By Mary Lendzion
Photos courtesy of Kirk Bouchard
Kirk Bouchard’s first car was a classic 1966 Mustang.
He drove it on the street and raced it on the strip before moving to a supercharged 1993 Lightning, followed in 2005 by the 1990 Mustang he has now.
The Californian raced in the NMCA West and PSCA Open Comp and Mustang Madness, as well as in EFI Challenge and other categories across southern California before deciding in 2013 that he wanted to dive into NMCA Dart NA 10.5. Since then, he has been working hard to put together a competitive chassis and combination.
PMR Race Cars in Rancho Cucamonga, California fabricated a 6.0-certified cage for Bouchard’s Mustang, and back-halved it. The shop also installed four-link components, a fabricated rear-end and JRi rear shocks, as well as stock-location front suspension with components from Racecraft and Santhuffs struts.
For power, Bouchard began with a Dart 9.2 deck compacted graphite iron block machined by QMP Racing Engines and built it into a 400 cubic-inch small-block Ford boasting a Winberg crank, GRP rods, Bill Miller pistons and Total Seal rings. He chose to top it with Edelbrock SC1 heads developed and massaged by Brett Miller, and a billet intake machined by Harshman Automotive in Maryland and set up for a single carburetor or two carburetors for now, and EFI in the future.
The engine is paired with a Dailey dry sump oiling system and LAT oil, and a ProTrans ProFlite automatic transmission will help put power down while exhaust flows through headers by REF Fabrication.
“I wanted to build a 400 cubic-inch small block Ford, and QMP Racing Engines splayed the lifter bores, diamond hot-honed the cylinder bores and provided max-effort machine work,” said Bouchard, whose car will roll on Weld and RC Components wheels wrapped with Mickey Thompson tires and come to a stop with Lamb Components brakes.
Bouchard plans to head to some test sessions soon to start dialing-in his combination and chassis, before making his debut in Dart NA 10.5 at the NMCA All-American Nationals, Aug. 26-29 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
“I have always liked high-horsepower naturally aspirated heads-up racing, and Competition Eliminator and Pro Stock always drew me to the fence at the races,” said Bouchard, who will also compete in WCNA 10.5. “It has really been a lifetime goal to run some sort of naturally aspirated heads-up racing, and just to take a lane next to an NMCA NA 10.5 driver for the first time will be a privilege. I know it will take time to get competitive, but I’ll get there with support from my friends Brad Lagman and Michael Consolo of QMP Racing Engines, Shiloh Davies, who’s my main crew guy, Brett Miller, who did the development of my cylinder heads and intakes, Tony and Phil Mandela of PMR Race Cars, my son, Kirk Bouchard Jr. and my daughter, Mona Bouchard.”