While we’re used to seeing Mark Carlyle driving his Corvette to records and championships in LSX Drag Radial, he’s moving to the driver’s seat of Rob Sphar’s Fox body Mustang to mix it up in NMCA Mickey Thompson Radial Wars in 2016.
The car, which Sphar bought in 2012 and has seen only minimal track time, went to Xtreme Race Cars in early 2015, where Carl Stevens, Jr. and Sr. fabricated for it a 25.2 chrome moly cage, sheetmetal rear-end, four-link and carbon fiber interior.
“The Stevens are extremely meticulous, and their work is very impressive,” said Sphar, of Masontown, Pennsylvania.
The car will get up and go via a 489 HEMI built by the Stevens’ other shop, Xtreme Racing Engines, and it will be topped with NRE heads and an Xtreme Racing Engines billet intake. Additional muscle – and the whistle sound we can never get enough of – will come from twin 98mm Garrett turbos. A two-speed TurboGlide built by fellow racer Mark Micke of M&M Transmission and a ProTorque EV1 converter will help put the power to the pavement, and Patrick Barnhill and Jason Lee of PTP Racing have signed up to design the tune via Big Stuff 3. The car will roll on Mickey Thompson ET Street drag radials.
“Patrick has given me a lot of guidance along the way, and he and Carl, Jr. and I discuss every move,” said Sphar. “They’re both very knowledgeable, and I think they’re the best in the business.”
While Sphar is currently deciding whether the car will wear paint or a wrap, it will be ready for the 14th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem, March 10-13, at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida. Sphar hopes the car will run toward the top in the class where the current records are the 4.02 and 201 mph held by DeWayne Mills.
“We fired the engine up the other day and it sounded pretty crazy,” said Sphar. “It’s the same kind of engine which Carl, Jr. was running when he became the first PDRA Pro Extreme racer to go 230 mph in the eighth-mile, so we’re definitely excited about its potential. I’ve gone through every emotion every day while this car was being built, and I can’t wait for the season to start.”