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DR.

1405-COVER 2/12/14 5:18 AM Page US_C1

MAY 2014
$5.99 U.S.

Volume 18, No.3


DISPLAY UNTIL: 5/20/14

05

74470 03125

Engaged Media By Beckett

DR_1405_C2 2/11/14 1:06 AM Page C2

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CHEVROLET CAMARO

CALL 800.884.NHRA
OR GO TO NHRATIX.COM
2014 RACING SCHEDULE

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DR_1405_3 2/11/14 1:08 AM Page 3

DR.1405-4-EDIT 2/11/14 4:32 AM Page 4

OVER CENTER

BY PETE WARD

WHAT THE FLIP


ARE THEY
THINKING?
whizzed away several hours of my life yesterday watching the Super
Bowl and as many say, the best partthe commercialswhich brings
me to my little rant: four freakin million dollars for 30 seconds of
advertising?! Are they insane?!
I did a bit of research and came up with this quote from the Feb. 3 web edition
of the International Business Times: In January, Advertising Age reported on a
study by the research rm Communicas that called into question whether the ticket
price of a Super Bowl commercial is money well spent: In 2014, a 30-second spot
is reportedly going for $4 million, up from $3.8 million in 2013. The study found that
only one in ve Super Bowl commercials leads to a sale, or intent to purchase
these guys arent lightweights! They know of what they speak.
It never fails to amaze me how totally devoid of clear thinking most major companies are, or by default, the agencies who handle their advertising/marketing. In
the late 70s my wife and I had a company, Nothing Ventured-Nothing Gained, Inc.,
which attempted to acquire sponsorships for drag racing teams. The same problem exists now as then: companies and their agencies just dont get it! If a promotional concept is a bit out of their comfort zone (stick and ball sports, electronic or
print media) they just cant seem to get their heads wrapped around it. For ad agencies it gets more complicated. Its harder for them to make a buck on a race deal
rather than on conventional ad placement. Of course theyre supposed to be good
shepherds of their clients money.
Now, $4 mill may not be Force, Shoe, Johnson or Kalitta territory, but it sure would
be a real nice hit for a competitive one-car pro team. Who knows what that kind
of money might do for say, Tim Wilkerson, Clay Millican or Larry Morgan?
Drag race fans vote with their pocketbooks. Theyre very brand loyal. Bud, Miller
and Coors got a ton of irate Ill never drink your bleepin beer again, because you
dropped Kenny, Snake, Goo$e
letters. We buy stuff advertised
on the side of race cars. Shotgun
blast advertising, the idea of lets
spend a ton of money on this one
round on ammunition, shoot a
wide pattern and hope one of the
pellets might wing someone who
could be vaguely interested in our
product, doesnt really make any
sense. Aaaarrrggghh! It drives me
/ ABOUT JIM WHITES PHOTO: Goo$e and Snake
freakin crazy. In the grandbrought the corporate world to motorsports and
scheme of things, drag racing is
John Force has done a masterful job of maximizing
such a cheap buy for companies,
drag racings marketing potential.
compared with other forms of
advertising/marketing. Especially when you bear in mind how faithful we are to
those who support our sport. Thankfully there are companies out there who do get
it, and we see their product/company logos on race cars. To those companies,
thank you!
Ill get off my soapbox now, but just one more thing before I go: All of you out
there, if you have a friend or family member whos in a decision-making position for
a company who could benet from a connection to drag racing, put a bug in
their ear!

MAY.2014

VOL18
NUMBER3
MAY2014
EDITORIAL
Kevin Wilson - Editorial Director
Pete Ward - Editor
Michelle Salcedo - Group Managing Editor
Eugene Pineda - Art Director
John Cabral - Cover Design
Contributing Editors
Jeff Burk, Bill Holland, Tom The Mongoo$e McEwen, Bob McClurg, Rod Short, Ian Tocher, Dave Wallace

ADVERTISING
Gabe Frimmel - Ad Sales Director - (714) 200-1930,
GFrimmel@Beckett.com
Tom The Mongoo$e McEwen - Motorsports Director (714) 200-1936
Brandon Lillie - Senior Account Executive - (714) 276-5279
Bill Middaugh - Senior Account Executive (714) 200-1937
Chris Crispell - Account Executive - (714) 200-1935
Bob Hulsy - Account Executive - (714) 200-1940
Gennifer Merriday - Ad Traffic Coordinator

DIRECT MARKETING GROUP


John Bartulin - 866) 866-5146 ext. 2746
Paul Caca - (866) 866-5146 ext. 4961
Ryan Lauro - (866) 866-5146 ext. 2756
Mary Ann Jaca - (866) 866-5146 ext 2716

OPERATIONS
Gus Alonzo - Newsstand Marketing & Sales Manager
Celia Merriday - Newsstand Analyst
Amit Sharma - Business Analytics Manager
Mohit Patel - Newsstand & Production Analyst
Alberto Chavez - Senior Logistics & Facilities Manager
Shailesh Khandelwal - Subscription Manager
Veronica Bedoya - Associate Marketing Manager

EDITORIAL, PRODUCTION & SALES OFFICE


22840 Savi Ranch Parkway, #200, Yorba Linda, CA 92887
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DRAG RACER (ISSN_1094-5547) Volume 18, Number 3 is a
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#200, Yorba Linda, CA 92887. POSTMASTER Send address changes
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This magazine is purchased by the buyer with the understanding that information
presented is from various sources from which there can be no warranty or responsibility
by Beckett Media, LLC as to the legality, completeness or technical accuracy.

DR_1405_5 2/11/14 1:10 AM Page 5

DR.1405-6-7-TOC 2/18/14 11:29 PM Page 6

COLUMNS

4
76
82
86
88

Over Center
Behind the Scenes
Collectible Keepers
Carb Class
The Mongoo$e Journals

DEPARTMENTS

Quarter-Mile Updates
Power Brokers
Strange Engineering Quiz
Bells and Whistles
Parting Shot

contents

MAY 2014 VOL. 18 NO. 03

8
12
13
14
90

The Snake, in
conjunction with Brett
Hajek, is restoring the
fabled Shelbys Super
Snake T/F. The
legendary Don Long is in
charge of the chassis
and the Old Master Ed
Pink, who built its
original Ford Cammer, is
again the engine builder.
PHOTOGRAPHER
UNKNOWN

ON THE COVER SNAKE AND GOO$E HIGHLIGHT THE BARRETT-JACKSON AUCTION Photo by
Visit Drag Racer online: Dragracermag.com

| Follow us on Facebook: Facebook/Drag Racer Magazine

Jim

DR.1405-6-7-TOC 2/18/14 11:29 PM Page 7

SPECIAL FEATURES

42

64

BACK TO THE
FUTURE WITH
YET ANOTHER
NEW IHRA

MILLION
DOLLAR
BABIES

Barrett-Jackson
Highlights

New Faces, Big Plans

DRIVER PROFILES AND FEATURED PERFORMERS

18

THE IVO FILES, ACT III


For Love Not Money

44

EUROBOOSTED
Tero Laukkanen Is
Blowin Big Power

48

24

PANDEMONIUM!

Return With Us to the Roots of Funny Car Racing

WHEN TIME
WAITS FOR
NO ONE

Jim Oddy is Resurrecting


the Golden Days

70

THE PERFECT
DISTRACTION

Ed Leaboughs Chevy II
Takes Him AwayQuickly!

TECH

32
by

Jim White

LS1 POWER TRIP, PART 2

LS1 Engines: Reasonably Priced, Easy to Find,


Eager to Respond

58

WAR PONY EXPRESS


FRONT LINES
Fixing the Front End

DRAG RACER (ISSN_1094-5547) Volume 18, Number 3 is a bimonthly publication published January, March, May, July, September and November by Beckett Media
LLC, 22840 Savi Ranch Parkway, #200, Yorba Linda, CA 92887. POSTMASTER Send address changes to: DRAG RACER c/o BECKETT MEDIA, 4635 McEwen Rd.,
Dallas, TX 75244. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Drag Racer c/o Pitney Bowes, Inc., PO Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B #855050365RT001.
2014 by Beckett Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.

DR.1405-8-13-QTR 2/11/14 5:43 AM Page 8

QUARTER-MILE UPDATE

Yet Another Big-Time Award


(Actually Two) for John Force
he American Auto Racing
Writers and Broadcasters
Association announced Force as
a member of the All-America
First Team for the sixteenth time.
Force is also the Jerry Titus Memorial Trophy winner for the driver having the most overall votes. This is the fth such award for Force.
No other motorsports professional has won
more than three times.

The Great Wallof Fontana


ce race photog Roger Rohrdanz recently
visited the long quiet Fontana, California,
Auto Club Dragway located at the Auto
Club Speedway. Shuttered due to noise
issues, its now scheduled to reopen this season,
thanks to the newly constructed sound barrier wall.
SoCal racers and fans, rejoice, and give a big thanks
to the Automobile Club of Southern California. Stay
posted for the race schedule.

MAY.2014

DR_1405_9 2/11/14 1:11 AM Page 9

A
R
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3
1
0
2
P.
M
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PRO MO

H
T
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M
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RICKY

8 TIMEEET
PRO STCRHAMP!
WORLD

I
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U
M
T
A
P

POPEYE POWER!!!
VENOLIA PISTONS PROVIDE RACE PROVEN DURABILITY AND PERFORMANCE RUN AFTER RUN.
PAT MUSI KNOWS VENOLIA WILL DELIVER A WINNING ADVANTAGE.......
PISTONS

PINS

RODS

RINGS

Quality and Service


2160 Cherry Industrial Circle Long Beach, CA 90805
Tel: (562) 531-8463 or (323) 636-9329 Fax: (562) 633-9439

www.venolia.com

DR.1405-8-13-QTR 2/11/14 5:43 AM Page 10

QUARTER-MILE UPDATE
emember the bitchin
muscle car stamps the
U.S. Postal Service issued
last year? Tom Fritz, the
artist who created them, also does
drag race images. Be sure to check
out his website, Fritzart.com.

You Can Almost R


Hear the Thunder
and Smell the Nitro!

Taking Artistic License


Oil on canvas; 27 x 48 inches
Tom Fritz 2003
Automotive Fine Arts Society Best In Show,
Pebble Beach Concours dElegance, 2003.
Prints are available.

//My depiction of Don Prudhomme in the Greer Black


Prudhomme dragster. Besides capturing the gut-twisting drama
of the moment, my real challenge in this painting was describing
the sparkle of spinning spokes without relying on visual clichs.
//TOM FRITZ

The Art Worlds Loss


Drag Racings Gain
teve Gibbs, friend to racers during his 25-year tenure as NHRAs Director of
Competition, now Vice President-Director of the NHRA Motorsports
Museum and key player in the Museums Hot Rod Reunions and wildly
popular Cacklefests also possesses serious artistic skills. Fortunately for
us, Steve elected to pursue drag racing instead of art. He recently came upon some of
his early works and was kind enough to share with us.

10

MAY.2014

DR_1405_11 2/11/14 1:20 AM Page 11

DR.1405-8-13-QTR 2/11/14 5:43 AM Page 12

QUARTER-MILE UPDATE

And One More TimePDRA:


Presented by

CREW CHIEF OF THE MONTH

GREGG BELLEMEUR

ike father like son. TA/FC standouts Sean Bellemeur


and his dad Gregg, have been racing together since
Sean was a toddler, but Gregg was hammering the
quarter long before Sean made the scene.
It didnt take Gregg long to progress from a spectator
at the historic SoCal San Gabe track. By 68 hed
transformed his streeter 55 Chevy into a C/Gasser. Two
years later he was wheeling an injected big-block (soon
blown, later replaced by a 392 Hemi) 92-inch wheelbase
Fiat Topolino AA/A. He says the evil-handling little
animal nicknamed Easy Rider was almost square
wide as it was long.
In 72, he and partner Jack Burr purchased Gary
Hazens Panic! AA/FA, plugging in their Hemi, now on
alcohol. It was soon running at record times with their
combo. Competing in NHRAs new Pro Comp Elim, Gregg
says the 103-inch wheelbase AA/FA was almost as
wicked as the Fiat, but with NHRAs blessing, they tacked
on 8 inches, set the Hemi back and tamed the beast. In
73, on alcohol, they won Tucson Dragways famous Fuel
Altered Nationals and followed it up with win at OCIRs
16-car AA/FA show.
In 75 Gregg and Jack teamed up with Kent Rogers on
the Double A Bad Guys TAD in Pro Comp. They ran the
dragster for six seasons and then Gregg retired from the
drivers seat. In 83 they joined forces with Tom Lemon
and driver Tom Bristow, and later Gary Scelzi.
Son Sean, always close at hand, was itching to drive,
so at 13 Gregg and wife Nancy stuck him in a Jr. Dragster.
He took to racing immediately and for three years, with
dad tuning, tore up the competition. In 2000, a trip to
the Goodguys Vintage Drags at Bakersfield launched the
two into the big leagues. Good friend and master
fabricator Davie Uyehara welded up a front-motor A/F
dragster for Sean. Running a unique late-model Hemi
and mandatory small fuel pump combo, Gregg tuned
Sean to the Good Guys A/F title in 2001 (winning or
RU-ing every race) and 02, running up in 03. They also
won the Hot Rod Reunion and March Meet.
Looking for a greater challenge, in 04 Gregg and
Sean stepped into TA/FC. The family team, racing on a
limited budget and facing a steep learning curve, has
continually progressed. Gregg proclaims, I have a tenth
in the car just by having Sean in the seat. They raced
together from 04 through 07, until Seans skills were
sought out by Ron Meer Motorsports. Gregg soldiered on
with Russ Parker in the seat. The family team was back
together in 2009.
In 2010 Seans relationship with Tom Shelar the
SoCal Dealer for Mastercam, industry leader in CAD/CAM
software (he successfully drove Shelars High Speed
Motorsports Nostalgia T/F) brought Mastercam to their
TA/FC. Michael Cordanis FireIce signed the Bellemeurs
up for 13 and had planned to continue the relationship
this year. Cordanis unfortunate passing has altered their
plans. With Mastercam onboard, but funding primarily
coming from Greggs West Valley Sales, specializing in
electronics product distribution and sales representation,
they will continue on, racing mainly west of the Rockies.
Greggs tuning acumen and Seans driving got them
to #14 out of 50 TA/FCs nationally in 13 while only
competing at nine events, with some serious funding,
only the skys the limit!
Gregg would like to thank Todd Swinford for his help
and Randy Anderson for tuning assistance.

A New Pro Mod


Organization!
he Professional Drag Racers
Association, founded by
racers Jason and Mitchell
Scruggs, Gene Hector, Roger
Henson and Tommy Franklin, is
attempting to create a solid
foundation for eighth-mile Pro Modstyle drag racing. Schedule: April 4 and
5 Rockingham Dragway, Rockingham,
NC; May 9 and 10 South Georgia

Motorsports Park, Valdosta, GA; May


23 and 24 Memphis International
Raceway, Memphis, TN; June 27 and 28
U.S. 131 Motorsports Park, Martin, MI;
July 25 and 26 Virginia Motorsports
Park, Richmond, VA; Aug. 15 and 16
Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park in
Tulsa, OK; Sept. 5 and 6 Rockingham
Dragway; Oct. 10 and 11 Virginia
Motorsports Park.

