Delray of Arizona Sun
of the things that I love so much about grass-roots racing
is the unique varieties of cars that racers build for competition,
and this one of the most unique I’ve seen: the blown
1958 Chevrolet Delray 2-door wagon of Mark Ballard.
Mark, from Tucson AZ, is an Aircraft Maintenance Manager
for Universal Avionics and races the Delray with the American
DRAGCAR Series as well in No Box, Pro and Nostalgia
events in the Southwest.
he’s not working on planes or racing at the track,
one of Mark’s other passions is the restoration
of interesting old vehicles; this beautiful bullet is
certainly interesting and has been a work in progress
for Mark and his wife. He states, “The car was originally
built in the early 90s but was never finished. It had
several owners along the way and was moved from shop to
shop. We bought the car in 2009 as a rolling shell. It
took my wife and I two years to finish it.”
all-steel monster (still surprisingly light at 3,385 lbs.)
is powered by 580 cubic inches of blown Mark Ballard-built
950 horsepower. Feeding the motor are two Holley
1050 Dominators sitting atop a BDS 8-71
blower which has been upgraded by Supercharger
USA. Intake and exhaust are handled through Dart
aluminum heads with 2.25” intake and 1.88”
exhaust valves. Inside the motor are a Ruben Camshafts
custom blower grind cam and 8.2:1 JE
blower pistons on Scat rods and crank.
Ignition is MSD and the headers are custom-built
zoomies by Shawn Shirley at Champ
Performance of Tucson.
power goes through a 10” Continental
blower converter with 3,500 stall. The trans is a Turbo
400 with transbrake, built by Robert Metz
of Tucson. In the back is a Mark Williams
9-Inch fabricated housing with 3.89 gears and a Strange
center section. Axles are 40-spline floating. Front and
rear suspension is Mark Williams
coil-overs. All of it rides on 32.5 x 16.5 Hoosier
slicks on 15 x 15 Dragstars in the back
and Hoosier front runners on 15 x 4 Rocket
gasser spokes in the front. So far, Mark’s best
pass is a 9.10 @ 149.94 MPH with a 1.25 60-foot at an
elevation of 3,150 ft.
Wild & Crazy Guy
Exton, an engine builder / machinist from Canadensis,
PA submitted his 1980 Ford Mustang to Readers’ Rides,
but as you can see it ain’t no ordinary Mustang. This
is a real-deal nitro nostalgia funny car on an S&W /
is the owner of Exton Racing Engines,
so the Chevy big-block 427 4-bolt truck engine is his
own handiwork. The top half includes a 6-71 Mooneyham
blower that’s fed via a 20 GPM Enderle
fuel system. The rotating assembly includes Venolia
rods and pistons on a rebalanced stock(!) truck crank.
Ignition is a 3 amp mag. Trans is a 2-speed Lenco
with an East West 3-disc clutch set-up.
The rear is a Ford 9” with 4.10 gears. The huge
slicks are Goodyear 34 x 17.
to Chuck,”This car for the longest time competed
as a BB/FC on alcohol until the nitro bug ended up biting
car owner/driver/builder. Here it comes back in great
form and last year it blasted off a 6.889 at 198.99 mph
on a stock 427 4-bolt main block and crank running 25%
is truly a hardcore, grass-roots racer operating on a
budget. “Due to blowing the block late last season
and saving for new roll cage/ISP padding/extra safety
features, it’s been a strapped year for cash, but
I’m looking to upgrade further in the future after
the BBC warms it up. Many will say this current setup
will never work or is just waiting to be a fire in the
lap. But with the correct machining and the right tune
the goal of this engine is create enough power to get
the car and me to the top end fast enough to gain a Nitro
Baer, a retired QC Inspector from Braidwood, IL,
sent in his 2001 homebuilt Baer dragster. Driven by Bill
and Ben Baer, this S&W-kit
dragster competes in NHRA Super Comp and IHRA Quick Rod,
both 8.90 index categories. Bill competes regularly with
The Midwest Super Comp Series so he’s
pretty serious about heads-up index racing.
