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ShopTruck and the Daily Grind

September 12, 2018

Gonna talk about myself some more here. It's my blog. I can do that, right? Last night, I got to make my first appearance on the show as a racer. I've been around this deal since before most of you all even knew we were dumb and actually did this street racing stuff for real. Some of my old YouTube videos date clear back to 2009 I believe (DozerDan11). I was there when we filmed the pilot episode back in September 2012 and there's very few passes either of the guys have made over the span since then, that I haven't been there when they let go of the button. I don't care about being on tv. If you see me in a scene, I was asked to be there, or I'm doing a job (standing around not doing anything) and the cameras caught me. I'm not a camera chaser. I have a face made for a radio show and the voice to be able to be the producer of said show lol. However, I've always wondered what it would be like to race on the same surface that these guys do on tv. I've raced on most of the local spots around here off camera over the years, but theres always been a certain allure to making a pass down this particular road under the lights, being pulled up to the line with the camera jib floating over my hood, go pro's suction cupped to the side of my truck, waiting for the flagger to walk back and turn around and "bang that light". 

 

There had been rumblings about another daily driver race being put on and that it was going to be huge. I didn't necessarily care about how big the race was suppose to be ($25,000 would have been nice) but it was a race with dailies, and thats my M.O. I'll promise you all that no one that raced last night has a daily type vehicle that they race, that puts more miles on their ride than I do. I love my truck. I love driving it. Sometimes I drive it 3-4 days a week 90 miles a day back and forth to work. While I hadn't been invited, I'd heard the race was going to be at least 32 drivers, which meant they were going to have to invite more than the regular cast members. So I began getting ShopTruck ready, just in case.

 

I get asked a lot about what's done to ShopTruck. It's a pretty simple build that's been together since 2013. The engine is a combination of parts that I always wanted to build but didn't have the money for but Shawn did so I got to live vicariously through him lol. How did I end up with ShopTruck? Some of you may remember the truck I bought last year (ChiChi) that burned to the ground in December. The truck was kind of a pile but was pretty special to me for whatever reason, and I'd made it pretty nice in the short time I had it. After it was gone, I began looking for a replacement almost immediately. These trucks are getting harder and harder to find in decent shape, with a v8, and for a decent price. I looked for about a month and didn't really find anything that I really wanted. Then, one night while assembling the top end for the DimePiece motor, it hit me. I knew the only truck that could replace ChiChi, was ShopTruck. A weird series of events took place over the next 24 hours and ShopTruck became mine. It was in rough shape when we picked it up. It didn't run, the Bogart Racing Wheels were gone and it was on some 17" steel stockers. Shawn and I, with the help from some neighborhood locals pushed it on the trailer and took it back to Shawn's shop to diagnose. It was pretty sad once we dove in, but with a few hours worth of work and couple trips to the car wash to wash parts, we were able to fire it up and drive it around. The next day I began making it my own. Monkey and I robbed the rear end out of ChiChi since it had a good Yukon posi, gears, and axles and the parts to flip the axle to help get the rear of the truck lower. I added a few visual touches, called our friends at Nitrous Express to get me a nitrous kit, sent it to the local detail shop and then it was ready to roll.

 

ShopTruck setup before the week of the daily driver race

11.5:1 408c.i. (6.0 block)

91 octane

Forged pistons, rods, and crank

L92 heads with light CNC work from SDPC

1 3/4" headers

Dual 3" crush bend exhaust

Edelbrock victor 4150 intake with elbow

92mm eBay throttle body

NX 4150 single entry crossbar plate with Max5 nitrous controller

100shot (.053n .028f)

Stock 100k mile 4L80 trans with Protorque converter

DTR Fab 4l80 conversion crossmember

Factory 10 bolt rear end with girdle cover

Yukon axles, posi, and 4.11 gears

Calvert Racing Cal-tracs

Bogart Racing wheels 17x4.75 and 15x10 Eliminator wheels (off ChiChi)

Mickey Thompson 28x6-17 fronts and Mickey Thompson 275/60-15 drag radials

Leather seats

Denali gauge cluster (for trans temp gauge)

Full custom stereo system from Kicker including two 10" subs behind the passenger seat

4550# with me and a half tank of fuel in it ready to go down the track

It made 480rwhp naturally aspirated on 91 octane with my limited tuning abilities and ran 10.90's on a 100shot

 

I drove it just like that for awhile. I wanted to keep it on 91 octane because I drive the truck so much and e85 isn't very readily available around my house. When I started getting ready for the daily driver race, I gave NX a call to get one of their stand alone fuel cells for nitrous enrichment. I knew with the caliber of cars everyone was bound to bring, the 100 shot just wasn't going to cut it. And I wasn't comfortable running any more than that with 91 octane. So, I planned to run some 110 or c16 in the 1 gallon fuel cell to enrich the nitrous while still being able to run 91 octane for just the motor. But then the rules came out and any fuel cell of any kind was not allowed. So, I made the decision to swap the truck over to e85. But, as many of you know, and for those of you who don't, it's not just as easy as filling up with e85 on this truck. It was already exceeding the limits of the current fuel injectors running on just pump gas. Luckily, I had a new Deatschwerks 400 fuel pump and 95# injectors left over from my last truck along with the lines and fittings to totally redo the fuel system. So I went to work and finished that project in a day. Over the previous few months that I'd owned the truck up to this point, I had been collecting other parts to help get the truck where I want it. That included a 9" rear end from Quick Performance, 1 7/8" headers and stainless 3" bends from Stainless Works to build a new exhaust, Nick Williams 92mm throttle body, and a 4L80e with transbrake from Rossler. What better time than now to blow the tuck apart, right? So we did it. My good buddy Tyler Scruggs came over one day and got the Quick Performance 9" in. Then the next day, I swapped headers while Monkey built me a badass exhaust system with the material from Stainless Works. the Rossler didn't actually make it in the truck for the race because there was talk about no transbrakes being allowed and I didn't want to take a chance on being accused of cheating...in a race I wasn't even invited to yet lol. Yes, I changed all this stuff on my daily driver, to race in a daily driver race, that I wasn't yet invited to lol. We had everything done to the truck and I had it tuned to where it could at least drive, kinda idle, and made good power up top by Thursday. All I had left to do was throw a way bigger nitrous jet in it, and I'd be ready.

