Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
November 1, 2000

Step By Step

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According to Rick Head at Innovative Turbo Systems (805) 526-5400 the T-100 turbo on John Urist’s car is constructed from various turbos to generate the highest level of performance. The 100 in T-100 represents the 100mm inlet size, and this turbo is good for 160 pounds of air per minute, which equates to about 1,600 hp.
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Casey Hammonds originally installed the cage—based on an Alston Chassisworks kit—in the car, but John upgraded it for Outlaw legality. He welded in the necessary bars and funny-car cage conversion. The laptop is primarily used for data-logging. John never messes with Wayne Young’s tune-up in the Speed-Pro module. He simply dials in the car’s air/fuel ratio by adjusting the turbo’s wastegate. Of course, the huge sheetmetal box on the floor houses John’s air-to-water intercooler, which is built around a Spearco core.
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The tale of John Urist’s path to Outlaw success is familiar. He had been driving his ’90 Mustang coupe to school at the University of New Mexico for a couple years. He played around with a number of bolt-on, naturally aspirated engine combinations in the car and had even bracket raced it. Eventually his pal Mike Abdalla convinced him to make a trip to the Fun Ford Weekend in Ennis, Texas.

While John was running in True Street, he discovered Outlaw. He walked through the pits and checked out the cars piloted by Mike Murillo and others. He thought Outlaw looked cool, but the expense seemed out of reach. So he returned to Ennis the following year and ran 10.0 in the bracket class with a naturally aspirated 358. That was inspiration for John to put nitrous on his daily driver and make the haul from New Mexico to the ’99 Bradenton Fun Ford Weekend to run in Street Outlaw. There he runner-upped to Mike Murillo, and the rest is history.

“The reason I got in this so deep is because I did so well at my first race,” John says. And, over the course of the ’99 season, he attended seven races and eventually whittled his nitrous stroker combination down to 9.14. “I was happy with my first year, but I decided it was time to fight fire with fire,” he says. That fire really started burning because in three trips to the finals, Mike Murillo put him on the trailer every time.

John knew it was time for something major, and based on the successes of turbos in Outlaw, a hair dryer seemed like the right move. A call to our own Dr. Jamie Meyer got John hooked up with Alan Dudley of Somerville, Alabama. In the course of a one-hour phone conversation, Alan had given John the blueprint for his 1,648hp/1,270 lb-ft engine combination.

“He [Alan] had always preached how what I’m doing could work,” John explains, “but he never had a test session with someone to do it. I was really the first one. He had it on his car, but he has a ’57 Chevy.”

As you know by now, John took the knowledge he gleaned from Alan and combined his own self-taught, hot-rodding skills to build one of the most powerful turbocharged small-blocks ever created. Of course, once he built all the parts he still needed someone to tune the combination. So he drove the complete engine to Young’s Performance in Somerville, Alabama, where Wayne Young tickled the keyboard to create John’s Speed-Pro maps.

All told, John moved himself from an Outlaw dreamer to the front of the pack, and he did most of it himself. Sure, he relied on lots of advice over the telephone, but most of the labor was his own. “Some people like to go fast, but they aren’t mechanically inclined,” John says. While that’s fine, he takes the most satisfaction in seeing what he built perform this well.

John trailers his car from New Mexico to far-flung races all over the country on an open trailer. So far those travels haven’t netted him an Outlaw win, but he and buddy Chris Derrick (“Freak on a Leash,” Oct. 2000, p. 92) both went on a tear at the National Mustang Racers Association’s Mid-Michigan race. In the finals John ripped off a blistering 8.222 at 177.61 mph, but the good weather meant more power, less traction, and a loss. John is obviously in the hunt to be the first Outlaw car in the 7s—which should be a wild ride.