Florida native Justin Swanstrom has been racing up through the ranks in recent years, from various radial tire eliminators to cut-throat no-time competition. He’s made quite the name for himself as a driver and the family as a hard working unit. They set goals and they set records, and Justin is a threat on the tree and always seeks to push himself as a racer and driver, not only against the other teams and drivers, but himself. So as the 2018 season wound down, Justin was looking for a new endeavor and set his eye on the Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings series. A new venture, this shift moves away from the glued-up surface that is friendly to drag radials, away from negotiating grudge matches with reluctant participants, and into the slick-tire world of questionable choices and sketchy surfaces, of TV cameras, high drama and big, fat checks.
His family purchased a 2010 Camaro, ‘Carnage’ and ran at two events this year, scoring two final round appearances (he faced DeWayne Mills at both). He is still looking for a win and plans were made to build a new car to get to the minimum weight of 2,600 pounds; however the opportunity presented itself to sell “Carnage,” so off it went to a new owner and was quickly replaced with this 2001 year-model that fit the bill nicely — just put their parts on and go racing. The Swanstroms’ Country Boy Motorsports team has never been much for sentimentality over racecars — as many have passed through their hands over the years — so it’s on to the next one for the Zephyrhills, Florida based team.
Justin has been grudge racing on Mickey Thompson drag radials since 2015 in full chassis cars, and jumped up to Radial vs the World with both feet last fall.
“We have always run radials, both 275s’ or 315s, so the big tire is new to us, but they’re a good fit for the car and I wanted to run the No Prep Kings series, which requires a steel roof and quarters. So I went ahead and bought this new Camaro,” Justin told us.
“I didn’t really want to be out of racing for five or six months waiting on a new car — hell, a couple of weeks go by and you’ll be behind the ball,” Justin said during a break from pulling the wounded Reher-Morrison bullet from ‘Aftermath’, a fitting name for the team’s new car that came with quite a storied history. But more on that a little later.
One of the producers of No Prep Kings gave Justin a call, asking if he could be in Joliet, which was a week and a half out. “I said yes and started looking for a car right away,” he shares. He was able to scoop up this 2001 Camaro quickly — it was purchased without electronics and was taken directly to Justin Elks at Modern Racing in Mooresville, North Carolina for a complete wiring job before making the trip home.
Once back, Mike Stavrinos and Cami from Speed and Truck World headed up from Boynton Beach and worked through the night to wrap the car. The crew also had to plumb the car for fuel and the oil system with little time to spare. They swapped in their Rossler Transmission, Neal Chance converter, and rearend housing, which is filled with parts from Strange Engineering and paired with a Carmack Engineering center section. After the parts were installed and the suspension adjusted to their liking, they fired the car Tuesday night to make sure it all worked and into the trailer it went for its No Prep Kings debut in Chicago.
“I like the No Prep Kings events; Sam and Alyssa, Jen and all the crew run at a very good event…one of the more organized events we’ve been to, and it’s some of the best racing that we’ve been a part of. I will continue to support them just like they support us. DeWayne Mills knows, two races I ended up runner-up to him,” Justin said.
“I bought a new car, which is called “Aftermath”; we just went to Joliet and we won our race to get invited in to the list,” he said during our interview. It was mission accomplished for the team, except a little engine damage hiccup ending the weekend early. He allowed Bobby Ducote to have his spot and run on Saturday.
Local engine maintenance and repairs are done by Fast Forward Race Engines in Elfers, Florida, as needed. Swapping to the spare heads is the plan to prepare for Colorado. Corey has already traced one issue in the tune-up that led to the engine damage, and with no significant harm suffered, there will be plenty of time to get anything else nice and neat for the next round. Corey’s youngest son, Tyler, will be 21 soon and helps crew at local events; he also holds the fort down running the businesses while Corey and Justin are out of town racing. The Swanstrom’s own and run S&S Vac/Video, and S&S Grading, which is run by crewmember Bryan Geisler. S&S Vac/Video does sewer and storm drain maintenance and compliance work in new and old construction.
“I can’t forget J.R.Gray for making the car available to us,” Lil’ Country mentioned toward the end of our interview. “He was nearly finished getting it ready himself but let it go so we could make Joliet.” So yes ladies and gentlemen, the former Bad9er, Jeff Sitton’s Infamous ‘Hyde’ Camaro run out of KTR camp, has a new home with Justin Swanstrom…rolling under cover in a plain white Stav Inc Designs wrapper.
“I really enjoy working with Justin and Corey, because they have an aggressive attitude toward tuning, Santhuff’s Suspension Specialties owner Ron Galbreath chimed in. “The car is either going to haul ass or not get down. There is no going slow A-to-B to feel good about ourselves mentality here. Having known this team since Justin first started racing, I can attest to the attitude they embrace. Setting records and running up front is what they do.
“The no-prep world is on full notice:Justin Swanstrom and Country Boy Motorsports are coming to play rough in the pool.