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Driver and Crew Interviews

Justin Burcham Taring up Coyote Stock with a 3 Link!

August 27, 2012 by Chad Houghton

When we think of the NMRA's newest class Coyote Stock we think of S197's pulling into the water box to do battle.  The view of the class is much different then was expected.  The car of choice is a Fox body or an SN95, throw a Coyote into it, set the four link up and let it eat.  At the MIR event Justin Burcham showed with a S197 owned by Joe Marini ready to do battle in the class.  Though not the fastest it was an impressive outing for the car running an 11.040@122.83mph.   At the NMRA Milan race we saw a milestone we thought would not come so soon, a 10 second pass in an S197 body.  10.88 is not easy to come by with the 3 link in these cars but when you have a veteran like Justin behind the build and wheel it should be no surprise.  Justin has be a pioneer of the 3 link from the start.  Picking up his 05 new in February and was running 10's one month later.  Fast forward to 2012 and Justin has quickly adapted his 7 years of knowledge with the 3 link and has quickly risin' to the top.  With only two races under his belt he posted a win at the Milan event.  We got a hold of Justin to to talk to him about running the S197 and his personal opinion on what direction the class will go.

Tell us a bit about the car your running now. It's kinda a wolf in sheep's clothing.  It appears to be a stock car but underneath we are running light weight race brakes with Strange coil overs up front and Strange shocks in the back.   Its got Metco lower control arms with instant center brackets and its got Race Craft upper control arm the relocation mount.   The heater has been taken out and all other related components under the dash we don't need have been removed as well.  Surprisingly we do still have the battery under the hood. Rear seat delete as well as front race seats sums up the car.

How tricky is it running the 3 link in this class? It's not easy most people think it's just bars and this and that but you know you don't see any S197 cars leaving on the bumper like you do the SN95 or the Fox Body cars.  With the limited power we have in the class it is a bit trickier to get all of it to the ground like it would be in the older four link setup.   You can ask anyone who has tried to race in heads up competition and I think there has only been a few people.   Robin Lawrence, Tim Matherly and I'm sure both of them could attest to how tricky it is to get it to work.

What is the most challenging aspect of this class for you? I think the 3 link is.  It's a bit more challenging as far as making the calls at the starting line because once you get off the line, you pretty much you have your shift points.  Then in a stick car you need to make all the gears.  With no tuning adjustments on the engine it's more so chassis and driver and cutting a good light so that the starting line is challenging and an important spot.  Just getting consistency out of the car, making sure round from round it's doing what it's supposed to do cause the track changes just like any other class.  If I had an older car I probably wouldn't be as concerned about it like a 4 link car that will pretty much hook on ice with that kind of power level.  With the 3 link suspension it's how is it going to 60 foot this time?  Is it going to spin?  Do I need to make changes?

The first time out with the car and Justin already had the suspension dialed in and was pulling the front wheels.

You seem to be having a lot of fun out there. It's definitely less stressful than the other classes. I have so much stress during the week with the business that I don't look forward to going to the track and being stressed out.  That's one of the reasons I've been on the side line for so many years.  I am so competitive.  I put so much pressure on myself to compete that when I go out there my brain just won't stop.  I'm always thinking I need a tuning adjustment or I need to adjust this and in my opinion this class takes out a lot of stress and adds a lot of fun because ultimately there really is not much you can do.  It's not like well, I need to bump up the timing and things like that, you pretty much set your air pressure and your tires and your suspension up.  You need to do a good job at the starting line and let the cards fall where they fall.

Justin went on to win the Milan event.  With only competing in two events so far Justin and the the 3 link set up looks to be promising against the 4 links.  With more legendary racers who may be looking to take a step back in the heads up classes this may be their new home.  With years of experience sure these racers will be at the forefront and will be the ones shining but where else can you race in a class that has the biggest cap of all.  The engine really helps to put everyone one on the same playing field, leaving only whoever gets off the line, to the 60ft and cross the line first.  I don't care if Bruce Henmminger, Brian Alsept or Tommy Godfrey is in the next lane.  I'd take those odds in this class and shoot to be a shining star!

Editors note: Bruce, Brian and Tommy where only used as a reference to the class and in know way are we starting rumors that they are entering the class.

Driver and Crew Interviews

It Takes "BIG MONEY" To Win in SSO

July 28, 2012 by Chad Houghton

Meet Mike King better known to the folks in racing as BIG MONEY MIKE!  Mike is one of the crew members of NMRA Super Street Outlaw 7 time champ John Urist.  To run this hard and this fast takes guys who know what they're doing and Mike is no exception.  When he's not at the track putting John in the beams, Mike is a Triple Master Tech who has been turning wrenches for 23 years now at a Chrysler dealership in Waldorf MD.  23 years is a long time but his car craze and competitive spirit was fueled long before that.  Before Mike had his license he raced BMX and two of our favorites, go-karts and dirt bikes.  From there he graduated into cars and at the ripe age of 13 was given his very own 68 convertible Impala that he still owns today.  "My father gave it to me when I was 13, pulled it out of a barn."  

 

 

"It's a 68 Impala SS convertible Big Block 4 speed and since I didn't yet have my licence. I fixed it all up so when I did get my license I had something to drive, I drove that to high school," Mike says.  From the 68 Impala to a 68 Big Block Camaro, Mike thought that he was on cloud nine.  Then one day his friend bought a 1990 5 speed Mustang and he let Mike drive it.  That's all it took and Mike sold his 68 Camaro and bought a 1990 Mustang coupe and never looked back.

Sick of burning up pistons he got to talking to John Urist and bought a 98mm turbo off him.

