Paolo Giust is a man who lives in two different racing worlds; one is the Pro Mod arena where big tires rule, the other is the wild small-tire party known as Radial versus The World. At the U.S. Street Nationals those worlds will collide for Giust as he brings his C7 Pro Mod “Elvira” and radial-clad Camaro “Black Betty” down from Canada to compete at the same event for the first time ever.
For years Giust was strictly a Pro Mod racer, but after seeing all the small-tire fun at Donald Long’s Duck X Production events he decided that was something he had to try. Giust made his radial debut behind the wheel of his Camaro using the engine from his Pro Mod and he was hooked. With help from crew chief Jon Salemi from G-Force Race Cars, Giust has become a threat at any Radial versus The World race he enters while still wheeling his Pro Mod to victories, as well.
The 2019 U.S. Street Nationals is the first race where Giust will have full drivelines in each car after borrowing a supercharger from a friend. Giust’s plan is to have his engine builder and former Pro Xtreme racer Mike Stawicki drive the Pro Mod while he pilots the radial tire car. If that plan falls through, Giust is ready to pull double-duty and car-hop as needed at the event; a tough task for a small self-funded team.
Coming into the U.S. Street Nationals Giust wants to use the event as a test session for both cars, but he has the intentions of winning, as well. Both cars have shown big promise after changes were made and Giust wants to take what has been learned and improve the performance of each.
“On Black Betty, we will have a new blower to try out that is much better than the previous one. A lot of the data is going to be the same, but we have made some big changes to the suspension of the radial car before the last No Mercy race and we’re happy with the results, so we need to get more runs and get better. For Elvira, we ran her at Orlando at the World Street Nationals and were happy to run 3.70s. That also showed us there’s more in that car so we will try to find it at this event,” Giust says.
Bringing both cars out for the first time to race at the same event is going to be a challenge for Giust, but is necessary for him to make performance improvements with each car. To make sure everything goes as smooth as possible for this new experience Giust will have all hands on deck at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
“I can’t run both cars at this event, or any other event for that matter without Jim Salemi from G-Force Race Cars. He’s my crew chief and tuner … without him I don’t know what I would do. The tuning of each car is totally different so having the experience he brings is critical.”
Trying to accomplish so much at one event is worth all the planning for Giust since the U.S. Street Nationals provide such a great platform for both racing and testing. “We like going to test at this event because the track is so smooth and has great prep. I made my first pass in the 3.70s at the event last year in the radial car so we know the track will be good. I’m looking forward to this event, it will be great to see my racing family and it will be awesome to get away from all the cold weather we deal with here in Canada,” Giust explains.
The U.S. Street Nationals will take over Bradenton Motorsports Park January 24-27 and will have tons of racing action for you to check out. SpeedVideo.com will be on the property to bring you the event and you can watch the broadcast RIGHT HERE. Special thanks to ProCharger for being the presenting sponsor of this broadcast along with TCI, Lithium Pros, ATI Performance Products, and FuelTech.