Drag Illustrated Issue 109, May 2016 | Page 102

I up 102 | D r a g I l l u s t r a t e d | DragIllustrated.com Issue 109 PHOTO: JAMES SISK doubling barry mitchell’s legendary weekend in georgia by ainsley jacobs t’s tough enough to win once at Donald “Duck” Long’s prestigious Lights Out drag radial events at South Georgia Motorsports Park, but in February of 2016, wheelman Barry Mitchell did the unthinkable – he clinched victories in two different classes. Residing in Hamptonville, North Carolina, Mitchell is no newcomer when it comes to small tire racing. He had recently had a new Fox body Mustang built by the amazing team at Racecraft Inc., but got word that Kyle Huettel and the Texas-based BAD9ER Racing crew were building a new car and, as a result, were looking to sell their legendary fourth-generation Camaro. With his interest piqued, Mitchell did the math and decided to go for it. “We knew we would be pushing the limits with our stock-style suspension car, and Kyle’s was available, so we worked it out,” explained Mitchell, who took delivery of his new ride in mid-December of 2015. In addition the new car, Mitchell had a lot going on in his life at the time – including moving into a new home – and knew it’d be tough to have the Camaro finished in time for the Lights Out 7 race in Valdosta, Georgia, come mid-February. “It was only a rolling chassis when I got it. I had to put in a motor, a transmission, and do a lot to get it finished enough to be competitive,” Mitchell said, adding how surprised he had been when everything came together quickly enough for him to make the race. Mitchell was able to make the most of the truncated timetable by reusing the same Mark Micke-built transmission he had been using for years prior. “Gene Fulton at Fulton Competition in South Carolina has always done our motors,” noted Mitchell, “and he had a special, 800ci one-off piece that he wanted us to work with.” True to form, Mitchell added a nitrous oxide system from Fulton as his power adder of choice. With the crucial motor and transmission program worked out, it was just a matter of wiring up and bolting on the other miscellaneous items, including the Speedwire system and suspension components from Racecraft and Menscer Motorsports. Given how similar the new Mickey Thompson tire-equipped Camaro’s setup was to his old Mustang’s, Mitchell and crew simply plugged in the tune based off the notes they had from previous sessions, and away they went. While testing at Orlando Speed World in Florida the weekend prior to the SGMP event, the Camaro produced some very promising results. “We ran a 4.27, a 4.25, and a 4.24 on the fifth pass,” Mitchell shared of the car’s eighth-mile elapsed times. With his sixty-foot times in the 1.08 to 1.10-second range, Mitchell felt confident about his odds of hanging with the front-runners in South Georgia. After he finished up testing that Sunday, Mitchell flew back to Charlotte, North Carolina, to attend a business meeting for his career as Presi-