Photo courtesy of BME Photography

The coupe has made quite a few transitions in it's life.  What started out as a Bracket Car with a stroked Small Block that ran low tens through the mufflers became a Head's Up car running 8.50's with a 400in motor on nitrous in the NMRA Drag Radial class back in 2005.  Sick of burning up pistons he got to talking to John Urist and bought a 98mm turbo off John.  As far as Mike knows he's the fastest car on a 325/50/15 BFG, running 7.85@185. Big Daddy hasn't even been that fast on the old BFG.  A friend of Mike's even challenged it on Yellow Bullet and no one has contested it.  When Mike started talking to John about turbos that's when the friendship started and around 7 years ago Big Money jumped on the Hellion Racing crew.  Mike has quite the long list of duties, for the most part it's taking care of every aspect of the car.  Motor, trans, suspension and rear end.  If they need to tear into the car Mike is grabbing wrenches and  ripping parts off.  With Mikes everyday experience, working on the race car is a lot easier.  "At work I do transmissions among other things and let me tell you, Powerglides are a lot simpler than a 6 speed Chrysler automatic fully electronic trans" Mike says.
Whatever the problems are the team always seems to figure them out and get it fixed in time for the next round.  Though John does all the tuning on the car Mike will also add his input into how the car is working to aid in John's next tune.  Over the 7 years Mike has helped John Urist win 6 of those championships in a row.  Though sounds impressive it hasn't come with ease.  To run a team as successful as the Hellion crew all sponsorship and winnings go right back into the car and the racing program leaving no big fat checks for the crew at the end of a weekend.  John will pay for the hotels, car rentals and some of the dinners but being part of a team requires sacrifices from all.  Mike burns all his vacation just to come to these events.  When asked what do you most enjoy about coming to these events Mike tells this story the best.  "I just like drag racing,  I mean I like helping out, I like doing things.  I like being successful at them so being with John we have been successful.   Thank god any advert things that come up we usually can handle them.  Motor and trans wise or car wise we usually overcome them and just being on a team."  Not only does Mike work on Urist's car but Mike will help anyone who needs it whether rebuilding a trans or doing some welding.

Mike helping fellow SSO racer Chip Havemann rebuild his powerglide.

" If John is too busy he will tell me to do it.  If somebody needs something welded I'll weld it for them.  We help out, everybody gets along, the comradery after the races are over everybody hangs out and gets along so it's just a good time all around" Mike adds.  To be running around the country racing up and down the east coast takes it toll but Mike tells us his most memorable moment was Bowling Green 2010 when the championship came down to that last pass when they needed to win the race and set the record to win the championship which they did.  "It seemed to fall into place, I can't say it was all the team, I mean we did what we were supposed to do but we needed a little bit of luck to happen too and it rolled our way."

Though Mike enjoys crewing there is nothing like being behind the wheel of a race car and Mike has just buttoned up his coupe for another round of battles at his home track, which just happens to be our favorite "MIR"!  The latest transformation to the coupe is a mini tubed 23.5 cert chromoly chassis.  To cut down on cost Mike built the whole car himself including the cage, narrowed rear end, motor, trans and all the plumbing for the turbo.  The only thing Mike doesn't do is his own machining.  Only because he doesn't own his own equipment.


Mike's car in it's current form racing X275 at his home track.

Photo courtesy of Holloway Saunders.

The last question I had for Mike was how did the name "Big Money" come about.  The story goes when Mike was racing his car in NMRA Drag Radial, Mike Rousch had a Renegade car and he couldn't get down the track so Rousch had Mike do some suspension work to it and on the next pass Rousch went out there and put it on the bumper.  Mike Rousch come down so hard it busted the radiator and the electric fan come off of the car.  Rousch called it the Big Money chassis tune up, Big Money chassis ended up being "BIG MONEY".  "It's all because of my team mate Mike Rousch" Mike says!
Driver and Crew Interviews

Chris Tuten Sucker Punches the SSO Competition with the First 200mph Pass!

March 21, 2011 by Chad Houghton

Chris Tuten 201MPH Pass

 

It was Friday night and the 1st qualifing round of the year was already underway when the call came over the PA for Super Street Outlaw to come the lanes.  Chris Tuten who has been absent since his win at NMRA's Milan event last year, was the first in the lanes and the first to go down the track.  I would have hated to be the guy to be in the burnout box when Chris made his pass.  I mean if I was in the car behind Chris Tuten a million things would be going through my mind.  This is going to be a great year!  My pass is going to be fast!  There is a great chance of being the first car to run 200mph.  As I look up to see Chris take off from the starting line, to my astonishment, the car continues to pick up and crosses the finish line like the DeLorean in back to the future with two fire lines where the tires just went down!  Tell me that wouldn't feel like someone just punched you in the gut!  FRN sat down with Chris and asked him how it felt to go that fast and his opinion on the class now that he just crushed everyone's else's hopes and dreams.

Chris Tuten's 201MPH Score Board

You just ran the first 201mph pass in SSO, can you tell us a little bit about that pass?

FAST!  Extremely, fast, and it felt like it in the car.  There was no mistaking that it was running that fast. 

You did pull the wheels, there was a little bit of spin out of the hole and then it really started to charge at the 1/8th mile.

We didn't know it until we looked at the video and it actually the wheels off the ground and started to spin the tires a little bit, set the front end down and then it hooked back up again, took off and it was gone. 

So pulling down the track did you know it was going to be that fast? 

We were hoping for it but we didn't know it.  We where hoping at some point this year we could run that fast.  With the good air today we knew it was our best shot.  So when we left the trailer, we had it loaded for everything it had.  That's why we were the first SSO car in the staging lanes, we had the car ready.  The first ones up there, first ones ready to go down the track.

So you knew driving down the track that you were "on one"?

Oh ya! That was our "leaning on it" tune up.  If it could do it, hopefully it does it now.  It felt like it in the car.  I was at the end of the track when I told Jerry "If that wasn't 200mph then I don't want to drive the car anymore," because it just felt too fast.   How quick it went from the 1000ft mark to the 1/4mile was crazy, there was no mistaking that it was "haulin the mail". 

 

You're the first car, on the first hit of the season, and you run 200mph.  How do you think that sets the pace for SSO? 