Ed Pink the Old


Master is Back in
Bizand Wants You
Wearin His Colors!
all of Fame engine builder Ed Pink is embarking on a new chapter in
his storied career, collaborating with long-time friend Bob Brandt
(Don Prudhommes fabled crew chief) to launch Ed Pinks Garage in
Newbury Park, California. The facility is devoted to doing special
projects that range from building and installing unique engines in street rods
and muscle cars to performing R&D work.
Now Pink has a line of apparel available! To order, or just check things out, go to:
Edpinksgarage.com.

12

MAY.2014

DR.1405-8-13-QTR 2/11/14 5:43 AM Page 13

TECH TIP
THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPER
ROD BOLT STRETCH
The clamp force holding a rod together needs to
be greater than the tension load pulling it apart.
To obtain the correct amount of clamping force a
fastener should actually be stretched a measured
amount. This is done with a stretch gauge not a
torque wrench.

Designed in House

CNC Machined

Radial Serration Caps

333 West 48th Avenue


Denver CO. 80216
Phone: (303) 935-7565

www.grpconrods.com

Who is the driver?


Who are the car owners?
QUIZ ANSWER

Owner/driver:
Gary Densham

SEND YOUR ENTRIES TO:

Drag Racer Magazine Quiz


22840 Savi Ranch Parkway, Suite 200
Yorba Linda, CA 92887

13

Drag Racer
March 2014

Name of car:
Teachers Pet

DR.1405-14-16-BELLS 2/11/14 9:12 PM Page 14

BELLS AND WHISTLES

Earls DisconnectsQuickly

hen running a late-model engine with


factory fuel rails in a performance application, youre faced with the challenge
of connecting to AN fuel lines. Fortunately, Earls Performance Plumbing has the solution
with its new quick connect adapter ttings.
The adapters connect to popular GM, Ford or
Chrysler fuel lines and provide a secure connection to -6 and -8 AN ttings. The adapters
use dual O-ring seals with an OE-style
steel inner snap retainer that clicks to
the original lines.
To ensure a secure connection, the engineering team at
Earls incorporated a redundant retaining system. There
is the factory-style internal
retainer along with an external
retaining clip.

The adapters are also available in Earls Ano-Tuff


black nish which provides superior resistance to
wear and corrosion. This hard anodizing process
forms a thick, hard coating that will not de-bond
from the aluminum surface over time. Check out
Earls.com or call 270.781.9741 for
more info.

Strange Yokes are No Joke

trange Engineerings heavy-duty lines of S-series transmission and pinion yokes


were designed by Strange and are manufactured from USA-made, high tensile
strength nodular iron castings. Transmission and pinion yokes are CNC-machined
by Strange to ensure concentricity and balance for ideal driveshaft
operation. Most popular domestic transmissions and rearends are
covered by the wide variety of yokes
that Strange has to offer.
Yokes are machined
to
accept
the
durable 1350 series
U-joints and are
available with custom
Strange driveshafts. In addition, crossover
U-joints are available to adapt the Strange
yokes to most O.E.M. applications. For
more info, call 847.663.1701 or visit
Strangeengineering.net.

Get on the Ball With QA1

A1's Ultimate ball joints are now available in


bolt-in, press-in and screw-in styles. The ball
joints come preassembled with standard and
up to 1-inch longer studs. These longer length
ball joints can help to improve the overall geometry of
the car by increasing straight line stability and improving
roll center and can also help to free up bind, allowing the
suspension to operate smoothly through the entire range
of travel.
Designed to provide innite preload adjustment, break-

14

MAY.2014

away torque on these ball joints can be as low as 0 ft-lbs,


enabling completely smooth, bind-free operation. Engineered to withstand years of use, QA1's ball joints feature
precise ball-to-race conformity that provides an even
load distribution for unbeatable wear resistance and
increased longevity. With their simple construction and
assembly, these ball joints can easily be owner rebuilt,
cleaned and inspected, and can even be adjusted while
still installed on the vehicle. For more info, call
952.985.5675 or visit Qa1.net.

DR_1405_15 2/13/14 3:29 PM Page 15

in the lanes
with optional
touch screen!

All features are standard with no


additional upgrade costs!
Consistent closed loop fuel control
4GB internal data-logging
Intuitive software
Integrated wideband oxygen sensors
(HP=1, Dominator=2)
3 Integrated rev limiters & user
programmable safeties
Supports coil-on-plug applications
User programmable inputs/outputs
(HP=8, Dominator=86)

24 injector capability (Dominator), 16 injector


capability (HP) - High or low impedance
Multiple power management tuning options
Fully featured time, speed or gear based
boost control
4 stage wet/dry progressive nitrous control
Traction control via external Davis Technologies box
Integrated water or water/meth injection
Dominator - electronic trans control, dual
drive-by-wire capability

NO-COST

SOFTWARE & FIRMWARE


UPDATES AT HOLLEY.COM!

www.holley.com | 270-781-9741
All trademarks listed are property of their respective owners.

DR.1405-14-16-BELLS 2/11/14 9:12 PM Page 16

BELLS AND WHISTLES

Totally Long Tubular Doug

he Original Dougs Headers


announces the D336 long tube race
header. Engineered to t 265-400
small-block Chevrolet engines in a
variety of General Motors cars that came
factory with Chevrolet 265-400 smallblock engines. They offer excellent t and
maximum ground clearance.
These headers are built with 3/8-inch
thick anges at the cylinder head and threebolt outlet anges. The long tube tuner
under-chassis exit is made from 16-gauge
tubing for durability with 1 -inch primaries
and 3-inch collectors for increased horsepower and torque throughout the powerband. They are designed to work with both
automatic and manual transmission cars

equipped with power brakes, power steering and air conditioning.


They come standard
with a polished high luster heat- and corrosionresistant metallic ceramic coating. These
headers come complete with reducers,
1,100F-rated gaskets and premium
installation hardware and instructions. Theyre also
available uncoated.
For more info, call
909 599-5955 or visit Dougsheaders.com.

Revolutionary
Stepper Throttle
Stop From
Dedenbear

his system combines the consistency of an electric stop


with the adjustability of an air stop for unprecedented
levels of control. It features eight completely independent movements per run and the ability to adjust the
movement
of
the stop to 90
different blade
positions (rather
than simply fully
open or fully
closed) and at
nine different speeds. Dramatically improved starting
line control and complete adjustability from the drivers seat
while belted in the car in the staging lanes round out this
advanced feature set. For more info, call 866.518.0939 or visit
Dedenbear.com.

Got Dirty Parts?

f you need a better automotive or industrial parts washer, a


ChemFree SmartWasher is the best washer for the job. This
affordable, state-of-the-art unit can handle the difficult work
of cleaning your dirtiest parts. Theyre easy to use, simple to
maintain and built to last.
SmartWashers are safe for people and the environment. The
USDA, AQMD and ETL have certied and approved the SmartWasher system. While its environmentally responsible and safe, its
also intensely powerful. With no ash-point, no toxic solvents and
no waste hauling, the SmartWasher is the powerful alternative to solvent. Go green without compromise and
eliminate the generation of liquid hazardous waste.
For more info, visit Pridemachinery.com and
click on the SmartWasher banner or photo. To place an
order, call Pride Machinery for a special DRAG RACER magazine readers discount 800.698.0440.

16

MAY.2014

DR_1405_17 2/11/14 1:32 AM Page 17

Available
On Demand
and Digital
Download

MARCH
4TH
& on
Blu-ray
and DVD

APRIL
8TH!

The incredible true story of the most amazing drag racers in history.

SMOKING
THROUGHOUT AND
SOME LANGUAGE

FILMS

www.snakeandmongoosemovie.com

Donate today at www.lls.org

2013 Snake and Mongoose Productions, LLC All Rights Reserved.

DR.1405-18-22-IVO 2/11/14 9:17 PM Page 18

Text by Alan Paradise


Photos courtesy of Tommy Ivo
y the winter of 1965, the landscape of drag racing was changing. Tommy Ivo
had established himself as one of the sports primary architects. However,
he could feel the sand shifting beneath his feet as the activity was rapidly
evolving from a garage mentality to a full-blown professional sport.
Ivo had long been the teacher, but now the students were challenging him for the status of
head of the Top Fuel class. To stay at the pinnacle, he needed to push the limits, and not just
in horsepower. Decisions, often difficult ones, were becoming more and more frequent. The
game had changed from simple tire pressure and nitro mixture to factors no one dreamed
would come into play. Added to the situation was the growth of the NHRA as well as smaller,
sometimes more aggressive competitors. These factors allowed drag racing to rapidly become
the fastest growing participation sport. For Ivo, this was both a blessing and a curse.

THE TRIALS OF ERROR


When Ivo and Don Prudhomme hooked up for the rst side-by-side, seven-second pass, it
was clear that the ability to change, adapt and (most importantly) innovate would need to
become a constant companion. For the upper echelon, it was time to lead into new levels of
discovery. Aerodynamics was an idea that looked like it held promise.
During NHRAs England Tour a year earlier, Ivo met Steve Swaja, a talented young man who
was crewing for Top Fuel driver/builder Tony Nancy. During the Atlantic crossing, Swaja, a student at the Pasadena School of Design, sketched sleek-looking dragster bodies using aerodynamic principles seen on land speed-style cars of the day. The bodies were stunning. They were
narrow in the front and wide in the rearlike a reverse teardropwith graceful, owing lines. We
had no idea if any of these principles would do anything, but they looked so good I had to give
one a try, Ivo said. He thought that even if it didnt go any faster, the look would surely result in

18

MAY.2014

/ The Videoliner looked better than it handled. The


project was scrapped before any damage was done.

/ Not all the lessons of the Videoliner were in


vain. The Red Wing benefited from small
aerodynamic wings on the tail.

DR.1405-18-22-IVO 2/11/14 9:17 PM Page 19

streamliners. It took Ivo and team only a few weeks to recycle some of
the ideas to build the next generation of a TV Tom beauty. The Red
Wing was a more conventional dragster that could double as a piece
of art. The stars, however, would not align for the car as it met with a
comedy of errors. Ivo recalled its rocky beginning. Before my rst run,
my over-excited push car driver slammed into the rear of it, sending me
and the car up onto the hood of my Cadillac. The heavily damaged
aluminum deck was hastily repaired, but couldnt hold up to the strains
of touring. A berglass replacement unit was made in mid-summer and
used for the remainder of the season.
SHOW AND GO
During the mid-60s, drag racing had a clear-cut pecking order: there
was Top Fuel and then everything else. Prudhomme, Ivos former sidekick, had established himself as one of frontrunners of the sport along
with Don Garlits and Tom McEwen. It was a colorful time in the sport.
There was a Snake, a Mongoose, Big Daddy and TV Tom, said Roland
Leong, known for his Hawaiian dragsters and his tuning abilities. All of
them could be the fastest at any time. But, it was Ivo who knew how
to put on a show, he added.
For 1966, Ivo constructed a new and improved dragster using the
berglass tail of the Red Wing. In true TV Tom style, he one-upped
everyone when he arranged for ABCs Wide World of Sports to follow
the building process. It brought unprecedented exposure, not only to Ivo,
but the entire sport as well. Adding to the impression, Ivo painted the
car green. We called it chartreuse because it was bad luck to paint a
race car green, remarked Ivo. While the new 150-inch wheelbase dragster was drop-dead gorgeous, Ivo added another showmans touch, a
glass trailer. It was a simple yet effective idea. Make the rig like a rolling
storefront. Man, did that cause some highway excitement, he added.
In 67 Ivo went from chartreuse to psychedelic. It was the age of
incense and peppermints and there was no one more ready to be
more far out than Ivo. As he put it, I told custom painter George Cerny
about drawing amoeba shapes on my school notebooks a decade ago.
So he did up the body in white pearl with candy apple red blobs. Man,
that car was a real crowd-pleaser. In 68, Ivo moved the process forward by building a second rail and a trailer capable of hauling both.
By this time the NHRA and AHRA were competing for the top drivers and tracks. Both sanctioning bodies also increased the number of
more packed grandstands. Using one of the
sketches, the Videoliner with a swoopy aluminum body, was built. On the rst test run
Ivo discovered the wind currents made the
car handle like he was wrestling a raging bull.
The second run was no better. But Ivo and
team kept trying to ne-tune the concept in
hopes of discovering the secret.
Meanwhile, other builders were also
experimenting with aerodynamic, streamline designs. One night at Lions the answers
were tragically revealed. I was heading
down the re-up lane toward the staging
area. Another driver in a streamliner was in
mid-run when he lost control and slammed
at full speed into a telephone pole. The car
was heavily damaged and the driver killed. I
got out of my streamliner right then and
there. Ivo concluded. That event, along with
a near fatal crash by Tony Nancy in his
experimental slipstream dragster, put a
quick end to the idea.
The quest to harness the wind was not
completely lost to the ill-fated, full-bodied

/ ABCs Wide World of


Sports followed the
construction and progress
of the chartreuse car in 66.
On his first run, Ivo pulled a
major wheelstand at 160mph as the cameras rolled.

19

DR.1405-18-22-IVO 2/11/14 9:17 PM Page 20

/ Ivo debuted a new car at the 74 Winternationals. The result


was a spectacular crash. He escaped with minor injuries.

national events and developed a points system. In the face of mounting pressure to run
quicker, engines were being pushed to the
limit. Sponsorship was still a dicey situation
and never enough to fund the building and
campaigning for a full season, not even for
drivers as successful as Ivo.
THE POINT OF TOURING
The nal season of the 60s proved to be a
tale of two extremes. First, the two Top
Fuelers from 68 were repainted and carried
over for 69. The cars were in a rainbow
scheme. Once again Ivo was a top contender at every national event. But, it was
running on the touring circuit that paid the
bills. It had become a question of ego or
economics. Ivo explained. I knew I could
make more money touring than earning
points. But it cost me when it came to being
part of the history books, he added.
It was during this time that Ivo pulled off
one of the most iconic off-track tricks in racing history. He convinced Dodge to supply
him with a cab-over truck on atbed rails.
He commissioned Swaja to design a glasssided truck to haul both dragsters plus all
necessary parts, equipment and nitro. The
kicker was it also would carry a tow car on
top. I bought a Corvette to use as the push
car. When the Dodge people saw that, they
were very upset. They wanted me to use a
Dart. I told them the only American car low
enough to clear the interstate bridges while
on top of the rig was a Corvette. The truth
was there was no way I was going to use an
old mans car as a pusher. The Corvette was
more my style, recalled Ivo. The rig had a
celebrity status of its own, being made into
model kits and featured in magazines.
The desire for a double life of racing was
tempered by a decade of being the most
popular driver in the sport. Fans from coast
to coast looked forward to Ivo coming to a
track near them. His warm personality, Hollywood good looks, and beautiful dragsters,
trailers and tow cars had made him a big
attraction. It was here where the two-car
system paid major dividends. The full-bodied dragster was used for the majority of his
touring appearances and at custom car

//As in years
past, Ivo the
showman took
over the class and
became a fan
favorite. During
non-national
events, Ivo was
known for his
long, near
quarter-mile
smoky burnouts.

//

/ The intro of Ivos first rearengine dragster was historic.


On his first pass, he recorded a
record-shattering 5:9. He was
the first in the fives.

