the Mustang corral – the very special 2015 Mustang 50th Anniversary Edition which will be auctioned at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas. This unique 50 Year Limited Edition Ford Mustang carries the coveted badge # 1,964 referencing the first production year of Mustang, and it is # 50 of the special Limited Edition series. This sought after Mustang will be auctioned with all proceeds going to the “Get Your Heart Racing” charity. The auction is expected to attract and generate an elite group of competitive bidders and enthusiasts all vying to own a piece of Mustang history.

Steeda / Rehagen Racing Cars

Steeda / Rehagen Racing Cars

“Ford Test Track”

“Ford Test Track”

Attendees were treated to the facilities of the awesome Ford Motor Company’s Dearborn Development Center – also known for the “Ford Test Track.” To keep the adrenaline flowing, attendees were invited to sample the heart-pounding excitement of some fast laps as passengers with Ford’s professional / celebrity drivers, or for those with a personal need for speed a few laps behind the wheel to test their skills. Ford and Steeda both provided an assortment of cars and trucks for enthusiasts to tackle some of the handling and off-road segments of the test track, and experience the excitement of a day at the track.

Steeda / Rehagen Racing

Steeda / Rehagen Racing

The Steeda / Rehagen Racing team drivers of Robin Burnett and Anders Sjoblom put on their racing suits and helmets to provide heart-pounding rides in their Steeda sponsored race cars for any adrenaline seekers willing to endure the high G forces generated by a fully prepared Steeda full race Mustang. Judging from the grins the long wait was worth every minute!

Steeda / Rehagen Racing

Steeda / Rehagen Racing

None of these wonderful activities would have been possible without the significant support of Ford Motor Company’s Dearborn Development Center. As expected, the event also brought out Ford’s top management team to help keep the donations and energy flowing.

Events like this take careful planning and support, and a special thanks is in order for John Felice, Ford Motor Company’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing North America, and Raj Nair, Ford Motor Company Group Vice President of Global Product Development who generously donated their personal and professional effort to insure the success of such a worthwhile charity. In addition, we would like to recognize Lynn and Paul Alandt (Honorary Chairpersons for Get Your Heart Racing) and Roger Penske and Andra Rush, the most recent additions to the Honorary Committee, whose time and presence made this event so successful. Ford Motor Company, Steeda Autosports, along with many other key automotive suppliers are committed to finding a cure for heart disease.

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Steeda and Rehagen Racing Team Up to Win

For the 2014 NASA Race Season, Steeda drivers Robin Burnett and Anders Sjoblom have teamed up Rehagan Racing in an all out effort to win the East Coast American Iron NASA Championships at Road Atlanta. The partnership of Steeda and Rehagen Racing is a natural because it puts together the two top racing organizations and leverages the strengths of each – the end result is a winning formula for success.

So far this season, the race partnership has had tremendous success that started with the season opening race at the famed Mid Ohio race-course in April. When the checkered flag dropped, the duo took the top two podium honors in both races of the weekend with Robin Burnett in his Grabber Blue Steeda taking both wins and Anders Sjoblom shadowing his every move by finishing a very close second in each race and also setting the fastest lap time of the entire weekend.

Robin Burnett Steeda Mustang

The next test was the long haul down to Atlanta for the NASA Southeast “June Jam” where the Steeda/Rehagen Racing Mustangs of Sjoblom and Burnett once again locked out the front row in qualifying by having the two fastest qualifying times against all other competitors. When the green flag dropped, Anders Sjoblom led the race from flag-to-flag with Robin Burnett in close hot pursuit. At the checkered flag, it was another repeat victory for the team with Anders proudly on top of the podium!

Anders Sjoblom Steeda Mustang

There was more on track action at a local “3 Ball Racing” charity event at Waterford Hill Raceway in Metro Detroit. At this charity event to benefit the Karmanos Cancer Institute, Robin was able to take charity donors for some “spirited” rides around the track showing off his Steeda /Rehagen Racing Mustang and his superior car control skills – and very effectively raising additional funds for a well deserving charity.

The Steeda/Rehagen Team has one more event in Atlanta prior to the Championship runoffs in late August – you can surely bet that the team will be ready to continue their winning ways!

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Steeda’s Tom Ellis Undefeated in SCCA American Sedan in 2014

SCCA Club Racers officially rang in the New Year with checkered flags in January at the SCCA Sebring Super Tour at Sebring International Raceway, Round One of the Eastern Conference Majors Tour, and Steeda Autosports once again was leading the pack when our sponsored driver Tom Ellis took the checkered flag first in the fiercely competitive American Sedan class.

You have heard us before proclaim that the exceptionally challenging Sebring International Raceway is brutal on both cars and drivers – as only the most fit and best prepared cars survive the pounding that this course delivers. At this season opener, our own Tom Ellis commandingly not only won his races on both Saturday and Sunday, but he also scored overall Group 6 victory – a amazing feat in his Steeda Autosports prepared Mustang!

Two weeks later, Tom Ellis showed that the victories at Sebring were not anomalies when at the Palm Beach International Raceway he once again finished on the top podium position by beating all competitors and winning both races commandingly. Everyone at Steeda Autosports congratulates Tom on his highly successful start to the 2014 SCCA American Sedan race series!

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Steeda’s John Urist Sets New Class Record

The 2014 Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout in Bradenton Florida this past weekend was the official kickoff of the 2014 drag racing series, and it was obvious that the NMRA racers most certainly did their homework during the off season and the competition was tighter than ever at this most challenging race series where there were some exciting passes and incredible competition down at Bradenton Motorsports Park.

John Urist

In the Street Outlaw class, Steeda and Nitto Tire sponsored driver John Urist led the field with his red 1993 Fox body Mustang by putting down a stellar 7.042 at 200 miles per hour and then went on to better that number with the quickest pass in class history – a 7.032 en route to the final round where he blasted his nearest competitor with a 7.10 run to once again take top honors. With a total of 8 National Championships under his belt already, John is once again off to a great start in the highly competitive NMRA Street Outlaw series. The entire Steeda Team congratulates John and his team for a job well done and we wish him continued success!

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The Racetrack – Steeda’s “Outdoor” Engineering Room

At Steeda Autosports, we take racing very seriously because we use it as an active “test bed” for our ongoing engineering and product development. Our thought is that if our products can stand up to the extreme abuse and punishment that the race track can provide, it surely will stand up to the rigors of street driving without fail. While racing sometimes is characterized as a sport for the wealthy or a marketing tool to promote a company, at Steeda Autosports, racing is where we test and re-test our products, parts, and our theories – as racing will either prove that the theory is correct, or it will destroy it altogether.

Let us explain…..

We actively race in a race series that promotes product development and engineering while many other companies either do not race at all, or they choose to race in a race series that restricts engineering and product development and requires, in many cases, stock OEM suspension level componentry. On the surface, one would think that all race series are equal with regards to what you can run and what you can modify. In actuality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Many race series have part/component rules that are so restrictive that they effectively put a “hard stop” to any ongoing product design/engineering development, severely hindering any product advancement for consumer performance parts.

Steeda Q650R at Sebring International Raceway

Steeda Q650R at Sebring International Raceway

At Steeda, we take a far different approach to racing…..a far more serious approach…..and it is a far more rewarding choice for you – our customer. We prefer to race in a variety of race series that allows for more vehicle suspension development and with less overall restrictions – that way we can actively use the racing as an active test bed for ongoing product development and product advancement. We prefer to call the track our “outdoor engineering room” where we continually test performance parts and accessories ensuring that they deliver the level of performance that they are designed to provide, and also we want to ensure that they have the durability to stand up to whatever our customers demand.

An example of the racing we do occurred this past weekend when our President and CEO Dario Orlando took the Steeda #20 car to Sebring International Raceways for the Sports Car Club of America’s South Atlantic Road Racing Championships event. With our #20 car in full race prep form and equipped with both production and developmental Steeda parts, Dario put in many hard test laps in preparation for qualification. When qualification was complete, Dario and our #20 car was on an all too familiar position – on the class pole position ahead of all other class competitors effectively showcasing that the Steeda suspension system was perfectly dialed in once again.

This year you will see much more of Team Steeda at the race track and the drag strip. In addition to the many racers that rely on our performance parts, the top management Team at Steeda Dario Orlando and Glen Vitale will both be campaigning the red #20 car at various SCCA events – both timed, lap, and endurance races as we embark on the design, engineering and development of new suspension components for the all new S550 Mustang platform. Our goal is to have a comprehensive array of enhanced suspension components for the 2015 Mustang available by the time the first cars are being sold. These parts will be for the street, track and drag strip enthusiast and will all have the legendary Steeda engineering, performance, and durability – just another example as to how we put the customer first in everything we do.

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Steeda Captures the 2012 NASA – SE Championship

Webster Dictionary:
‘champion’ noun \cham-pē-an\: a winner of first prize or first place in competition; also one who shows marked superiority.