 Actually I think that's the way your suppose to race.  If you have the ability to go fast, get off your butt and do it.  Don't play games and get the rules all screwed up.  That's how rules get messed up, because people play games.  Go out there and run as fast as you can without blowing your motor up and work good at getting the car down the track.  That way everybody sees what they have got to work with.  Instead of sandbagging or playing games all year long, for however many years, running the same times.  Even though the rules makers, the committees are trying to slow you down, your getting faster every year.  That just proves that some people may have been sandbagging over the years and that's why the rules got the way they were.  So I can either take a needle and poke you in the arm all year long or I can take a knife and stab you in the gut at the first race and now you know what were working with.  I chose to stab you in the gut and see if you can heal.

 

Chris Tuten also put a new paint job on the car, because if your going to show up to a fist fight with a knife you might as well look good stabbing people!

 

 

 

Driver and Crew Interviews

There's a New Kid on the Playground and He's Not Playing Nice!

November 17, 2010 by Chad Houghton

 

Andrew Demarco

 

Andrew Demarco

With a state of the art chassis from DMC racing and a Proline engine with "Proline" machine gunned into the valve covers, this racing team has some pretty heavy hitters backing them up.  Super Street Outlaw has to be one of the toughest classes in the world.  Put a 2000 hp car in the beams on a 28 tall tire let it lose and hold on for a wild ride.  You have to have the right frame of mind to get behind the wheel of one of these cars.  That brings us to the man behind MassMayhem Racing, Andrew DeMarco.  This 28 year old, along with his twin brother David are from a small town 15 min North of Boston.   He grew up around race cars and has been racing since he got his licence.  We first met Andrew in Bradenton Florida at the season opener in 2010.  Still working on the finishing touches on his car, he had borrowed one to race to get points.  We didn't see Andrew again until Zmax in North Carolina where some chassis issues had him going for some wild rides and he decided to call it a race until they figured out the setup. 

You basically just jumped on the scene in SSO what is your racing back ground?

I have a low 8 sec street car, we take it on the street once and a while.  It runs bottom 8's, it's been running Heads Up 8.50's.  Proline has always done my motors.  Steve Petty has been the top contender for 4 or 5 years, kinda the guy to beat.  I went to all the NMRA events with the 8 sec car.  It's an 82 notchback, 25.5 originally built for NMRA real street but I lost interest.  I like the 4 eyed cars thats why I stick with that.

So what made you decide to race in SSO?

The first NMRA event I ever went to was in Bradenton in 03 and I saw the class and followed it from 03-04.  You've got to be proper "F"d to get into an SSO car.  And I thought, I can drive that shit I'm going to have to get into that class.  Honestly I think it's the most humbling and bad ass class out there, being on them little tires.  Just under 2000HP these little cars trying to go every which way but straight going mid to bottom 7's.  We are almost using 1400 feet of track sometimes, it's definately a humbling experience.  The best best rush you will ever get.

You said that you have been following the class since 03-04.  Is that when you decided you wanted to build a car for this class?

Originally I was looking at Drag Radial because I grew up with Peter Champani running Drag Radial and then Manny Bajinga is up my way.  At first it was all about the Radial crap, I had Radials on the car and it was a pain in the ass to get them to work.  It works sometimes and then it doesn't and to learn about track conditions.  I put a slick on the car and never looked back.  I stuck with the small tire and have been friends with the guys from Proline.  It's more of experience to drive something like that then drive a 9 sec bracket car with a 14 in slick on the back.

Andrew Demarco Proline

Andew Demarco DMC Racing

You came out with a really nice piece here, state of the art.  Following the class through the years and then showing up with something like this. Did you realize you were going to have to build something a step ahead?

Ya we were looking ahead and also wanted to make a car versatile, to be able to race other series.  DMC racing did the whole chassis on the car.  I bought the car, it was a headache at first.  I bought it 2 years ago, thought I was going to have my engine and trans within the first couple months I had the car.  It turned out other wise, we cut the whole cage apart.  I wanted atleast a 25.3 chassis, something that's going to be the best of the best for 10in tire racing.  I also wanted to be able to cross over to some limited street stuff and outlaw radial stuff.  I'm going to stick with Super Street Outlaw with the stock suspension and get a little bit of a weight break.  We trying different combinations to see what is going to take to run at the front. 

This isn't a ladder bar car, it's a stock suspension car?

Stock suspension, it's a different feel.  I have driven a ladder bar car which belonged to Mike Dez down in florida.   It planted, you could eat a cheese burger after the 1/8th mile.  Just let go of the wheel, straight as an arrow.  These little things like to dance once and a while.  It's a good feeling.

Andrew Demarco DMC Racing

Andrew Demarco Mass Mayhem Racing

You had this car for 2 years Has it taken the full two years to build this car?

Thats a good question actually.  It's  mixture of things you want things to be right, that was one thing, having some people drag their feet. Kinda started to wait to long to start on the car and kinda came to WTF man?! Lets go out and race.  I had the motor and really started gnawing at it.  Trying to get out there and go race.  It's been 2 years of headaches, but they built a beautiful car.  Now it's just gettin it sorted out, I just went a 1.20 flat 60ft with the turbo.  That was kinda cool, the whole experience, we can just keep pecking away at it.

Originally this was a pro charger car?  What made you go to a Turbo setup?

Ya it was a Pro Charger car.  We tried to mess around with a couple of different combinations.  I wanted to go down the road of a stock suspension F2 Pro Charger car because, you get an extra weight break for an F2 on the car.  But some weight changes where done in the class and you know trying to say an F2 is comparable to a 94 (mm turbo) is just not happening.  They make an excellent amount of power, maybe it will work with it's lower weight 2800, 2850 but I couldn't hack it.  Steve Petty tunes my car and builds my motors, good friend.  He said,"why don't we put a 94 on it and see how it will run and just peck away and see how the rules play out at the end of the year",  But I'm kinda getting used to driving a turbo and we will see where it goes from here.

Andrew Demarco

Andrew Demarco Proline

You say you always had Proline build your motors?

