Permatorque® MLS Head Gaskets Help Seal Historic NHRA Championship
Erica Enders-Stevens became the first woman to win the NHRA Pro Stock class championship when she out-dueled series runner-up Jason Line in the final round of the Auto Club Finals at Auto Club Raceway, Pomona, California, in mid-November. As they had throughout their historic 2014 season, Enders-Stevens and the Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro rocketed to victory with a 1,350-horsepower, 500-cubic-inch General Motors DRCE (Drag Racing Competition Engine) Big Block sealed with Fel-Pro® PermaTorque® MLS head gaskets from Fel-Pro.
Enders-Stevens, who began her racing career at age eight and was featured in the 2003 Disney film “Right on Track,” joins just two other women – the legendary Shirley Muldowney (Top Fuel) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) – who have won an NHRA pro class championship. Her engines are built by renowned Pro Stock engine builder Nick Ferri of Elite Performance, who has won four class championships since 2002 and has relied almost exclusively on Fel-Pro head gaskets throughout his 28-year career.
“The biggest challenge in Pro Stock is walking the fine line between generating maximum horsepower and making sure the engine will live,” Ferri said.
“There’s a lot of stress on a lot of parts, but with Fel-Pro head gaskets we know that head sealing will never be an issue. We’re running between 16- and 17-to-1 compression ratio, and the gaskets have always done their job.”
As engines produce more power per cubic inch, they can encounter localized “hot spots” within head and block castings and head lift issues associated with extreme casting temperatures and cylinder pressures. Fel-Pro PermaTorque MLS performance and stock-replacement head gaskets are designed and manufactured to maintain the contact stress required to seal under these conditions. The head gaskets (Fel-Pro part no. 1129-1) sealing Enders-Stevens’ engines feature the same industry-leading technologies that have made PermaTorque MLS the number-one choice of engine builders, race teams and street performance enthusiasts. Each gasket is composed of multiple layers of premium full-hard stainless steel, precisely engineered sealing beads and advanced polymer coatings that help maintain contact pressure between the cylinder head and block.
“We’ve seen the benefits of PermaTorque MLS technology in thousands of miles of championship oval track competition and countless passes on North American drag strips, but by far its most impressive accomplishment is to have earned the trust and loyalty of talented and demanding engine professionals like Nick,” said Ron Rotunno, product manager, performance products at Fel-Pro