Drag Illustrated Issue 109, May 2016 | Page 38

Dirt A Cavalier Return Legendary drag radial racer David Wolfe surfaces at latest big money shootouts By Ainsley Jacobs 38 | D r a g I l l u s t r a t e d | DragIllustrated.com around 2012. “I race for a few years, and then I disappear and go back to work. It’s a cycle. I wish it wasn’t, but to do it full time takes so much time and money. When I’m not at the shop, I’m not making money.” Founded in 1991, Wolfe Race Craft began as a chassis fabrication shop but has morphed into a parts manufacturer. “We have a bunch of CNC machines now, and we do our own parts as well as private label parts. We still do racecar stuff, but not on the scale of our machine shop stuff,” explained Wolfe of his current business model. “You have to remake yourself about every four or five years. In the racecar world, there’s always somebody who’s hot and somebody who’s not.” Wolfe’s desire to race wouldn’t go away, and in late 2014, he picked up an ’05 Chevy Cavalier. Wolfe obtained the ex-IHRA Pro Stock car from a guy in Houston, Texas. What was one man’s trash (or, in this case, forgotten project) became Wolfe’s new treasure. Over time, Wolfe gathered up parts and got the Cavalier running. A 523 cubic inch big block from Hans Feustel Racing Engines was installed along with a set of twin Precision turbochargers, sized to meet whatever racing sanctioning body’s rules he needs to comply with. The Turbo 400 lock up on board came direct from Mark Micke’s M&M Transmission, while Billet Atomizer injectors fuel the Cavalier’s new methanol-sipping, radial tire life. Lastly, Clark Brothers Paint & Body in Arlington, Texas, sprayed a coat of Wolfe’s familiar yellow color. “We do most of the work in-house, because I don’t like asking people for things,” laughed Wolfe. Issue 109 PHOTOS: JT HUDSON, ANDREW WOLF A sk any serious radial tire racer, and they’ll confirm that David Wolfe was one of the best in the game. Wolfe, who spent a significant amount of his time behind the wheel winning races and setting records, has taken a hiatus from the small tire world as of late, but found he just couldn’t stay away. Hailing from the great state of Texas, Wolfe is often considered to be a “silent giant”. Over the years, he became the man renowned for having the ability to make any car go fast. His twin-turbo Fox body ’89 Mustang LX, though, was perhaps his most well-known partner and was an outlaw drag radial mainstay during the late 2000s and early 2010s. “The radial thing wasn’t anything like it is now,” Wolfe reminisced. “We started out on 10.5 tires and went to a lot of local races, and traveled to some of the other small tire events. Then Donald [Long] started his radial deal, and it went nuts.” World record this, low ET that – Wolfe’s name made headlines wherever he went, and he was even featured on the cover of Issue No. 42 of Drag Illustrated in August 2010. Eventually, Wolfe had to make the tough decision to curtail his racing endeavors in favor of focusing on his business, Wolfe Race Craft. “I ne eded to focus on the shop. Racing is fun, but it doesn’t pay the bills,” he noted of his most recent change of pace, which happened