The interior of any F.A.S.T. car is ripe for the diet as well. Lane didn't mention the hole saw, but we'd be surprised to find non-Swiss-cheesed metal behind the door panels. Radio and heater delete plates were installed, there's no jute under the carpet, and the seats have aluminum frames custom-made by Rhodes Custom Auto in Townsend, Delaware. Lane didn't mention it, but most F.A.S.T. racers remove as many seat springs as possible from the back and passenger seat, or remove the springs outright and replace them with foam. Nobody rides shotgun in a F.A.S.T. car.
The trunk is the only place "the look" is waived: a fuel cell, the battery, vacuum pump for the engine, and a few hundred pounds of traction-aiding ballast are tucked under the decklid.
Sneaky weight savings doesn't put a boat deep into the 10s, though-fanatic attention to suspension set up is essential. Calvert drag shocks, soft original front coils and reamed bushings allow quick suspension travel. The rear springs are Calvert mono-leaves with rubber strips epoxied to them to simulate individual leaves-remember, "factory appearing." Looking closely, one can see that the main leaf is there, but the other "leaves" are actually rubber strips epoxied in place.
The mono-leaf is lighter and controls the rear axle better than the stock spring pack. It looks stock, so it's legal. Traction bars are not allowed. Solid aluminum replaces the spring bushings, and there are no other traction aides as per the rules. The 9-inch rear is fitted with 4.11 gears, a lightweight spool, Yukon 31-spline axles, and a Strange aluminum carrier with aluminum pinion support that has been doctored to look OE.
A deviation from OE is the Aerospace disc brakes at all corners for safety. Factory 15x7 Magnum 500s are skinned with Goodyear Polyglass G60-15s, and Lane detailed the fronts by shaving the tread block on a vintage tire shaving machine, changing the profile to something closer to a Goodyear Front Runner, removing several pounds from the car and reducing rolling resistance with the smaller contact patch.
But still, there's no replacement for displacement. An original 429 block and SCJ heads are the foundation, but "factory" ends there. Tony Bischoff of BES Racing Engines in Guilford, Indiana, prepped the block with splayed caps before punching it 0.090 over to a 4.45-inch bore, and filling it with a Crower ultra-lightweight 4.75-inch stroke crank for 590 cubes. GRP aluminum pro-stock rods swing custom Ross 14.5:1 pistons, and the cam has "over 0.900-inch lift" according to the tech sheet, but that's the only info he'd give. Of note is the rule dictating the cam can't have a real choppy idle-it doesn't sound absolutely stock, but it's not far off at idle. Jesel lifters, titanium valves, and other super-stock tricks are found inside.
The SCJ heads were ported, welded, and epoxied by BES, and the iron intake was also reworked before being topped with a 735-cfm Holley that has been opened to flow 1,049 cfm. To improve flow, the venturi boosters were removed from the Holley carb-the big-inch engine moves enough atmosphere that the barrels themselves act as the venturi, pulling fuel through the tubes. To save even more weight, a Dove aluminum water pump and housing are used. The fluid was also removed from the fan's clutch to reduce drag-the fan will spin just by blowing hard through the radiator.
The factory exhaust manifolds were media ported by Extrude Hone and then sent to Gessler Head Porting in Blairstown, New Jersey, for porting and welding to make the most of the 2.5-inch factory-style exhaust system fabricated by Rhodes. A hidden MSD Digital 7 box and fiberglass repro air cleaner assembly round out the engine, which is good for a dyno-proven 825 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque. Backing it is a C-4 trans Lane built at his AAamco Transmissions franchise in Bear, Delaware. A 9-inch 4,500-rpm stall converter and aluminum driveshaft finish the package.
At press time, the car was so fresh it only had about 15 passes, but had already gone 10.34 at 135.2 mph. "There's more here," Lane told us. "I'm still tuning the engine and chassis, working the bugs out," he said, adding, "I still have 100 pounds to take out of the car, too. It'll get 'faster.'"
That's hard to imagine just looking at it. For more information on the Factory Appear-ing Stock Tire drags, visit the website at www.fastraces.org.