20

shows. The second car minus rear bodywork was lighter and
quicker, thus it was his choice at national events or during match
races with the heavy-hitters of the day.
Time on the road takes its toll, especially after a decade. It
was important to stay loose and try to have fun. Otherwise the
rigors of living out of a suitcase nine months a year would drive
a person to the edge. While Ivo was as famous as a drag racer
could be in the 60s, he was also infamous for his practical
(and often elaborate) jokes.
One night, while at a national event, he and a crew member
were leaving the hotel parking lot. At the time, nearly every
team had a Chevy truck. There were dozens of them in the parking lot, so I decided everyone needed a new hood, he recalled.
Ivo and team removed all of the Chevy hoods and swapped
them around. The next morning, red hoods were on white
trucks, white were on blue and black on red. It was a slight to
see. I think it took three months for everyone to get the original
hoods back in place, he said with a chuckle.
Ivo was the biggest prankster there was back then. I remember the hood gag. The only ones that got off that one were Prudhomme and I because he was running a Ford and I had a Dodge,
said Tom McEwen. Ivo wasnt immune to retaliation and often
found himself blockaded in his hotel room by a vending machine
or with a lump of Limburger cheese hidden in his rooms air vent.
McEwen summed in up this way, It was all in good fun and was
part of the camaraderie of the sport.
THE TIMES OF CHANGE
The next two years were lled with massive transition. In one
genius move major sponsorships were brought into the sport
via the growing popularity of Funny Cars. Suddenly, Top Fuel
was no longer the top draw. McEwen and Prudhomme opened
the oodgates with their Hot Wheels deal. Coupled with Garlits tragic clutch explosion and subsequent invention of the
rear-engine dragster, it seemed the entire sport was being
turned upside-down. TV Tommy, always on the leading edge
of innovation, was suddenly seen as a man in the past. He
had two conventional front-engine dragsters, no plan to get
into a Funny Car, and was only able to land small sponsorship
deals with Fram Oil Filters and AMT. Drag racing, as he knew it,
was over. Funny Cars were the touring draw and he knew he
would have to adapt or die. He would not only adapt, be once
again lead the charge.
Change for Ivo came in 1972 when he arrived with a new
rear-engine dragster. Style and attention to detail were just as
important as performance. Rear-engine design became a
standard cookie-cutter look. I wanted to stand out, not only by
being faster, but to have a distinctive style, said Ivo. To achieve
this, Ivo ran body panels connecting the front and rear of the
car. The wing supports were also unique at the time. When it
came to performance, Ivo quickly set the bar. On his rst offiMAY.2014

DR.1405-18-22-IVO 2/11/14 9:17 PM Page 21

/ Ivo was known for his glass showroom on


wheels. The glass-sided Dodge cab-over
sported living quarters, housing for two
dragsters and penthouse parking for his
Corvette support vehicle.

cial run in the car, he recorded a 5.97the


rst time anyone had ever traveled the
quarter-mile in less than six seconds. In just
a few weeks, Mike Snively and Don Moody
joined the ve-second club. In contrast, 16
years passed before, Eddie Hill broke the
four-second barrier.
In his never-ending quest for discovery,
Ivo added front wheel covers in 1973. He
would have an entirely new car built in 1974
that resulted in the ride of his life. At the
NHRA Winternationals, Ivo debuted his new
dragster. It had all of the air of previous
models, but offered a rear wing that was
lower and pushed further back on the chassis. It look great but was unproven. On his
fourth pass, all would be revealed. As he
reached the 1,200-foot mark, the engine
exploded in a ball of ames. The heat
instantly destroyed the lower rear wing. At
the same time the rods blew out of the
block sending oil onto the rear slicks. Now
Ivo was on re, with no down-force and
traveling 240-mph sideways. In a blink of an
eye, the dragster ipped and rolled. Id been
in many a bad situation before, but this one
was different. I knew I wasnt going to walk
away from this one. I just surrendered to the
terror and closed my eyes. I was dead, he
recalled. Slamming the guardrail, the
engine separated from the chassis. That
sent Ivo, strapped in the cockpit, into ight.
At that moment, I was calm and opened
my eyes to see the timing tower upside
down. I felt death was at hand, so I just
decided to enjoy the ride, he added. Then,
as quickly as it started it was over. Ivo,

/ The 73 T/F sported a new nose and front


wheel fairings. Ivos fiery burnouts became one
of his signatures during the 70s.

wrapped in a mangled heap of aluminum


and steel, regained his hearing and presence. He was alive, or so it seemed. As he
freed himself from the wreckage, he ripped
open his leg on a jagged piece of aluminum.
That was the extent of his injuries. Hed survived one of the most spectacular crashes in
NHRA history and in the process was the
rst to travel 240 mph through the traps
backwards, upside down and on re. A true
Ivo moment if there ever was one.
GAINING SPONSORSHIP,
LOSING FREEDOM
Since the advent of big money sponsorships,
Ivo had resisted the temptation. He preferred
to remain pure to the roots of the sport. In
1975, the lure of funding became too great. I
signed on with The Rod Shop. I liked the
instant cash but soon found the restrictions
suffocating, Ivo lamented. Unlike those who
secured non-automotive sponsors, such as
Wonder Bread and Bubble Up, at least the
Rod Shop was a company that was about
the sport. However, this relationship thrust
him deeper into contractual obligations.
Sponsors want you to run all the big events,
which meant sacricing a great deal of paid
appearances. In the end it was more like
trading dollars, he recalled.
By the end of 1975, though Top Fuel was
still considered the premier class, Funny Car
had long surpassed it in popularity. Everyone had switched over to Funny Cars. I was
ready for a new set of thrills and decided to
make the move as well, he said. This meant
that he was behind the engine again and
reunited in battle with his old Southern California rivals Don Prudhomme and Tom
McEwen. Rod Shops remained his primary
sponsor. It was decided to build a Dodge
Dart-bodied car. Unfortunately Darts
werent being molded, so a Plymouth
Duster body was used and disguised as a
Dart that rode on a Jamie Sarte chassis.
The car debuted at a Fremont Funny Car
meet. The day before the event, while
preparing to test the car for the rst time, an
ignition malfunction forced Ivo and crew to
abandon any shakedowns. It was not the
rst time Ivo would go into battle in an
untested ride. But never had the eld been so
formidable. It was trial by re. Unlike my Top
Fuel dragsters, this Funny Car had to be manhandled down the track. Ivo said. Each round
Ivo learned more about the handling of his
new ride. One by one, the competition fell until only he and the Mongoose remained.
We talked between each round. It was
clear that Ivo was getting the hang of how to
get the most out of his car. I knew then
another big time contender had entered the
class, said McEwen. The Mongoose bested
Ivo in the nals. But for the next three years

21

/ Ivo made the switch to Funny Car in 76. The


Rod Shop remained his major sponsor. Wanting
to remain loyal to Dodge, since Dart bodies were
nonexistent, a Plymouth Duster in disguise was
used. His signature fiery burnouts continued.

the Funny Car eld had to contend with a


rejuvenated, smiling Ivo.
As in years past, Ivo the showman took
over the class and became a fan favorite.
During non-national events, Ivo was known
for his long, near quarter-mile smoky
burnouts. He would then return to the line in
reverse at speeds far beyond anyone else in
the game. One of the other drivers once
said I owned the record for traveling the
quarter-mile in reverse, Ivo joked. Indeed,
he ran backwards so fast some wondered
how the transmission gears held together.
The jump to Funny Cars rejuvenated the
once-weary Ivo. The only downside to the
accompanying sponsorship was being told
where and when to be. It was odd switching from being the captain of my own ship
to having a commander. I knew it wouldnt
last, Ivo recalled. In 1978, Ivo would once
again be the author of his own fate. This
freedom wasnt a deterrent, as he reached
the Winternationals nals before falling to
Prudhomme. But the sport was now so
money driven that an unsponsored car
even in the hands of Ivowas a losing
proposition. I had to back off from running
the car as hard as needed. That cost me a
lot of championship opportunities, he said.
That year Ivo was involved in another near
fatal crash. In the shutdown area at the New
England Dragway, Tim Kushi slammed his
Yankee Sizzler into the back of Ivos Arrow.
The two cars and drivers ended up in the
nearby brush and trees. Both cars were salvaged but at great expense. Although Ivo
regrouped, the mental, physical and nancial toll of the sport forced him to face a
new reality. His long love affair with drag
racing and its fans was coming to a conclusion. And, it deserved to end with all the
ash and in style it had started with.
EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN
In the early-70s, racing pioneer Art Arfons
gave Ivo a ride in his two-seat, jet-powered

DR.1405-18-22-IVO 2/12/14 12:48 AM Page 22

/ New England Dragway in


Epping, NH, Ivo was hit at 240
mph after defeating The Yankee
Sizzler. Ivo rebuilt the car and
completed the season, but the
crash and more than 20 years of
racing had taken its toll. His final
competitive season was 1978.

one of its old Nailhead engines had blown apart. It didnt take but a
moment for Ivo to have the answer to his farewell tour dilemma.
Within a few hours he was able to purchase the car and trailer. In his
Burbank garage, the same one where he built the four-engine car all
those years ago, he brought the past back to life.
The previous owner had tted the rig with a body resembling a
Buick station wagon. Ivo liked the idea of the WagonMaster and
called every old track owner to replicate the tour of years past. Over
the nal months of 1981, the four-engine car was restored beyond its
earlier glory. With the signature Ivo glass-sided trailer, he was on the
road one nal time.
It was early spring and Ivo was crisscrossing the map. He recalls a
time in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, when his good time tour turned
sour. A harsh winter can do awful things to a racing surface. To a
packed house, Ivo gave the crowd what they came to see, a full chat,
four-wheel drive burnout from line to line. In the barrage of smoke and
noise, Ivo didnt see the remains of a frost heave leftover from the subzero winter. The car bottomed out, delivering a severe thud to the still
healing Ivo. Near blackout pain followed, but in showmans style, Ivo
pulled it together, exited the car and waved to the adoring fans.
The next morning Ivo ew home to get checked out. The news
wasnt good. While his spinal cord wasnt damaged, three vertebrae
below the shoulders had been crushed. I was put into a body brace
and told to make a choice, drive a race car or walk. I chose to walk,
he said. And so, the man who had innovated the sport, survived multiple high-speed crashes, traveled across the country and overseas
to promote the sport he loved, was faced with forced retirement.
Again, Ivo was concerned more with his fans than himself. He
hired Rick Johnson to drive the four-engine car for the remainder of
the tour dates. He accompanied Johnson and the car, but it wasnt
the same. He was thankful when it was over.
In the years that followed, Tommy Ivo received numerous honors.
The Hot Rod Magazine Lifetime Achievement, NHRA Lifetime Achievement, named to the Car Craft Magazine All-Time All-Star Drag Racing Team, and he was enshrined in the American Motorsports Hall of
Fame. To me, being inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame was
better than winning an Academy Award, Ivo proclaimed.
Today, with the resurgence of nostalgic drag racing, Ivos as big a
draw as ever. His T-bucket, two engine, four engine and Barnstormer
dragsters live on at events from coast to coast and at the Wally
Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California. And as for
the man himself, hes still smiling and forever in love with the sport
he helped build and the millions of fans he thrilled. DR

/ The Rod Shop and Ivo parted ways in 78. It was also the year he switched
to the more aerodynamic Plymouth Arrow body.

Cyclops. Ivo was thrilled by the ride and always kept the idea of driving a jet car in his thoughts. All the fun of touring was gone. The way
the sport had developed, there was no longer match racing and little time for anything other than work. I wanted to do something fun
again; perhaps a new exhibition car was the ticket. But, instead of
four Buick engines, something a little more modern, like a Jet engine,
Ivo explained.
Jet cars werent new, just unrened. In true Ivo style, he changed all
that. Jet-powered cars were not much more than a basic frame with
an engine attached. I designed a body that looked like a Can-Am
racer, he said. At the time, jet engines could be had for less than a
hundred dollars. Ivo traveled to Arizona and plunked down a couple
of Franklins for a pair of 8,000-hp engines. With old friend Ron
Attebury crafting the chassis, Ivo was like a kid again. I loved coming to the line and hitting the afterburners. That would throw out a
huge reball. The crowd loved it.
Like hed done so many times before, Ivo set up a coast-to-coast
tour. With his reputation and fan following, it was an easy sell. The
car accelerated like a Super Stocker off the line. But, as the air mass
increased into the engine, it accelerated to 300-mph in a heartbeat.
It was the most exciting car I ever drove, he said.
The Jet Car excitement took on a new meaning in Thompson,
Ohio. On a Saturday, post-rainstorm, Ivo did a 250-plus-mph pass.
Unlike most tracks where the shutdown area featured an incline, this
tracks shutdown area was downhill. When I hit the shut-down area,
the jet engine was still making enough signicant power to send the
entire car airborne. It lifted over eight feet into the air. The crosswind
sent me to the side before crashing into a muddy shoulder, said Ivo.
The landing didnt cause injury to car or driver, however the thick mud
from the rain caused the car to dig in. This resulted in instant resistance and slammed the car from 200 to zero in about 6 feet. It was
the same type of negative force that killed Dale Earnhardt at Daytona
in 2001, he added. The force sent Ivos head forward, crushing three
neck vertebrae. He was in great pain but drove the car the next day at
Englishtown, New Jersey. Ivo was ercely loyal to the track owners that
promoted him throughout the years as well as his fan base. Despite
injury and pain he fullled his remaining commitments. He sold the Jet
Car at the end of the year and took 1981 off to heal from his injuries.
During his recovery, a jet-powered Funny Car was built and tested but
Ivo felt it wasnt capable of touring and abandoned the idea.
What Ivo really longed for was the fun days of touring. By a twist
of fate, he was able to live the clich, it was the best of times, it was
the worst of times. With 30 years of racing under his belt, he wanted
to make one last farewell tour. Hed grown weary of cutthroat competition and had no interest in elding a Top Fuel or Funny Car. By
chance, he drove by the old speed shop in Glendale. In back was a
familiar long lost friend. It was the old enclosed trailer that once
housed the four-engine dragster. After some inquires, he discovered
the car was still inside. Itd been there for more than a decade after

/ For two years Ivo returned to


exhibition runs with the most
advanced jet-powered dragster. In
Ohio, a crosswind pushed the car
into a muddy area where it suddenly
went from 200-0 in fewer than 10
feet. He was severely injured by the
negative G-force.

22

MAY.2014

/ Ivo 3-V: In 1982, Ivo made his


farewell tour using the same vehicle
that made him the most famous
driver in drag racing history.

DR_1405_23 2/11/14 1:34 AM Page 23

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DR.1405-24-28-KC 2/11/14 9:25 PM Page 24

PANDEMON
RETURN WITH US TO THE ROOTS
OF FUNNY CAR RACING

/ Thanks to Greg Sullivan and all


involved, Pandemonium V is alive and
well, once again rattling the troops.

24

MAY.2014

DR.1405-24-28-KC 2/11/14 9:25 PM Page 25

ONIUM!

/ Indy Nats 65, with F/C Eliminator


still years away, Sullivan pairs off
against another B/FD!

