Drag Illustrated Issue 179, November / December 2022 - Page 154

the latest Pro Line Racing Hemi engine fronted by a ProCharger F4-140 supercharger – among other state-of-the-art items onboard the spectacular Chevrolet .
Dutton ’ s previous race car , a fourth-gen turbocharged Camaro that was raced in X275 , was a well-built piece that served him well over several seasons . But when he wanted to step up to the big-dog classes of Radial Vs . the World and PDRA Pro Street , he knew he needed a different weapon . The decision to develop this specific weapon came after a test session with the Camaro , which nearly prompted a complete departure from racing .
“ We had a private test session down at MIR and we came off the trailer and picked up where we left off and improved on it quickly ,” says Dutton . “ That car had been modified with a complete overhaul three times . At that test session , we were still on Holley EFI and we decided we were going to make the swap to FuelTech when we got home .”
The test session continued , but not to his liking .
“ Then we had a parts failure . When I got home , we took the car apart . I stripped all the wiring out and there were small , little things that nobody ever noticed about that car , that I just
listened to me supportively for a little bit . Then she came home one afternoon and she ’ s like , ‘ You can ’ t get out of this . This is what you love . This is what you do ,’” says Dutton .
That discussion progressed into Tim talking about what he would build and how much it would cost to own a vehicle that was up to his standards , and she was all-in with the plan . That plan – which turned into the vehicle you see here – has been at the forefront of Dutton ’ s mind since the build began . Delays related to COVID-19 slowed the build down a bit , but the outcome was worth the wait .
Before the project ever began , Dutton made one simple decision : he wouldn ’ t allow money to be an object that could derail the car ’ s progress . His belief is simple : to compete on the world ’ s biggest stage , you need to look for every edge possible by removing limitations , including those that could be presented by a checkbook .
Dutton , crew chief Paul Thompson , and tuner Jamie Miller spent several months discussing the particulars of what they wanted and needed from the car , where they would deviate from the norm , and what the outcome should be . Those particulars were executed to absolute perfection by Ryan Rakestraw , Gary Naughton , and the rest of the
with a set of Pro Line ’ s MH6 cylinder heads . Over the last several years the company has developed several turnkey packages to fit in many of the upper-echelon heads-up racing classes , and Dutton ’ s engine utilizes the latest and greatest advances in technology for an engine of this type .
It ’ s backed up by a Turbo 400 lockup transmission and converter package from M & M Transmissions and an 11-inch floater rearend complete with a billet Lazarus gearcase . Menscer Motorsports shocks with Jamie Miller ’ s custom Red Hat Mafia valve package sit at each corner .
Dutton chose the ProCharger F-4 140 supercharger after discussions with several others who suggested he consider its ease of use ; from installation to parts requirements to staging procedures , the supercharged combination presented him with the attributes he wanted in his no-holds-barred racing program .
“ As a kid , a blower car was Pro Mod , you know ? Granted it was a roots or a screw blower , but it was Pro Mod . I went with the ProCharger group because Pro Line seemed to have the program coming together . And where this car has a modern look ; you know , EFI , 2020 kind of deal , I think the ProCharger fits it best . It looks like a street car with zoomie headers and
BEFORE THE PROJECT EVER BEGAN , DUTTON MADE ONE SIMPLE DECISION : HE WOULDN ’ T ALLOW MONEY TO BE AN OBJECT THAT COULD DERAIL THE CAR ’ S PROGRESS .
didn ’ t love , and I knew what it was going to take to fix them . And I knew how far I ’ d gotten into that car financially , and I said , ‘ You know what ? I ’ m going to list this thing for sale . If it sells , I just may be done , you know ? I just might retire and not do this anymore ,’” he recalls .
Clearly , prospective buyers did not share his concerns as the Markow Race Cars-built 25.3 Camaro was sold as a roller within 24 hours . The drivetrain , plus all of the FuelTech components he had purchased , sat quietly while he pondered his racing future .
“ I ’ m just kind of hanging tight for a couple months and I told my wife , ‘ Yeah , I think I ’ m just going to get out of it .’ And you know , she team at RK Racecraft in Cartersville , Georgia . Once they hatched the basic plan , the choice to use RK came easily for several reasons .
“ Their incredible attention to detail is second to none . And they were a turnkey shop . Even the wiring got done in there ,” says Dutton .
“ Plus , they work very closely with Pro Line , and they were in close proximity to one another . So , a lot of simple things made it easier , being able to have a motor just shipped right over there . I didn ’ t have to intervene and go pick it up and drive it around and have this shipped there and that shipped there .”
The 598-cubic-inch Hemi is outfitted with Pro Line-spec parts from intake to pan and topped a wing on it ,” he says .
That said , if he doesn ’ t achieve the results he ’ s after with this combination , nothing is off the table – not roots or screw blowers or even turbochargers if necessary . The car was designed from the outset to be able to work with each of these combinations , with the intent of providing as much flexibility as possible .
“ We went so far as to make the firewall completely removable in the car , in the event we really want to change stuff up or whatever ,” Dutton says . “ The steering column ’ s removable . The pedals are removable . This car also takes a Liberty transmission , so as Ryan says , ‘ This has more options than GM could ’ ve put in this
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