Steeda Dictionary:
‘champion’ proper noun; Jim Edwards – a racer that won the 2012 NASA – SE Region Championship driving a Steeda Certified Shelby GT and finished every race this season on the podium…..

The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) was formed to deliver high quality motorsports events to enthusiasts at major racing venues throughout the nation. NASA has created programs that allow owners of both racecars and high-performance street-driven vehicles to enjoy the full performance capabilities of their cars at key racetracks and venues across the U.S.A. For the 2012 Season, the Champion in the SE Region is non-other than Jim Edwards – a 65 year old retired Army Captain and Vietnam Veteran that drove his Steeda Certified Mustang to a total of 13 events – always finishing on the podium – and winning the overall Championship. Not too bad for a street-legal, 3400-plus pound car with air conditioning, stereo, power leather seats and all the amenities one would find in any other high-end Mustang.

Jim Edwards

Jim who is enthusiastic about performance vehicles and racing comments: “I began my racing career with a desire to participate actively in road racing…wanting to be really competitive…. it is just my nature. While I began with a really good platform in the shape of the Shelby GT, I knew that in order to consistently win and be a champion, I would have to seriously take it up a notch or two to have an edge against the competition”.

Jim stated that the first thing he did was to initiate a dialogue with the Steeda Team, seeking advice on how to make the S197 platform perform to its maximum potential. With Glen Vitale and Gus Irizarry providing guidance, the Shelby GT began a transformation into a hardcore 2007 Steeda Certified Q350 that would be not only suited for the track, but also could serve as a daily driver without the annoying ride or abusive NVH that so many other modified vehicles have.

Improvements made to his stock car include, but are not limited to Steeda competition springs, Steeda sway bars, adjustable panhard bar, bumpsteer kit, adjustable lower control arms, one-piece aluminum driveshaft, racing clutch and as many Steeda billet brackets and attachment points as possible. Jim added; “ I even consulted with Steeda on the perfect tire and wheel alignment needed to maximize road grip on the various tracks that I be competing on. They insisted that the tire I should be using should be the Nitto NT01, because these tires were of the highest quality and offered the best grip and track compliance that they have ever tested. There is no doubt in my mind that the Steeda Team provided me the winning combination of performance parts and insight that turned the Shelby GT into a champion, and for that I am forever grateful.”

Dario Orlando, President Steeda Autosports added: “The entire Team at Steeda Autosports salutes Jim Edwards for his outstanding accomplishments this past season…his record is remarkable ! In addition, I want to thank him for trusting us with the performance modifications and insight we provided him.”

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Steeda Wins CMC Race Series, Again!

Chris Ferraro had a remarkable season in his Steeda Autosports equipped Mustang GT this season. Competing in the 2012 Camaro-Mustang Challenge Racing Series (CMC), Chris had a remarkable PERFECT season leading up to the finals. He qualified on the pole in every race… finished in first place in every race he competed in…holds the track records at every track he raced on this season and he won the CMC National Championship – and he did it with his Steeda Autosports equipped 2005 Mustang GT.

The National Auto Sport Association Camaro-Mustang Challenge (CMC) is a highly competitive race series that brings together some of the best production based cars and drivers in head-to-head competition on various race courses in America. For the second year in a row, Steeda Autosports equipped cars have finished in the top two positions – a remarkable feet that none of our competitors have been able to match – ever! Reversing last year’s order of finishing, this year, Chris Ferraro finished on the top of the podium and Anders Sjoblom finished a very close second place, making Steeda the only aftermarket manufacture to ever accomplish a back-to-back top two podium wins at the championship runoffs in the CMC Race Series.

The CMC Finals held at the Mid-Ohio racecourse were not without some excitement as the entire season was on the line with its championship bragging rights. On Thursday’s qualifying race Chris finished first place once again with the fastest time. On Friday’s qualifying session, in anticipation of bad weather that he thought was approaching, Chris swapped out his tires to a rain set-up at the last minute, which unfortunately caused him to get to the grid late – causing him to start a half lap back on the rest of the field. Unfortunately, the rain didn’t fall during the race so Chris had to chase down the field on his wet tire set up in totally dry conditions. He did end up catching and passing the back of the pack, which was just enough points to keep him on the second row (4th place) for the Championship race. Starting from the 4th position in the Championship race, he made it to 1st place by the very first corner and held the lead until the checkered flag fell at the end of the race. On the way to his National Championship he set yet another fastest lap time and also set a new track record.