We have been using them for over 6 years now.  It's turned into a friendship.  We joke around or even talk about different classes,what we can do with this and what can we do with that.  When I told Steve Petty "I have got to run Super Street Outlaw" he said "we've got a bone to pick with that class, you can do it".  We all want to see what we can do with a turbo in the class.  I think we can run up front and keep pecking away.  I'm not going to stop until I get a championship.

You have been plugging away with this car.  This weekend seems like your having some great passes with it.

The first couple of passes we battled some 3-400 foot wheel stands.  It's cool if you like taking pictures but it's not fun when they come down and decide where they want to go. So we tightened the front end up and we dropped a full tenth at the 60ft.  Just tightening it up and made an anti role bar adjustment.  We stumbled into a couple of different problems as far as some fuel pressure goes and stuff like that so we just got onto that.  The passes I have made out here.  I have had to dump it at the 1/8th rolling to an 8.20 that ain't going to cut it. But looking at the increments we should be a player and hopefully it's ready to run come sunday morning.

Andrew Demarco

Andrew Demarco

Any one in the mix you would like to thank?

I would like to definately thank my father Richie, my brother David.  I've been going to the track since I was knee high. I would also like to thank DMC racing, Steve Petty and all the boys from Proline.  Mike Dez from Mike Dez Racing.  All my close friends that come with me and give me the biggest hand they can give me. I couldn't do it with out any of these guys at all.

 

 UPDATE! Andrew was testing in Bradenton last month and went a 7.22@193 in SSO trim.  Thats hauling the mail on those small tires!  NMRA's Super Street Outlaw is going to be an interesting year!  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Driver and Crew Interviews

Jim Monson runs 6.94 @ 201mph

October 22, 2010 by Chad Houghton

Jim Monson

In a 10.5 Outlaw world where Goliath seems to be kicking the crap out of David these days, Jim Monson is still rocking his small block single turbo combo and showing that the David's still have a few rocks up their sleeve.  Though work has kept Jim busy he is still making progress and puts on a show everytime he pulls into the water box.  At the NMRA Finals in Bowling Green this year a show Jim put on indeed running a 6.94 at 201. His first 6sec. pass!  We caught up with Jim to see how it feels to pop that... mark! 

Friday night you made your first 6 sec pass what went through your mind?

I didn't know at first I pulled the chutes the car was stopping and I kept waiting for my brother-in-law to come over the radio and tell me what it ran and it seemed like I waited forever for him to come over and say it finally went a 6.  I think it took longer because he had to look over at the scoreboard 2 or 3 times to convince himself it was right.

How was that pass going down the track?

I knew it was fast and it felt really smooth I knew the tune up was right and I also knew from looking at the back of Conrads car that he must have been going really fast.  But I new it was a good run, I really did.  It felt good going all the way down.

Jim Monson

You also did quite well at the Yellow Bullet Nationals.  Is that when you really started to lean on it?

We found some stuff at the Yellow Bullet Nationals.  It was a 1/8 mile race so we weren't sure what it was going to run in the 1/4 mile but we had an idea, but I didn't want to go on Yellow Bullet and brag about it or talk too much because I didn't want to jinx it.  We have been working for years and years trying to break into the 6 second zone and I just wanted to show up and run a 6 and then be happy afterwards.

Before the Yellow Bullet Nationals what kind of numbers did this car put up?

We ran NMRA Milan (2010) and we saw you there.  We went 7 teens, the car would go 7 teens with in a few hundreth for about the last year, year and a half and then we just skipped right over the 7.00's. lol  We  don't have time for that, we have some catching up to do so lol.

Small Block Ford Single Turbo

These past 2 seasons you have been taking some time off from racing, now that you made a 6 sec pass will we be seeing more of Jim?

What the car runs really doesn't dictate where I race.  I'm a Chrysler supplier, so Chrysler has a great forecast.  Their vehicle sales are up, great line up and we would love to make as many parts for those vehicles as they would like to buy.  We are on the team and we hope everybody is successful, if Chrysler does well you will see a whole lot more of me.

You started out with nitrous and then switched to a turbo a few years back.

In 2004 we blew the hood scoop about 100 feet in the air for a second time in a row and I pulled the car in the trailer and said we are done with nitrous where going to build a turbo car.

Jim Monson

You said there are a few things you are going to change to help out the performance.  What are they?

We are out of fuel!  The fuel pump, I keep putting fuel pressure into it, it doesn't change it's still running out of fuel so I keep jacking the fuel pressure up, it doesn't change so we got to put a mechanical pump on the car and I think it wants a little more gear.  So there is still more in it, you know you just have to keep working on these things and you find little things that help to go a little faster.  So I hope we have a place to race next year with the NMRA.  If not we will race super street because these guys run a great event.  We will show up where ever we can with these guys.

Any last thoughts?

I just want to thank the guys who helped me out.  Hutch's Trans Service in London Ont. (Canada) I beat the hell out of this stuff and try and break it and it just runs pass after pass.  Reed from Super Natural Turbo (supernaturalturbo.com), he builds turbos that live for ever.  Don Bailey, put a tune up in this car that doesn't break parts and goes fast.  VP fuels, without those guys we wouldn't be out here.  Also Competition Components (buyracingparts.com), NLR Systems (AMS 1000-nlrsystems.com), XS Power Batteries.  And finally my brother-in-law, the car doesn't leave the garage with out my brother-in-law Dan.

Jim Monson

Driver and Crew Interviews

Matt DaSilva Kickin Ass and Takin Names!

September 26, 2010 by Chad Houghton

Matt Da Silva

Growing up in the racing scene, spending time with dad, learning what makes cars go and go fast!  It shows a young child that life isn't perfect and not everything goes the way you want it too.  You have to work hard in this life to get where you want to be and better yet what you want to be.  Watching his father, work hard and win 2 championships in pro 5.0 really made a great role  model for him.  By day he works in the race shop, by night stays after hours to work on his own car.  This man is on a mission setting the world on fire with his 05 GT street car to run 10's on all motor and stock bottom end.  A man who has raced the orange white flamed twin turbo car to a 6.62 @ 232mph.  A very well known and respected racer that has sent fear in the eyes of his fellow racers, and he has done all this at the ripe age of 20.  Introducing Matt DaSilva, son of Canada's favourite Ford Drag racer, Joe DaSilva.  Matt DaSilva is the next rising star with the Da Silva name plate.  Matt wants to push the limits and take the name to new ground in ADRL and eventually a funny car.  Working long hours in the shop (DaSilva Racing) with his dad creating a strong foundation, Matt is sure to become a house hold name in drag racing.    

