Drag Illustrated Issue 169, June/July 2021 - Page 46

Special Section
WHEN THE PDRA ANNOUNCED THE 2021 RULES PACKAGE FOR ITS DRAG 965 PRO STREET CLASS , CHRIS CADOTTO KNEW HE FOUND THE NEW HOME FOR HIS FAN-FAVORITE , SCREW-BLOWN ’ 97 DODGE RAM KNOWN AS “ THE BRICK .” WITH A STOCK BODY – CADOTTA BOUGHT THE TRUCK OFF THE CAR LOT IN 1997 AND DROVE IT AS HIS DAILY DRIVER – IT ’ S AN EMBODIMENT OF THE PRO STREET CLASS SPIRIT . ¶ “ I SLOWLY STARTED MODIFYING IT ,” CADOTTO SAYS OF THE TRUCK . “ I STARTED WITH AN AIR CLEANER , THEN HEADERS , THEN DUAL EXHAUST . IT JUST KEPT EVOLVING AND EVOLVING . I HAD SMALL-BLOCKS IN IT AND STREET HEMIS IN IT WITH DUAL QUADS AND NITROUS . BUMPED UP TO A STREET BLOWER , THEN CAUGHT IT ON FIRE AT MY HOUSE
and had a garage fire that burnt everything down . So I turned it into what it is now , a full tube chassis sick weapon .”
The Brick now sports a Mark Herekbuilt 521ci Brad Anderson Hemi with MBE cylinder heads and a C-rotor screw blower up top . A 2-speed Rossler transmission helps get the estimated 3,500 horsepower to the rear wheels , which are equipped with class-mandated 10.5-inch-wide bias ply slicks .
It looks pretty ridiculous going down the track at nearly 190 mph in the
eighth-mile . All the cars in Pro Street are known to make wild passes , but Cadotto ’ s Brick takes the “ wow ” factor to the next level .
“ The crowd loves these cars because they have stock bodies ,” Cadotto begins , “ and they ’ re always doing giant wheelies and dragging the [ wheelie ] bars . People stay in the bleachers for that stuff . Pro Mods are fast , of course , but as soon as they hear that the Pro Street class is coming up , they get to the stands .”
Cadotto , who races with his wife , Andrea , and crew members Mark
Watts and Justin Gagleard , spoke with Drag Illustrated following the PDRA North-South Shootout presented by Line-X to talk about his unique truck and how it fits in to the growing Pro Street class .
How challenging is it to get a vehicle like that to run at the same level as cars like Tim Essick ’ s ultraslick Mustang ?
Most of the challenge through the years was , as I started going close to 200 mph , then over 200 , now I ’ m going 190 to the eighth , is just keeping the doors on it . All that air
hits the truck and it plays havoc on the body panels . People don ’ t realize how much more aerodynamic a car is . You put your hand out the window on the expressway at 70 mph and you feel what that ’ s like , then triple that speed . It ’ s really challenging to keep panels and the doors on it .
I don ’ t want to say I work harder than anybody else because all these guys work their tails off to get these cars to run as fast as they can , but I really feel that the truck is at a disadvantage aerodynamically and it ’ s challenging . That ’ s why it ’ s called the Brick . It ’ s like taking a piece of
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