Budget Super Stocker
was nearly impossible, but all hands were on deck to complete the Budget
Super Stock S-10 for the IHRA World Nationals at Norwalk Raceway Park.
After four solid days of work and nearly 200 man-hours, the truck was in
full running order and en route to NRP.
prior to the IHRA World Nationals, the Budget Super Stocker was still a
rolling chassis. There was no ignition system, wiring, engine,
transmission, cooling system or driveshaft for the application. But why
would that stop a crazed group of racecar enthusiasts?
Davis Racecars in Madison, Ohio rose to the occasion and
provided Team Duck Tape with crucial time in their shop. Shop owner Jason
Davis wired the truck while other friends and employees installed the
On hand during the final week of work was Mike Brown and the
crew from Crusin’ Cool Custom Paints. Mike and Bob delivered the hood to
the truck as well as the tailgate. Then, the entire vehicle was wet sanded
and buffed as a flurry of hands worked to finish details like the grill,
lights and lenses.
Mike from Hupertz Racing Engines in Ohio completed the
350-inch small block and headed to the dyno for the initial tests. Mike
spent three days on the dyno getting the timing, fuel and performance of
steel headed motor correct. With a truly limited budget, Hupertz was able
to make 506 horsepower and 430 foot pounds of torque out of a combination
that originally created only 255 horse from the factory.
Wednesday night, the motor was delivered to Davis Racecars.
It was actually still warm from being put through its paces on the dyno
only an hour earlier. Team Duck Tape and the crew from Davis’s shop
installed the engine, converter and transmission that night.
Thursday morning was the first qualifying pass at Norwalk
Raceway Park. But our little project was still 15 hours away from
completion. Jason called in a favor to the Cleveland based driveshaft
manufacturer and had a new driveshaft ready by 2 PM. Rich Zapp made the
drive to downtown Cleveland and returned with the final part to get the
At midnight on Thursday, the S-10 made its way out of the
Davis Racecar shop on its own power. Zapp made one quick test run down the
local industrial parkway and then headed the truck into the trailer. It
was 1:00 AM when the guys headed to NRP for the one and only qualifying
pass the truck would receive.
Friday morning arrived, allowing Zapp and crew only 3 hours
of sleep. Nonetheless, the team headed to the scales to get an official
weight. The little S-10 tipped the markers at 3,240 pounds. All was well,
as the class calls for a minimum weight of 3,215!
After making it through tech, Zapp
took the brand new truck to the starting line. The burnout was just fine
and all the gauges read alright, so the truck made its debut run during
the largest IHRA national event on the tour. All though everything went
well, the actual ET was much less than anticipated. Zapp clocked only an
11.94 at 114 mph. The class index being 11.15, things did not look good.
Zapp and the crew reviewed the data and the top end RPM of
the pass. The determination was that the converter was too tight and the
rear gear was not steep enough. The rest of the afternoon was spent
locating parts and swapping the truck over to a 5:86 gear. Kirk Vanni was
kind enough to loan Zapp and Beard an ATI Super Stock converter.
Zapp, with the help of Ron Traupman, Kirk Vanni, Aaron
Allison and others from their Super Stock pit area jumped in and helped
pull the transmission. A second group of volunteers pulled the gear from
the rear housing. Within a few hours, the truck was completely
disassembled and new parts were going into the truck.
While 7 or 8 men were working underneath the truck, Michael
Beard of Staging Light Graphics was busy lettering the newly painted body.
Hupertz Engineering, Holley, Abruzzi Racing Transmissions, Davis Racecars
and Cruisin’ Cool logos were all adhered to the truck before first round
As Saturday morning arrived, anticipation of a much quicker
pass was in the air. Zapp dialed the class index of 11.15 and tore down
the NRP quarter mile. Although the new gear helped greatly by picking up
the sixty-foot by over one-tenth, the top ended result was only an 11.75
on an 11.15 dial. A blistering red light had actually ended Zapp’s hopes
anyway, but this was only the second pass in the truck.
Following a long week of work, favors, help and countless
volunteers, the Super Stock S-10 Buildup Truck had made its debut at
Norwalk Raceway Park.
“We would like to thank Jason Davis at Davis Racecars, Mike
at Hupertz Engineering, Phil Vickous at the Holley family, the entire Zapp
Racing crew, Kirk Vanni, Ron Troutman, Aaron Allison, DJ Raiser and the
rest of the Super Stock fan club for all of their work helping us compete
at Norwalk. Thank you also to Tim Cole at Comp Cams, Randy and the team at
Harland Sharp and each of the product contributors that made this vehicle
possible,” said Zapp.
Despite a disappointing set of performance results, a
monumental task was undertaken and accomplished by simply making an
appearance at Norwalk. Now the tricky part of testing and improving the
combination is underway. Look for the next installment of the story to
include shock and spring changes, torque converter swap number three and
more scribbling on the proverbial drawing board!
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