dragster is powered by a 540” Chevrolet with 14.5:1
compression putting out a dyno’d 892 hp. The engine
was machined and dyno’d by THP, while final assembly
was done by Bill himself. Lots of good parts in the build,
too: the rotating assembly is stout with JE
Pistons, Crower rods
and a Callies 4.25” crank. Up top
are BMF heads with Manley
2.25” / 1.90” valves, a Cam
Motion roller and Jesel
pro rockers & belt drive. Induction is a Ron’s
Terminator on methanol which is ignited by an
MSD 7AL3 and MSD
Power Grid. Other parts
and pieces include stainless steel Edelbrock
headers and a Moroso air pump.
back is an ATI transmission with 1.80
straight-cut planetaries, 10 clutch high-gear and a Pro
tree valve body. The converter is a spragless 9”
by TCI. In the 3.89 ratio rear are Strange
spool, axles, coupler and brakes.
it simple is a basic paint job in Chevy truck white and
a powder coated chassis. All lettering and artwork is
by Tom Evans. So far the best out-the-back-door pass is
7.70 @ 170 MPH. If you live in the Illinois
area of the Midwest, watch for Bill and his dragster at
Midwest Super Comp Series events.
Sefranek submitted the Colt of Arms
Mustang to Readers' Rides. His dad Jerry Sefranek
is the long time owner of this ’65 Mustang and started
drag racing in the early ‘60s during his time in
the Air Force while stationed in New York. Jerry continued
in class and bracket racing after his Air Force days until
the early ‘70s while living in Cleveland, Ohio until
moving to Phoenix, Arizona. There he picked up his bracket
racing right on into the mid ‘90s when he handed
the Mustang over to his son Jeff, who continues to campaign
the little warhorse almost in the same condition as when
he first drove the car over 30 years ago.
Sefraneks have always built there own Growler Engines
and the current unit consists of a very modestly comprised
357 cubic inch combination. It utilizes a stock production
351Windsor block with a stock crank and rods pushing 40
year old TRW 302 Chevy pistons under an essentially untouched
set of AFR 165 aluminum heads. The cam is a 608"
lift Isky solid flat tappet grind with an @ .050"
duration of 273 degrees. The intake manifold is a hand
built tunnel ram with an 800 Holley mounted atop while
the headers are a set of 1-5/8" Hooker Super Competition.
transmission is a cast iron case FMX with bronze clutches,
manual valve body, 5000 stall converter and a very unique
shifter linkage fabricated by Sefranek himself connecting
it to the B&M Quick Click shifter while the car is
launched off of the footbrake.
Jerry Sefranek’s SPS Race Cars performed a number
of chassis surgeries to the car which include the narrowed
rear axle housing and sub-frame, 4-link, 8-point roll
cage, and Dean Haven-inspired shock tower reduction, and
even painted and lettered the car. The unique front bumper
was also constructed by SPS Race Cars while the grille
was fabricated by Jeff Sefranek.
is also the founder of American DRAGCAR and now runs his
dad’s racer almost exclusively in his class formatted
venue under the Experimental Production/D1 class designation
at 2796 pounds which has a base index of 11.10. To date
the car has posted a best performance of 10.697 at 126mph
while on an altitude corrected 11.20 index at the former
Phoenix area’s Speedworld Dragstrip.
This car illustrates well how a budgeted racer can compete
very strongly in American DRAGCAR's class racing structure.
Dodge Is Up For The Challenge
Rezny of Denver, Colorado must have known that
I'd love to feature a Dodge Challenger Drag Pak
on Readers' Rides, so he was kind enough to submit his.
By day Mike's a construction superintendent with Schnabel
Foundation Company but at the track he's a Stock Eliminator
racer competing in CC/SA.
Mike's Stocker is a 2009 Drag Pak, #41 of 100 built that
year. Mike says, "This was not a turn key car. I
picked it up from the factory and with the exception of
the motor, trans and roll cage I built it myself. After
a year of work I got it on track only to lose the motor
to a spun rod bearing. I sent the motor to 4X world champion
and engine builder Jeff Taylor Performance and he put
together a new 6.4 HEMI for me."
