When Chad called me breathlessly from the pits a Pomona during the NHRA Winternationals, I figured he had been chasing the ice cream truck…again. As it turns out, he was going ape over this kick ass dragster he spied in the staging lanes. He wasn’t the only one who was smitten by the big block Chevy, twin turbo rail job either. The car was voted, “Best Engineered” at the race, which is a super high honor! Chad chewed the fat with Mike for a while in the staging lanes and he said the car was drawing a crowd, a crowd that even included NHRA Top Fuel Dragster competitors like Khlaid Al-Balooshi! The big honkin’ Garrett turbochargers that hang off both sides of the rat motor tend to bring out the stupefied giggles of horsepower obsessed drag racers, no matter the class.
You may be wondering why the guy who run a 1600hp combo in Super Comp, where the object is to go 8.90s. The answer is that the car normally runs in the Top Dragster category, where running it out the back door and high speeds are commonplace. Unfortunately, the NHRA does not run Top Dragster as a National Event class, so Super Comp was the only place Mike could wedge the car into competition. As you would expect, he had issued slowing the car down enough to run “only” 8.90 and ultimately he red lit in competition, ending his weekend early. That being said, the car would run over 180mph during qualifying which is seriously hauling ass in Super Comp.
Because Super Comp is an index class, it is like playing darts. The “bullseye” is 8.90 seconds. It is up to you on how you want to get there, but the guy who gets there closest to that index without running under wins and moves to the next round. Virtually every car in the class is overpowered for the application, so drivers run a device called a throttle stop to manage that car’s elapsed time. These devices come in a few different shapes and sizes, but consider a four hold carb spacer with blades than can be closed for a set amount of time and then reopened, launching the car at full throttle down the track. In general terms, the more power you have, the longer your car is “on the stop” and the bigger top end end charge you make. This is an advantage because your competitor is trying to figure out if they are going too quickly or too slowly, judging off of your position on the track. The harder and faster you charge them, the more difficult it is for them to figure out where there are in relation to that 8.90 index. In short, passing a guy at 180mph miles (and accelerating) is bad ass and only the true ninjas of Super Comp (and there are bunch!) would be able to handle it.
Mike’s car is a super extreme example of this and we give him credit for just trying to get the car down the track with the handicap on it. Although he didn’t go a bunch of rounds, he had fun and exposed this car to a big audience by winning the “Best Engineered” award. That is big time stuff!
So here’s some dope on the motor. It is a 565ci BBC, which is funny because lots of people thought it was an LS at first glance due to the coil packs on the valve covers. The engine makes 1590hp and 1350 lb/ft of torque…or at least it did in the video below which was shot in 2009. Chances are it is making more than that now. It is wearing AFR cylinder heads, and the twin Precision GT4788 turbos shove 17lbs of boost through it. The only really super high end, trick piece on the car is the MoTeC M800 engine management system. That baby fires Injector Dynamics 212 lb/per hour injectors that spit C16 fuel into the engine. The big intercooler at the rear of the car was made by a guy named Ed Thornton at SU Sand Cars. The whole package was tuned by Shane Tecklenburg. Interestingly, the car won best engineered at the NHRA World Finals (also held at Pomona) in 2009! This thing has some legs!