Making the leap from just hitting a test-n-tune session to full on heads-up racing can be a big change of pace and challenge, but that’s what Tim Oswalt did with his 2003 Cobra Mustang. Oswalt had never really raced his car in competition, but took a chance on running a No Prep event in True Street and hasn’t looked back. Now, Oswalt has one goal; to win the Redemption No Prep series Outlaw True Street championship, and he plans on making another step towards that with a victory at Redemption 8.0 the weekend of June 30-July 1.
For Oswalt, his No Prep debut really wasn’t his idea, it came from a friend who knew just how much potential his car really had. “I started No Prep racing a few years ago after some urging from one of my friend’s in Texas. He knew how well my car ran and what it was set up for, so he really pushed me to try No Prep racing out. The first event I went to was actually one of Shannon’s [Redemption promoter Shannon Morgan] races and I made it all the way to the final where I got runner-up. I had a lot of fun but realized I had a long way to go if I wanted to win; it’s all about going to A-to-B with this kind of racing.”
After that first taste of the No Prep life Oswalt was hooked and ready for more. He really enjoyed the high stakes game of poker that No Prep racing is when it comes to reading a track and getting the tune-up right. “I’ve worked really hard racing at local tracks where the prep isn’t great to learn about what tune-ups will work and how to get the car down the track. With No Prep it’s all about knowing how much the track can handle and being able to make the right call to get a tune up that will stick,” Oswalt says.
Oswalt’s weapon of choice for No Prep racing is his 2003 Cobra Mustang that he has owned since it was new. The car uses a 4.6-liter Mod motor that was built by Houghton’s Machine and has a set of 4-valve heads that have been worked over by the Modular Head Shop. Boost comes from a pair of Precision Turbo 6870 turbos and a kit that Oswalt built himself.
Helping to put the power down is a TCI converter and TH400 transmission built by Jeff Reed at TCI. The chassis of the car was all built by Oswalt and uses Menscer Motorsports shocks and struts along with some Team Z Motorsports suspension components. The Mustang still retains power windows, power locks, a back seat, and tips the scales at 3,500 pounds in race trim.
For Oswalt, the biggest attraction to No Prep racing is the challenge it provides because every race is different no matter what track he’s at. “It’s very challenging and that’s what makes it fun. I like trying to get one of these cars down a tough track and getting it to hook up. You hope you have enough in the tune to beat the other guy, but you don’t want to be too aggressive and lose your chance of winning,” Oswalt explains.
Oswalt’s plan for the rest of the year is to run the Redemption series and try to pick up some more wins like he did at Redemption 7.0. “I’ve only really ever tested before so this will be a blast for sure, and my goal is to win the Outlaw True Street championship. I’m looking forward to trying to pick up another win at 8.0. If I don’t win it won’t be for a lack of trying that’s for sure,” Oswalt says.