PDRA Pro Boost Champ Kevin Fiscus Loses Major Funding
In late 2014 Kevin Fiscus accepted an invitation to partner with Jim Bell for a multi-series 2015 race season with the expectations of running both Bell cars in a two car race team. However, Bell’s Mustang was not completed in time to compete in the season so the sole focus was switched to the Fiscus/Klugger-owned, JB’s Power Centre-funded Pro Boost Mustang. The partnership produced incredible results including three final round appearances and the 2015 PDRA Pro Boost World Championship. Days after the PDRA Awards ceremony and PRI Show, Bell and Fiscus parted ways leaving Fiscus without the critical and necessary sponsorship that is required to defend his title.
“Bell-Fiscus Racing has been dissolved,” stated the Champ. “Josh Klugger and I will be campaigning the FKR Mustang in 2016 in spite of everything being completely up in the air, as we have absolutely no funding to do so. This is the highs and lows of racing. One day you are the world champion and the next day you are sitting with a car in the garage with no funding to go racing. I have faith that we will regroup and come out stronger than ever.
“At the end of 2014 we did not have the funds to race at this level so when JB’s Power Centre came along the timing was perfect. This was a great year for us and I do not want to take anything away from Jim Bell nor JB’s Power Centre, because they funded us for the 2015 year and we won a championship together. It’s just business at this point. I am very grateful for the opportunity that Jim Bell and his company have given me.”
The team began the year by capturing the points lead with a win at the season opener. He maintained the lead for a few races before rival Kevin Rivenbark overtook him. With one race to go, Rivenbark held the lead by less than a round. Whoever went further at the PDRA World Finals at Virginia Motorsports Park would be crowned the 2015 Pro Boost World Champion.
“We were in the front of the lanes for first round of eliminations at Virginia with Rivenbark sitting behind us a few spots in back. After we won our first elimination round we went straight back to the pits and started thrashing to get the car ready for the next round. We were not paying attention to what anybody else was doing. We were racing our race and maintaining our focus on winning the event because we knew if we accomplished that goal the championship would take care of itself. After the first round was over several people came over to our pits and congratulated us on winning the championship. We were all confused and surprised and asked, ‘What are you talking about?’ Then a few more people came over and stated that Rivenbark had red lit and that we were the champions. We had done the math previously and knew that if we went one round further than him then we would win the championship. Needless to say that we were still nervous to celebrate because it is not official until it is official. Finally a PDRA official came over and congratulated us on the championship. Then we knew it was real. It was very emotional for me and the team. This is my first championship in a national series, my first championship overall for that matter. It was hard fought. It was very rewarding to be able to hold up the championship trophy at the Awards with Rickie Smith, Jason Scruggs and all the other winners on that stage. It is a true honor to be able to share the championship with each of those fellow racers.
“Words can almost not even describe it. It has been nine years to get us to this point. I can remember three years ago when I was sitting in the stands watching Jason Scruggs run the eighth-mile and Rickie Smith run the quarter-mile. I had a small tire drag radial car at the time with BIG dreams of owning and racing a Pro Mod someday. I would have never even entertained the thought that I would be competing and winning at this level. The opportunity presented itself for Josh and me to sell our small tire car and we stepped in our Pro Mod Mustang. The rest is history. Three years later I am standing here with a championship. It’s very surreal. It’s a dream come true to compete at this level.”
Not only has Fiscus advanced quickly over the last three years, his entire drag racing endeavor has been a whirlwind from first interest to World Champion.
“I always had an interest in cars but I didn’t grow up with it,” the Florida resident explained. “I graduated from college, got my first real job and got married. In 2003 I was able to buy a Roush Body Coddington California Roadster. I joined a local Mustang club and ended up going to Gainesville for an open test and tune session. I made a 15 second pass and I was instantly hooked. It was almost a continual spiral from this point to today. The Roush was ‘supposed to be’ my wife’s and my weekend car. I upgraded the clutch and the supercharger along with a few other modifications which soon made it not so friendly on the street. Being a feisty and hot tempered Italian that she is, she expressed her displeasure to include some expletives about wanting her weekend car back. So, I ended up buying her her own ‘04 Cobra competition orange convertible as well. It was a factory supercharger, but I was slowly becoming a gearhead, so I found out that it was a lot easier to modify her car and gain a lot more horsepower. In her eyes, I destroyed another car that she didn’t enjoy driving on the streets anymore as well. After some modification she had a 600+ hp street car that was a little hostile in bumper-to-bumper traffic. She had some more choice words for me and finally said ‘Just go buy yourself a d@#$n race car!’ So I took that statement and never looked back. Soon I came home a couple months later with a turn-key, small tire radial race car that was running 7.90s at 180 in the quarter. It was a huge step from a streetcar to say the very least. After placing runner up at the US Street Nationals in my very first race started it was a very steep spiral downhill into my racing addiction ever since. I raced that car for three or four years, small block to big block, single turbo to twin turbos. I set records with it in the small tire world, radial racing on multiple occasions.”
Fiscus and Klugger then sold the small tire car overseas for good money and were encouraged by good friend Eric Dillard to purchase the R2B2 Mustang Dillard himself had taken to victory at NHRA Indy. From those initial beginnings in Pro Mod to PDRA Pro Boost World Champion took Fiscus only three years.
“In 2007 I changed the oil in my car and did the basic stuff. Fast forward to now I can rebuild a motor or transmission in a weekend at my house or at the track,” Fiscus continued, spelling out more of his story in racing. “So I do basically everything – I drive the rig to the track, I tune the car, I drive the car, and I work on the car, drive the rig back to the house, work on it all week, try to spend some time with wife and then leave for the track again. I wouldn’t have it any other way though.”
Fiscus gives credit to many who have helped take him from weekend warrior to World Champion. He hired top turbo tuner Steve Petty several years ago to tune the radial car, and Petty took him under his wing. From that point going forward, Fiscus has developed business and personal relationships that have altered the course of his racing career for the better.
“For whatever reason, I was very lucky to pick Steve Petty as the person that I wanted to tune my first turbo car back in late 2006. If I had made a different choice then I truly believe that I wouldn’t be where I am today. To have him as a mentor, along with others like Jamie, Eric and Brandon at Pro Line Racing and some of the other crew chiefs and mechanics with that organization, has made all the difference in the world. Another major contributor to my success has been Dave Klaput with Proformance Racing Transmissions. I have been with him for many years now, and he has also taken me under his wing, and he is one of my closest friends. Most of the companies that I deal with and that have supported me through the years of my racing I consider friends. I like to know everything that I can about the products that I am utilizing. I am also a huge believer in growing relationships with everyone that is involved in the product that I use.
“Fortunately, Josh Klugger and I teamed up the last couple of years in small tire racing and he has backed me 100% of the way. He is a great friend and supporter of our program. I would not be where I am today without his support both financially and as a true friend. I raced under Fiscus/Klugger Racing (KFR) in ‘12, ‘13, ’14 and will do so again in ‘16.
“My wife is my biggest supporter,” Fiscus continued. “Even back when I was messing with her street cars, she is the first one to yell at me and keep me straight, but she is also the first one to say, ‘If you’re going to do it, do it right.’ Since 2007 has she absolutely done without a lot of things including me having a 20+ race season the past two years so that I can go race. She comes to as many races as she possibly can with her work schedule and she is my biggest supporter. She is also not afraid to get dirty and to do whatever is needed at the track.
“For the 2015 race season, I want to recognize Jim Bell and JB’s Power Centre for the backing,” Fiscus continued, giving further credit where credit is due. “Joe with Pro Torque Converters, Mark Menscer with Menscer Motorsports and their affiliation with Afco and Mickey Thompson has helped me tremendously over the years to go to this point. TurboSmart came on board and helped us out this year. Precision Turbo for sponsoring the Pro Boost class this year in PDRA. Without companies stepping up to sponsor the class we would not have a place to race. It’s a very contested class now. Everybody there is a big hitter. Pro Boost in PDRA is a very strong and growing field. It is going to be even more competitive next year. The entire PDRA organization is a great place to race and I applaud them on their commitment to make the series work. And to my crew – Chris, Jason, Pete, Doug, Dean, Johnny, Kenny and of course, Josh.”
Fiscus is currently a contractor by trade, but has hopes of one day making his living within the race industry. One thing is sure, sponsorship or no sponsorship; he is not giving up on racing. “It’s my passion. It’s why I get up every day and get to work. Everything is meant for a reason. The BFR Team may have dissolved after only one year, but it has brought me a championship and took me, personally, to the next level.”