Five years ago, Tony Caswell made the nearly 20-hour drive from his home in Durand, MI, just to experience a Duck X Production for himself at South Georgia Motorsports Park. This weekend he’s back as team owner of a brand-new Pro 275 entry for promoter Donald “Duck” Long’s third annual Sweet 16 event.
As a 13-year Top Alcohol Dragster racer, Caswell is no stranger to drag racing, however. For his first visit to SGMP he helped out as a crew member for doorslammer veterans Scott Carter and Bob Adel, but this time around he’s teamed up with crew chief Jason French and chassis man Rich McCarren behind the wheel of his unique, twin-turboed ’84 Chevy S-10 Blazer.
Dubbed “Patriot Warfare,” the car sports a compelling patriotic-themed wrap designed and applied by Motor City Wraps in Howell, MI. Caswell says it represents a tribute to his Uncle Kenny, who died in the Vietnam War, as well as to all current U.S. Armed Forces members and veterans.
“I’ve never seen one racing before and I don’t know that there’s any other full tube-chassis S-10 Blazers out there,” Caswell explains of his unconventional choice for a race car. “When I ran across this it was basically a stock vehicle. We just kept the roof and the quarters and the rest is fiberglass.”
Caswell found the car on AutoTrader.com a couple of years ago and promptly drove down to pick it up from the original owner in Lima, OH. He was told it was a daily driver for just six months before being reserved only as a family weekend hauler.
“He told me they conceived nine kids in the backseat of that thing after church on Sundays,” Caswell says with a laugh. “Then all nine kids learned how to drive in it.”
Current driver McCarren, of Pro Racecraft Engineering in Romulus, MI, completed the chassis work on the Blazer, which sports a 540 big-block Chevy between the front rails with twin 88-millimeter Precision Turbos providing the boost.
“The motor in this is actually Bob’s old motor that he holds the world record with for a cast block, conventional head, which was two or three years ago here at Lights Out. So we’re hoping to be able to take over his record with his old motor,” Caswell says of his ideal Sweet 16 weekend.
McCarren remains a little more conservative in his hopes and expectations.
“My first time driving the car will be my first qualifying run,” he reveals. “Really, just to get the car qualified would be a successful weekend for me. That’d be the first step and if it does better, then that would be great. But I’d be happy just getting qualified.”
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