1st 6 Second LS Drag Radial
6.99@209 on Radials!
At the 2012 LSX Shootout in Indianapolis IN, we went 6.99@209 making us the first ever LS Powered car to go 6's on Drag Radials!
Spotlight on LSX Drag Radial Driver Mark Carlyle in April Issue of Fastest Street Car
By Mary Lendzion
Because he was too heavy on the throttle when behind the wheel of his ‘89 Camaro RS, Mark Carlyle lost his driver’s license when he was nineteen, prompting his insurance agent to tell him he would be better off behind the wheel of a golfcart.
Eventually, he bought a ’92 Camaro RS, ’99 Trans Am, ’67 Camaro and then a ’68 Firebird, and after shaking things up on the street and at the strip, he took time off to start a debt relief business with his friend, Jason Fetter, and sold his cars. He couldn’t stay away from power and speed too long, though, and bought an ’06 Corvette followed by the ’07 Corvette C6 Z06 he currently has. First with an LS7 engine and then with other engines and Garrett turbos, the car ran 11.34 to 7.75, but for the 2012 season, he switched to a Kurt Urban Performance 440 cubic-inch Dart billet block LS engine and twin 88 mm Garrett turbos, and brought in tuners Patrick Barnhill and Jason Lee of PTP Racing to work with him and his skilled crew. Before long, his IPS Motorsports-designed and built independent rear-suspension car was running faster with each pass, and by season’s end, he had laid down a 1.16 in the sixty-foot and a 6.82 at 223 mph in the quarter-mile, shattering records along the way.
“Mark’s done a great job driving his car,” said Barnhill. “We’re very proud to be a part of his racing team and we look forward to going 6.70s and maybe some 6.60s this year.”
Read on for more about Carlyle, who lives in Ohio with his wife Karrie, and children, Kaylea and Hayden. In JE Pistons LSX Drag Radial, he finished second in 2011 and fifth in 2012 and is quite at home in the winner’s circle.
When you had your new engine built, what made you move from an iron block to a billet block?
We had been running an iron block forever and wanted to lighten things up. We knew we were going to try to make even more horsepower and when I talked to Kurt Urban, who designed the billet block setup, I asked how I could make the most horsepower, and he said I would have the most horsepower and reliability with the billet block, and we could raise cam location and customize it.
What, in addition to your engine and turbos, makes up your combination?
I have a Callies crank, Wiseco pistons, aluminum rods, All Pro heads, cast-intake, elbow and 106 mm throttle-body; Dailey Engineering dry-sump oiling system and TiAL stainless housing blowoff valve and wastegate. The turbo kit was designed and built by IPS Motorsports, and Driveshaft Shop designed the axles and driveshaft for me because we’re trying to make a lot power on this independent rear-suspension. I have a RPM Transmissions’ Turbo 400 and a Big Stuff 3 computer and Race Pak components.
What keeps you committed to independent rear suspension?
When I started racing the car, it wasn’t a limiting factor. I wasn’t going fast enough for it to matter. After I started getting fast, people said I needed to “upgrade” to a solid axle because the IRS would never hold. That sounded like a challenge to me, so I figured we would just see when it became a limiting factor and figured we would change it then. In 2012, after we had accomplished so much, I actually had some of the same people who told me it was a limiting factor tell me it was now an advantage. I think the IRS makes my car unique and I’m going to keep pushing with it.
What makes it stand up to the abuse of your 1.16 sixty-foots?
Frank from the Driveshaft Shop and Rodney from RPM Transmissions pretty much keep all that stuff under control. The parts Frank builds are strong. We have had great success with them holding up under way more power than we ever thought was possible, and Rodney has helped us spec out everything from the trans back from day one. At the end of every season, I take out the transmission, rear and axles and send them back to those guys for checkups. So far, they haven’t really needed much and I’d say that’s a testament to the quality craftsmanship these guys put out.
Every time I turn around, you’ve set another record in your full-frame car.