Text by Pete Ward


Photos by Jim White and Courtesy of Greg Sullivan

n the late 50s through the 60s, drag racing was in many ways a regional sport.
From the mid/southwest roared the Top Fuelers of Bob Creitz, Jimmy Nix,
Bobby Langley, Vance Hunt, Lou Cangalose and from Kansas City, Kansas,
Bob Sullivan.
Bob, with wife Shirley by his side, terrorized the region and frequently beyond, especially
in AHRA competition, with a series of nitro diggers. All were beautifully constructed and
nished in gorgeous candy burgundy and gold leaf, featuring their little devil character and
aptly named Pandemonium.
By late 64, Sullivan crystal balled the sport and visualized a major shift, well ahead of
his Top Fuel brethren: Detroit factory-bodied race cars powered by blown and injected nitro-burning engines. He purchased a stock 65 Plymouth Barracuda, and with the help of
friend Ralph Suman, and to some degree noted race car builder Rod Stuckey, modied it to
accept the 392 Chrysler Hemi from his Top Fueler. The stock 106-inch wheelbase, 3,700pound steel-bodied racer looked amazingly stock save for the Enderle injector hat bulging
from the hood and long traction bars. Reports of the day state the headlights, turn indicators and windshield wipers were still functional. At Indy in 65, running as a B/FD on 100%
nitro and direct drive, it brought the fans to their feet, blazing the slicks for a full quarter mile.

25

By the end of the year, he was regularly reeling off 9.70s at over 160 mph.
The stubby wheelbase was quite a
handful, so for 66 the car was lengthened 18 inches and fitted with a fiberglass
front end and doors. The modifications
sliced the weight to 3,195 pounds and fitted it with a TorqueFlite transmission,
elevated performance to a best of 9.43 at
177 mph. With no official Funny Car class,
Sullivan wreaked havoc on the run
whatcha brung match race circuit. But
with Funny Car technology advancing at
light speed, in 1967, the Sullivans built a
flip-top fiberglass Camaro roadster and
eventually the Barracuda went down the
road and into oblivion.

DR.1405-24-28-KC.CX 2/17/14 12:08 AM Page 26

/ The Rod Stuckey-installed straight


axle has been replaced with something
more appropriate for high speed runs.

In 2000, automobile acionado Greg


Sullivan (no relation to Bob and Shirley)
stumbled upon a for sale ad in Hemmings Motor News for Pandemonium V.
As a kid, Greg formed an instant attachment to the race car after seeing its photos in a drag race magazine. Of course the
shared surname welded the connection!
He contacted the seller and a deal was
quickly consummated.

//With the Pandemonium up and running, a driver capable of


getting this ill-handling beast down the track and returning in
one piece was needed. //
/ Hansen Race Cars of Montclair, CA, handled the restoration, but
updated the suspension for safety and to accept the new infusion
of power.

/ Bob and wife/crew chief Shirley prepare the


392 nitro Hemi for another blast.

/ Bob Sullivan (with cigar) and friend/fabricator


Ralph Suman during the Pandemonium V build.

Sullivan commissioned Hansen Race


Cars in Montclair, California, for the restoration, but with a hitch. Being the hardcore
car guy he is, Sullivan frequents Englands
annual Goodwood Festival of Speed
where vintage race cars, some worth millions, are raced and occasionally wrecked.
He wanted Pandemonium V to return to
its roaring glory days, not collect dust as a
museum piece. To that goal, he saw to the
installation of a modern full roll cage and
the suspension was modied with safety in
mind, though the long ladder bars were

26

MAY.2014

left in place, as a nod to the original conguration. For performance and reliability,
fabled engine whiz Gene Adams recommended a 572-ci TFX aluminum block
with Indy Hemi heads, a Kuhl blower and
MSD ignition; basically a snappy alcohol
motor that can take a nip of nitro upon
occasion. A Hughes two-speed Powerglide
replaced the Torqueite. Hemi Under Glass
pilot Bob Riggle, whom Sullivan had
assisted on one of his trips to the Goodwood Festival, helped complete the nishing touches and provided tuning advice.

DR_1405_27 2/11/14 1:36 AM Page 27

DR.1405-24-28-KC 2/11/14 9:26 PM Page 28

With the Pandemonium up and running


a driver capable of getting this ill-handling
beast down the track and returning in one
piece was needed. Fortuitously through
mutual friends, Dave and Linda Adler,
owners of Pantera International, an organization for owners of De Tomoso Pantera
sports cars, he connected with Big Show
Funny Car shoe Cory Lee. Cory had established a reputation as not only a rst-rate
driver, his rst ride coming with Tom
Hoovers Pioneer-sponsored opper, but
also a clutch artist and tuner. Prior to
piloting, hed plied his talents with the likes
of Ed McCulloch, John Force, Del Worsham
and Hoover just to name a few. Lee is the
perfect t, not only does he have the skills
(and huevos) to pilot the beast, hes a true
student of drag racing, fully understanding
the historical signicance of Pandemonium V. With its high center of gravity and
short wheelbase, Lee describes the driving
experience as more like piloting a boat on
choppy seas. You sit high, in a big open
cockpit, not tight and low as in a modern
ride. Its quite an experience to be able to
step back in time and drive one of the rst
Funny Cars.
From 2005, through 2007 Sullivan and
Lee with assistance from Jerry Gibson, Dan
Messner and Don McReynolds unleashed

/ The original 392 Hemi has been replaced by a


572-ci TFX aluminum block and Indy Cylinder
Hemi heads.

/ Big Show (now Nostalgia F/C) driver Cory Lees


habitat is a far cry from modern floppers. Major
changes were made for the sake of safety.

Pandemonium at select events from coast to coast, thrilling fans at every stop. At the 07 Bakerseld March Meet, the lads bumped the nitro load to over 10%, sending Cory on an epic ride
to the tune of 8.60/175 mphits nal pass. You see, Greg Sullivan is a very busy guy in the aerospace industry and unfortunately at times, business trumps racing, so for now the beast is at
rest. But hes always open to the possibility of once again unleashing PANDEMONIUM!
The history of the evolution of Funny Cars is murky, but those well-schooled in the subject all
agree that Bob and Shirley Sullivans Barracuda played a highly signicant role in the development of the class. All those who love drag racing owe Greg Sullivan a debt of gratitude for
returning Pandemonium V to life.

/ Several years ago, the Cragar Wheel folks gave


thought to a series of special race events to be
held in covered venues. Greg Sullivan had a
relationship with Cragar and did some preliminary
testing. This was at the Phoenix fairgrounds.

//Its quite an experience to be able to step back


in time and drive one of the first Funny Cars. //
28

MAY.2014

DR_1405_29 2/11/14 1:37 AM Page 29

(# -)+/ +,2 $,.


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DR_1405_30 2/11/14 1:39 AM Page 30

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1955-56-57 CHEVROLET

RESTORATION PARTS

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1957 B/A Hood .......... #590 ........... $99.95/ea.
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DR.1405-32-36-CHEVY 2/12/14 12:50 AM Page 32

ast issues LS1 power trip began at 299 hp


and ended at 354 hp, a 55-hp increase literally achieved without removing the
valve covers. That was just the beginning.
Removing the valve covers opened the door to an
additional 100-hp increase.
One of the unique aspects of an LS-series engine is that
in spite of extremely mild cam timing, horsepower doesnt fall off dramatically between 6,000 and 6,500 rpm.
Thats a tribute to the ow characteristics of the cylinder
heads. And its also an indication that power output can
be dramatically increased with more aggressive cam timing. Of course, the effect of more aggressive cam timing is
compromised if an engines cylinder heads cant provide

DIGGING
DEEPER
FOR
MORE
POWER

The LS1 in this 01


Corvette responded
enthusiastically to
the cam and heads
swap. It produced
more than 450 hp at
the wheels.

adequate air ow capacity.


In case you havent figured where this is going, its
directly to a cam/head package approach to power
enhancement. Even the most mild-mannered
LS-series engine has excellent cylinder heads. However, LS6 heads are a step above and are the most
popular option when upgrading an LS1 engine.
An even better option is a set of LS3 heads, but they can
only be installed on engines with a 4.00-inch or larger
bore. The LS1s 3.898-inch bore diameter is simply too
small to provide the clearance necessary to accommodate the LS3s 2.165-inch intake and 1.590-inch exhaust
valves. So the best option for 5.7L and smaller LS-series
engines is a pair of cathedral port LS6 or equivalent

LS
1
POWER
TRIP

32

MAY.2014

Text and Photos by Dave Emanuel

DR.1405-32-36-CHEVY 2/11/14 9:30 PM Page 33

The first step in performing a cam swap on an LS-series engine is to remove the vibration damper and front cover,
01providing
access to the cam sprocket. The oil pump mounts in front of the crankshaft sprocket.

cam is held in place by a retaining plate that must be removed before the cam can be pulled out of
02theTheengine.

33

aftermarket cylinder heads. The LS6 heads,


which are identical to LS2 castings, features
2.00-inch intake and 1.550-inch exhaust
valves. These are available through a variety
of sources and listed as P/N 12629049 for
bare castings, and P/N 88958622 for CNCported, fully assembled heads, which include
hollow stem intake and sodium-lled
exhaust valves. Unfortunately, as assembled,
these heads will accommodate a maximum
valve lift of .570 inch, so different valve
springs and/or spring seat machining is
required if valve lift exceeds that gure.
The cylinder heads on LS-series engines
are held in place by torque-to-yield bolts.
These bolts are designed for a single tightening sequence and once theyve been
tightened to the yield point, they shouldnt
be reused. Rather than using a set of stock
replacement head bolts, the preferred
alternative is a set of traditional (when
they yield they break) bolts from ARP.
Although there are a number of options
for high quality head gaskets, GMs stock
replacement LS6 gaskets are excellent
and usually available at a very reasonable
cost. Listed as P/N 12498544, these multilayer steel gaskets have a compressed
thickness of .056 inch.
If youve never swapped a cam in an

DR.1405-32-36-CHEVY 2/11/14 9:30 PM Page 34

LS-series engine (also called a Gen 3 and


Gen4 small-block), youre in for an eyeopening experience. You can remove the
cam without removing the lifters, which is
a good thing because you cant remove
the lifters unless you first remove the
cylinder heads. Unlike traditional GM
small- and big-blocks, with lifters accessible when the intake manifold is
removed, the lifters in LS-series engines
are housed in separate chambers that lie
between the central valley and the cylinder walls. Those chambers are covered
by the cylinder heads.
Preparation for a cam swap involves
removing the front cover and timing chain
along with the valve covers and pushrods.
With those components out of the way,
when the camshaft is rotated a few revolutions, it pushes all of the lifters up into
the plastic trays that keep them properly
positioned. After the lifters are retained by
the trays, theres nothing to prevent the
cam from being pulled out. If the thought
of 16 lifters hanging in the air makes you
nervous, you can use pencil magnets for
better retention.
There are a few caveats. If the engine
has many miles on it, its possible for a
lifter to slip down out of the plastic tray;
in which case, it might be necessary to
remove a cylinder head to retrieve it.
Another consideration is that the lifter
dynamics of a high-performance cam
are significantly different from those of a
stock cam and can put additional stress

on the plastic retainers. If an engine has


more than 20,000 miles on it, its advisable to replace the plastic trays, which
requires removal of the cylinder heads.
As for an appropriate camshaft, there are
dozens of choices. The fuel and ignition control systems used on LS-series engines can
be tuned to provide very good drivability, so
camshafts that might create low speed and
idle problems with other engines can be easily tamed when installed in an LS. For this
particular engine a good selection would be
something along the lines of a Crower

04

Since the camshaft was fairly aggressive, it was


appropriate to change valve springs. We used dual
springs with titanium retainers and a steel spring seat to
protect the spring seat areas of the heads.

34

MAY.2014

In addition to removing the camshaft retaining


03
plate, the oil pump must also be removed if the
cam sprocket is to be changed.

hydraulic roller cam with 233 degrees of


intake and 237 degrees of exhaust duration,
along with a lobe separation of 114 degrees.
By current standards, those specications are relatively mild, but as is apparent
from the accompanying dyno chart, they
provide a relatively at torque curve and
maximum power at 6,600 rpm. Considering that 6,600-6,700 rpm is the maximum
advisable engine speed for an engine with
stock bottom end and hydraulic roller
lifters, longer camshaft duration would
bring a minimal increase in top end power
while reducing low speed and midrange

DR_1405_35 2/11/14 1:44 AM Page 35

DR.1405-32-36-CHEVY 2/11/14 9:30 PM Page 36

torque. As the dyno


chart shows, a cam
with the above referenced specs will result
in a loss of 15-22 lbs-ft
of torque between
2,200 and 3,500 rpm.
The payback for the
loss in torque is a horsepower increase ranging
from 40 to 109 between
5,000 and 6,300 rpm.
Obviously some of this
power increase is a result
of the ported heads,
however the basic
shape of the power
curve is determined by
the camshaft.
Following a head
and cam swap, the
rst order of the day is
a tuning session. The
preferred system for
this operation is EFILives FlashScan. This
system includes a
cable to connect a
laptop computer to a
vehicle along with
scanning and tuning
software. Although ne-tuning cant be
done until after the engine is started,
some preliminary work can be done
before then. As an example, a performance-type camshaft typically requires an
increase in idle speed and idle air ow, and
more low speed spark advance. Additionally, if the stock injectors have been
replaced, injector ow rate must be
changed accordingly. It may also be advisable to alter the torque limiting and
torque control settings before the rst
test drive.
In this case, the engine was already
equipped with headers, high-ow catalytic
converters, a ported throttle body and
Bosch Platinum Plus 4 spark plugs.
Although its not necessary to have these
types of modications before a cam and
head swap is completed, they are essential to achieving maximum performance.
One of the benets of electronic fuel
injection systems is that they allow a
modied engine to run smoothly across a
wide range of operating conditions. On the
street, the engine in our test car will operate smoothly at 1,000 rpm with the transmission in sixth gear (5:1 ratio with a 3.42:
rear axle). And through the gears, it pulls
smoothly all the way to redline.
An interesting aside is that with the
stock engine and only bolt-on modications, the engine would challenge the

05

In addition to having better-flowing ports, LS6 heads also have uniquely shaped combustion chambers. A modified
LS6 head is shown below with a stock LS1 head above.

traction control as soon as the throttle


was pushed to wide open. After the
cam/head modications, there is no
wheel spin when the throttle is rst
cracked, but when rpm hits approximately
3,000, the traction control system is seri-

ously challenged. At the strip, there are a


number of other tricks that the electronic
control system provides to limit wheel
spin without compromising 60-foot
times. That makes for a great power trip
no matter where you drive.

06

LS6 exhaust
ports
obviously differ from
those in an LS1 head.
They feature a true
D shape and larger
cross-sectional area.

07

This dyno
chart tells the
story. The cam and
head modifications
pushed horsepower
over the 450 mark
and also produced
an impressive
torque curve.

