Paul Rosner
April 1, 2008
Photos By: Jerry Heasley
Mike knew it would take a big-block to handle the massive boost of making nearly 2,500 hp. Displacing the excess front weight lead to the slick idea to move the twin Precision GT47 88mm turbochargers to the trunk. Ricky Salazar and Justin Bloomer fabbed the headers; trick 3 1/2-inch oval NASCAR-style exhaust; and the 5-inch tailpipes exiting just under the chute, which make this car look as though it's rocket-powered.

The oiling system comes from a Peterson Fluid Systems wet sump with the oil and vacuum pumps stacked together and a beltdriven Aeromotive fuel pump attached. Stacking all the components as one serves as the ultimate failsafe system: If the combo loses oil pressure, the fuel stops at the source, instantly shutting down the engine. Rick Squires from STS Turbo supplied the oil-return pump, required to return the oil that circulates through the turbochargers back into the oil pan, along with some valuable turbocharger tech.

On the exhaust side, Ricky Salazar and Justin Bloomer fabbed a set of stainless, 2-inch headers with 3 1/2-inch collectors attached to trick 3 1/2-inch, oval, NASCAR-style tubing. They're routed back to the truck where they transform into 3-inch turbocharger-inlet tubes. The twin Precision GT47 88mm turbocharger downpipes have a 5-inch diameter and exit from the rear of the car under the license plate to give a rocket-propulsion appearance.

Mike's intake manifold is a Kotzur Racing Heads port-matched Trick Flow manifold, a Murillo Motorsports upper elbow, and a set of 212-lb/hr injectors connected to the fuel rails with a Turbosmart pressure regulator. Ricky and Justin also fabbed and welded the intake tubing, which routes to a custom Bell Intercoolers-designed, ice-filled intercooler with two outputs, one to each turbocharger. A built-in Meziere water pump assures constant flow without losing prime in the intercooler. Turbosmart provided air-override wastegates and blow-off valves, meaning the car has an air-cylinder-operated actuator that works with the boost controller for precision power application to ensure it stays stuck to the racing surface. Additionally, it allows the boost to be manually dumped from the system when necessary. Mike says the guys not only do a great job putting out quality work daily at Murillo Motorsports, they did all the work to the race car on the side.

The engine management system features an MSD ignition system with Big Stuff 3 for programming the fuel and ignition mapping. All the wheel speed, driveshaft speed, rpm, and other valuable tuning data is captured via a Racepak V300 datalogging system. According to Mike, the system has virtually unlimited capabilities-it just depends on how many sensors you want to invest in and how much data is useful for tuning.

Just as they say, "Once you learn to drive a stick, you never forget," Mike didn't forget how to pilot a race car in his five-year absence or how to find the winners' circle. Aside from a handful of "1-teen" 60-foot times, they hadn't tested the car much as of this writing. However, we don't expect it to take much saddle time for Mike to get up to speed and knock out some 6-second e.t.'s.

We'll be looking for the Dark Star to light up the winners' circle by mid-season at a 10.5W race near you.

Mike says he picked up nearly 1,300 hp from his 302-based, championship-winning combination, so choosing a Bruno/Lenco-type transmission seemed to be the best choice. The Bruno attaches a torque converter to a Lenco three-speed manual tranny, making it easier on the crew, since they don't have to disassemble, maintain, or tune a finicky clutch. Mike initiates the gear-change manually via the Liberty shifter. This actuates the air-shifted Lenco, leaving no chance of miscue and plenty of time to drive the car.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINELECTRONICS
BlockEngine Management
RDI 460Big Stuff 3
DisplacementIgnition
514ciMSD distributor and coil
Cylinder HeadsGauges
Trick Flow A460Racepak Digital Dash
Camshaft 
Comp Camps solid-rollerSUSPENSION AND CHASSIS
Intake ManifoldFront Suspension
Kotzur Racing Heads port-A-arms
matched Trick Flow manifoldBill Buck Race Cars
w/ Murillo Motorsports upperSprings
elbowHypercoil
Power AdderStruts
Two Precision GT47 88mmSanthuff double-adjustable w/
turbochargersspindle assembly
ExhaustWheels
Stainless 2-in headers withWeld
3 1/2-in collectors, 3 1/2-in ovalTires
to 3-in turbocharger inlet tubes,Mickey Thompson
5-in downpipesBrakes
Fuel SystemStrange dual-piston carbon fiber
212-lb/hr injectors, customRear Suspension
rails, TurboSmart regulator,Springs
Aeromotive beltdrive pump-Hypercoil
driven from Peterson oil pump Shocks
TransmissionAfco double-adjustable
Bruno/Lenco three-speedWheels
RearendWeld
Bill Buck Race Cars 9-inTires
housing, Strange spool, 3.70Mickey Thompson
gears, Moser 40-spline axlesBrakes
 Twin Aerospace dual-piston
 calipers