Mike's 392" HEMI is putting out 650 at the crank,
and utilizes intake, heads and valves from Mopar Performance
and a Comp Cams hydraulic roller cam. Pistons are 12:1
Diamond on Manley rods. Ignition is Big Stuff and headers
are Mad Dog. Transferring the power rearward is a 904
Torqueflite with an ATI 8" Treemaster converter,
ending up at a Moser 8 3/4" with 4.86 gears (which
Mike swaps to 5.13s for the Denver altitude). Suspension
is Strange, wheels and tires are a mix of Goodyear front
runners on Bogart rims and 9" Hoosiers on 15x10 Weld
wheels. So far Mike's best ET and MPH are 10.11 @ 133.03,
at a weight of 3,445 lbs.
“Voodooracer” LeBlanc, a conveyer belt
technician from Beech Island, SC sent in the “Cajun
Chainsaw Massacre,” the Pro ET bike owned by him and
his wife Andrea.
is about as hardcore a racer as they come. He started
racing in the late ‘70s on a ’73 Bultaco Pursang
175 at State Capitol Dragway, LA; fast forward to present-day
and he’s currently racing in the CSRA Dragbike Association
ET bracket series and Orangeburg Drag Strip’s track
points series in Box and No Box 1/8th mile ET Brackets.
In between then and now, Keith was the 1999 and 2000 Carolina
Dragway Bike Class Champion, the 2000 IHRA Division 2
Team Finals Race of Champions Bike Class Winner, the 2005
and 2007 Carolina Dragway Bike Class R/U, the 2005 fatheads.com
Dragstock II Bike Class Winner, 2005 IHRA Division 2 Team
Finals Bike Class R/U, Carolina Dragway, and 2007 Carolina
Dragway Bike Class Iron Man Race Winner.
only is Keith one bada$$ racer, this is one bada$$ bike.
It started life as a 1988 Honda CR500R which he “rescued
as a ‘rolling wreck’ from some ‘levee
rats’ in the Atlanta area that were pounding the
crap out of it and terrorizing the suburbs in early 2000s.”
He then spent years constructing it only to have it get
stolen in 2011. Luckily he recovered it in only three
days thanks to info from his fellow Carolina Dragway racers.
The Massacre‘s engine features stock porting and
head, bored 1mm over, Wiseco forged piston, Boyeson reeds,
stock Keihan PJ 38mm carb, K&N air filter, Boyeson
Super Bowl, fed pump 93 non-ethanol and Golden Spectro
semi synthetic oil at 42:1 via Pingle petcock and fuel
filter equipped Jazz 1-qt. fuel tank, while 58hp worth
of 2-stroke exhaust noise and gases flow unmuffled through
a custom expansion chamber by JEMCO of Houston TX.
custom +16oz. flywheel-mounted combination starter nut/trigger
wheel and p/u plate machined by Keith triggers an MSD
digital programmable jet-ski ignition, MSD coil and wire
and NGK B8ES make the spark. A modified Summit gear reduction
SB Chevy outboard starter motor and single 12V Interstate
Marine deep-cycle battery fire the critter, while an onboard
Ballistic 4-cell LiFe battery running total loss keep
it lit. A low mounted single Cagiva 125 aluminum radiator
w/custom remote electric pump, Grainger cooling fan and
Ninja 500 filler neck and cap keep the heat under control,
even in 100+ deg. South Carolina summers.
Massacre’s power is transmitted through a stock
Honda 5 spd. trans with stock gears and ratios, stock
Honda clutch fiber plates and steels, HD Vesrah springs,
modified Lock-Up brand Yamaha Banshee centrifugal assist
lock-up w/custom wide clutch cover. Renthal 14T drive
and SunStar 44T driven sprockets w/ D.I.D. 530 X-ring
chain. It all rides on an original front end w/shortened
stock fork springs and modified internally w/rebound travel
limit and 20psi nitrogen. Woodcraft clip-on bars. MPS
adj. switched clutch lever arm. Stock Honda throttle w/home
grown WOT switch. The stock frame cradle is raked to 40
deg. and the steering angle limited to 12 deg. from center.
