5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
Supercharged 2002 Ford Mustang GT - Switch Pitter
Tim Lyons Made The Switch From EFI Renegade To NMRA's Super Street Outlaw
Before Kurt Gallant steamrolled onto the NMRA scene in 2003, you could count the previous successful NMRA EFI Renegade nitrous racers on one hand. Mike Freeman, Manny Geno, Eric Buck, and Tim Lyons were some who battled it out against the blower guys for EFI Renegade supremacy. When on his game, each racer gave the blower guys fits-including Tim, who won his first NMRA race in EFI Renegade with his former GT at the '01 World Finals in Bowling Green, Kentucky. In 2002, Tim followed up his season-ending win by finishing third in points with a Panhandle Performance-built and -tuned nitrous combo.
Even during his EFI Renegade success, Tim had his eye on something bigger-the NMRA's Super Street Outlaw class. He was intrigued at the times and speeds of the Outlaw class. "I loved what those cars would do on those same size slicks I was already running," he says. He was so serious about his step up to Outlaw that he bought this car as a rolling chassis from a gentleman in Alabama, whose plan was to build it for NMCA/NSCA EZ Street. The previous owner fell out of love with the car and put it up for sale. When Tim first saw the Web advertisement for it, he could only mutter, "Yeah."
What had Tim nearly speechless was the car's paint scheme. Like a garage door, Tim's EFI Renegade Fox Mustang GT wore nothing but white paint, but the new car's paint scheme and New Edge platform were significant departures from what he was accustomed to. For a racer to pick up a car that already has show-quality paint means less work and anxiety about what kind of scheme to choose. And, nice paint meant Tim could get right to work on the mechanical aspects of the car.
Tim's EFI Renegade experience pointed him toward going the nitrous route. He even contemplated installing the white car's combination into the new car and staying put. While that idea was coming from people around him, it wasn't the direction in which Tim wanted to go. "I wouldn't hear of it," he says. "I had to at least give Outlaw a chance."
To that end, and seeing the times and speeds of the Outlaw ranks, Tim knew the 10-point cage already in the car wouldn't cut it, so he enlisted the expertise of Tim Bradham's Chassis Works and Exhaust [(910) 424-9811] in Fayette-ville, North Carolina, to cut out the cage. In its place went a Tim Bradham-built 25.2C chassis, cage, and ladder-bar rear suspension combination. The ladder bar supports a Fab 9 housing with Moser guts and axles to spin the required 28x10.5 Mickey Thompson E/T Drag slicks. Bradham even attends events with Tim to make sure the chassis and suspension are ready to go for each pass.
To Tim, setting the slicks in motion was a done deal. He was ready to go ahead with what he knew, which was nitrous. But Mark Biddle and Adam Day of Panhandle Performance have an excellent working relationship with ATI-ProCharger, so after a lot of convincing, Tim was ready to make the switch to an F3R supercharger. Tim knew a lot more about nitrous than superchargers, but as he had never run a supercharged combination, he thought he'd give it a shot. "I also knew no matter what power adder we used, Panhandle would give me the best powerplant I could lay my hands on."
Making its debut at the '03 NMRA World Finals at Bowling Green, Tim's new car was the hot cheese in the pits. And that's not easy to be, since everyone and their brother is at Bowling Green in an effort to gain those last few points toward a championship or to set everything up for the next season. The latter was what Tim had in mind, but due to some unfortunate parts failures, he has had to regroup while Panhandle has been busy trying to get the engine back together.
Tim says get ready to see some seven-second passes. That would definitely make his switch to Super Street Outlaw worth it.