The velocity stack probably helped the MAF read the added airflow better, but I think that design is questionable. I would tell you to consider a tube that extends into the bumper, and have a bypass valve (made by AEM) to prevent hydrolock. I will say that when I had my custom cold air intake set up (long tube type) I felt a boost in torque as well. They say it's due to the resonance of the tube and intake pulse, and other psychics that are above my pay grade. Great job though, I respect your methods and the information that you provide to the community.
What's this about a brownie in motion?