HANGING WITH DON NESS
Don Ness prefers a low profile when he’s making his way through the race track. He
prefers to let the cars he has in competition get all the accolades.
Ness has a lot going on in his shop, probably too much to be at the track, but he’s intent that customer relations and the interaction holds a high degree of importance. He’s got a couple of key projects on the jig such as a second Outlaw 10.5-inch tire car for Johnny Gray and a new Pro Stocker for Larry Morgan. In fact, he’s building six cars simultaneously.
The fast-pace of today’s Pro Stock world still impresses him after all these years. He comes to the races to keep up on the rapid progression of the class within the trenches.
“Actually everything’s new on the Pro Stock,” Ness said, as he struggled to find a starting place to describe what’s new in the class. “We’ve changed things around and we relocated the things on the four-link. We changed the main structure of the car so a lot of new stuff going on. It seems to be working very well.”
Just as Ness and many of the other NHRA Pro Stock racers were making serious headway on the challenges of finding the right combination, the sanctioning body’s tech department threw everyone a curve ball with the increase of the spoiler wicker height.
“It's affected the way the cars ride at the other end of the track,” said Ness. “With the five-eighths wicker it probably puts another150 to 200 pounds of downforce on the car so now we're playing with shock settings, four-link settings, springs, main springs and other stuff so that it doesn't squat at the other end.”