102 | D r a g
I l l u s t r a t e d | DragIllustrated.com
PHOTO: JAMES SISK
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
“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-