While Ray Litz had been tearing it up in Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series Real Street and X275 ranks, he suffered a setback when his ’98 Camaro careened into the wall during the Haltech World Cup Finals Domestic vs. Import race at Maryland International Raceway in the late fall of 2014.
The damage was relatively minor, he says, but affected the structure of the chassis, so the Ohio-based driver spent time configuring the car and its interior.
“Basically, we started with a completely clean piece of paper inside and out,” said Litz.
He sent it to Midwest Chassis in Illinois, where the 25.5 cage was upgraded to a 25.3 cage and bars were added to stiffen the car from one end to the other. It was also outfitted with a custom rear-end housing, all new custom rear suspension components, a removable front-end and aluminum wing, and put on a weight loss program.
Now, it’s at Carlyle Racing in Ohio, where the placement for a turbo and both hot- and cold-side piping was decided upon and fabricated. Shearer Fabrication supplied the intercooler to go along with the new water and ice tank Litz had fabricated earlier.
Soon, he’ll completely rewire the car using a Race Wire Solutions switch panel and main relay panel, a task he jokingly referred to as “plugging and playing.” Then, he’ll paint the inside and underside of the car before hiring an expert to paint the outside of the car in a different shade of red.
When it’s time to put the powerplant in place, he’ll reach for his tried-and-true ERL-built 400 cubic-inch LS engine, which was recently freshened and given a Callies billet crank, BME aluminum rods and Ross pistons, and topped with recently freshened All Pro 12-4 heads.
He’ll test using his new Garrett 98mm and 94mm turbos, and a recently modified RPM Transmissions-built Turbo 400, bolt-together PTC converter and Driveshaft Shop carbon fiber driveshaft will put the power to the pavement while the car rolls on a new set of Billet Specialties wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson ET Street Radial Pro tires. Litz will continue to use Big Stuff 3 to alternately tame or tick off his combination.
He’ll focus on laying down 4.40s in NMCA Wiseco Street Outlaw, a class which he last ran in 2013, as well as some X275 races, beginning with the 8th Annual NMCA/NMRA All Star Nationals presented by Miller Welders, April 7-10, 2016.
“We hope the car will be competitive,” said Litz. “It’s been a long time, like thirteen or fourteen years, since I went a whole year without racing, so I’m ready to get back to it.”