Aside from simply being among the quickest and fastest full-bodied race vehicles on earth, radial tire cars have endeared themselves to fans for years with their high-flying antics; and while advancements in suspension setup and power management have certainly reduced the frequency of unintended flight, it doesn’t eliminate the fact that these cars are riding a razor thin line at all times between driving the nose into the ground as planned and flipping over backward (something we discussed in-depth in a previous article on the science of radial-tire wheelstands).
Of particular intrigue is that these cars, despite their speed and all of the weight they’re carrying, have the power at their disposal to climb the ring gear at nearly 200 mph, resulting in one of the most impressive sights — and crap-your-pants frightening experiences for the guy in the seat — in all of drag racing. Jason Hoard, a relative newcomer to the Radial vs The World class from St. Charles, Missouri, earned his initiation to such a phenomenon at last weekend’s U.S. Street Nationals when his twin-turbocharged Camaro aimed skyward under power and crossed the eighth-mile stripe with nary a view of the Florida horizon out his windshield.
“It sure caught my attention!” noted Hoard, adding “especially when the back of the hood started fluttering. I thought for a second it might take off.”
Hoard’s Midwest Machine-built car, constructed in 2017 and debuted last season, features power from a Brad Anderson Hemi with twin Precision 102’s — more than enough power to turn itself on its lid — and features an M&M two-speed Turbo 400 and Menscer shocks all around. Dan Saitz does the tuning, helping propel it to a best of 3.95 at 195 mph over the weekend (it’s been 203 mph thus far) on 55-pounds of boost. The Camaro is a stock wheelbase, original ’69 model that’s all steel with the exception of the hood and doors, resulting in a slightly-overweight 2,985-pound fighting weight.
Hoard is entered at the upcoming Lights Out 10, where he says some adjustments in the setup will hopefully net better results. Of course, the primary mission is likely now “just don’t flip it over.”