Hussey Performance, a made-to-order copper gasket manufacturing firm, has officially been named associate sponsor of the Tulsa-based Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Drag Racing Series (MWDRS) Top Alcohol Funny Car class presented by J&A Service.
“It’s always exciting to add a new sponsor to our series,” MWDRS founder and owner Keith Haney says. “And I feel like seeing Hussey Performance wanting to support the Mid-West Series Funny Car class really shows they understand what we’re focused on accomplishing, which is providing the very best experience and benefits possible to our racers, our fans, our member tracks, and of course to all the great sponsors who make it all possible.”
Second-generation owner and president of Hussey Performance David Allen Jr. explains he’s never stepped up as a prominent series sponsor before, but he wanted to get into the visual marketing side of things and believes the Mid-West Drag Racing Series offers a perfect fit.
“We’re really big into the NHRA stuff, but not so much anywhere else, so we’re really looking to just expand our presence and reach out a little bit,” Allen says. “Especially to the Pro Mod teams, which are clearly high-end, professional operations, but also to the extreme performance, eighth-mile classes and stuff like that. Hopefully we can expand to all of those customer bases.”
Based just north of Pittsburgh in Ambridge, PA, Hussey Performance creates custom-fitted gaskets for the high-performance, close tolerance market. Utilizing a water jet to precisely cut and fit copper gaskets to customer-specified needs, including bore size and spacing, gasket thickness and temper in the copper, Hussey creates gaskets for racing applications across a wide spectrum, including Top Fuel and Top Alcohol Funny Car.
“From the annealing to the cutting of the gaskets, everything is done in house, which helps a lot to minimize any tolerance issues and make sure everything is really precise,” Allen says. “We go by the thousandths from .030 up to .125, so we have copper in stock at all times to make anything in between. And if people have a bigger bore size than standard, there’s no extra charges or anything for that. We get them exactly what they need.”
The Top Alcohol Funny Car class was added to the MWDRS mix midway through last season. The Hussey Performance-backed entry owned by class legend Tony Bartone and now driven by Sean Bellemeur went on to win the inaugural series championship.
“Tony has been a really good family friend for a long time. He and my dad go way back, so I’ve known him my whole life. So it’s pretty exciting to be working with him on this whole thing,” Allen says. “I’m also really looking forward to making it out to a few races with Tony’s team this year. I didn’t get to see any Mid-West Series races last year, but I heard a lot of good things about them.”
Bartone also has nothing but good things to say about his three-decades-long relationship with the Allen family.
“I wasn’t just the first customer, my car was the test bed for the very first Hussey gaskets,” Bartone proudly states. “We were there on day one. So Dave Senior and Junior are like family to me and I want nothing more than for that company to succeed and I’ll do anything to try to help them accomplish that.
“And we thoroughly enjoyed racing in the Mid-West Series last year,” he adds. “Haney and his people, they treated the alcohol class very well, ran good events and it was great to win the championship. I hope we can do it again.”
The 2021 Hussey Performance Top Alcohol Funny Car schedule within the Summit Racing Mid-West Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service opens Mar. 19-20, at Xtreme Raceway Park in Ferris, TX. Additional stops at Belle Rose, LA; Tulsa, OK (twice); Houston, TX; Great Bend, KS; and Martin, MI, will follow, with a return to Ferris in October for the 2021 season finale.