Up front it rolls on a 1.85 x 18” aluminum rim laced
w/SS spokes to stk. Honda hub with a Mickey Thompson 2.75
motorcycle frt. Slick. In the back is a 4.25 x 18”
alum. rim laced w/SS spokes to stk. Honda hub with a Mickey
Thompson 5.5 rear slick. Brakes are stock Honda with EBC
Keith’s Box set-up includes a Biondo Mega 200 factory
mod’d for 1-cyl. 2-stroke w/Auto shift by time,
MPS deluxe air clutch release with 250psi nitrogen charged
10 oz. bottle regulated to 130psi. For No Box, Keith relies
on an MSD digital programmable shift light. So far the
best 60ft./ET/MPH is 1.65/7.29/93.10.
other interests are quite varied, including movies, early
punk rock, art, history and science. He gives thanks to
his sponsor Donald Shaw Racing of Hephzibah, GA., the
staffs and crews of Carolina Dragway and Orangeburg Drag
Strip for their support of drag bike racing, and the photographers
who submitted the action shots shown here: Jimmy Mack
of Orangeburg Drag Strip and Keith Clary of Carolina Dragway.
Keith also thanks “his fellow bike racers that make
me try harder, the fans that have taken the time to stop
and gawk or chat with me at the track; my loving wife,
Andrea, who encourages me and this foolishness, and the
sport of bracket racing for all the good times and good
friends I’ve made over the decades, and for providing
a way to race with limited funds while embracing a wide
range of diverse machinery.”
Flying Connecticut Bowtie
Waterman, of W Suffield CT owns this big yet surprisingly
quick 1937 Chevy Coupe. The car is raced around New England
at nostalgia events but according to Mark, "the car
was a street terror in western Illinos originally."
in at 3,200 lbs. and adorned in Patriot Red Pearl paint,
the Chevy is powered by a 12:1 BBC by Billy The Kid at
Performance Engines Inc. It features a Dart block, Callies
crank, Oliver rods, Diamond pistons, Brodix heads, an
Edelbrock intake ported by Wilson, an 1150 Holley Dominator
carb, Reher-Morrison proprietary grind cam by Erson, MSD
ignition and custom headers by Tubular Automotive in Rockland
drivetrain is completed by a Turbo 400 by Dynamic Racing
Trans of North Branford, CT, custom convertor by Ultimate
Convertor Concepts in North Carolina and 9 inch rear with
all Strange internals and 4.57 gear. It all rides on a
chassis done by MPH Fabrication of North Haven, CT, with
Bogart wheels and Phoenix tires. Despite the weight and
the less-than-aerodynamic shape, the Chevy has run a best
ET of 9.76 @ 139 mph.
In The Florida Heat
Zaremba of Inverness, FL submitted his flying 1970
Dart Swinger to Reader’s Rides. Leigh, the owner and
operator his own auto reconditioning business (“8
years and 5,000+ bumpers sprayed.” Take that, McDonald’s!)
races his Dart in ET bracket competition at Auto-Plus
Raceway in Gainesville, FL and Lakeland
Stingray Dragway in Lakeland, FL.
Dart may have started its life with a six-banger, but
now it’s holding 446” of big-block Chrysler
power. Leigh says, “I have had it torn apart several
times over the last four years maintaining it. I've put
over 350 runs on it only checking bearings and they always
look good. Thank you Chrysler engineers!”
top is a Quick Fuel 750 carb on an Edelbrock TM-7 manifold.
Heads are out-of-the-box Stealth aluminums with 2.14 /
1.81 valves that ride on a Mopar Performance .557 camshaft.
The motor’s got some squeeze with 12.5 JE pistons
topping off stock rods and a stock crank (us Mopar racers
know the stock pieces are pretty stout). An MSD distributor
with 6AL box and a set of Hooker 2” fenderwell headers
complete the engine compartment.
trans is a 727 with an electronic shifter and a TCI 8”
converter. Out back is a Dana 60 with 4.56 gears. Suspension
includes Competition Engineering 90/10 shocks in the front
and Cal-Tracs in the back, all riding on Weld wheels fore
& aft with Hoosiers in the front and 11.5 x 30 Goodyears
in the back. Tipping the scales at 3,050 plus driver,
the best ET so far is 11:03 at 121 MPH in the Florida
heat and humidity.
addition to racing, Leigh’s other interests include
building projects, gardening, football and baseball. He
also helps his wife Lisa with the cats that they have
from their cat sanctuary. Leigh wanted to give special
thanks to his wife, saying, “She is so good to me
making sure that I can get to the races as much as possible.”