Did you spend a lot of time with your dad at the track when you were growing?

Yes since the age of 2 I travelled with him, racing all over North America.

What age did you start racing?

 I started racing Jr. dragsters when I was 7.  My car had a gas motor that ran 14.5 sec to the 1/8th , that was the fastest I went back then.  I went from Jr's to my dad's old 86 at the age of 16.  I was taught how to drive stick on his 2000 Mustang.

You raced your dad's (86) coupe.  Did you guys buy that back and rebuild it?

Yeah we built that back in 2003-04, it's parked right now. It was a renegade car in NMRA but it has a radial on it. It ran a best of 8.67 @ 162mph.  It's on the back burner now, I'm just having too much fun with my street car.

Matt Da Silva

Do you work on the cars at the shop as well?

I would like to work more in the back, I do work there after hours but i manage the front during the day.  My dad wants me to pilot the freight of the train, so thats what I'm doing.

Do you have you own client base?

I have a group of buddies that I keep in close touch with, we have our own race team.  My dad and I run the shop together, so i would say we are one big family.

Matt da Silva

You said your having fun running your street car, is that something you put together?

Yes I built it after hours at the shop, I wanted to go 11's on a stock long block, all motor.  The next step is running 10's with a naturally aspirated mod motor.

 

You also drive the Pro 5.0 car. Is this car something you want to race?

It is something I eventually want to do.  We are really focused on the business right now, so it hasn't been out the last few years. We are thinking about putting a team together and maybe race ADRL or another sanctioning body that allows big tire cars.  So yes definitely in the future. 

 Da Silva Racing
 

Matt Da Silva

 

What are your personal racing goals?

To make a name for myself and set some records.  Personally NMRA Pure Street is my favorite class.  In the near future I would like to do build a pro car for our big team.  I'll drive anything for anyone and will try to build what I want along the way.

 

Speaking of NMRA, you won Super Stang at the Milan event.

It was a good feeling!  Last year I red lit and I wanted to redeem myself this year. I had a great feeling the whole day, it went perfect for me.  I couldn't ask for anything better.  It was good times with old friends and I met alot of new faces. Can't complain!

 

So is this a career choice for you? Racing and running the shop?

I have definitely thought about it.  I'm definitely into it, it's in my blood, anyone can tell you that.  I definitely want to make this my career.  I guess my main goal though is to pilot a 7000 hp funny car.  As soon as I can possibly get there! lol

It appears that you and your father work very well together.

Yes, we are a good team.  I consider him one of my best friends.  It's a father son relationship, like anyone we have our conflicts, but at the end of the day I wouldn't want anyone else by my side.  I'm definately best friends with my dad and I am very thankful he got me into racing. 

Matt Da Silva

 

Matt Da Silva

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I would like to thank our sponsors, Ford Racing, Brian Wolf really helped me out.  Classis design concepts, Vortech, UPR products , Tom Reider (use to own Reider Racing & Precision gear) Mac Products , Pro 5.0  And of course thanks to my pops for getting me into this sport.

 

  

Driver and Crew Interviews

Billy Glidden is Back in 13 Days!

July 30, 2010 by Chad Houghton

 

Billy Gliddens ADRL AFX Car

At the ADRL race in Heartland Park Topeka, Kansas July 2-3, Billy Glidden crashed his car. He was in the left lane when the tree came down. The car then made a hard right turn head on into the wall (Click here for photos) flipping the car on it's roof.  Billy was ok but his 2011 bodied Mustang had seen better days.  With a lot of hard work Billy and Shannon had their car back in only 13 days! They rolled in to Route 66 friday night to race in the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl which he took runner up in NMCA Pro Street.  The weekend between the wreck and getting the ADRL Mustang back I saw Billy and Shannon at the Pritchet Brothers race at Milan Mich.  Running the famed black 90GT Mustang.  Billy went to the finals but had to lift when the car came up on the wheelie bars hard and had to really drive the car when it came down.  Not wanting to risk wrecking the old black Mustang Billy lifted and left with a runner up in a car that had out of date technology and was clearly the under dog all weekend.  We caught up with Billy after the race at Route 66 to ask how he got the car back out so fast and why he brought out the old black GT 

Two weeks ago you had an accident in ADRL could you give us a brief run down on what happened with the car?

The car broke an axle tube, it didn't twist it, it just snapped it right in two.  That caused the car to make a violent right turn across the track and head on into the wall and put it on the roof.

 

That day you had the motor and trans out of the car and you sent it to the chassis shop.

About an hour, hour and fifteen minutes after the crash.  The engine and trans were out and it was up in Jerry Haas's box trailer at that race track, he took it home and got after it. 

 

Billy Gliddens ADRL Extreme 10.5 Mustang

You put the car on the roof and they had it fixed pretty quick was there really that much damage to the car.

The damage was firewall forward for the most part they replaced mostly struts, and the engine cradle, strut bars.  The front shocks are still the same shocks.  New front end, same hood scoop same doors same body, different front window.  The Jerry Haas car did a great job really it just absorbed the impact really well, it was a pretty sudden stop.  

 

Did you come to this event to test the car for the ADRL?

Houston is next weekend there is two races next week. Charlie Harmon and the Pro Media gang really help us.  They checked in on us when this happened.  This race is only 200 miles from the house rather then having to have to go some where in Texas to run. We drove 300 miles from Jerry Haas, we left friday night about 8 oclock and drove here, we got here around midnight but still in the end this allowed us to run our car and then go home to access anything we need to work on

Billy Gliddens AFX Mustang

 

Billy Gliddens ADRL 2011 Mustang

Is the car driving the same before the accident?

The car is doing great!  I came here with a different combination as well.  Same engine but our drive line has some pretty major changes  and our first run here was our first run on that with this car and this engine (Hemi).  We ran it, did some testing with it last week with the old car with the small block just to try and get a baseline or an idea so we came here with  a lot of things different, but the car drives great.  The car is doing exactly what its suppose to do.

 
   

Last weekend you brought out your old Black 90 GT at Milan.  Were you going to start using that until this car got fixed?

That was to test the new combination the two cars act quite a bit the same with setup gear racials and clutch combinations and nitrous.   So it was actually so I wasn't sitting on my hands really doing nothing.   Effectively we wanted to try and find a way to be better for the next time out.  I don't know if were going to be better but we do have a different direction that were going right here.  I know Spiro was here to test, I don't know if he ever even made it down the track.  It's pretty warm here I dont think it's as hot here as it will be in Houston but a least we raced here pretty close to the way we race ADRL.

 

Billy Gliddens Black 90GT

 When was the last time you brought out the black 90GT?

The last time we raced the old Mustang was NMCA Bowling Green 2008. We only raced it that one time that year and it's been 2007 sometime when we had run it last.

 You ran a 4.32 (to the 1/8) with that car and I think it was a 1.06 60ft with that?

We went 1.04 when we went 4.32, but you know in the afternoon when the other cars ran  we went a 4.41 there was a 4.42, 4.45 and 6s,7s.  When it the sun went down and we went the .32 the guy who was probobly the quickest car had crashed.   Our car ran good because of the different combination I'm telling you about.  It just seemed to work really well.

 

 Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting the new Mustang back on the track?

Jerry Haas and his whole group.  Everyone at Jerry Haas did a great job getting this car done.  Jim D Moore from JDM for helping us to be able to endure the hardship of getting the car done.  And everyone the fans and racers, folks for their support.  Everyone just hopes we get back out and thats what we are working towards.

Billy Gliddens Black 90 GT Mustang

 

FYI!  Looks like all that testing with the old car and at Route 66 paid off!  The weekend after the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl Billy went on to win two events in two nights at ADRL in Houston Raceway Park July 23-24.  It just goes to show you with a lot of hard work you can get back on your feet and come out ahead!

 

FRN would like to congradulate Billy and Shannon on all their hard work and a job well done.  You both deserve it!

 
   
   
Driver and Crew Interviews

Chip Havemann is Back!

June 01, 2010 by Chad Houghton

Chip Havemann

Through the years racers come and go, some never to return.  Some get the itch and have to come back, it's in their blood.  This time it is none other than Chip Havemann.  Chip put his name on the racing map 12 years ago, racing in the Fun Ford Weekend and won the very first Renegade race.  That year he also won the World Championship in Renegade.  In 1999 Chip dominated the competition and won 20 out of 25 races.  He stopped racing Renegade at the end of 2001, and in 2002 he stepped up to SSO and won one race that year at the NMRA in Maple Grove PL.  For 2003 season a new 10.5W car was built and won the clash of the Titans Championship.  Chip then had the opportunity to put together his famed black twin turbo 10.5W car and qualified 9th at the World Street Nationals in 2005 out of 115 cars.  With his many wins and successes, why did he drop out of the racing scene?  Here is his story....

This is the second NMRA event you raced this year is it safe to say your back to stay?

Oh ya, I am back in the NMRA, this is where we want to play, the car is being specifically built for it, this is where we are going to be.

Chip HavemannWhy did you get out of racing?

My Mom was diagnosed with cancer and we knew it was going to be a long fight.  My dad and I were going to take care of her cause things were going to get worse as opposed to better. The timing was sort of a blessing for me, the economy was still really good, so we liquidated everything before the economic downturn.  We took care of Mom, Dad did a wonderful job of that and she passed in January of 09, now we are back racing.

Did you know you were going to get back into racing?

The intent was to buy a car that would be a diversion for my dad.  He was such an integral part of my racing success that I bought the car so that he would have something to do and keep his mind occupied.  As it turns out he is doing absolutely fine.  He has his own projects and he hasn't been super involved in this car, which is totally fine with me.  I'm glad that he is enjoying his time.

What made you decide to come back to racing in the Super Street Outlaw class?

John Urist and I were talking at the World Street Nationals in Orlando and I said "Its about time for me to start looking for cars."  and he said, "Well, you can buy a 10.5 car, we have Outlaw 10.5 car for sale."  I said' "I've been there and not sure that I can support that anymore.  I might be interested in buying the green car."  He said, "I don't know if that ones for sale."  He called Dwayne James, sure enough the green car, after a couple of discussions I am sure back in Albuquerque, they said ya we'll unload it and so I picked it up and I'm happy I did.

What is it like going from a 10.5 Outlaw car back to a small tire car?Chip Havemann

Well it is definately fast enough to keep the excitement level up.  I had driven some slower stuff in the mean time, street cars and whatever and it doesn't give you the rush like going 185 gives you.  Honestly for me its really about the same.  It's more difficult to drive this car but, it was difficult to drive the other car.  The other car just made alot more power.  We'd run 210 or 212 mph, this one has only been to 183 but its a smaller tire so it's still alot of driver input.  I really like the turbo car so, it's kinda fun.  I like it.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

When you get asked that question, if there is someone you want to thank you talk about the people that helped you get to where you are.  So I would say first of all my Dad for helping me out and giving me some basic support.  That was really really important to me.  He taught me alot about the importance of routine maintenance and trying to pay attention to detail, doing something right.  That kinda stuff.  Obviously my family for letting me go.  Viv is back home with the kids. She is such a wonderful mother, she takes such good care of them, I really appreciate that.  John Urist and Dwayne James from Hellion for taking me as the C or D team, and let me use tools and that kind of stuff.  Hopefully I am not over stepping my bounds with their trailer but without them.  I don't think I would be able to race as cosistently as I have, so I have to thank them.  I get some help fom my buddy, Team Ragin' Cajun Bill Peltier from Louisiana, also Ben Frasier out of Houston, both those guys helped me with my program so I've got to say props to them for this year.  There is no way I could forget the man that makes all this happen, Angel Padilla from Automotive Specialties in San Antonio the shop my operation is based out of.