Our first accomplishment was being the first C6 to run in the nines, and for years, we were the fastest C6 ZO6 in the world. The next record was for fastest IRS Corvette, which we took from Keith Berry three years ago with an 8.15. Then, in 2012, at NMCA Maryland, I ran Super Street and made it to the second round, and then we took the fastest MPH of any IRS car when we went 7.22 at 209 mph while testing in Ohio. Then we got the ET record with a 7.09 at the Lingenfelter Performance Nationals in September in Ohio, where I won in the Outlaw Drag Radial and Super Car Shootout classes. Soon after, Sal Patel with the Viper took it with a 6.96 and then we went 6.99. Also in September, at the Holley LS Fest in Kentucky, I qualified number one with a 7.61 at 203 in Outlaw Drag Radial, went 7.47 26 206 in the first round and went to the semifinal. At the NMCA race in Indiana in October, I made it to the LSX Drag Radial final, where I lost on a holeshot, but the 6.99 at 209 I ran in the semifinal made us the first drag radial LS car ever to run in the sixes. We still hold the drag radial record for the NMCA LSX series. Then, at the World Cup Finals at MIR, I ran in the Radial versus Modified class, and in my test hit, I beat Sal Patel’s record with a 6.89 at 221 mph. We went 6.82 at 223 in eliminations and got runner-up. At that point, we captured a lot of records.
You’ve said your program improved when Barnhill and Lee began tuning for you.
We advanced further in one year with their help than we had in the previous four years without their help. They’ve been a big part of our success. They’ve taught me how to deal with the car when it wheelies and when it spins, and when to give up on a run or keep it going. You can’t find two better guys who have raced more or won more races than them.
What are you most proud of?
Being the fastest IRS car in the world gets us noticed, but our biggest accomplishment is being the quickest and fastest small-block car in the world on stock suspension. That’s for GM, Ford and Chrysler engines. My goals now are to work more with the 275 and be the first six-second 275 car.
Who helps along the way?
My crew includes Tom Willing, Jarrod Grabiel, Brandon Wright, Patrick Barnhill, Bob Williams, Mike Niehaus and Tomi Laine. They’re always willing to go the extra mile to make sure we’re ready for the next round. I wouldn’t want to even try to race without them. I also I receive help from IPS Motorsports, Garrett, RPM Transmissions, Driveshaft Shop, All Pro Heads, PTP Racing, Callies, Dailey Engineering, TiAL, Big Stuff 3, Race Pak, Wiseco, ATI and Coughlin Automotive.
You’ve expressed interest in the 2014 Corvette C7. It’s a looker, but so is your car, which attracted a lot of attention in the Garrett booth at PRI.
I would love to have a new C7, but for 2013, I will run the same car. It has made my racing career, and I owe a lot of that to the people who’ve helped.
This spotlight can be found in the April issue of Fastest Street Car.
For Immediate Release February 13, 2013
1-2 KNOCKOUT PUNCH – Kasper Racing… The Father/Son Team With The Muscle To Get It Done! Making their mark in the high-power fast paced world of Outlaw 10.5 Drag Racing is Tommy Kasper and his son TJ.
Back issues are available to read online at www.rpm-mag.com.
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Oh Baby!: The Most Incredible Runs Of The 2012 Season
The 2012 racing season had it all, from incredible triumph to gut-wrenching tragedy, and it also saw a barrage on the record books across the vast spectrum of the sport unlike any season in recent memory. With the closing of another year just days away, we take this opportunity to look back at the greatest performances of season, in no particular order, along with our pick for the single best run of the year.
The Experimental categories within the Super Stock division have always produced some of the most unique car/engine combinations in the sport, capable of some of the most impressive runs in the sport, and Indiana native Carey Bales displayed that fact with authority at the U.S. Nationals in his backyard in early September. Bales, driving a 2004 Honda S2000 in the SS/DX (D/Experimental) class, ripped off a 7.923, 174.39 mph lap during time trials at the “Big Go”, marking the quickest run in Super Stock history. Making Bales’ feat more impressive is the powerplant: an inline-four cylinder Honda F22 with only an 88mm Borg Warner turbocharger.
In August, European Top Fuel Motorcycle rider Peter Svensson fired the shot heard ’round the world when he clocked the quickest wheel-driven pass in the history of motorcycle drag racing at 5.709-seconds at what can only be assumed as a an early shutoff 220.89 mph. This pass had implications clear to the United States, as it unseated the heralded Larry “The Spiderman” McBride as the world-beater of the nitro bike class.
Just two years ago, Mary Carlyle’s Atomic Orange Corvette was a street-driven ride running in the mid- to high-eight second range. Fast forward a couple of seasons, and that very same car has pushed the boundaries of what once believe possible with an Independent Rear Suspension-equipped vehicle. After posting a couple of records earlier in the fall, Carlyle dropped a bomb on every other LSX and IRS car in the world in Maryland in November when he stormed to an unreal 6.829 at 223.28 mph from his twin turbo C6.
