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Why TMez is Running a Ford at the Chili Bowl

The Tim Engler engine provides an opportunity for RMS Racing to find an advantage.


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The patch on the firesuit worn by Thomas Meseraull says Toyota but while on Tulsa Time, the RMS Racing No. 7x will be powered by Ford Performance.

Technically, it’s an engine built by Tim Engler and Engler Performance and it’s an opportunity for the team to help a friend and maybe find an advantage for somewhere down the road in an era ripe with parity.

"Tim Engler built a Ford," Meseraull said. "He's been working on a Ford headed engine and he built the block. It's been in the works for three years. We're really close with Tim. We spent six or seven days with him on the dyno trying to get our Toyotas running as well as they can and through that we've enjoyed a great relationship with Tim.

"He built this motor. He doesn't own a Midget so we gave him one to use for the chassis dyno. It needs to run and he asked us to put it in the car so here it is!"

The team ran the engine last month in the Junior Knepper 55 at the DuQuoin Indoor Center and finished seventh with it. That was the debut and the team felt good enough about it for their indoor program that they should bring it to the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals.

"We've only run it there and it was pretty good," Meseraull said. "I feel like we were the car to beat and got caught up in a racing deal in mu opinion. Ran seventh. The motor seemed to be pretty good.

"We're trying to beat those (Keith Kunz Motorsports) cars and Tim is like this is new and we were asked to be a part of it. We didn't think it was a bad place to be to be a team that was developing it.

"If it is better, maybe we can be ahead of the game. All my stuff still says Toyota becaause I didn't know. I showed up to the shop and they already had it in there. We plan on running the Toyota for the whole USAC year because there's only one of these. We're just trying to help Engler Performance out because they have helped us out so much in the past."

Still, was there any hesitation running it knowing that Chili Bowl is where you want to have no questions about performance or reliability?

"It's a little nerve-wracking but we haven't had any issues," Meseraull said. "We're hoping for the best."

TMez is coming off his second-best run at the Golden Driller, a 10th place finish that is only second to his eighth place run in 2016 and has enjoyed a decent start to his week. Kind of. He was fastest in his practice group on Sunday but also got blacked flagged in the session for staying on throttle after the caution waved.

It was a minor reprimand.

Perhaps a matter of karma, Meseraull picked up a bad draw (second) earlier in the afternoon and will have Rico Abreu and Tanner Berryhill behind him. That’s a bad place to be in to maximize points early but it leaves only one choice.

"Go out there and win," he said. "Get through it, get through the qualifier and get a good spot for the feature. The feature track has been about the same every night and I think it’s my jam, slick to the curb. We’ll just keep plugging forward, hopefully start in the top-10 and have a good night."