Did you expect the warm welcome that you have received?

It is really very flattering!  It feels so good to see people give me thumbs up or cheer for me or say that its good to see me back at the race track.  I really really thrive on that.  It makes it, even if we don't do well at the races, though we have been pretty lucky this year but, even if we don't do well at the races it certainly worth all of the effort and the money and time that we put into it.  I'm an ego maniac I totally thrive on that!  I love it!

Chip HavemannChip Havemann

 

Driver and Crew Interviews

Factory Stock Driver John Leslie Jr.

May 21, 2010 by Chad Houghton

Many get bitten by the racing bug.  They start to dump money into there car making them faster and less streetable. Factory stock is a class that you can race your car and still be street legal, pass emissions and drive over 400 miles with out any worries.  But don't think this class is for the weak and slow.  These cars are turning low 11's and high 10's right now with stock or 93 cobra parts!  We ask Factory stock veteran John leslie Jr. what the class is all about.  This is the most in depth interview you will read from one of the heavy hitters.  John tells you everything you need to show up and start racing heads up.  Without further adieu heres John Leslie Jr!

John_Leslie_Jr

 What Does a factory stock car consist of?

The factory stock class is really a glorified bolt on class.  A lot of what you see in an everyday street car that has a lot of mods done to it is a factory stock car.  The key to a factory stock car is the tuning and being able to work the suspension. We of course are allowed some after market parts, most of it being light weight internals.  For the most part we have to run a GT40 iron head or E7 stock head for the push rod, with no porting or power adders allowed.  We are allowed 160lb seat pressure thats really about all you can do, no light weight components in the heads, you are allowed to go to a certain cc in the heads but there is no porting what so ever.  No bowl porting, no porting inside the chamber.  Intakes consist of stock or Cobra.  We are very  limited in the class on the parts we can run.  Alot of the sizes and dimensions are stock but again we are allowed to run light weight components.  The most important part of the race in this class is really first 330, being able get your car to hook on a drag radial.  We are only allowed to run on a drag radial, Nitto, BFG or any street tire, we can not run slicks.  Almost everybody in the class runs a 5 speed or 4 speed with 5th gear removed.  Alot of the guys run the G-Force T5 or the Tremecs.  We can run long tubes or short tubes, most guys run long tubes with an off road X pipe.  The key in my opinion is being about to slip the clutch enough to get the car to 60 ft., of course it's nice to have the horse power to back it up but we are on a fine line in this class with not having slicks. It's really tough to get these cars to hook on a drag radial tire with stick shifts.  A lot of guys are launching anywhere between  5000 or 6500 at that high rpm its really hard to get the tires to work.  We have been having problems all year which we usually don't in that dept., but so far this year we have gone through 5 clutches in 3 races, so its alot of work. Our combo consists  GT40 iron heads, a boss 302 block provided by Ford Racing , Cobra intake,  Harland Sharp roller rockers, Stainless Works exhaust front to back, just to name a few people that helped with our program.  This class is fun but tough it's very tough, any heads up class is.

How streetable is a factory stock car?

Factory stock cars are very streetable mine for the first 2 years I did run around on the street with it. The only reason I don't now is that I have so much money wrapped up in it, if I break something I can't afford to replace it.  The tranmission is a TKO Tremec pro shifted.  Now they are able to  make pro shifted trans streetable, mine is more of a race conversion so, every time you shift it at a lower rpm it sounds like its going to fall out.  My suspension, complete suspension all the way around is from TRZ Motorsports and its what you would see on any modified street car running around.  With Eibach drag springs there are no problems with the car.  The way the suspension sits now is the way i used to run around the street with it street racing back in the day, thats a no no.  The car doesn't over heat I still have the fans and thermostat.  The high gear, we have a 430 gear I wouldn't recommend that for highway driving but for the most part i still have tags on my car they are from 2000 though.  Some of the other guys in the class do drive there cars around on the streets.  In the area we live in order for it to be streetable you have to have emissions testing,  so the only way we would get away with that is if we had a show car waiver.  The only drawback to driving these cars on the street is that when you get hot and heavy in the class your stuff does get more expensive and you get reluctant to drive it around.

What rpm's do you actually spin up to when you are leaving between 5500 6000 rpms?

On a good day when we have the 60 ft working and the suspension working we'll launch our car at 6500rpms we'll shift anywhere from 65-68 and we come across to about 7000.

  

John_Leslie_Jr

These cars are flying in factory stock how hard is it to find power in these combinations?

In these combos every bit of horse power is for something.  We will tweak things left and right even the minor things one horse power means the world of difference.  This class with tuning every bit of horsepower counts, 2 horsepower or 5 it all matters.

Do these cars eat up alot of parts?

We have been in this class for 10 years now, the first 3-4 years we had our own little section in Race Pages it was called the  "John Leslie Jr. parts breakage corner", because we would break anything and everything under the sun.  The last few years knock on wood, we have had a lot of luck not breaking anything.  We have broke some off the wall stuff through the years 3-4 engines, 5 drive shafts, 4 sets of axles from 31-33 spline.  The thing you will eat up most are tires.  You will go through 2-3 sets of tires, you always want a good set of broke in radials and clutches.  Maybe the only other big thing is transmissions.  As long as you have a good set up and good combo you will have no problems we have had nothing but clutch issues so far this year we're piecing together combinations trying to make it work so we are still testing so far this year but really as long as you have a good rear end and trans set up you really won't eat up to many parts.

You have been racing in Factory Stock for 10 years have you ever considered moving up to a different class?

Well everyone keeps asking me year after year when I'm going to move up.  About 4-5 years ago after being in asked that so many times I decided once I win a race.  We won our first race last year in Michigan and of course eveyone asked when are you going to move up.  I told them not til I win a championship, I would feel it was all for nothing so once we get a chamionship under the belt we'll move right up.

