One of Canada’s most dedicated Super Stock class racers knocked off an important “bucket list” item recently….

Venice Perno, the very likeable owner and operator of Performance Cellar (Stoney Creek ON), achieved a personal goal during the recently held NHRA PC Richard National Open event held at Cayuga Dragway.

Racing his very fast and tried and true 2010 Ford Mustang – Venice was the only racer that weekend to reset a official NHRA national record when he successfully massaged the SS/CS national class standard to 9.43 secs and 140.49 mph.

While new national class records are set on pretty much a weekly basis throughout North America (during season), for sure this mark is the first time that has happened at fabled Cayuga Dragway — in a very long time.

Venice Perno has been a long time Ford brand racer, drag racing activist and track supporter at Cayuga Dragway.

“I noticed a while back that the SS/CS record was sitting at a 9.80 minimum,” Venice revealed. “So I saw that as an opportunity.  I’ve been racing at Cayuga for a good many years and this track has a spot in my heart.  Ever since I’ve been a kid I had always dreamed about seeing my name listed in National Dragster with a national record (at Cayuga Dragway).   After that weekend that’s going to be a reality — at least for a little while.”

In days now long gone by (during 1970-1980’s) – drag racers quite often reset NHRA records at Cayuga when that facility used to host one of the official NHRA Divisional points races.   But that opportunity for racers did evolve away for a long time until 2016 when NHRA’s Northeast Division brought back a National Open format race.

“I can remember those good old days when racers from all over came to Cayuga and set records,” Venice smiled.  

Make no mistake however, Venice is no stranger to setting records, having accomplished that multiple times before albeit all at race tracks in the USA.  

“I’ve been racing this Mustang since 2012 and I think that was the 6th time it set a record,” he added.  “But while the math is nice — I want to dedicate this mark to my wife Lorraine, to all the people who help me tirelessly with this race car and to everyone at Cayuga Dragway itself.  I certainly do not race for the money or for the esteem — for me it’s always been about the racing community and my friends.”

Venice’s current Mustang configuration includes a very high-winding 312 CID Ford motor program.  And while the 9.43 secs mark is a new NHRA record, he did confirm that his Smith Performance Specialties built car has run as quick as 9.23 secs, making it (for a time) the quickest SS/CS car on the planet!

Venice Perno’s Queenston Group-presented Mustang reset both ends of the NHRA SS/CS class record recently at Cayuga Dragway.

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler