Mostly Stock


Drag Racer - - CONTENTS -

NORTH CAROLINA MAY BE KNOWN AS THE HEART OF NASCAR RACING, BUT LO­CAL SMALL-TIRE HEADS-UP RACERS ARE BEGINNING TO TURN SOME HEADS. Mark Rogers of Sal­is­bury, North Carolina, is def­i­nitely a case in point with his ’03 Ford Mus­tang SVT Co­bra. Run­ning as quick as 4.73 sec­onds in the 1/8-mile at 147-plus mph in Ul­ti­mate Street, he’s among the quick­est in his cat­e­gory.

What is Ul­ti­mate Street? It’s one of sev­eral dif­fer­ent big-buck, small-tire classes pop­u­lar­ized by

Duck X Pro­mo­tions out of Crys­tal Springs, Florida, best known for their Lights Out and No Mercy events. Held an­nu­ally at South Ge­or­gia Motorsports

Park in Val­dosta, Ge­or­gia, these events have be­come In­ter­net dar­lings, draw­ing huge interest from Mil­len­ni­als and

Gen Y par­tic­i­pants and fans. Mar­ket­ing types are beginning to take no­tice of the de­mo­graph­ics of this fan base, in­clud­ing NHRA, which fea­tured X275 racing at the Hous­ton and New Eng­land Na­tion­als this year.

We caught up with Mark at Pied­mont Drag­way, where he had just set an

E.T. record run­ning in the Carolina Heads-Up Racing As­so­ci­a­tion (CHRA). He’s recorded a 4.73 pass in the eighth at 147-plus mph, run­ning at 3,100 pounds with a 4.30 gear on M/T P275/60R15 tires. Putting it in per­spec­tive, this num­ber is quicker than any of the 45 cars that at­tempted to qual­ify for this class at Lights Out 8. In fact, only four of those 45 were even in the 4.70s at all.

Ul­ti­mate Street is not “run whatcha brung” racing. Typ­i­cal class rules man­date stock lo­ca­tion, stock-bore en­gines and cu­bic-inch lim­i­ta­tion. Sin­gle car­bu­re­tor and cast in­takes are the norm with lim­ited amounts of nitrous. Blow­ers and tur­bos are lim­ited and al­low­able only on small-block com­bi­na­tions with stock valve an­gles. Rear sus­pen­sions are lim­ited to stock type or lad­der bar only, and wheelie bars are pro­hib­ited.

Eric Yost at Cus­toms by Bi­gun built Mark’s 3,100-pound racer, pow­ered by a 281-ci Ford DOHC mod mo­tor, which came with 32-valve fac­tory heads. Pete Har­rell of Har­rell En­gine & Dyno built the en­gine com­bi­na­tion us­ing a Work Tur­bocharg­ers 76mm T6 with a cast wheel and a 1.32 A/R ex­haust hous­ing with

Tial 38mm waste­gates. Mark does not use an in­ter­cooler, since he’s run­ning methanol for fuel. Dave Kla­put of Per­for­mance Racing Trans­mis­sions built the Pow­er­glide, fea­tur­ing a torque con­verter from Greg Slack’s

Con­verter De­sign Spe­cial­ists. Mark gives credit to Pete Har­rell for Pete’s tun­ing skills, as well.

Be­com­ing known as the World Se­ries of Small-Tire Racing, these Lights Out and No Mercy shootout types of events of­fer a num­ber of classes in­clud­ing, but not lim­ited to, Outlaw Drag Ra­dial, X275, Outlaw 632 and Leaf Spring. Lo­cal tracks across the na­tion are adapt­ing rules from these classes to cre­ate their own lo­cal for­mats. Mem­bers of the af­ter­mar­ket are com­ing on board as spon­sors as well as new start-up chas­sis builders, tuners and en­gine shops.

Does this rep­re­sent the fu­ture? Pos­si­bly. Racers like Mark Rogers and his com­pa­tri­ots rep­re­sent not only a new breed of com­peti­tor, but most likely a bright out­look for the next gen­er­a­tion of competitors, as well. Sit back and en­joy the show!

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