January 1, 2003

Dale George, Pat Carroll, and Scott Lovell were just your average Ford fans attending the '99 World Ford Challenge in Joliet, Illinois. Intoxicated by the racing action and the adult beverages, the three young men decided they wanted their own Renegade race car. At the time, Pat had a low-11-second, blown LX; Scott owned a nitrous-assisted LX that ran high 11s; and Dale was a Brand-X nitrous racer. To go Renegade racing, they would have to forget all that, combine efforts (and beer money), and dedicate themselves to the sport. We're happy to report that is exactly what these Chicago-area natives did.

The three immediately found themselves the perfect starting material: a used '89 notchback Mustang with a four-cylinder engine and a five-speed transmission. They quickly got to work, preparing the machine for the ravages of Renegade duty. Now that they had the car, the only thing they needed was a name for their newly formed race team. Swill Racing seemed a natural choice.

By the '01 NMRA race in Reynolds, Georgia, the car was ready. Since none of the Swill Racing team had an NHRA competition license, Outlaw racer (now Real Street pilot) Bruce Hemminger was hired to do the honors. The car had a 351-inch combination with nitrous, and it was good for mid-9s. After five events in 2001, the Swill Racing car had run a best of 9.54/143 at the Bowling Green, Kentucky, World Finals. Still on nitrous at the beginning of the '02 NMRA season, the car's best pass in that trim came at Columbus, Ohio, with a respectable 9.27/147.

The team was beginning to get noticed. With 9.20 capability and a truck full of beer, they quickly became one of the most popular teams on the NMRA circuit. But the maintenance and destruction with their nitrous combination was spoiling a lot of fun-and after-qualifying parties. They needed to make a change, so they decided to step up to a Vortech supercharger system.

Scott describes the team's decision: "Vortech makes a heck of a lot of power, and we don't melt pistons on every run like we used to. We did a lot of research, and the Vortech is simply the most efficient blower you can put on one of these cars. Besides that, Ricky Best [of Vortech] really takes care of us and all of the Vortech/Paxton teams. It was just the most logical move for us to make with the car."

For now, the car still runs the big 351-inch combination that comes with a hefty 200-pound weight penalty at NMRA. Still, it has managed a best of 9.27/148 (1.34 short time) with only three races using the new power-adder combination. With a Third Place at the Norwalk Fun Ford event and several strong showings at NMRA, watch for the Swill Racing team to be on the move for 2003. All that success has come with the help of many people. The guys are quick to thank their wives, Kerri, Amy, and Nicole, who let them "play race car and party a lot." Vortech Superchargers, Dynamic Transmissions, TCT Converters, Frank Peterson's www.cyberitnow.com, and Street Stuff Hot Rod Shop are valuable associate sponsors of the team.

Scott is concerned about several big-name Renegade racers leaving the class. Chip Havemann has gone to Outlaw, and Mike Freeman and Tim Lyons are supposed to follow. Ed Thomas is talking about getting out, and Bart Tobener has already sold his car. Even Jimmy LaRocca and Mike Freedman are retiring. But not Swill Racing-these guys are on the move up, with hopes of someday dominating the class. For 2003, look for a smaller 306-inch combination to sit under the hood with AFR 225 heads (if made legal), a Dart block, a Moldex crank, Ross pistons, aluminum rods, and a Holley intake. With that lightweight rotating assembly, increased efficiency, and a 200-pound weight savings, watch for 8.90s-9.00s-and a heck of a Saturday night party after qualifying.