WOOD NAILS IT
> STREET MACHINE DRAG CHALLENGE VET JARROD WOOD BLAZES INTO THE THREES ON RADIALS
VICTORIANS Jarrod and Clair Wood have claimed one of the most coveted accolades in Australian radial racing, breaking through the three-second barrier with an incredible email@example.com over the eighth-mile at the Kenda Tires Radial Riot event at Willowbank Raceway.
Wood is no stranger to high-end performance cars. His garage is home to an expanding collection, the pride of the fleet being a threequarter-chassis, twin-turbo ’97 Mustang. The car was built and formerly raced by Kevin Mullins, owner of Mullins Race Engines in Mount Olive, Illinois.
“I’d been watching Radial vs The World and had been fascinated by radial cars for some time,” says Jarrod. “I knew of the car, as it had been a frontrunner for many years, and suddenly it came up for sale. It was the sort of car I wanted to own so I contacted Kevin, put down a deposit, and headed over to the States to inspect it and make a few passes in it.”
After pulling the heads and checking things over, Jarrod and crew took the Mustang to Piedmont Dragway in North Carolina to make a few runs.
“I managed to run in the low fours on a pretty safe tune that Kevin referred to as a ‘Sunday drive’,” he says. “It was wild, and certainly nothing like driving my big-block One Tonner; it just went straight, even with the front wheel off the ground for a lot of the run.
“Like a bunch of people, I wanted to be the first in the three-second zone in Australia, so we shipped the car back home with the intention of trying to crack a three-something, but I plan to send it back to the USA to compete in some of the bigger radial events.”
There was a lot going on in the background while Jarrod was trying to get a handle on the car.
“People had a whinge about the One Tonner when I brought it to Street Machine Drag Challenge,” he says. “Some said it was an allout drag car, so I had another project in the background I was building.”
The project of which Jarrod speaks is a turbo small-block Chev-powered LH Torana, which runs an LSR block and SB2 heads. There’s a chance the car may surface at Drag Challenge, and it promises to be a very impressive streeter.
The Mustang came with impressive credentials and certainly had the potential to do some damage Down Under. Before Jarrod owned it, it was the first car to dig into the bottom fours, won the coveted No Mercy event three times, and more recently ran consistently in the threes. As you’d expect, being Kevin’s personal car, the build quality and attention to detail is outstanding.
The powerplant is a twin-turbo Hemi with a Brad Anderson block and Noonan heads. It weighs in at 526ci and runs a Callies crank with GRP aluminium conrods and Diamond pistons, with 11.9:1 compression.
“We have been pretty fortunate with the maintenance program,” Jarrod says. “We buzz the motor to 10,000rpm and really just need to check valve springs occasionally and run the valve lash. Aside from that, we pull the pushrods out of it between rounds, and that’s really it.”
The intake manifold is a sheet-metal item by Marcella with 16 575cc Billet Atomizer injectors that Jarrod is about to upgrade to 700cc. The fuel system is pretty standard for a car of this nature, with a belt-driven Waterman Big Bertha pump feeding a Weldon rising-rate reg.
JARROD BROKE THROUGH THE THREE-SECOND BARRIER WITH A firstname.lastname@example.orgMPH OVER THE EIGHTH-MILE AT THE KENDA TIRES RADIAL RIOT EVENT AT WILLOWBANK
The motor runs a five-stage dry sump that holds about 10 quarts of oil. The fuel mix is fired by a Pro-mag 44 and controlled by a Fueltech FT500 ECU that has all the regular data inputs.
On the induction side is a pair of 60mm TIAL wastegates and massive 102mm Precision Pro Mod turbos that make a bunch of steam. Unfortunately these exceed the current turbo sizing regs for drag racing in Australia (98mm), so the car is relegated to exhibition classes.
When you look at the growing number of highquality race cars being imported from the USA, it seems that local track preparation has been the greatest stumbling block to cracking a three in Oz. “We knew we had the car to run the numbers, but the biggest difference between the tracks here and in the USA is the level of track preparation,” Jarrod says. “Track prep costs money, and we just don’t get the tracks throwing big money at prep as most of them are struggling to make a buck. So if you’re looking at buying a car like this out of the USA, don’t get caught up with whether it’s been 3.80s, because 3.80s is not as easy here; track prep is what will hold you back locally.
“We tried to get the car down the track at Swan Hill because the prep was good there, but trying to control those big turbos was a mission. If I had a set of 98s I would have fitted them, as they are much easier to control, but I don’t have a spare $16,000 lying around to buy a set.
“We took the car to Kenda in Queensland but it was rained out, so we backed up at Grudge Kings in Sydney and finally Radial Riot, where it all happened. It was just a matter of time before we could string it all together.
“Kevin has been a wonderful help and even came out to Australia for Radial Riot. Now that we’ve run a three we’ll send the car back to him and head over for some of the Duck X Promotions events. We got invited to Sweet 16, which is for the baddest mofos on radials, so we’re really looking forward to that one.
“Special thanks to WM Welding, Menscer Shocks and MDT Transmissions for helping to make this dream come true.”
Speaking of dreams coming true, Jarrod also received a call-up to drive a wild Gen III Hemipowered X275 Jeep Cherokee at the recent No Mercy event in the USA. Check out the story on page 10 of this issue to see how he went.