There are many people who have dubbed Radial vs the World, the top tier of small tire racing “Radial vs the Wallet” due to the ever-increasing cost to compete with the heavy hitters in radial racing’s penultimate class. With competitors building purpose-built tube chassis pro mod-style cars for the class and running the most insane engine combinations you can imagine to stay up front, with some of these combinations running well into the $200,000 range and beyond.
Imagine everybody’s surprise, then, when an unassuming – but universally well-liked – racer from rural Kentucky showed up at No Mercy 8 with his Mustang that looks very much like the one your dad dropped you off at school in 30 years ago and locked down the #1 qualifying spot. Marty Stinnett, owner of Stinnett Truck Repair and Towing, rolled into South Georgia Motorsports park with what looked to be a knife brought to a missile fight, and proceeded to shock the entire radial world.
His Mustang is powered by a traditional small block Chevy, a combo that uses mostly parts you can call Jegs or Summit and order off the shelf. The heads aren’t even canted valve design, and the displacement is only 470 inches. That has Marty giving up over 100 cubic inches to most of the other turbocharged cars and his engine is less than half the displacement of most of the nitrous engines in the class. So imagine everybody’s surprise when he ripped off a string of 3.70 passes, including the quickest of the weekend, a 3.75 at 196 MPH.
I can tell you that yes, some of the boosted big block cars will run more than 15 MPH faster through the 1/8th, but they will be playing catch up because Marty’s car hits the tire and leaves harder than any other turbocharged radial car I’ve ever seen.
This is what is possible when you have guys like Jeff Burns of Jeff Burns Racing Engines and Wade Hopkins from Southern Speed Racing helping you out and you attack the class with a well-thought out plan and a ton of experience and drive! Congrats to Marty and his team for the stunning performance. I don’t want to put too much pressure on the guys, but I can’t help but wonder if this might be the first radial car to dip into the 3.60’s next season? Thanks, as always, to Hans at Free Life Films for his excellent footage!