If someone wanted to get into Factory Stock what advice would you have for them?

If your going to get in try to be serious about it.  The class has come so far from where it used to be, when i first started there was 20+ cars at every race in this class and now it's come down to 8-10 cars maybe 12+ and I hate to say it but you have to be hard core into if you are seriuos about the class.  You don't have to spend alot of money.  |I have seen guys put together modular engines for half of what a push rod engine would cost.  Dedication of course have your car if you are going to start from scratch suspension, cage brace it up. Find a knowledgable engine builder thats familiar with the class If you want to be ral competitive out of the gate find somebody thats familiar with the class to help out I give respect to the guys that try to do it themselves.  We do alot of the stuff ourselves but we also have alot of professional help.  Just because thats how far the class has come.  When the class started it was a 14 sec class now we are in the 10s.  Seek professional help when picking out a cam or getting machine work done.  Go to a professional place thats familiar with the rules.

 

Driver and Crew Interviews

Interview with Scarry's Crew, Randy and Keith

March 14, 2010 by Chad Houghton

Last year at the 2009 NMRA opening in Bradenton Florida the 2008 Pro Outlaw 10.5 Champion Conrad Scarry and his crew came back to defend their championship.  The new big block combination, in their tried and true chassis, sparked interest and a little fear in the eyes of their competition.  But an unforeseen event would change the faces of the Scarry crew.   In qualifying they had an accident that totalled their car, and were left with a wreck of mostly useless parts.  The team was now faced with more than the repeat succcess they were expecting.   It took determination and dedication to rebuild the car in 10 short weeks pushing the limits of the team and friendship.  They only missed one race, returning with a  new chassis and new big block combo, but no data for the car or power plant.  They set out on a mission to regain so much of what they lost.  In the last race of the season the Scarry crew made a pass in the 6.60's,  that summed up their whole season... Finally! Success.

Randy The Scarry crew have come a long way since this event last year, what was it like when you brought the car back to the pits?

 (Keith)  Heart Breaking!

 (Randy) We destroyed a brand new car we had just updated, it was destroyed!  Had to start over from scratch.  We bought the new one Monday morning it was an unfinished chassis I happened to know where it was, bought it and started from there.

How many hours in a day did you put into building the new car?

(R) Between 15-19hrs a day for 10 weeks.

(K) Well I have a regular job, working 8-5 then at 5 I would come in and stay till midnight or so and then in the end I was staying till 1-2 O'clock in the morning.

(R) Everything was fabricated in house, Hank Hill came over and helped us get the car setup, the way he wanted the struts mounted, 4 link mounted, so that way it would be hooked up and gone.

(K) Well I took all the wiring out of the old car and put it in a box, then took it out of a box and put it all in the new race car, and had to get everthing right for the new car because things where just mounted different places and things, its hours and hours running wires.

(R) All the turbo tubing was destroyed, the turbos were knocked loose, they went back to percision and percision rebuilt the turbos. Proline racing engines went through the motor, and got all the gravel out, and we went through the transmission.

(K) We couldn't take a chance, so we changed the rear end and put in new axles.  Strange gave us a good deal on all the front parts and rear axles.  We wound up putting in a ring gear and pinion in it too.  It broke everything in the drive line, as well as bending the chassis.

You only missed one race, and had a whole new chassis and engine combination. How hard was it to get back to where you were with the previous chassis and motorKeith combination.

(R) We haven't got there yet.  We are still working on it, and hopefully we will get this car back as consistant as the old car, see if we can start winning some races again.

(K) We are still struggling with the new car, it's getting better, it 's starting to make a turn now.

 What are your indiviual jobs on the team?

(R) I take care of the motor all the driveline.

(K) I take care of the wiring, all the electronics, race pack,all the computer stuff, and tires! I'm the tire guy. Check them every pass and make sure they are wearing even and in overall good shape. I do all the sheetmetal, thats hard to do. I did all the sheetmetal in the car.

How many hours between races do you put into the car for maintenance?

(R) Probably 40-60hrs and I'm there all day.

(K) I get there about 6 Oclock, I come in on the afternoons, do what ever I have to do. Whether its sheetmetal fabrication or wiring.

How nerve racking is it getting all the bugs out of this new car, Trying to get back to where you were in your racing program?

(R) A lot of arguing a lot of fighting and sometimes grinning!  When its good its good!  Last year was bad all the way around.

(K) We really get a long pretty good at the shop, trying to get everything fixed and back on its feet again.

(R) Everyone watches OCC on TV, well keith, our dad and me, thats what you get.

Last year you guys started with a brand new car and engine combination.  What advice would you give someone who wanted to step up to big class like this with no experience with this type of car.

(R) Go see Steve Petty, Hank Hill, the upper people and you will get where you want to be.

(K) You try and do it by yourself, your just going to spend alot of money and break alot of parts. We know because we did that the first season we raced.  This is a different animal then anything else you fool with, you try to step into one of these things and don't know whats going on, you break parts and lots of them.  It gets expensive in a hurry.

I just wanted to point out how much the scarry crew help out other crews with their cars.  At night fall you put your car away and turn into a weld shop.  Your dedication to the sport and your support to the racers in the NMRA is the best I have ever seen.

(R) Anybody that enjoys racing I enjoy helping. Anybody that has the dedication to come out here and do this I don't mind helping. As long as they appreciate it. 

(K) We don't mind helping anyone as long as they thank us when where done.

Cold beer usually helps?

 (K) That always helps!

 (R) 12 packs and cases, help out a lot!

Anyone you would like to thank?

(R) Garrett Turbos, KooKs, DFN, Strange, Tony Barker Race engines, Pro Line race engines, Mickey Thompson, All the people that helped us get fast!

(K) All the people that helped us go from a wrecked car to a winning race car again!

Anything else you would like to add?

(R) Ya! We will beat Dan (millen) and Scotty, they ain't off the hook yet!=)

Conrad Scarry