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Lynching the Competition
Inside the world's quickest and fastest Outlaw Mustang
Outlaw. Webster's dictionary describes it as "a person originally declared by a court of law to be deprived of legal rights and protection, generally for the commission of some crime," or for being "a habitual or notorious criminal; a fugitive from the law."
In drag racing speak, an Outlaw is equally as wild and every bit as dangerous. In technical terms, a Drag Racing Outlaw is one who pilots a radically powered pavement ripper wearing relatively small slicks, commonly called "10-wides." Outlaw race machines make upwards of 1,600-1,900 hp, they run sevens at a tick under 200 and they keep race fans on the edge of their seats.
It takes a special person to climb aboard one of these rockets and corral the power because a top-running Outlaw Mustang can smoke the tires at half track and go into brain-rattling tire shake, just like a fuel Funny Car. But when the tires bite and the nose stays pointed straight, you'll see a show like no other. And while the cars are as wild as can be, the current crop of Street Outlaw pilots are cool and collected. Few, if any, are doing it better than Woodstock, Georgia's Tim Lynch.
Stated simply, Lynch has set the Outlaw world on fire. At a recent Fun Ford Weekend race in Commerce, Georgia, Lynch laid down the gauntlet, dipping his tricked-out '02 GT, which wears Cobra bodywork, into the 7-teens at 195 mph. Lynch's run of 7.16 stunned the Oultaw world and shortly thereafter, his combination of turbo/automatic/ladder bar was smacked with a 200-pound weight penalty in FFW competition. The lead trophy put the turbo'd ladder bar cars on the same break as the four-link Stangs, but that didn't slow Lynch, who went on to dismantle the Outlaw field at the 2003 World Ford Challenge. It was even more impressive that Lynch ran 7.580 using the 28x10.5, not the 33x10.5 tires that he runs in FFW trim.
Like many Mustang racers, Tim Lynch kicked off his racing career by slowly modifying his street Stang to run quicker drag strip times. It all began after he purchased his '87 LX in the mid-1990s for street cruising. "I bought the old car as a daily driver and slowly transformed it into a drag car," stated Lynch. By the end of 2001 the LX was a full-time racer set up for the rigors of 10.5-inch Outlaw racing and had gone 8.02 at 177 mph. "Down here [in Atlanta] there are 10.5 Outlaw races every weekend and we wanted a new car that could be run in Fun Ford, and at the Orlando World Street Finals and the Clash Of The Titans races in Texas."
In order to keep pace with the most modern 10.5 Outlaws, Lynch and his crew chief/engine builder Steve Petty stepped up to a new ride, which debuted in Spring of 2002. The project began as a body-in-white that was strengthened and welded on by Straight Line Chassis in Rockmont, Georgia. Straight Line installed a complete 25.1C rollcage along with an AJE front suspension with Koni shocks and a heavy-duty Ladder Bar suspension from Rick Jones. The ladder bars and AFCO rear shocks support the FAB 9 rear that houses a 3.89 gear and 40-spline Strange axles.
To run low sevens at 3,000 pounds takes plenty of horsepower and Steve Petty has created a championship-caliber beast out of the Raceparts 9.2-inch aluminum block. Working out of Proline Race Engines, Petty machined the lightweight block to have a 4.080-inch bore and he slipped in a 3.90-inch stroke Ford Racing crank that swings the Bill Miller rods and Venolia pistons. Displacement stands tall at 417 ci.
After the rotating assembly went into place, Petty installed the Cam Motion camshaft and he sealed the bottom end with a Billet Fabrications oil pan. Total Engine Airflow CNC ported and assembled the Brodix BF202 heads that feature 2.10/1.64-inch valves, Comp Cams springs and Jesel rockers. The combination yields 9.0:1 static compression, but that ratio is bumped up a bit by the high level of unnatural aspiration provided by the Precision Turbo turbocharger that Lynch calls "displacement replacement."
In FFW trim, the GT uses a 101mm compressor, but when all-out power is needed, they swap in a larger 106mm unit that's worth about 150 hp. In either case, the compressed air is forced through a Performance Automatic intercooler and pumped into the engine at 28-30 psi of pressure. The air and gas mixture is ignited by an MSD ignition and F.A.S.T. fuel injection controls the flow of the VP C-16 gas and the firing of the Champion plugs. Other important components are the Weldon fuel pump, 160-pound injectors, Accufab 90mm throttle body and the Bobby Johnson headers. And when the 417 is thumping on all eight the result is an estimated 1,850 hp.
Backing the Petty-prepped 417 is a Neil Chance converter and a Keith Neil Powerglide that is shifted by a Hurst lever. According to Lynch, the entire project came together only after his friend Aric Carion wired the car from stem to stern. Other crew work is handled by Bill Ebner and Lynch's wife Kelly.
While Tim Lynch made a name for himself in the black '87 LX, the new ride is keeping him atop the heap. It bears a similar "ripper" style paint scheme , but runs quite a bit quicker.
What's it like to drive a Mustang into the low sevens at nearly 200 mph? To find out we asked Lynch do describe it. "I like to do a short burnout, only like 15 feet, because we don't think all that heat is necessary and tires are expensive," he added with a chuckle. "After the burnout I let the smoke clear, then I put the transmission in low and roll up and watch [Steve] Petty to get lined up in the groove. I inch up and pre-stage with engine at idle and pump the brake pedal to build line pressure. The dual-caliper Aerospace brakes really hold well. Once I'm pre-staged I feather the brake, let the car roll in and I push the transbrake button and then hit the gas. We normally leave at 4,000 rpm and with about 6-10 pounds of boost.
"When I see the yellow lights flash I let the button go and if the turbo ramps up quick the engine hits 26-27 psi in less that one second and I hang on and hope the thing doesn't shake. If the track is good and it gets up on the tires, then it's effortless to drive," says Lynch. "But if it shakes, you can't even see and it really tears stuff up.
"If it does [shake] I either short shift or try and drive through it, but if it doesn't and we're going straight I'll shift at 8,400 and that happens near the 330-foot mark and takes 3.09 seconds. Once the cars hits high gear it's really hauling and I just drive it to the stripe, hit the chute and get it stopped. On a good run it crosses with the engine at 8,200 rpm, but if we can get it to go through at about 8,600 we'll be able to crack 200 mph. I think you could go 200 before you could go 6.99, it's more realistic," he added.
As for future goal, Lynch stated that he'd like to win the Fun Ford Weekend Vortech Street Oultaw championship and he would like to do well at the Orlando World Street Finals because all the baddest 10.5 cars show up and let it all hang out. It goes without saying that Lynch would like to crack into the sixes and top 200 mph and he can find some good air and a sticky track he and Petty might just make it happen.
Model: Kristen Uriaub