36

MAY.2014

DR_1405_37 2/11/14 1:46 AM Page 37

DR_1405_38 2/11/14 1:47 AM Page 38

DR_1405_39 2/11/14 1:48 AM Page 39

DR_1405_40 2/11/14 1:50 AM Page 40

DR_1405_41 2/11/14 1:51 AM Page 41

DR.1405-42-43-IHRA 2/11/14 9:34 PM Page 42

IHRA ONCE AGAIN HAS NEW


OWNERS/MANAGEMENT AND
A PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
Text by Jeff Burk
Photos Courtesy IRG Sports + Entertainment
ts been almost 45 years since Tennessee mover and shaker Larry
Carrier formed the International
Hot Rod Association (IHRA). In
1970, Carrier and Carl Moore elected to
launch their own drag racing sanctioning body after years of feuding with
both the NHRA and AHRA. Carrier oversaw the operation of the IHRA for 17
seasons prior to selling it in 1987. The
IHRA has been innovative in its cars
and classes. It was the rst to have a
true nitro Funny Car class and invented
both the mountain-motored Pro Stock
and Pro Modied classes.
Now 25 years after Mr. Carrier sold the
IHRA, there is yet another new owner
IRG Sports + Entertainmentand another new presidentScott Gardnerand
yet one more reinvention of the IHRA.
In order to understand whats happening now you must look at the history of
the second oldest international drag racing sanctioning body. In 1987 Funny Car
racer and track owner Billy Meyer purchased the IHRA from Carrier, moved the
headquarters to Texas and installed himself as president. During his one-year

tenure the IHRA got credit for the rst


sub-ve-second V-8-powered pass in the
history of the sport, thanks to Top Fuel
legend Eddie Hill. Meyer wanted to challenge the NHRA as Carrier had, but never
was able to do so, and after a disastrous
season (six races rained out), the IHRA
was sold again; this time to a group of
racers who made former Carrier righthand man Ted Jones the president.
Throughout the years the sanctioning
body added and subtracted various nitro
and doorslammer professional classes,
signed and lost R.J. Reynolds as its title
rights sponsor, and often didnt fare well
nancially. After the initial sale of the
company a litany of unsuccessful owners
followed, and IHRA struggled to be a force
in big-time drag racing.
In 1998, Bill Bader Sr., the extremely
successful Norwalk, Ohio, track operator/promoter, bought the IHRA. He basically returned the IHRA to its original roots
by featuring Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock
and Pro Mod as the headliners for the
series. After a relatively shortand what
must have been nancially successful
runBader sold the IHRA to media and

42

MAY.2014

entertainment giant Clear Channel Communications but remained as president


until 2004. His then vice-president, Aaron
Polburn, assumed the position of president when Bader left and retained that
position even though the company continued to change hands. During his tenure,
the IHRA was bought and sold by Concert
Promoter Live Nation, then a spinoff of
Clear Channel Communications who sold
it to Feld Entertainment.
When Feld Entertainment, owner of
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus among other entities, took over the
IHRA it was once again reinvented under
the guidance of Polburn. This time there
were no traditional nitro classes, no Pro
Mod or Pro Stock, and no qualifying.
Costs were cut to the bone and the IHRA
was basically a booked-in Night of Firetype program designed to start and nish
in a few hours with stand-alone programs on two days. Race tracks lined up
to get the shows because the track and
the IHRA shared costs and prots. IHRA
management claimed the unique program (for a national sanctioning body)
was nancially successful.

DR.1405-42-43-IHRA 2/11/14 9:34 PM Page 43

In 2013, the IHRA once again had new


owners, management and a change in its
program. It was acquired from Feld
Entertainment by IRG Sports + Entertainment, who originally got into the drag racing business by acquiring what is now
Palm Beach International Raceway from
the Moroso family about three years ago.
The IRG group hired drag racing business veteran Jason Rittenberry to run the
Florida track and serve the president and
CEO of IRG Sports + Entertainment, and
reinstate the IHRA as a force in professional drag racing. That group immediately started acquiring tracks as they
came up for sale.
Soon after the purchase of the Florida
track, Rittenberry announced that IRG
was looking to acquire more. They bought
the Memphis, Tennessee, race complex
formerly owned by Dover Intertainment
and signed a long term lease on the Tucson, Arizona, track.
As soon as the IRG group closed on the
purchase of the IHRA Rittenberry made it
clear there would be drastic changes
ahead. The changes included the return
to a more traditional racing series with its
own professional nitro Funny Car, HarleyDavidson motorcycle and Fuel Altered
classes. The series went back to a program of qualied elds and eliminations
on Sunday. But he is adamant in saying
this newest iteration of the IHRA isnt trying to compete with the National Hot Rod
Association (NHRA). That statement was
proven by the fact that it doesnt have
NHRA Top Fuel, Funny Cars or Pro Mods
as part of its race day lineup.
In an interview in Dragracingonline.com
he stated: Shortly after coming onboard
as president of PBIR, we started looking
for additional tracks to acquire. Our business plan was also to own the content and
the venues. While the IHRA was not initially for sale, we were persistent with Feld
Entertainment. The idea is that the group
would both own tracks and a race series to
race at those tracks, so that the tracks and
the organization would be self-sustainable.
It actually took three years from the time
we started working on buying the IHRA
until we actually got the company bought

//...the
major changes
are the return
to a more
traditional
format using its
own unique
Nitro and
Doorslammer
classes plus the
return of the
mountainmotored Pro
Stock class,
traditional
world
championships
and a wellfunded point
series for all
classes. //

/ JASON
RITTENBERRY,
president and CEO
of IRG Sports +
Entertainment

43

/ SCOTT
GARDNER,
president of the
International Hot
Rod Association

this year. Let me be clear: We are not going after the NHRAs professional cars. We are not planning on going head to head with the
NHRA. Well have our own teams, rules and tracks. We are, however,
going to concentrate on our IHRA sportsman racers and servicing
the one hundred plus tracks that are IHRA-sanctioned.
In late 2013, Mr. Rittenberry made a decision that will have a
major impact on the future of the International Hot Rod Association. He replaced Polburn, who had been president since 2004,
and was now experiencing health issues, with well-known Midwest track operator Scott Gardner. Rittenberry on behalf of the
IRG also entered into an agreement to buy (in the fall of 2014)
Gardners Cordova Dragway Park in Illinois, which annually hosts
the World Series of Drag Racing, the oldest continuous national
event in professional drag racing.
Gardner brings a wealth of experience in this sport to the job.
Hes a racer, having owned a variety of cars, including a UDRA Pro
Stock in the late 80s. Hes worked extensively with track operators and series in management positions, and his tracks have
been sanctioned by both NHRA and IHRA. He currently owns
and oversees three successful tracks in the Midwest: Cordova,
Cedar Falls and Eddyville. He will be able to understand the
issues the 100-plus IHRA-sanctioned track owners and their racers face going forward.
So how is the new IHRA different from the previous versions?
The most signicant difference is that this version owns two of its
tracks, holds a long term lease on a third (Tucson) and an agreement is in place to buy a fourth. This gives the new IHRA a nancial powerbase similar to the NHRAs, something none of the
previous iterations of the IHRA had. It also has wealthy and
aggressive owners whove proved they will spend money to sustain and grow the business.
As we go to press Gardner has been president of the IHRA for
less than two months and Mr. Rittenberry the CEO for less than
a year. To date, the major changes are the return to a more traditional format using its own unique Nitro and Doorslammer
classes plus the return of the mountain-motored Pro Stock class,
traditional world championships and a well-funded point series
for all classes. Only time will tell if the new IHRA will be better
than the last, but with the IRG, Jason Rittenberry and Scott Gardner the IHRA faithful certainly have the right to be optimistic.

DR.1405-44-46-FINN 2/11/14 9:51 PM Page 44

TERO LAUKKANEN IS BLOWIN AWAY


HIS PRO MOD COMPETITION

/ Smokin em up at Swedens Tierp Areena, on the


way to setting a 400-kmh European speed record.

44

MAY.2014

DR.1405-44-46-FINN 2/11/14 9:51 PM Page 45

or our geographically challenged readers, Finland is not


the nal resting place of late60s, tail-nned American iron.
This lovely nation, tucked in the northern most point in Europe is, however,
home to the Turbo Terror Tero Laukkanen.
Teros drag racing career began in 1997
with a single-turbo, near 700-hp 72 BMW
02 coupe. The little four-banger was good
for 10-second, 130-mph laps. He massaged
the combination for the next ve years, end-

Text and Photos by Heikki Malinen

/ These are the people who make it


happen, from left to right: Sami Salminen,
Kettil Rautio, Tapio Haaksi, Kristian
Nystrm, Mika Eloranta, Jari Soini and
finally Tero Laukkanen owner/driver.

45

ing up as the unofficial European E.T./mph


record holder (8.48 E.T./131 mph) for cars
with original chassis and body style. Travelling throughout Europe, he thrashed the
competition, no matter the number of turbos, blown, four- or six-cylinder or rotary,
they threw at him.
During this period, his ability to crank over
a thousand horsepower from a boosted 2.1L
BMW four-cylinder, without it becoming an
improvised explosive device, got the attention of BMW Motorsports in Germany; not
just the M-Division, but also those at the true
Motorsport Division, who were responsible
for BMWs Formula 1 projects. A Finnish drag
racer in the hallowed halls of Germanys
BMW Formula 1 program? Impressive!
Lusting for more, Tero sent his 02 down
the road and began construction of an SFIspec chrome-moly-chassised BMW E46
330i coupe full-on racer, featuring all of the
best go-fast parts. Two years into the build,
the real world interrupted. His family construction business, marriage and two lovely
daughters became priorities. Although
unable to compete personally, he assisted
longtime friends, the Eloranta Family Racing
Team. These Finns have been drag racing
turbocharged cars, mainly Toyotas, in Northern Europe for more than 30 years.
During his hiatus, the construction of Teros
E46 continued on at the top ight body, chassis and paint shop Brander Race Cars in Finland. Tami Brander, the owner, is one of the
most experienced racers and race car builders
in Finland, with years of success piloting both
Pro Stock and Pro Mod cars. Early in 2010,
Tero and his Bimmer were track-ready and
undergoing licensing passes, but Tami had
other ideas for Tero: Pro Modied!
Tami had constructed a Pro Mod chassis,
located a local Mustang body and a twinturbo 572-ci Chevy. Since Tero was a big
boost enthusiast, it was an easy sell. Of
course this meant hed have to step way
out of his single-turbo, four-cylinder comfort
zone. Tami gathered everything together for
the new project, painted the chassis and
body, and had the Mustang ready for the
track by April 2011. In the interim, Tero
assembled a new crew for this ambitious
project. Plans called for shakedown runs
and licensing during 2011, but parts availability issues from the U.S. and teething
problems with this radically different race
car and engine forced a change of plans.
The short race season in this part of the
world was also a complicating factor.
The year 2012 found Tero and crew
thrashing this new combination, competing
in the ultra-competitive Finnish Super Pro

DR.1405-44-46-FINN 2/11/14 9:51 PM Page 46

BODY
CARBON FIBER/
FIBERGLASS HAIRY
CLASS MUSTANG-BODY
BASED ON PRO STOCK
BUT WITH LONGER PRO
MOD FRONT
CHASSIS
4130 CHROME-MOLY
MADE IN FINLAND,
KELLOKOSKI BY TAMI
BRANDER RACE CARS

/ The Tami Brander chassis is as


nice or nicer than any youll find
produced in the U.S.

Following the U.S. tour, the team was back


to Swedens Tierp Areena, Big Stuff equipment showing promise. On the sixth run, a
6.31/240, tire shake played havoc with the
Mustang. Both turbos were torn off the headers, one bypass valve moved out of its seat,
the wheelie bars and 4-link bars twisted into
corkscrews, and the right side door blew off
and shredded. That, friends, is serious tire
shake! With only a month before the next
meet at Tierp, the boys had their hands full.
Upon their return to Sweden in August, Tero
and Kristian had a surprise for the team: Kristian had arranged for Pro Mod heavy-hitter
Brad Personett to be onsite for the race. Not
only did he guide the team in making setup
changes, Brad rolled up his sleeves and
pitched right in. On only the seventh Big
Stuff-equipped run, Tero lost traction and
backpedaled, shocking the troops with a
6.88/259 pass. After studying the run data,
Brad suggested the team change to a higher
gear ratio. The following runs proved him
right, especially Saturdays rst pass. It
brought big smiles all around; the time slip
read 6.38/248.96. What made it so special
was the speed numbers, which put Teros
team well on their way to a new European
Top Speed record in Pro Modied. In kilometers per hour meant that theyd be the rst to
break the 400-kmh record barrier in Europe!
On his way to a rst round win, Tero
scored a 6.21/246, which was good enough
to secure that rst +400-kmh European
speed record.
Teros record stood for about six hours
but, hey, he was the rst!
Unfortunately, his race ended with a
bang: a broken driveshaft ball joint in the
damaged the Lenco, which cut a slick.
Thankfully it was on the burnout.
That brought down the curtain on Teros
2013 season. It was tumultuous, but all
everyone learned a lot, which will help
launch them into a successful new year. All
involved are looking forward to new challenges, and eventually racing in the U.S.
When that comes to pass, look out. These
boys are serious!

TECH INFO

/ The fit and finish of


Teros Mustang is
second to none.

ENGINE
BILLET 520-CID V-8 BAE
TWIN-TURBO
METHANOL, BIG STUFF3
ECU, MSD 44 IGNITION,
WATERMAN FUEL PUMP
WITH PRECISION AND
BOSCH METHANOL
INJECTORS, 2 X BORG
WARNER 88MM
TURBOS (NHRA
REGULATIONS WOULD
ALLOW 91MM), OIL AND
FUEL LINES MADE BY
XRP HYPALON

/ The Brander-built cage/interior is a


far cry from Teros former BMW rides.
The Lenco trans is plainly visible.

Street category and getting licensed in Pro Mod. Tero traveled to Tierp
Arena in Sweden and attempted to qualify for the tough FIA European
Championship Pro Modied 16-car eld, but failed to do so. Their
respectable 6.68/208 was more than satisfactory for Tero and team.
Though the big Chevy was strong, Tami, Tero and crew wanted more.
Before the season ended, an order was placed with Brad Anderson
Enterprises for two turbo-spec 520-ci engines. Post season, Tero and
two of his crew members ventured to Andersons Southern California
facility, where Brad and Jeremy Evrist thoroughly schooled them on the
engines theyd soon be receiving. The ow of info back and forth continues between BAE and Team Tero.
The BAE engines arrived in Finland in early 2013, and the Mustang
was quickly prepared for the much different power plant. Just how
much different Tero and team were quick to nd out upon their return
to Tierp in May for a test and tune weekend. The new combo was putting out so much more power, their previous setup data was now useless; they were starting from scratch. Following two more test races,
they entered the FIA European Championship round in June at Tierp.
Here, Tero rst experienced severe tire shake at near 200 mph. The
extreme vibration caused the ECU to malfunction, creating a massive
explosion in the engine intakethis run seriously got Teros attention!
At this point decisions had to be made as to which direction they
wanted to take the Mustang. Enter Finnish ex-Pro Mod racer Kristian
Nystrm, with strong contacts in the race community in the U.S.A.
friendship was quickly formed, and soon he and Tero were on a
plane headed west. Their rst stop, courtesy of Brad Anderson, was
with Harry Hruska and Pete Barton at Precision Turbo. After collecting their new Big Stuff ECU, a set of wastegates and a control unit,
they received a 10-hour tech and tune session during which their Big
Stuff ECU was set up according to Teros engine specs. The session
was so intensive the Finns only left the room for restroom breaks. The
six-day trip included stops at BAE, TF Clutches and Classix Graphix
for team gear, including T-shirts, hats, beanies and crew shirts.

