When the NMRA‘s Drag Radial class went away, Massachusetts resident Mike Alwardt was faced with a choice - step up to compete in the new Street Outlaw class, or step back to a slower class altogether. The decision was made to try out Street Outlaw, even though he was completely outgunned with a small 365-cubic-inch engine.
With DMC Racing‘s Eric LaFerriere working the tune, Alwardt was able to crank out a stunning 7.31 elapsed time at the Maryland stop on the NMRA tour last year. Although it was the quickest elapsed time for an 8.2-deck small-block Ford engine, pushing the parts to their limit ended up in an engine block that had cracks in it when removed for a mid-season freshen-up.
Once the old engine’s damage was discovered, the decision was made to dial up Nelson Competition and hook up with championship-winning engine builder Kris Nelson for a new bullet. It took the rest of the season and most of the winter to amass the parts required, but the engine was recently delivered to DMC Racing for installation.
A Dart Iron Eagle engine block, Callies forged crankshaft, GRP aluminum rods, and Diamond pistons provide the 400-cubic-inch base, a 35-cube jump from the old powerplant. A set of Kuntz & Co.Edelbrock Victor Sr. cylinder heads sit on top pumped up by a ProCharger F-1X supercharger.
“Mike told me in Bradenton last year that his goal was to run 7.50 with the 365 - we went 7.41 in Bradenton and 7.31 in Maryland. The engine definitely exceeded our expectations with that 7.31,” says LaFerriere.
Alwardt felt it was not only time to replace the engine, but perform an overall upgrade of the technology in the car.
The 13-year-old Accel Gen VII engine management box has been removed and replaced with a brand-new BigStuff3 ECU. In addition, Precision Turbo 225 lb./hr. fuel injectors and Peterson Fluid Systems‘ R4 external wet-sump pump were installed to keep the fuel and oil flowing in the proper amounts to the proper places. DMC’s Dennis MacPherson is hard at work on crafting a new set of headers while the rest of the team works on inlet piping and other upgrades. The plan is to be at Lights Out V for testing in a few weeks with an eye on sorting the car out before the first NMRA race of the season.
We look forward to seeing what this talented team will bring to the table now that they have firing power that matches the rest of the field.