Street Machine - - Urban Warfare - MARK ARBLASTER

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 3.992@196.39mph 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.


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.

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