Konigshofer Brothers Racing
Words by Pat Norcia Photos Courtesy of Toyse Woody Motorsports Photography
The three Konigshofer brothers (Frank, Joe, and John) of Tillisonburg, Ontario Canada have been competing regularly in MMPS since the 1989. The Konigshofer brothers picked up the MMPS win at the IHRA President’s Cup event back in June. Most recently they made the change over to electronic fuel injection (EFI) at the IHRA Summer Nationals at Cordova Raceway Park. This was the first Ford entry to venture into EFI program in IHRA competition. Joe Konigshofer took a moment out to update us on the progress of their team.
MMPSA: Tell us a little background about your racing? Have you always raced Fords?
Joe: My brothers and I actually began racing Chevy’s back in the 1960’s. However, in 1971 we got a hold of a Boss 351 Mustang and have been racing Fords ever since. We moved up to Super Gas racing in 1984 with a Mercury Capri that was Alston chassis kit car we purchased and finished here at our shop. At the time we received a lot of help in the engine department and guidance from Carl Holbrook as he was not too far away from us in Detroit (note: Carl’s son Chris later went onto have quite run in the MMPS class winning the IHRA Championship in 1999). Five years later we purchased one of Bob Glidden’s Thunderbirds and began racing IHRA Pro Stock and have been at it ever since.
MMPSA: What was the origin of those early mountain motors?
Joe: We actually started with Joe Kaase building our engines when we began racing mountain motor back in 1989. We have been with Jon ever since and I believe we are his longest standing active customer now. In fact our entire time in MMPS we have field Jerry Hass Race Cars with Jon Kaase engines. We have had quite a few cars and engines over the years and enjoyed a great relationship with both Jerry and Jon.
MMPSA: How did it end up that John got to do the driving out of the three brothers?
Joe: Well it was pretty simple. When we built the Capri to run Super Gas I was supposed to drive but I didn’t fit in the car. Frank, who is my older brother, was too big as well. So John being the youngest and smallest jumped at the chance and has been our driver ever since.
MMPSA: Was it a difficult transition from Super Gas to Pro Stock?
Joe: Not as much as you would think. We had backing for those first 8 years from Ford of Canada under the Motorcraft and Quality Care marketing campaigns which helped out financially. As far as driving goes John was already used to shifting gears in the Super Gasser as it had a Liberty Transmission.
MMPSA: With you and your brothers racing together were you parents supportive of your efforts?
Joe: Not really. My Dad thought the three of us were crazy and my Mom was too afraid to watch.
MMPSA: For Cordova you switched over to electronic fuel injection (EFI). Why the change mid-season? Was this part of a longer term plan?
Joe: Well we decided to make the change now mid-season so we could start to get a handle on the tuning over these last few races of the year. We saw the performance of some of the other teams and felt if we waited until next year we would be that much further behind. We are using the same Big Stuff EFI system as the GM teams and started out with a basic fuel map for a mountain motor. Unfortunately in Cordova we experienced some electrical issues with our Racepak computer and did not have any data to tune from. We had to make all the clutch, transmission, and tuning calls by sight and feel which just left us a little short. We are excited about what we see and hoping to get out a few more times yet this year.
MMPSA: What are your plans for the rest of 2014 and into 2015?
Joe: We hope to make either the IHRA event in Pittsburgh or Martin along the season finale in Memphis and maybe a test session at Grand Bend if time permits. We farm tobacco here and are farming commitments keep us pretty busy from early August through the end of September. As for 2015 we hope to make as many IHRA events as possible. We have a new engine underway with Jon Kaase and are looking forward to incorporating the EFI onto that engine as well.
MMPSA: Joe, thank you for your time and best of luck on the remainder of the season to you, John, and Frank.