TRANSMISSION
THREE-SPEED LENCO,
11-INCH THREE-DISC TF
COPPER FLOATER
CLUTCH
REAREND
CHROME-MOLY TAMI
BRANDER RACE CARS
HOUSING WITH
9.5-INCH STRANGE
SPOOL

SPECIAL THANKS TO:


BAE / BRAD ANDERSON,
JEREMY EVRIST
PRECISION TURBO AND
ENGINE HARRY HRUSKA,
PETE BARTON
BRAD PERSONETT
LENCO TRANSMISSIONS
XRP FITTINGS
TF CLUTCH
CLASSIC GRAPHIX SCOTT
BATHURST
MIKE CANTER

/ The 520-ci alky Brad Anderson engine


features only the best parts, including those
from Precision Turbo.

46

MAY.2014

DR_1405_47 2/11/14 1:52 AM Page 47

Designed for up to
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In the last few years nitrous flow rates have seen a considerable
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To meet the challenge of larger flow rates desired by todays racers,
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Note the difference in


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DR.1405-48-50-ODDY 2/11/14 9:57 PM Page 48

WHEN TIME WAITS


FOR

NO ONE

Text and Photos by Rod Short

JIM ODDY IS RESURRECTING THE FUN AND


MEMORIES OF RACINGS GOLDEN DAYS

48

MAY.2014

DR.1405-48-50-ODDY 2/11/14 9:57 PM Page 49

//Two or
three guys can
pull together
to build a car
like this and
do some
racing. In my
case, I wanted
to put
something
together that
could maybe
run for three
years without
having to
take it apart
and do
maintenance
on it. //

/ Chicken soup out of chicken feathers, Jim took an assemblage of


mundane parts and created a record-setting race car, a rolling testament
to Oddys creativity and engineering skills.

n old preacher once said its important to make


memories while you can, because someday that
could be all you have. If thats true, then drag
racing legend Jim Oddy might be a pretty
wealthy man, and hes still adding to those riches with
this unique 34 Willys Gasser.
As a driver, car owner, engine builder and crew chief, Jim Oddys
rsum is about as impressive as any you could imagine. Two
NHRA U.S. Nationals titles, multiple championships in NHRA
Division 1, IHRA and NHRA Pro Mod, Super Chevy, USSC, ADRL
Pro Extreme, multiple records and hall of fame inductions all
attest to the impact this man has had on drag racing. Yet, even in
retirement, Oddy is thinking, building and tinkering as seen by
this record-setting Gasser that he built in his home garage.
In 1957 when I was sixteen, I belonged to a car club in Buffalo,
New York, called the Torq Torkers, Oddy said when asked about his
beginnings in the sport. We had a cruise to a drag strip in Canada.
I remember sitting on the hood of the car watching all these racers running down the strip with letters on them like A/G and B/G.
I had a lot of questions about that. Not long after that, we went to
another drag strip and I entered my six-cylinder thirty-six Chevy
coupe into E/Gas. Believe it or not, the worst possible thing happened: I won the class trophy! That was the beginning of the end.
Oddys father had worked a lifetime in the shipyards as a
welder and fabricator. These were important skills that were
passed down; especially since the 36 Chevy he found was
essentially an old junked mail delivery car. With this his only transportation for many years, both father and son spent a lot of time
on the machine. Those efforts served him well as he set the
record in C/Gas in 1960, after driving it from Buffalo to Pennsylvania and then back home again!
In nineteen-sixty-four, we went as spectators to the U.S.
Nationals. Oddy said about his rst step up to the big time. I was
working construction and had an Anglia. It looked like a lot of fun,
so I went home and worked hard on that car, and took it back to
Indy in nineteen-sixty-ve, where I won B/Gas over Bob Riffle.
That was a pretty cool deal.
Oddy continued running in the Gasser ranks with an Austin, and
then an Opel GT. He progressed in racing through other classes
and eventually opened his own business. One of his proudest
moments was winning both the Driver and Mechanic of the Year
accolades in NHRA Division One, when divisional racing was in its
heyday. He won a second U.S. Nationals title in 1972. In later years,
he drove less, focusing instead on family and business.
Oddy reemerged in the national spotlight in the late 80s when
IHRAs Top Sportsman class was all the rage. At the 89 IHRA Winternationals in Darlington, his at black Corvette with Fred Hahn

piloting, turned the world upside down, running an unheard of 6.69 E.T. When Pro Modied became an official class the next year,
IHRA essentially outlawed that car, but Oddy
still returned with the most feared car in the
entire class which would often draw 30-plus
entries for a 16-car eld.
With Hahn driving, the Oddy Automotive team won from 10-12 different championships before the constant travel and
fatigue began to take their toll. Oddy
campaigned with other drivers before
eventually selling his team, closing shop
and relocating to the warmer North Carolina climate.
After a short respite, he began getting
calls from teams asking for his assistance.
These led to another four years on NHRA
and ADRL circuits where more championships followed. Again, the physical and
emotional toll became too great.
When I moved down here, I was so worn
out I couldnt even go to a race track, Oddy
said. I was just burned out. I played with
my street rods and was happy and content.
I thought I could do without a race car, but
then I found it was hard not to have one sitting in the garage.
Oddy had time to reect upon the good
old days with his Gasser and the camaraderie that was more common in drag racing back then. After collecting Willys parts for
many years, he got the bug to build a Gasser
in his home garage. This decision lead to yet
another chapter in his drag racing life.

/ The inimitable Jim Oddy and Black Betty, a nod to the rock anthem of
the same name by Ram Jam.

49

DR.1405-48-50-ODDY 2/11/14 9:57 PM Page 50

I built a Willys coupe a few years back,


Oddy said. As I was unloading it, a guy came
up and fell in love with it. He bought it on the
spot, so I never even got to race it. I thought,
well, I didnt really dont need one. Within a
year or so, the parts car I had for the coupe
was still sitting behind my garage and I
started looking at it. All I had was a bunch of
old rotted out parts that werent even good
enough for the coupe I built. On top of that,
it was just an ugly four door, and all I had was
the back half of it, but I did have a frame. So,
I pulled it out, started cutting, tinkering and
putting it together. I converted it into a two
door, mainly off an illustration from some
old Willys books. It was a concept drawing of
a two-door sedan, but they never built it. So
its a nineteen-thirty-four concept car!
Concept car or not, most of Oddys friends
called it a junkyard dog, which became the
cars name. There were holes you could see
through in the front fender and it wasnt
especially pretty, but he knew it would run
like a scalded dog. Now that he had the car
done, it was time to nd a driver.
Junior Ward [the new owner of Roxboro
Dragway in North Carolina] bought the ZO6
Corvette I won the two-thousand IHRA Pro
Mod championship with and asked if I could
help him out a little bit, Oddy said. We got
it running pretty good, and then I asked him
to be my test pilot for the Willys. It wasnt a
very good-handling car at the beginning, but
he could run it right to the edge so I could
see what it needed for adjustments. So, we
went to the rst race, he won and then the
second race, which he won, and hes been in
it ever since. I hope I get to sit in the drivers
seat sometime, but the problem I have is
that Junior is such a tremendous driver, I
know theres no way I can drive the car the
way he does.
Oddys Willys was built in much the same
fashion that Gassers were in the 60s. Running with a stock frame and front end, the
car uses a Ford 9-inch rear with anything

/ Jims rolling testament to KISS: keep it


simple, stupid. Hes proved it doesnt take the
latest high-buck super whiz-bang parts to make
a runner, which is the whole idea. Make it simple,
invest wisely and have fun. The 9-inch Ford runs
from 4.11 to 4.56 gears.

/ The very rare 34 Willys two-door sedan concept vehicle, all Jim needed were cutting tools and a
little time to create this very unique body style.

/ Junior Ward recorded a track record 4.824


at 146.45 in the eighth-mile. At 2,400
pounds and a standard cast-iron 362-ci
small-block, thats not too shabby.

/ The exterior may be a little rough around the edges,


but check out the fit and finish of the interior, especially
the cage.

from a 4.11 to a 4.56 gear depending on the


track conditions. Safety considerations
include a chassis certied to a 7.50, an aluminum seat and small disc brakes on the
front. Drum brakes are still used on the rear.
Original Halibrands run on the front with
American two-piece rear wheels carrying
M&H 12-inch rear slicks.
The engine uses a standard cast-iron
Chevy 350 punched out to 362 ci with a
Callies crank, and Carillo rods and pistons. A
Hillborn four-port fuel system running alcohol, Enderle 80A fuel pump, Vertex mag
and a GMC 6-71 blower complete the basic
engine combination. At 2,400 pounds, Ward
recorded a record 4.824 at 146.45 in the
eighth-mile at Virginia Motorsports Park.
These are cars that can be built without
a lot of money and skill, Oddy said. Thats
what our Nostalgia AA Gasser club is all
about. Two or three guys can pull together to
build a car like this and do some racing. In my
case, I wanted to put something together
that could maybe run for three years without
having to take it apart and do maintenance
on it. It can run all weekend and all you have
to do is set the valves. Weve got sixty runs on
it now. I checked it out during the winter and
all it needed was another set of tires.

50

MAY.2014

With about a dozen cars in the Nostalgia


AA Gasser (Nostalgiaaagassers.com) club
that Oddy runs with, the spectacle, affordability and fun of running these cars has
attracted attention. They have as many
events as they want to run and tracks are
calling them for even more appearances.
Sponsors, including Summit Racing, Abruzzi
Transmissions & Converters, Pro Racing Fuels
& Rossiter Racing Engines, are all aboard with
more coming.
Its all about preserving these cars that
we ran in the sixties, Oddy said. As a
twenty-year-old, I was lucky enough to
race with K.S. Pittman, Junior Thompson
and the Hill Brothers. I was just a young
whippersnapper, but those guys taught
me a lot about stuff Im even doing today.
It was a big help even during the Pro
Mod years.
Ive found more joy in this than anything
else Ive done in a long time, he continued.
Its a lot of fun with a little bit of racing, and
it takes me back to yesteryear. We all helped
each other trying to get our cars running
good; everybody worked on everybody
elses cars. We have an awful lot of fun and
thats what we like doing.
That sounds like true riches to us!

DR_1405_51 2/11/14 1:54 AM Page 51

DR_1405_52 2/11/14 1:55 AM Page 52

DR_1405_53 2/11/14 1:56 AM Page 53

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DR_1405_54 2/11/14 1:57 AM Page 54

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DR_1405_55 2/11/14 1:59 AM Page 55

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DR_1405_56 2/11/14 2:01 AM Page 56

DR_1405_57 2/11/14 2:02 AM Page 57

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DR.1405-58-62-BOLT 2/11/14 10:04 PM Page 58

WAR

FIXING
THE
FRONT
END
Text and Photos by Wayne Scraba

PONY
EXPRESS

FRONT LINES

hen it comes to front and rear suspension


pieces for Fox Mustangs, choice is plentiful.
There are many folks building front-end parts
like K-members and A-arms for these cars. After weighing all of our options, we chose Racecraft.
Racecraft has a great reputation for t and nish and incorporates some novel engineering: the steering rack is mounted in the
stock location, but Racecraft moved the K-member main hoop in

front of the steering rack. By building the cross member this way,
it provides room for an oversize oil pan. It also means header clearance issues are minimized. The actual steering mount is engineered to accept a conventional Pinto manual rack. You can order
the cross member in chrome-moly or mild steel. For a car that sees
street use, Racecraft recommends mild steel hardware.
The motor mount kits for the K-member come in multiple versions,
including those for Chevy LS, big-block and small-block engines.

58

MAY.2014

DR.1405-58-62-BOLT 2/11/14 10:04 PM Page 59

The motor mount system for the LS offers


1-inch of front-to-back adjustment. Essentially, you can position the engine where it
best ts. This adjustability certainly helps
with rewall, header and radiator clearance.
The K-member is delivered in gloss black
powder coat, which saves a trip to the powder coater.
The other big issue with Mustangs is the
A-arm arrangement. Racecraft notes that
1979-93 Mustangs use a 13-inch wide
A-arm, and 1994-2004 Mustangs use a
14-inch wide arm. Their custom A-arms
are 1-inch shorter than the factory version,
allowing the front wheel to be tucked into
the wheel well. And you can do it with a
standard offset front wheel (no deep offsets). Not only does it look better, it also
prevents the front tires from rubbing
when the car is lowered.
Racecraft offers these pieces in either
mild steel or 4130 chrome-moly. You can
choose between Delrin bushings or rod
ends (in place of the bushings). Weve

01

Heres a comparison of the


01
original K-member and the
Racecraft piece. The tubular cross
member has less bulk than the
original. Part of it is because the
original Ford spring pockets arent
used. (Were switching to a coilover arrangement.)
The Racecraft K02-03
member is installed.
We considered keeping the front
anti-roll bar, but with a skinny front
wheel (15 x 3.5), we wont be carving
too many corners. The cross member
fits perfectly and the design
provides maximum clearance for the
oil pan and headers.

02

03

04

05

The first photo


04-05
shows a Chevy LS
motor mount spool installed on the
Racecraft K-member. It attaches to
the pad on the cross member with
four bolts. The second shows the
Racecraft LS mount. By varying the
billet spacer mix on the mount, its
possible to move fore and aft by
approximately 1-inch total, which is
a positive when it comes to oil pan,
firewall and header fit.

06

The SVO Mustang is a mix of


Lincoln suspension and
brake parts coupled with a wheel
with plenty of backspace. This
means a 15 x 4 or 15 x 5 wheel
doesnt fit without sticking out. To
compound the problem, the lower
ball joint is a size that doesnt fit a
standard Mustang spindle.
Racecraft offers these narrowed
track A-arms for a standard Fox
Mustang. To make them fit, we had
to swap to a 1987 and up
Mustang spindle.

used rod ends on A-arms before and theyre a


bit noisy on the street. For this application
(street and strip), Delrin is perfect. Our 12-inch
A-arms (1-inch shorter than stock) feature
CNC-machined bushing tubes and ball joint
cups, laser-cut gusset and tab, and the actual
tubing is 1 1/8 x .120-inch wall mild steel. Theyre
xture-assembled, powder-coated gloss black
and come fully assembled with high-end Spicer
ball joints.
For steering, we chose a steering rack from
Flaming River. This is a common replacement

06
59

DR.1405-58-62-BOLT 2/11/14 10:04 PM Page 60

07

08

Racecraft offers several options with


07
its A-arms, aside from narrowing the
09
track by a couple of inches per side. One is
the bushing or bearing type. We picked
Delrin because it works equally well on the
street and strip (no stiction).
Upstairs, the stock
08-09
Mustang shock bushing
and plate assembly was replaced with
Racecraft caster-camber plates. These
steel units offer full caster and camber
adjustment, use a spherical bearing
instead of a bushing to capture the top of
the strut and theyre a complete bolt in.
The OEM power steering rack
10-11
was swapped with this Pinto
unit. Its a bolt in, provided you incorporate
a rack clamp on the passenger side. The
clamp is from Racecraft.