Chris has been especially supportive of the Steeda ‘s products in the past and this year is no exception. In speaking about just one of his many Steeda parts he commented: “ The Steeda Tri-Ax shifter is the best in the market – I NEVER missed a shift the entire race season – another testament to the superiority of the Steeda performance parts…..and this is the same shifter that anyone can buy for their Mustang today from Steeda directly.”

Dario Orlando, Steeda’s President adds: “I am especially proud of the efforts this season of both Chris Ferraro and Anders Sjoblom in the CMC racing series – each of them have performed exceptionally well over the past two seasons and each should be commended for their outstanding efforts, persistence, and individual driving skills. To have two fierce competitors like Chris and Anders consistently outperforming all other rivals with their Steeda Mustangs is exceptional. Congratulations to them and all of the other race drivers and Mustang enthusiasts that rely on Steeda for their performance parts, it is proof that Steeda’s “Made in America” parts are unmatched in the industry today.”

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Steeda Captures 2012 SCCA American Sedan Championship

The SCCA American Sedan Race Series is comprised of 302 and 305 CID V8 powered Mustangs, Camaros, and Firebirds and is sometimes referred to as the Super Bowl of production based vehicle racing because of the intense competition, the grass roots nature of the series and the ensuing championship run-offs. This year, the Steeda sponsored and equipped 1985 Mustang owned and driven by Ed Hosni of Galloway Ohio captured the 2012 SCCA National Championship.

Ed Hosni is the perfect example of a grass roots racer – he competes in the series just to have fun and loves the competition the series provides. Ed operates on a very limited budget, rebuilds his own engine and transmission as necessary, and even sleeps in his race trailer to save precious money. Nevertheless, he takes racing very seriously and he is fully aware that in order to win the National Championship, you have to have a competitive race car and also be able to attack the race course with complete confidence in your car. In preparing his 1985 Fox bodied Mustang for the race series, Ed worked with our own Frank Stoddard from our Sales Team and chose the following regular production parts for his competition Mustang – parts that we sell everyday to our retail customers:

  • Steeda 5-Link Suspension System
  • Steeda Tri-Ax Shifter
  • Steeda Billet Caster/Camber Plates
  • Steeda Light Weight Front Sway-Bar
  • Steeda Bump Toe Kit
  • Steeda Billet Rack Bushings
  • Steeda Clutch Quadrant and Firewall Adjuster

With his car properly set up for the race series, Ed was able to competitively compete this season, and thru persistence, hard work, determination, and intense skill, Ed was able to make it to the American Sedan National Championship that was being at the Road America racecourse in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin.

The final championship race at Road America is best described by Ed in his own words that follow:
“The start of the race was OK. Everyone in front of me pulled away a bit as I have substantially less HP then everyone else at the front of the field. On the very first lap going into Turn 5, a car spun in the middle of the track under braking and I had to go into the grass on the inside to miss the incident – this off course maneuver resulted in my getting passed by three more competitors, but luckily, I managed not to hit anything. After the incident, with my car handling so well with it’s Steeda suspension set-up, I was able to pass 2 of the 3 cars back before the end of the first lap! In the ensuing laps, I continued my passing of other cars, essentially carving up the turns and out handling everyone else as my Steeda suspension was performing at it was designed to do.

On lap 8 the full course caution came out, and without a race radio and no support crew I had no idea I was actually in second place until the pace car came out – wow was I surprised! On lap 11 the green flag dropped and the race leader got a good start and pulled me down the straight, but I caught him quickly in the brake zone. With the tight turns, I knew I had a shot at the win, all I had to do was continue to out handle him and fill his mirrors the next few laps until I had the perfect moment to pass. There was no doubt that he was clearly blocking with multiple moves at almost every corner and while I was picking my spot, the third place car had managed to catch up to me.

As we entered the last corner, I over slowed a bit to make sure I got the best run I could coming off the corner. As we got to the hill I purposely went inside and the leader then threw yet another block, I countered with a maneuvered to crossed over to the outside almost hitting him. When I crested the hill, I saw the starter holding the checkered flag. I seriously didn’t know it was the last lap of the race – I must have missed the white flag as I was so close in the draft the previous lap. As we approached the finish line, I was in first place with the second place car just a tenth of a second behind me. Wow !”

Dario Orlando, President of Steeda Autosports had the following to say about Ed’s amazing victory: “Steeda Autosports salutes Ed Hosni, the 2012 SCCA American Sedan National Champion and his 1985 Fox bodied Steeda equipped Mustang and all of the other racers and enthusiasts that rely on Steeda performance parts for their racing and also for their street cars. This is a really significant win in a race series that essentially uses production based vehicles – as it exemplifies the growing grass roots motorsports racing program in the United States.”

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Steeda NASA Racing Update

Every weekend across the United States, individuals are taking their Steeda equipped vehicles out to the dragstrip, race track, or participate in local club or organization sponsored autocross events. The primary reason that they do this is for the love of the drive, the competitive spirit – and not to be overlooked – just having some plain fun driving everyone’s favorite muscle car – the Ford Mustang.

Two such individuals are Jim Edwards and James Ray, who recently campaigned a 2007 Steeda Certified Shelby GT Mustang – nicknamed “Thor” in the NASA (National Auto Sport Association) race series at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Jim, James, and “Thor” participate in the NASA Southeast Region and just last weekend competed in the one-day NASA-SE event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was blistering hot with ambient air temperatures over 100 and track temperatures in the near-140 degree range, the conditions took major tolls on cars and drivers alike. Thor had his work cut out for him in this heat, however, with team drivers James Ray and Jim Edwards at the wheel, Thor pulled down a 1.27 time to eclipse anyone seeking to take away the coveted first place trophy!

Charlotte Motor Speedway’s venue for NASA track events includes NASCAR turns two, three and four and the very tight, flat and slick 8-turn infield roadcourse. Charlotte is a very fast venue for roadcourse racing due to the utilization of the 3, high-banked NASCAR turns so combined with the infield course, this track presents challenges related to vehicle set-up, tire pressures and race strategies. Nonetheless, with 9 races under Thor’s proverbial belt this year, he stands first in points with 3 firsts, 5 seconds and only 1 third. And hasn’t been off the podium all year long so far! Not bad for some weekend fun !

Two other great competitors that are in the NASA race series Great Lakes Division are the “Steeda North” duo of Robin Burnett and Anders Sjoblom. Both Robin and Anders have been campaigning their Steeda equipped cars and have been raising hell with their competitors for many years – and this year is no exception as they compete in the American Iron (AI) and Camaro Mustang Challenge (CMC) series.

Over weekend of June 30th at the famed Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, both Robin and Anders were there having more fun than one should legally have. While this particular race weekend was not kind to them as they had hoped, they still managed to have some serious fun at the track. With full fields in each class the Steeda teammates knew they had their work cut out for them. Robins race on Saturday was cut short by a back marker on the first lap when contact in the first corner bent a tie rod. Anders race was better with a solid drive that saw him battle the entire race and earn a 4th place finish.

Sundays qualifying was one of the closest fields either class has ever seen, with the top 7 cars within a single second away from each other. Robin had a better day, after repairs from Saturday, where he had a great race with 2 other competitors in Mustangs. The battle lasted long enough to let the front 3 get away leaving Robin with a satisfying 4th place finish. Anders continued his up hill battle on Sunday, as the lone S197 Mustang in his class, managing his class rules mandated skinny tires to a 2nd place finish.

A good start and battles between his competitors left Anders to run the race with little if any challenge. The skill level, preparation level and rules packages in American Iron (AI) and Camaro Mustang Challenge (CMC) has created a unbelievably competitive field of cars. With the National Championships just a few months away the Steeda teammates are looking forward to the challenge and are confident that they will continue to represent the Steeda brand as best as they can do. With the season at it’s mid-point, Anders is leading in series points in the Camaro Mustang Challenge Series and Robin is running a close second in the American Iron Race Series.

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Steeda Racing Update – Detroit Grand Prix

The Motor City saw the return of the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix as the Pirelli World Challenge Mustangs raced a doubleheader weekend June 2-3. With over 100,000 fans in attendance at the 2.1 mile street course, the #19 Steeda Autosports Boss 302S Mustang of driver Jason von Kluge maneuvered the track’s tight turns and changing road surfaces to finish 4th in the GTS class – ahead of all the other Mustangs in Sunday’s race.

Jason von Kluge

Everyone at Steeda Autosports wants to thank Jason for his great racing at the Grand Prix – showing once again that winning drivers choose Steeda performance products for their Ford vehicles more than any other brand.

Jason von Kluge has earned the respect of fans and competitors alike as he’s worked his way to the podium with a third place finish in the 2012 season opener and two top-five finishes. In his fourth year as a professional driver, he captured the 2010 Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Championship in which he drove his Steeda sponsored Mustang FR500S to glory including five race wins.

You can watch the Mustangs blazing the 14-turn track of Detroit Grand Prix when the races air on NBC Sports, July 7 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

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