Cat Has Two Lives
News email subscriber John Mead submitted
his cool 1963 Pontiac Catalina to Reader’s
Rides. John’s a lumber salesman from Charlottesville,
VA, and says he has no other interests besides racing (he
wrote, “what else could there possibly be!”).
the photos illustrate, John’s Cat is truly a duel-purpose
ride, going from show trim to race trim with ease. The
car has a history, too. John states, “This Pontiac
is from Johnson-Pontiac, Clinton IA, home of the "Passionate
Ponchos” where Arnie Beswick worked for some years
and campaigned a ‘62 Super Duty and a 63 "Cheese
Car", both called "Passionate Ponchos."
Both ordered by owner Larry Johnson, who Arnie raced with
from 1960 through 1963. I have the manifest and the Pontiac
Ident-O-Plate for this car, both signed by Larry himself.
This was a 3-1/2 year (151 Saturdays) frame off Rotisserie
races the Catalina in nostalgia and vintage events, and
turned a best 1/8th mile ET of 8.94 last season, “not
bad for a C/S, 3,790 lb car.” John’s dual-personality
Cat is powered by a 405 h.p. 421” with stock heads,
forged flat-top 10.5:1 pistons, a forged crank, forged
rods, and a street cam. The induction is a tri-carb setup,
and the ignition is stock.
is via a Borg-Warner T-10 4-speed with nickel gears and
a 2.54 1st gear. In the rear are 4.10s, and everything
rides on a factory suspension with custom-made traction
bars. On race day the rear street tires give way to M&H
8.90 ET is pretty impressive for an almost 2-ton car with
stock iron heads, a street cam, stock ignition and pretty
much stock suspension. Despite the ET, it’s the
clean, uncut, factory look of the car that is its true
appeal. Says John,” When I go to a nostalgia or
vintage event, it’s sure not the fastest car there,
but it sure will draw a big crowd.”
Too Olds To Race
received some photos from a new subscriber to The Dragtime
News email list named Russ Tripi from Buffalo,
NY. He writes: “I just turned 65 the other day and
have been racing since 1969. I race my Olds Cutlass in No
Box every Friday night. It’s a 1985 Cutlass with full
interior, street driven to and from the track, 454 Chevy,
4500 Coan converter, Turbo 400, 3.73 rear with spool, 26x10
Hoosier slicks. So far the best is 8.05 in the 1/8th and
12.72 in the ¼, with the air cleaner on and through
pretty cool that he drives the car to and from the track,
and look at it pulling the front wheels! His car is further
proof that you don’t need a full-blown race car
to have a great time bracket racing, so get your own car
to your local track and do some racing yourself!
NY sent in his 1935 Chevy Coupe to Reader’s
Rides. Mario states that he used to race at nostalgia
events until he lost the car in a street
sitting with a flat tire waiting for help. To add
insult to injury, during the time when Mario was rebuilding
the car Long Island lost its last remaining dragstrip,
Long Island Motorsports Park. So after getting the car
back together, he had no place close to home to race.
His first time out with the car was at the inaugural Holeshot
Drag Racing Association event at Riverhead Raceway, where
he said the spectators really appreciated his rebuilt
gasser is powered by a 377” small block balanced
and blueprinted by SK Speed and built
by him. Induction is a twin Holley 600
set-up through a Weiand tunnel ram into
Edelbrock Victor Jr.
heads with .208 intakes and .160 exhausts riding on a
.640 solid roller cam. Compression is a very streetable
9.7:1, with JE forged pistons and Eagle
H-beam rods on a 350 crank. Ignition is MSD,
with an Accel distributor. Transmission
is a Hughes Turbo 400, with a 3,000 stall
Hughes converter. Suspension in the front
is a drop axle with parallel leafs; in the rear are ladder
bars. Wheels are American Racing
Torque Thrust D,
with Firestone cheater slicks.
last time Mario made a ¼ mile pass was with his old
350 motor, and the car turned an 11.81 @ 117 mph. Mario’s
hoping to get the 377 to the track soon to see what it’ll
do. Stay tuned…