Pinto rack. These racks have aluminum


housings and a chrome-plated center
tube. Each unit weighs a mere 12 pounds
and goes from (steering) lock to lock in
3.75-turns. The rack travel is 5 inches.
Overall length is 45 inches. The Pinto
rack incorporates two cast bosses on the
drivers side for mounting, requiring an
additional clamp on the passenger side
for mounting purposes. Installation is
straightforward: Bolt the drivers side to
the Racecraft cross member and then use
a billet clamp on the passenger side.
So far so good, but you have to gure
out how to hook the rack tie rod end to the
spindle and consider the geometry. Get it
wrong and youll have nothing but bumpsteer headaches. The easiest solution was
to hook it all up with Racecrafts tapered
pin bumpsteer kit, engineered for use with
the short length A-arm and a Pinto manual
rack. This kit is designed for use with stock
spindles with a tapered tie rod end hole. It
includes a tapered billet pin, two high-end

10

FK rod ends, a set of billet adjusters and all


necessary hardware. Installation is easy: it
all bolts in as designed.
With most of the steering out of the way
(well address the steering column hook
up later), the front suspension system was
next. The heart of our system is a set of
double adjustable Strange struts. While

11

60

MAY.2014

the original Fox Mustang is a hybrid setup


that works by way of a separate (short)
coil spring sandwiched in a pocket within
the stock K-member, the Strange/Racecraft setup is a true strut. To make it all
work, a set of new caster/camber plates
are required, again, we used Racecraft
hardware. We opted for its bolt-in steel

DR_1405_61 2/11/14 2:04 AM Page 61

DR.1405-58-62-BOLT 2/11/14 10:05 PM Page 62

setup. Essentially these caster/camber


plates replace the stock rubber strut
mount bushings with a spherical bearing,
allowing you full control of the suspension
geometry. The bearing plate is mounted
underneath the top main plate to spread
the load throughout the main supporting

plate for extra strength. They feature


independent caster and camber adjustment as well as replaceable Teon-lined
bearings. Hardware is yellow zinc plated,
while the actual plates are powder-coated
satin black. The kit includes Grade 8 hardware and comes complete with new strut

nuts and strut spacers to achieve desired


travel locations (for more or less standard
ride height or heavily lowered ride height).
The actual struts came from Strange
Engineering. Theyre externally adjustable
for rebound and compression (see the
photos for a look at the easy-to-access

12 13
14

With the rack


12-13
installed, you still
have to hook the rack to the
spindles and take steering
geometry into consideration. Get it
wrong and the car will be a
bumpsteering bear. The solution is
a bumpsteer kit. Racecraft builds a
setup incorporating a special
tapered pin that fits precisely into
the OEM spindle. The rod ends are
high-end FK pieces.

15

We eliminated the OEM


14
springs, swapping to a
simple, easy-to-adjust coil-over
strut. The heart of the system is a
double adjustable aluminum body
strut from Strange Engineering.
The struts have the extension
15
set here at the top of the
strut body. Turn the adjuster fully

16

counter clockwise to full firm. Then


turn clockwise three to five clicks
(soft). From this point, you can
establish the baseline for your car.
The compression adjustment
16
on the front Strange strut is
on the base. There are 13 settings.
Fully clockwise when viewed from
the bottom is full firm. Fully
counter clockwise is full soft.
Baseline it on the firm side (three
to five clicks toward soft from
full firm).

17

Springs are from Hypercoil.


17
We installed the Strange
Engineering coil-over collars and
slid the struts into place at the top
side. Our Mustang uses the
standard spacer mix on the castercamber plates. We can raise or
lower the car easily with the
Strange Engineering struts.

62

MAY.2014

adjusters). Each side (rebound and compression) offers 10 settings. Theres more:
the lower spring seat allows for easy ride
height adjustment. The reason is the body
of the strut is essentially the same as a
Pro Stock strut or a coil-over shock: its
threaded and tted with a spring seat
designed to accept a 2.5 x 14-inch spring.
Upstairs, Strange provides a collar for the
spring. It also includes a spring seat. What
spring do you use? Strange Engineering
has a full line of Hypercoil springs. The
weight of the car determines the spring
rate. Heres a quick list of potential combinations courtesy of Racecraft:
COIL-OVER SPRING RATES
LENGTH

RATE

CAR WEIGHT

14 INCHES

150#

2,500-2,700 POUNDS

14 INCHES

175#

2,700-2,900 POUNDS

14 INCHES

200#

2,900-3,000 POUNDS

14 INCHES

225#

3,000-3,200 POUNDS

Aside from every piece listed above


being rst class in terms of quality, the
beauty of this entire setup is that everything bolts right into place. No fab work. No
adjustments. Nothing. Its an incredibly
well thought out setup that anyone with
some mechanical skills can install at
home. Another major plus, the reworked
front end is immensely cleaner and easier
to work with than the stock setup.

SOURCES
RACECRAFT, INC.
507.243.4104
RACECRAFT.COM
STRANGE ENGINEERING
847.663.1701
STRANGEENGINEERING.NET

DR_1405_63 2/11/14 2:07 AM Page 63

42

NEW!

Carb
Xcelerator
Adapter

DR.1405-64-68-SCOTT 2/11/14 10:14 PM Page 64

our of drag racings most


iconic vehicles are now
owned by one of stock car
racings most iconic owners.
The Mongoo$e and Snake forever
changed the face of motorsports with their
groundbreaking Mattel Hot Wheels deal,
which ran from 1970 through 73. The two
haulers and race cars carrying the original
Hot Wheels banner disappeared in the

ensuing years. After retiring from racing,


Don Prudhomme doggedly hunted down
and painstakingly restored both Hot
Wheels haulers and his yellow Hot Wheels
Cuda. As Snake toiled away, Mongoo$e
decided to meticulously recreate his Hot
Wheels Duster, which Prudhomme eventually purchased.
The better-than-new haulers with race
cars strapped to their backs sat proudly in

64

MAY.2014

Text by Pete Ward


Photos by Jim White and Pete Ward

DR.1405-64-68-SCOTT 2/11/14 10:15 PM Page 65

BARRETT-JACKSON
HIGHLIGHTS

65

DR.1405-64-68-SCOTT 2/11/14 10:15 PM Page 66

/ LEFT. Goo$e and


Snake were featured in
autograph sessions
throughout the auction.
Both were suffering
from terminal writers
cramp before it was all
over.
/ RIGHT. With the
camera rolling, Snake
warms up the Cuda
prior to Saturdays Big
Show.

66

MAY.2014

DR.1405-64-68-SCOTT 2/11/14 10:15 PM Page 67

Snakes Vista, California, facility, making rare


and wildly received appearances until Snake
and Mongoo$e, The Movie began production. Though the actors may strongly disagree, the real stars of the movie were those
Hot Wheels race cars, and especially the
haulers. Now once again, they were on the
road traveling throughout the nation, much
to the delight of all who viewed them.
With Snake and Mongoo$e, The Movie
reigniting the fascination and passion for
these historic race vehicles, Snake made an
agonizing decision: It was time to part ways

/ Dave Stricklers Old


Reliable Super Stock 67
Z28 Camaro: $253,000.

/ Warren Johnsons
87 Oldsmobile
Firenza Pro Stock:
$35,000.

//A cadre of security guards cleared a wide path, Snake saddled


up and with the nitro Hemi roaring, charged onto the stageand
the crowd went wild! //
with his babies. Arrangements were made
for all four vehicles to be sold as one unit at
the prestigious Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale,
Arizona, auction this past January. It was a
very big bite for one bidder to take, moneyand size-wise.
The king of automotive auctions, Craig
Jackson and his team, aggressively promoted the Hot Wheels vehicles throughout
the last four months of 2013, and come the
nationally televised big event, they were
once again the stars of the show. In addition
to the vehicles, the two who made them
famousMongoo$e and Snakewere also
in attendance. Throughout the week-long
auction, the duo spent hours in autograph
sessions, making more than 3,000 fans
very happy.
If your only experience with this event is
through TV, you have no idea what a huge
/ Wherever Snake and Goo$e went,
reporters followed. This is in the tented
area where the cars are staged prior to
being brought onto the auction block.

67

happening it is. Covering several enclosed


acres of vehicles and all things automotive,
Mongoo$e describes it as a swap meet for
millionaires. The auctions also a mecca for
celebrities from the racing world and Hollywood. The forty-third edition saw 1,400
vehicles sold for a record 113 million dollars.
Friday night the haulers and race cars were
moved from their prime indoor location in
preparation for their Saturday sale. Following

DR.1405-64-68-SCOTT 2/11/14 10:16 PM Page 68

/ The Cudas Hemi


on max cackle, Snake
rounds the bend on
his way to center
stage.

/ Buddy Martin, the last remaining member of the fabled Ronnie Sox,
and engine whiz Jake King team was the center of much attention. Their
68 factory Super Stock Barracuda brought 198,000.

another autograph session, Snake red up the Cuda, thrilling the


throng of fans. Tension built throughout the course of the day. There
were several big money bidders from outside the U.S. showing interest, stoking fears the Hot Wheels racers might be spirited away,
never to be seen again. The haulers were too heavy to be run across
the auction block, so in an incredible bit of showmanship, the Cuda
was going to be red up outside and Snake would drive it on stage!
The actual bidding war was scheduled to begin as the live, televised portion of the event drew to a closethe grand nale. A cadre
of security guards cleared a wide path, Snake saddled up and with
the nitro Hemi roaring, charged onto the stageand the crowd went
wild! Without a doubt, this was the most spectacular entrance in
the history of Barrett-Jackson. Once the bidding began, the money
quickly rocketed. When the smoke cleared, NASCAR legend Rick
Hendricks ponied up a cool million dollars, taking these four iconic
race vehicles to a good home in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The singular event that brought these Hot Wheels vehicles back
to the nations attention was Snake and Mongoo$e, The Movie.
Even while the movie was still in theaters across the country, people were clamoring for copies of the lm. Were pleased to
announce that this is coming to pass.
The movie will be released by Anchor Bay Films for digital download on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video, and On Demand across
select cable providers March 4. It will be available on Blu-ray/DVD
April 8. So, race fans, grab em before they y off the shelves.

/ Smith & Gainers 70


SS454 Chevelle Super Stock
convertible: $71,000.

//The singular event that brought these Hot


Wheels vehicles back to the nations attention
was Snake and Mongoo$e, The Movie. //

/ The Roy Saboury-built World's Fastest Street Legal Car, 63 split-window


Vette 6.75 E.T. 209 mph: $198,000.

68

MAY.2014

DR_1405_69 2/11/14 2:09 AM Page 69

DR.1405-70-72-YELLO 2/11/14 10:19 PM Page 70

THEPERFECT
/ Anthony Barber
of All Kolorz Paint &
Body in Richmond,
VA, shot the vibrant
Velocity Yellow
paint; graphics are
by Michael Hall and
Virginia Leabough.

70

MAY.2014

DR.1405-70-72-YELLO 2/11/14 10:19 PM Page 71

o get away from the hustle, bustle and stress of life, people
have different kinds of escapes. It can be working on your car
in your garage, hanging out with friends or even just going out
for a drive by yourself. Ed Leabough combines all of those
things with this pristine 65 Chevy II Nova race car.
I used to own one back in nineteen-ninety, but with kids and all, it was just
bad timing, Ed recalled. So, when I saw this car back on Racing Junk back in
two-thousand seven, I fell in love with it, he recalled. It was just a bare shell.
But it had already been tubbed and back halved, and it came with a lot of
parts. We had just built a new house, but I had to have it. I promised her [Eds
wife] that I would just let it sit until we got things situated.
The deal was consummated and the car sat, but it still got a lot of attention in Leaboughs mind. That proved to be a welcome distraction from his job
as a Henrico County, Virginia, police officer. It also proved to be a frequent topic
of conversation among his racing buddies as he used this downtime to plan
what he wanted his new Chevy II to be.
When it came to choosing an engine, Leabough found he got some good
advice about going with a big-block combination from the late Bert Jackson,
who lost his life in a racing accident at ADRL in Rockingham. Scott Duggins
from PAR Racing Engines in Spartanburg, South Carolina, got the call to put
together a 565-cid bracket bullet based off of a Merlin III block. With a 4.600
bore and 4.250 stroke, the bottom end features a Callies crank, Manley steel
rods and Ross domed 15.0:1 pistons wrapped in Total Seal moly rings.
CNC-machined Brodix BB3 Xtra aluminum heads with the 119cc combustion chambers, 2.300/1.880 valves and 366cc intake runners were used along
with a Brodix HV-1 intake. Fuel is pushed through the single APD 1,250-cfm
carb by a Magnafuel QuickStar 300 electric pump, which can support up to
900 hp. Other bolt-ons include a Moroso 8-quart pan, Be Cool four-row aluminum radiator and a MSD 7AL-2 ignition box.
When the engine arrived, everything appeared to be going smoothly
until Leabough discovered the pan was resting squarely atop the rack-andpinion steering. Lincoln Campbell xed that quickly by sectioning and then
rewelding the oil pan to provide the needed clearance. Transmission Specialties in Aston, Pennsylvania, provided the Powerglide that uses a 5,700stall converter. Tonys High-Performance in Providence Forge, Virginia,
nished the car by fabricating the headers, installing the wiring and plumbing, setting up the chassis and tending to all of the little details necessary to
make this a turnkey bracket car.

DISTRACTION
ED LEABOUGHS
CHEVY II TAKES HIM
AWAYQUICKLY!

// A friend of mine who hadnt seen the car run


told me that I shouldnt be bringing a street car to a
race track. Hes still eating crow! //

Text and Photos by Rod Short

71

DR.1405-70-72-YELLO 2/11/14 10:19 PM Page 72

/ Officer Leaboughs off-duty office. This amazingly stock interior was installed
and detailed by the owner with assistance from East End Glass in Richmond, VA.

/ Scott Duggins, from PAR Racing Engines in Spartanburg, SC, built the
565-inch bullet based off of a Merlin III block. Only top-shelf parts were used.

A Heidts front 2-inch drop kit with new spindles and A-arms provides just the right stance for this pocket rocket, while QA-1 shocks on
the front and Strange dampers on the rear control the suspension
travel. A 12-bolt rear with 4.56 gears and Moser 35-spline axles work
with the Chris Alston backhalf kit and an anti-roll bar with 62-inch
long wheelie bars to plant the car when launching. Centerline Warrior
wheels shod with Moroso rubber on the front and Hoosier W-15 drag
slicks on the rear make up the rolling stock.
Anthony Barber of All Kolorz Paint & Body in Richmond, Virginia, did
a masterful job of applying the Velocity Yellow paint, which is further
accented by graphics by Michael Hall and Virginia Leabough. The car
continues to have a full interior that even includes a factory ashtray
and working dome light. Leabough installed most of the interior work
himself with J&W Nova door panels, JEGs seats and Auto Meter
gauges. East End Glass in Richmond nished the job with carpeting,

headliner and Lexan side glass.


When it was all said and done, the car exceeded Leaboughs
expectations by dipping into the nines on the quarter-mile right off the
bat. At just over 2,900 pounds with driver, an 8.60 at nearly 156 mph
is his best at this writing. Besides those already mentioned, Leabough
is quick to acknowledge Joe Hall, Donnie Hargrave, Tony Mangrum,
Taylor Lewis, Don Rudd, Brent Leabough Realty and Henry P. for their
efforts that lead to the nished product.
A friend of mine who hadnt seen the car run told me that I
shouldnt be bringing a street car to a race track, Leabough
recounted with a laugh. Hes still eating crow!
Leaboughs wily little Nova gets a lot of nods for its craftsmanship.
Its a solid eight-second performer that provides a worry-free, lowmaintenance ride at the track for a welcome escape from what goes
on in real life, and thats what a perfect distraction should be! DR

/ The little Deuce has been a straight shooter


right out of the box. Tonys High-Performance
in Providence Forge, VA, loved on the chassis.

