What were you racing then? Did you rebuild the
“I actually raced the Nova, the same one
I have now. I’ve had it since ’87.
That car is what I’ve done most of my
racing in. I actually ran that car on true BFGoodrich
T/A radials – it would go in the 10.60’s.
I really didn’t know how fast it would
go until I finally took it to the track. None
of us who raced back then really knew how fast
the cars were because we only raced them on
the street. We’d go to different towns
and get one race in and then go to another,
but never to the track.”
What stopped the street racing for you?
“Cell phones. People would come from all
over and we’d race all night, but cell
phones put an end to that. Plus, it really got
too fast, which made it really dangerous. At
first we were going 10 and 11-seconds, but it
didn’t take too long before we were running
a lot faster; it really became unsafe. That’s
when I decided to start racing at the track.”
When was that?
“I guess it was ’94. I went to Memphis
with Kyle Davis and crewed for him on his Super
Street car. After that, I began to race the
Nova in Hot Street in the Hot Rod deal and I
also ran another similar class when Popular
Hot Rodding had their deal. I did pretty well.
I think in Hot Street I finished fifth or sixth
in points, which wasn’t too bad.”
You’ve carved your niche in drag radial
racing over the past few years. How did that
“I built a car for Brian Odoms and we
raced the NSCA deal with a small-block nitrous
combination in his car, but we were five-tenths
off the pace of the big-blocks. That’s
when I decided to build a combination for the
Nova. It was a small-block ProCharger set-up
with a blow-through carb. I did it to prove
a point and I guess it worked.”
In your Camaro, you switched to a turbo set-up,
though. What was your reasoning for that?
“The turbo offers more free horsepower
than the belt-driven blower. I knew I could
gain a couple hundred horsepower, which is why
I went with a turbo when I built the new car.
It seems that everybody who is setting records
these days is running a turbo, which means there
must be a reason why.”
Did you run into any complications when you
began working with a turbo combination?
“I really didn’t have any trouble
at all with it. The blower was belt-driven so
it would ramp the boost in, which is very similar
to what a turbo does. The change was actually
no problem for me whatsoever.”
Are classes for drag radial racing still viable
or do you think that the concept has been left
behind in the wake of the explosive popularity
of outlaw racing?
“A lot of organizations have a class for
drag radial, but they are very restrictive.
Then you have the outlaw-style races like Memphis
and Orlando. There’s the race up in Canada
that is an outlaw event as well. I think that’s
a problem. We have organizations that have restrictive
rules, which force racers to build restrictive
cars, which, makes it hard to compete in the
outlaw stuff. I know that tire-development may
have actually hurt the class because before
we got these great tires, it was a tuner’s
class, which made racing tough. Now, though,
with the new Mickey Thompson tire, it takes
a lot of the guesswork out of racing because
it is so forgiving. Of course, many organizations
have banned that tire because it is so good
and I don’t necessarily agree with that.”
Is part of the problem that there are many different
interpretations of how the rules for the class
should be written?
“The common thread is stock suspension,
but from there you begin to see different concepts.
The NSCA had a lot of engine restrictions in
their class, but the outlaw stuff really only
restricts you to the tire and suspension. I
think if this type of racing will ever find
a permanent home in an organization, the rules
need to be very limited.”
Wait a second, even with the restricted rules
in the NSCA, you went out and ran one hell of
a number at their season-opener this year, which
caused quite a stir.
“Yeah I guess I did. I ran a 7.91, but
it was in really good air. The closest guy to
me ran in the 8.60’s. I was pretty fast.
They didn’t like that at all.”
Gee, I wonder why? Perhaps that wasn’t
the greatest of ideas. Why on earth would you
show your hand that much, so soon?
“I guess you can say I was proving a point.”
Is there a future for drag radial racing in
any organization or do you believe it will be
relegated to a few big outlaw races a year?
“I think there is (a future). The rules,
though, need to be more in line with the outlaw
rules like the NMCA has in Memphis. Limit it
to 3,300 pounds on stock suspension with a tire
rule and run whatever combination you want to.
That’s all. Let the class evolve from
there. There is the safety concern, though.
SFI has addressed these fast, heavy cars with
new specs, but I still think a 3,300 or 3,400-pound
car, going 180 mph is not too safe. I’d
like to see the cars lighter, but I think the
Mustangs and Camaros are the only cars you can
get lighter without much problem, which may
cause problems for the guys that want to run
older cars. It’s a tough situation to
be able to balance everything to make everybody
You and Chris Singleton are teaming up next
year, what can expect from you guys?
“We’re going to build a 4th generation
Camaro for Xtreme Street.
We’re still not sure what power-adder
we’ll use; we’ll wait until we see
the new rules before we make that decision.”
And who will drive it?
“I guess we’ll go to the first race
and flip a coin for it.”
And what will become of your Camaro and the
“I’ll keep racing the Camaro in
drag radial stuff when I can. I’m putting
a new engine in the Nova which will again allow
me to run it on the street.”