Dr Jamie Meyer
June 1, 2002

Horse Sense:
Upon hearing that Mickey Thompson is going to produce a drag radial tire to compete with BFGoodrich and Nitto, Big Daddy said, "That's the best news I've heard out of the PRI show. It means the Drag Radial class is getting more attention, and I'm doing my job." The more parts committed to this class, the more sponsorship dollars and competitors the fans can expect to see.

Has Dwayne "Big Daddy" Gutridge always been at the forefront of the 5.0 Mustang hobby? We think so. Back when Ford's 5.0 was but a young pup, Big Daddy was pounding out record-breaking numbers from all sorts of variants of supercharged street cars. When the Pro 5.0 thing got real hot, Dwayne was there. Then, caught up in the expense of racing, he reexamined his efforts. It was no surprise to his fans when he reinvented himself-and invented a class in the process-in the Drag Radial class, running and building street-oriented combinations that well represented what his shop, Outrageous Mustangs [(732) 928-8250], has been putting together since 1992.

You'll remember that Dwayne's black LX coupe set the standard in this class with a heart-stopping 9.09/ 148 run on street-legal BFGoodrich Drag Radials that ushered in the era of the low-9-second street car. Dwayne's street-racing background may have put him at an advantage. After all, there's nothing like a deceptive street-tired street freak to give you the upper hand on your opponents. And, while the black car was setting records and laying waste to the country's best drivers, Big Daddy was hatching the plan to build a new car-the green one seen here.

"I felt that in order to stay on top, I needed another car to test things without compromising the black car," Dwayne says of the construction of the green coupe. The commitment to sponsors and fans dictated that he have a car at almost every significant race of the year, which left little time to test or repair damage. The green car has supplied that chance, along with a successful testbed for such things as the cam, the exhaust, the converter, the gearing, and the all-important suspension on this under-tired machine. Specifically, Dwayne was looking at how changes in tire pressure, shock settings, and track conditions worked for-or against-the drag-radial tires.

The value of the green coupe really came to light a few races into the 2000 season. First came the violent bumper-dragging show Big Daddy put on in Englishtown, New Jersey, during testing. Then the black coupe suffered a crash at the FFW Spring Break Shootout. "Before that wheelie," he says, "the black car would get 1.32-second short times. But after that wreck, 1.50s were the norm." Something was wrong with the black car (it was later determined the chassis was bent to the point of compromised suspension positioning), so the construction of the green car hastened.

Once the new green chassis was completed, the turbocharged motor from the black car was swapped in. Then the testing began in earnest. On the subject of turbochargers, Big Daddy says, "We use 26 psi in competition, which resulted in 9.00s with the black car. When everything was right on the green car [in reference to cracked headers that caused a severe loss of boost], we saw 28 to 30 psi, which blows head gaskets." Now, after his unprecedented commitment to testing different components and working with the best minds in the business, Big Daddy has it all coming together.

Today the T-76 head unit rides in a George Scott, Turbo Technology Race Kit with the Stage II 2.5-inch crossover pipe. Dwayne has added a front-mount wastegate with the turbo mounted so that it points toward the fender (not down) to increase the flow to the front-mounted intercooler (a George Scott three-core, 3-inch unit). The exhaust is a 3.5-inch, Outrageous-fabricated downpipe flowing into a single DynoMax Ultra Flo Welded muffler with dumps. Supporting equipment for the 770-rwhp/850-lb-ft 349-incher comes from a Weldon fuel system MSD 6 AL ignition box with a Crane coil.