72

MAY.2014

DR_1405_73 2/11/14 2:10 AM Page 73

DR_1405_74 2/11/14 2:13 AM Page 74

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DR_1405_75 2/11/14 2:17 AM Page 75

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DR.1405-76-81-SCENES 2/11/14 11:06 PM Page 76

BEHIND THE SCENES

BY BILL HOLLAND

RYAN HUNTER

/ The Todd Tutterow-powered Galot Motorsports Mustang at SCEs Indy


PRI Show booth. Ryan on the right with son Aaron.

rag racing history is rich with driver nicknames.


Everyone is familiar with The Snake and The
Mongoo$e, Grumpy and Dyno Don, The King
and The Ace. Thereve also been sobriquets for
manufacturers: The Shifty Doctor (Jack Watson and Earl
Richey), 2-Speed (Marv Ripes) and The Quarter-Turn Fastener Man (Ted Dzus) come to mind. Its time to add another
to the list: The Gasket Professor.
Ryan Hunter has been involved in sealing engines for almost 25
years and hes become the go-to guy for racers seeking gaskets and
technical information to solve their problems. Hes done myriad tech
seminars and several videos as The Gasket Professor. The company
he founded, SCE Gaskets, has grown from a small operation

//The goal of most racers and engine


builders is to generate maximum combustion
pressure. Its Ryans job to contain it. //

76

.MAY.2014

DR_1405_77 2/11/14 2:19 AM Page 77

DR.1405-76-81-SCENES 2/11/14 11:06 PM Page 78

BEHIND THE SCENES


/ Heres Ryan (center)
and his dad Dan (left) with
racing legend Smokey
Yunick at the PRI Show
(then held in Cincinnati).

specializing in solid copper head gaskets for


fuel cars to a diversied manufacturing
resource that has a full range of gaskets for
just about anything on the road.
Hunter has received several patents for
gasket innovations. Some of his more noteworthy developments include the ICS Titan,
a copper head gasket with a built-in stainless
steel O-ring, a series of reinforced valve cover
and oil pan gaskets that are approved for
use in fuel and alcohol cars by NHRA, and a
new exible polyurethane precision-molded
bowl and metering gaskets for Holley carbs.
While SCE Gaskets has manufacturing
facilities in Spencer, Iowa and Valencia,
Californiaand is sufficiently large to handle the volume required by large distributors and OEMs it doesnt operate under a
large corporate yoke and has the exibility
to respond quickly to the needs of racers.
As you might expect, racing is near and
dear to Hunter and his family. First introduced to drag racing by his dad, who at 80
years old is still an avowed hot rodder and
doing a frame-off restoration of his beloved
46 Ford pickup, the elder Hunter instilled in
his brood the love of all things mechanical.
And as family lore goes, Ryans grandfather used to build modied cars for moonshiners back in Indiana and Illinois.

78

MAY.2014

DR_1405_79 2/11/14 2:22 AM Page 79

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DR.1405-76-81-SCENES 2/11/14 11:07 PM Page 80

BEHIND THE SCENES


/ Ryan and his brother
Scott campaigned this
blown flat-bottom on
the liquid quarter-mile.

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Typical of gearheads growing up in L.A.s


San Fernando Valley, Ryan cruised Van
Nuys Blvd. with his 65 Chevelle and graduated to helping crew on some local Top
Fuel cars that frequented Irwindale Raceway and other SoCal venues. He and his
brother, Scott campaigned a blown atbottom boat locally with a measure of
success. By day Ryan worked at a parts
operation and augmented his income by
building engines. He founded Specialty
Component Engineering in 1990, which
has morphed into SCE Gaskets, Inc.
The racing gene has maintained its
course in the Hunter family, as son Caleb is
involved with his father-in-law, Dale
Provenzano, campaigning a turbocharged
SBC-powered 68 Camaro on the NMCA
circuit, and son Aaron enjoyed solid success racing karts and is eyeing a 360 Sprint
Car ride. Both sons are deeply involved in
the family business: Aaron managing SCEs
Iowa operations and Caleb handling manufacturing in the Valencia facility.
The goal of most racers and engine
builders is to generate maximum combustion pressure. Its Ryans job to
contain it.
/ The man
behind it all,
Ryan Hunter.

DR_1405_81 2/13/14 9:50 AM Page 81

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Call us at 1-800-764-6278
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DR.1405-82-83-COLLECT 2/11/14 11:10 PM Page 82

COLLECTIBLE KEEPERS

hat are these strange paper things with pictures? Theyre called books, and theyre
lled with all kinds of good stuff. Theyll entertain and inform. These and others are
available at Prestige Hobbies, 1238 S. Beach Blvd. Anaheim, CA 92804, call toll-free
888.886.5778, or click on Prestige-hobbies.com.

MONGOO$E: THE LIFE & TIMES OF TOM MCEWEN


by The Goo$e in his own words
Follow his career from behind the wheel of his moms 53 Olds through
the historic Hot Wheels deal and the Coors years. Loaded with photos
highlighting his entire career. Autographed by The Goo$e.

SIX SECONDS TO GLORY


by Hal Gigdon
The early career of Don Prudhomme is captured in this
thrilling moment-by-moment account of Snakes battle
at the 73 Indy Nationals. Autographed by The Snake.

TV TOMMY IVO: DRAG


RACINGS MASTER
SHOWMAN
by Tom Cotter
Ivos amazing Hollywood
acting and drag racing career
are chronicled with clarity, in
this color photo-filled
hardback book.

82

MAY.2014

DR.1405-82-83-COLLECT 2/11/14 11:10 PM Page 83

THE ART OF DRAG RACING


by John Joduauga
During the 70s, John Jodauga was the most prolific illustrator in the
world of drag racing, his work appearing in National Dragster, Hot
Rod, Car Craft, Drag Racing and Motor Trend magazines. This is a
compilation of the major work that Jodauga has performed for nearly
the past five decades. In addition to full-color reproductions of his
artwork, there are background stories giving a behind-the-scenes
look at how the paintings were created.

SNAKE VS. MONGOO$E: HOW A RIVALRY


CHANGED DRAG RACING FOREVER
by Tom Madigan
The definitive story of Goo$e and Snake: their feud, friendship
and the business deal that changed drag racing forever. Its all
told through photos and words.

DRAG RACING COLLECTIBLES


by Cory Lee
Big Show Funny Car driver and drag racing historian, Lee
chronicles with color photos and iconic collectibles
throughout the history of the sport.

83

DR_1405_84 2/11/14 2:26 AM Page 84

DIAMOND COMPETITION SERIES

Diamonds Competition Series is designed for drag racing,


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Developed painstakingly for these pragmatic, costconscious racers, this new forged piston is available now.
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DR_1405_85 2/11/14 2:33 AM Page 85

DR.1405-86-CARB 2/11/14 11:12 PM Page 86

CARBURETOR CLASS

BY LIZ MILES

PRESENTED BY

PLUMBING 101
lumbing is an unglamorous
but intricate and usually
costly part of every engine
build. Gases and uids travel
nose to tail through a collection of ttings, adapters, hoses, clamps and other
components to connect the dots. They
are the unsung heroes of performance.
The quality, performance and appearance of these pieces is just as important to
true gearheads as the color of their paint
and the style of their wheels. This means
there are some tough decisions to make
when planning and setting up your plumbing project.
There are a few things to consider: One is
your budget; Holley doesnt expect everyone
to have the pockets of a Top Fuel team, and
it prides itself on making products within
reach of any budget. Another is outlining
your needs. What do you need this system
to withstand? If its a fuel system, what kind
of fuel will it need to tolerate? What kind of
pressure? Lastly, what do you want? Lets
face it, looks are important. If you take pride
in your car, you want it to look a certain way.
Earls Plumbing has been around for half
a century and has been revolutionizing the industry along the way. The
company has found materials and
manufacturing designs and techniques that have made it possible to
cover the demands of nearly every street or
racing application as far as physical requirements and price.
Lets start by looking at entry-level stuff.
The Earls Super Stock hose is extremely
popular because it can be used with a pushon style tting without a hose clamp in
lower pressure applications. Its simple to
use, inexpensive and good looking. You
probably remember seeing it in the signature blue, and now its available in black.
The material used will stand up to just
about any uid, including E85. Super Stock
hose works only with Super Stock hose

ends. Super Stock ttings come with a collar that protects the cut end of the hose
from the environment and can be crimped
for high-pressure applications. These ttings can be used on other types of hoses
Earls makes with the addition of a hose
clamp. Econo Fit hose clamps feature an
AN-style cover to give the look of a higherdollar system.
Now to the braided options. When most
people think of steel braided lines with an inner PTFE (Earls cant call it that non-stick
coating brand name everyone knows)
extruded hose, they think big bucks. The
Speed Flex stainless steel PTFE-lined hose is
safe for pump gas and all of its mystery
additives, E85, pure alcohol, diesel,
coolant, oil and even bio fuels,
and with an extremely
affordable price tag. Its the
exact hose Earls uses for its
brake lines but comes in up to -8 sizes. The
larger sizes feature a static dissipation layer
which grounds the hose and prevents the
static created by traveling fuel from arcing
and damaging the hose. Speed Flex line can
be used with Speed Seal ttings, which are
specic to this PTFE hose. The ttings come
in stainless, classic red/blue anodized and
black anodized (Ano Tuff). Ano Tuff ttings
and adapters feature a military-grade, hardcoat anodizing that has improved corrosion
resistance and reusability.
If black fabric braiding is your thing, ProLite 350 and Pro-Lite Ultra are an excellent

86

MAY.2014

option. They are both made of a synthetic


rubber inner liner thats safe with all typical
fuels and give excellent exibility. They both
come with a slightly higher price tag than
the Speed Flex stainless braided option, but
each has its benets. Pro Lite is very easy to
work with and can be used with a variety of
tting styles including Swivel Seal (selfindexing), Auto Mate/Auto Crimp and Econo
Fit. The main differences between the original Pro Lite 350 and the Pro Lite Ultra are
the maximum pressure rating, vacuum tolerance and the tightness of the fabric
weave, which covers the inner hose and the
addition of a light wire mesh.
Now for the real fancy stuff: Ultra-Flex. This
is what John Force uses, to give you an idea of
how special this stuff is. Ultra Flex, like Speed
Flex, has an inner PTFE liner that is resistant to
virtually anything. The major difference is the
outside of this inner liner is convoluted, giving
it extreme exibility. Its also offered in larger
sizes and both a stainless braid and gray
Kevlar fabric outer layer versions. The price
of the hose isnt off the charts, but they are
crimp-only ttings and require the use of an
expensive crimper. It also uses special PTFEimpregnated anodizing on the Ultra Flex specic hose ends.
Obviously we focused on fuel but Earls
Plumbing is certainly not limited to it. Oil,
coolant, brake uid, nitrous oxide and even
water-methanol need a system of tubes
and ttings to make things work and Earls
has an option for you!

DR_1405_87 2/11/14 2:46 AM Page 87

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DR.1405-88-GOOSE 2/11/14 11:13 PM Page 88

THE MONGOO$E JOURNALS

BY TOM THE MONGOO$E MCEWEN

SNAKE AND MONGOO$E, THE


MOVIE FINALLY COMES HOME
AND THE HOT WHEELS RACERS
FIND A NEW ONE

y friends, its been a


strange and winding road
since Alan Paradise rst
showed me a copy of the
Snake and Mongoo$e movie script.
There were many times that Snake and
I thought this movie would never get made.
But producer Robin Broidy was relentless.
She was determined to see it to fruition,
come hell or high water.
Once production got started, well, it was
a pretty amazing experience. I wish you all
could have been in Bakerseld last year
during lming. First, Snake climbed in and
red up the famous Greer, Black & Prudhomme Top Fueler, drove it to the line and
made a smoking lap. And then to make it
even better, he repeated the process in his
yellow Hot Wheels Cuda. We knew then it
was gonna happen.
After the lming was nished, there were
other bumps. I lost count of all the versions
of the movie they assembled before the nal
cut. It was a long, time-consuming process.
But, after it was all done, I have to tell you, it
was pretty cool to have a movie made about
us. And the Hollywood premiere, well, it was
just like you see on TV. And then it was on to
the premiere in Indy during the U.S. Nationals. That was special because so many of
our racing family was there to see it.
If there was a downside, it would be the
fact that it didnt make it into enough theaters for all of you who wanted to see it.
Ever since its release, youve asked me
about when DVDs would be available. Well,
Im happy to say, theyll be here soon. First,
you can get it on March 4 as a digital download on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video,
and via On Demand through select cable
providers. Then on April 8 the Blu-ray/DVD
will be available, all through Anchor Bay
Films. I hope you enjoy the movie.
Now to the real stars of the movie: the
Hot Wheels haulers plus mine and Snakes
Funny Cars tied to their backs. Snake
restored the haulers and his yellow Cuda.
I did my Duster, which Snake eventually

bought. During the summer, he decided it


was time to send them down the road,
which brought us to the Scottsdale BarrettJackson auction held recently. Craig Jackson and his team promoted the crap out of
the vehicles prior to the sale, and they were
the major stars of the auction.
That auction is amazing! Theres so
much more to it than you see on TV; its a
swap meet for millionaires. The haulers
were too heavy to bring across the stage, so
Snake drove the yellow Cuda, its nitro
Hemi cackling, right up to center stage. It
was by far the most exciting stage entry by
any Barrett-Jackson auction car. When the
smoke cleared, the
haulers and race
cars
went
to
NASCARs
Rick
Hendricks, for one
million dollars.
The movies DVD
release and the Barrett-Jackson Auction bring a big portion of whats been
going on this past
two years to a close.
Its been an interesting experience, to
say the least.
On a somber note,
weve lost two very
important members
of our drag racing
family: Don Garlits
wife Pat and one of
the pioneers of speed
parts development,
Bill Hays.
Pat Garlits was
always by Dons
side, through res,
the Lions clutch
explosion and the
many, many wins
and championships.
About the only time

88

MAY.2014

she wasnt on the road with Gar was


when she was tending to daughters Gay
Lyn and Donna. No matter the amount of
hours or the level of stress, you could
always count on Pat to have a smile and
good word.
And Bill Hays of Hays Clutches, later
Centerforce Clutches, he was a real innovator when it came to racing clutch technology. I was fortunate to develop a
friendship with Bill early in my career, and
that was certainly reected in my level
of performance.
Our drag racing family is diminished by
their passing.

DR_1405_89 2/11/14 2:48 AM Page 89

DR.1405-90-PART 2/11/14 11:14 PM Page 90

Another lamb to the slaughter.

Photo by Gary Nastase

MAY.2014

90

DR_1405_91 2/11/14 2:53 AM Page 91

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DR_1405_C3 2/11/14 3:17 AM Page C3

DR_1405_C4 2/11/14 3:34 AM Page C4

Courtney Force,
Funny Car driver

John Force,
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Brittany Force,
Top Fuel driver

I NEVER REALIZED THE EFFECT MY DRIVING


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As a parent its your responsibility to drive safely, and with any luck
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Because driving is a privilege everyone should take seriously.You and your
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Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved.