Off season? What off season? For Anthony Dicero, Litton Racing’s Crew Chief and ace tuner, you wouldn’t know it’s been hiatus time for the Litton Racing/ADR operation. At his home base in Brownsburg, Indiana, Chief Dicero has been braving single-digit temperatures and below-zero wind chills to keep the Litton hot rod running hotter than ever since last November when the Pomona season-ender came and went.
As the new racing season counts down to Pomona again on February 14th, Dicero’s been working 12 -14 hour days to acquire and install new parts and streamline performance. “It’s like putting another bullet in the gun. You need all you can get to be a professional nitro team.”
This season’s race car is lighter in weight, and optimizing
weight distribution means faster. Dicero is taking it one step further and replacing parts to reduce some of the bolted-on weight still there. He’s installed a new Rob Moore reverser for one, which takes weight off the back. He’s also replaced heavier aluminum and steel bolts and plates with titanium parts. He’s bought high-tech inventory from Don Schumacher’s team, along with Artivinco, Tom Conway, and Mark Taliaferro’s teams.
But anyone in the racing industry can tell you a car is only as good as its last run. That last-run information is critical to make changes for the next one. To that end, Dicero has also added more sensors to the Racepak computer to better monitor performance. The new air speed intake sensor, for example, will measure how fast air is pushed into the motor. More accurate readings lead to better results when it’s do or die time.
Dicero also switched to a digital ignition and digital timing to smooth out the timing curve, along with newer-style Maguera dual element rear wings to increase speed. Dicero also recently moved into a new shop to work his mechanical magic. And with two new top-rated crew members by his side (Warren Weber, formerly of Tony Pedregon’s team and Jay Ryskey, formerly of Spencer Massey’s team), he’s got the staff in place to make this year’s Litton car sing. Not to mention his adorable “honorary crew member” – 7-month-old daughter, Kolette. His big dream for 2013? “Be competitive and successful, and end the season with a top-ten ranking and a few Wallys.”In Dicero’s quest to seek that that elusive brass statue, he’s heading to sunny Nevada next week with driver Bill Litton for the team’s first attempt to try the new clutch and do further testing. From there, it’s on to the Winternationals in Pomona for the season opener February 14th.