The ‘Crowmod effect’ — the competition’s response to Justin “Big Chief” Shearer’s game-changing new, lightweight Pontiac Firebird — has completely altered the street, grudge, and no prep racing landscape this offseason, with racers in the 405 and around the country throwing money at their machines to elbow up to the bar in 2016. Racers both on or ready to again challenge the OKC Top 10 list on Street Outlaws have completely gutted their race cars to rebuild them into thoroughbred hot rods capable of challenging the heaviest of the hitters.
Among them has been the racer known as “Dominator”, Joe Woods, who gave his 1967 Dodge Dart a makeover inside and out over the winter and unveiled it to the world at the Thunder Valley Raceway Park over the weekend. To keep up with the Joneses, gone is the nitrous oxide-assisted Chrysler Hemi powerplant, and in its place is a 632 cubic-inch big-block Chevrolet from Troy Scott Race Engines, with a pair of 88 mm Turbonetics turbochargers. As Woods shared with Kyle and the gang at 1320Video, the plan is to eventually stuff a proper Chrysler engine under the hood again when funds allow, but for now, the Chevrolet will carry him into battle.
Woods says he “sold every toy he had to be able to make the swap,” but believes it’s the ticket to the top of the list and better reliability.
“Everyone is ditching weight and building bigger motors,” said Woods via social media. “I can’t go buy a chassis since what I do I don’t feel that would look too good, so I went for more power. I don’t have the money to buy an 800-900-inch motor — this was actually the cheapest way to build big power. And our water grains have been swinging so wildly the last year that there were literally several nights that there was a two-degree timing change needed for the nitrous cars. I don’t have a motor sponsor or a big-time car sponsor so this one hurt in the initial hit but will be my best bang for the buck at this level.”
In an effort to make this a true street car, capable of not only cruising the neighborhood, but completing Drag Week, Woods has set the car up without an intercooler to run on alcohol for race nights, and has utilized a Haltech power management system that will enable him to run pump gas or E85 on the road. The car sports a radiator for just such driving, and will even have the windshield wipers re-installed once its 100-percent complete, making it a true street car.
While Dominator’s transformed Dart was a hot commodity at the Conquer The Concrete event at Thunder Valley over the weekend, it was on display only, as Woods shares that a new transmission and torque converter spec’ed to withstand the power from the new twin-turbo combination is still on its way.
“This was truly my cheapest option to go faster. Not sure it was the smart thing to do but I’m going to try and be competitive,” he adds.
And with that, the battle for number one in the 405 just got that much tougher.