Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
March 15, 2012

We're in awe of the drivers within the NMRA Super Street Outlaw ranks. We've been watching the class get quicker and faster each year. This year the class has crested the 200-mph plateau. With that, these guys have become certifiably crazy.

What they have on their side is experience, and the fact that they've worked up to that performance level. However, they're still crazy. Going 200 mph on 28x10.5s is nutty. Just talk to any of the SSO guys and it won't take long to know they're not quite right. They don't call it the 10-Inch-Tire Freak Show for nothin'.

Take Andrew DeMarco, for example. He freely admits to being crazy for driving an SSO car. “It takes a rare breed to drive an SSO car,” Andrew says. He would know… he's one of them.

Andrew's been going to the track since he was little guy. Once he reached driving age, he had a 12-second Grand National. He finally owned a fast car when he bought an '82 Mustang coupe, which ran 11s with a high-compression 306 on the bottle.

Andrew went to his first NMRA race in 2003, and he chose a big one--the 2003 opener at Bradenton. Residing in Malden, Massachusetts, Andrew made the trip with Mike (Dez) Dezotell driving Jim Coger's Real Street car. Dez was trying to iron some things out on Jim's car, and as a teacher, Jim was unable to make the race himself, so Dez jumped in the seat for the race.

Because of that experience, Andrew actually built his '82 to Real Street specs, even though it never raced at an NMRA event. However, the drag racing hook was firmly set, so he called ProLine Race Engines, ponying up for one of its 454ci small-block Fords for the '82. The car ran 8.50s on the bottle, but after a bit, Andrew hurt the engine so he regrouped with a ProLine-built 427ci small-block, again on the spray. The 427 proved to be the quicker of two combinations with 8.20s.

The '86 GT you see here came along in 2008. Andrew knew he wanted to go really fast, beyond what the '82 was certified to run with its 25.5 cage (legal to 7.50), but he also didn't want to cut up the '82 again for the additional bars. Andrew found the car in the Midwest and sent it to DMC Racing for a 25.2/25.3 certified cage. The car carries a double certification for both 25.2 and 25.3 classifications.

With the chassis certification out of the way, Andrew once again hit up ProLine Race Engines for a stout small-block. He initially had a ProCharger F2 on the car, but then he swapped over to a Precision 94mm, which was the biggest turbo you could run in 2010.

The car's first race was the 2010 zMAX event in Charlotte, North Carolina. Andrew was hoping for big things, but front-suspension problems spelled an early end to his weekend. That was the theme for Andrew's 2010 campaign. He wasn't in title contention, so he focused on ironing out the teething problems that happen with a new car to be ready for the 2011 campaign. He also wanted to reach a comfort level with the car, as well, and making laps was the only way to do that.

Speaking with Andrew before the 2011 season, his goal was the SSO championship. Every test hit he made before the Bradenton opener spelled great things, but when it came to actual NMRA races, the car's mechanical issues were severe enough to take Andrew out of competition. Perhaps his best race was the rain-shortened Atco event, which was finished up at Joliet. Andrew made it to the finals against John Urist, but the Fireball took the win. Pouring salt in the wound, Andrew again had to race John in the semis of the Joliet eliminations—and John took the win.

When the Milan race was affected by inclement weather, Andrew wasn't able to finish the race, which affected his chase for the SSO crown. Once he knew the championship was out of reach, Andrew took a step back from racing for the rest of the NMRA season. He even contemplated dropping a big-block in the car, and going eighth-mile racing in either Outlaw Drag Radial or X275 classes, but he prefers quarter-mile racing so you should see him back in SSO for 2012.

Until then, Andrew will hopefully be at the track working on his car's front-half numbers. If you ever talk to a turbo racer, they all want better front-half numbers. A turbo car freight-trains every other power adder at the big end of the track, but turbo racers all want to improve their numbers earlier in the run. Andrew also plans on pushing his equipment again to hopefully find the weak links before going to actual races, where it counts.

Andrew plans on changing a few things mechanically as well. ProLine will be freshening up the short-block and adding Edelbrock SC1 heads, a new camshaft design, and a revised intake. If the SSO rules stay the same, Andrew says he'll leave the 98mm turbo in place and "see how she goes."

In 2010 he finished seventh in points. In 2011, he finished sixth. Andrew's goal for 2012 is to wear that 1 on the window in 2013. 5.0

Horse Sense: "With an SSO car you're driving the car all the way down the track, even after the 'chutes open," Andrew says. He says going from an 8.20 nitrous car to a 7-second blower car was a huge jump. "What the hell was that?" was his first reaction after running 7s in Dez's car in Bradenton in 2010. "I was hooked," Andrew says.

5.0 Tech Specs

'86 Mustang GT

Engine and Drivetrain
Block 9.5-in-deck Fontana aluminum, 414ci
Crankshaft Sonny Bryant billet
Rods Oliver billet
Pistons Diamond
Camshaft Bullet
Cylinder Heads Edelbrock Victor Glidden II, Kuntz-ported w/T&D shaft rockers
Intake Manifold Edelbrock Super Victor, Kuntz-ported w/Wilson 105mm, and ProLine elbow
Power Adder Precision G-Trim 98mm single turbo w/ProCharger intercooler, ProCharger blow-off valves, and Tial wastegates
Fuel System Weldon mechanical fuel pump w/Magnafuel regulator, Earl's fuel lines, Precision 212-lb/hr injectors, and ProLine rails
Exhaust DMC Racing 2-1/8 to 2-1/4-in stepped headers with 3-in crossover and bullhorns
Transmission J&E Automotive 'Glide w/ATI case, ProTorque converter, and Hurst shifter with pistol-grip handle
Rearend Racecraft sheetmetal 9-in w/Moser 40-spline gun-drilled axles, and Mark Williams center section

Electronics
Engine management Big Stuff 3
Ignition MSD 7531 and Digital 8 boxes w/MSD HVC II coil, Moroso spark plug wires, and NGK plugs
Gauges Racepak V300 display

Suspension and Chassis
Front Suspension
K-member Racecraft
A-arms Racecraft
Struts Koni double-adjustable
Springs Racecraft coilover
Brakes Strange Engineering, double-calipers
Wheels Weld 2.0 spindle-mount
Tires Hoosier
Rear Suspension
Shocks Afco double-adjustable
Springs Afco coilover
Control Arms Racecraft adjustable
Brakes Strange Engineering double-caliper
Wheels Champion beadlock
Tires 28x10.5-in Mickey Thompson stiff-sidewall