Following a turbocharger explosion and ensuing fire last fall, crowd favorite and many-time world record holder Tim Lynch was forced to sit out for much of the early half of the 2012 season while his fellow Outlaw 10.5 comrades chipped away at the record books. Upon his return, Lynch wasted little time reassuming his throne, carding a 4.02-second elapsed time at the Shakedown Nationals; the quickest eighth mile pass in Outlaw 10.5 history.
Prior to Carey Bales’ run at Indy, the quickest Super Stock run ever belonged to John Clegg, who had rolled to a 7.964 at 171.08 mph in his SS/AM (A/Modified) ’88 Chevy Camaro at the NHRA Division 4 opener in Houston back in March.
Image courtesy NHRA/National Dragster
Since the NHRA switched to the 1,000 foot race format for the Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars in 2008, fans of the sport have been hard to impress when it comes to the record books, due to their disdain for the shortened format and the inability to compare the numbers to anything they’d known prior. That has gradually begun to change, however, and its safe to say the drag racing world was collectively stunned when Antron Brown blasted to the quickest pass in Top Fuel history with his 3.701-second lap in the cool, fall air of Maple Grove Raceway in October.
At the NHRA Four Wide Nationals in April, Stock Eliminator racer Don Fezell made history when he recorded the first eight-second pass in the long and storied history of the class with his 2008 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet. Fezell lit the zMAX Dragway scoreboards up with an 8.954 at 153.88 mph on his 10.00 AA/S index. Fezell’s run came 11 years after Bobby DeArmond made the first nine-second run in Stock Eliminator history.
At the Street Car Super Nationals in Las Vegas in November, Jose Gonzalez traded blows with Don Walsh Jr. in pursuit of the all-time doorslammer record with his Proline-powered, twin turbo Camaro, ultimately clocking a 5.730 to put his name in the history books. Gonzalez’s run, impressive as it was, wasn’t quite uncharted territory, as Scott Cannon, the son of legend Scotty Cannon, had gone as quick as 5.738 back in 2008.
Bob Frey’s signature “Oh Baby!” is still reverberating around Los Angeles County after Jim Whiteley, the newly crowned Top Alcohol Dragster national champion, made the quickest and fastest pass ever recorded by a blown alcohol dragster at the Auto Club Finals in Pomona. Not only did he reset the all-time mark, but he lowered it three times over the course of the weekend.
The blown alcohol engine combination had been largely stalemated in performance gains over the last decade, leaving the ‘teens as unheard-of territory and seemingly unlikely at this point in time. So when Whiteley’s Norm Grimes-tuned YNOT Racing dragster reeled off a 5.178 at 277.43 mph in the semifinals at the Fairplex, it was an absolute jaw-dropper…one of those runs you have to check the scoreboards twice to make sure you read it right.
Carlyle’s Atomic Orange ‘Vette Resets All-Time IRS And LSX Records
It’s about this time each season that Ohio native Mark Carlyle’s name springs up in the news every few days as he and IPS Motorsports crew take advantage of the incredible fall weather conditions to chase records and make history with their twin turbocharged, late model Corvette.
Just two years ago, Caryle’s Corvette was still pulling street duty as a chauffeur vehicle to drop his kids off at school while it battled Keith Berry for the IRS record that stood in the low eights at the time. But my how things can change in just a couple of years.
On Friday we reported of the killer 6.91 — a career best — that Caryle dropped in testing prior to the World Cup Finals in Maryland, knowing all too well that it probably wasn’t the last time we’d report on the orange rocket and its exploits during the weekend. And we were right in those assumptions.
In the second session of qualifying Friday for the Radial vs. Modified category, Carlyle stormed to a 6.829-second lap at 223.28 mph, officially retaking the all-time IRS (independent rear suspension) record and lowering his own LSX world record. And he did it on 315 drag radials. The 6.82 bettered the record previously held by Sal Patel in his Dodge Viper, who was also on hand but couldn’t stop Carlyle and his record-breaking mission in Maryland.
Carlyle nearly parlayed his performance into a win on Sunday, running 6.89 in the first round and a pair of 6.87′s in the quarterfinals and semifinals, but breakage in the drive line slowed him to a losing 7.53 in the final round.