 

ShopTruck setup for the Daily Grind

11.5:1 408c.i. (6.0 block)

e85

Deatschwerks 400 fuel pump in factory bucket, Deatschwerks fuel pressure regulator, Deatschwerks 95# injectors, -8 feed and return

Forged pistons, rods, and crank

L92 heads with light CNC work from SDPC

1 7/8" headers

Dual 3" Stainless Works exhaust

Edelbrock victor 4150 intake with elbow

92mm Nick Williams throttle body

NX 4150 single entry crossbar plate with Max5 nitrous controller

250 shot

Stock 100k mile 4L80 trans with Protorque converter

DTR Fab 4l80 conversion crossmember

Quick Performance 9" with 4.30 gears and a spool in an aluminum center section

Calvert Racing Cal-tracs

Bogart Racing wheels 17x4.75 and 15x10 Eliminator wheels (off ChiChi)

Mickey Thompson 28x6-17 fronts and Mickey Thompson 275/60-15 drag radials

Leather seats

Denali gauge cluster (for trans temp gauge)

Full custom stereo system from Kicker including two 10" subs behind the passenger seat

4550# with me and a half tank of fuel in it ready to go down the track

 

While I exchanged a few texts with the powers that be over the course of the week or so, I still never really officially got invited to race. I was told Thursday evening though, where to meet up Friday afternoon and if I was there, they'd see what they could do to get me in the race. So, I showed up at Doc's shop, parked in the line up like I belonged, and they tech'd me in lol. At that point, I got to do my first OTF interview in which I told who I was, what I do, and info about my truck. All that sounds easy enough, right? I've watched Chief and Shawn do it 1,000 times. I've seen the other guys do it on tv every episode. I've laughed at people that suck at it. I even watched some of the other guys THAT NIGHT do their interviews so I could prepare myself for what questions they might ask. Like, how hard can this possibly be to tell 2,000,000 people who you are? Well, turns out, its rather difficult lol. I'm glad my introduction didn't make the cut lol.

 

From there, I headed back to Midwest Streetcars where the guys were in the middle of dyno tuning Shawn's TBSS. Once we finished it up around midnight or so, we decided to go get a little testing in on the street to see how the vehicles were going to act since both were either basically all new setups, or mostly new. The road we were testing on has a starting line that closely resembles where race night takes place, so it didn't take long for some of the other guys to find us. Daddy Dave, Kye Kelly, Kamikaze, and Dominator all came rolling in in hopes to get a few passes off to get ready for the next night. While they all looked fast, Dominators borrowed Vette looked RIDICULOUSLY fast. We all said he was definitely going to be a contender at the race, unless he screws himself lol. I was having trouble getting the truck to hook on the hit so the guys said I probably needed new tires since there's no telling how many miles I'd put on my current treads. Unfortunately is around 3am by now so all I could do was make a facebook post and hope I woke up to someone saying they had a new set I could buy. Luckily the people over at Central Speed Supply had just what I was looking for and were willing to meet me on a Saturday morning to make sure I was ready to race that night.

 

RACE DAY! Once I had the new tires on ShopTruck, I made the drive across town to the meeting spot where everyone was to fuel up and begin the cruise, as per the rules we were all given. They had each of us pull up to the pump so FarmTruck and Azn could personally fill up our vehicles with the allowed fuel of our choice (e85 or 93 octane). After we were finished filling up, FarmTruck handed every person that was there a piece of paper with detailed instructions on the route you were to take to the race spot and instructed that if you varied from that route, didn't make the checkpoint, or didn't arrive to the spot in a specified time, you would be disqualified. Easy enough instructions. Now, time to "cruise". 100 miles. Part of the way through the middle of OKC. In a group of 40+ high performance cars with drivers behind the wheel that just can't act right. IT WAS A BLAST! There was some stuff that happened along the way that was epic, but for whatever reason didn't make TV. I was actually one of the last 5 vehicles to leave but one of the first 5 to show up to the spot. Couldn't take a chance on being late lol.

 

I got to stand in on my first drivers meeting, as a driver, with some of the biggest names in street racing and some no prep guys. And who do I draw? Of course I drew one of the fastest cars there. Dominator. When it was our turn, I made my way to the line through the crowd of people standing there to watch the racing where Monkey was waiting to guide me into groove.

Stop

Wait for Jake to pour the Pimp Juice

Pull forward until Monkey directs me stop

Wait for thumbs up

Mash brake pedal

Mash gas pedal

Enjoy 7500rpm of 400" LS bliss as it shifts from first to second to the third gear in the burnout

Roll the burnout out and wait for Monkey to drop his arm signaling me dump out of the gas pedal

Let truck roll to a stop on its own

Back up watching Daddy Dave's hand motion keep me in my tracks

Stop behind the starting line

Put in neutral

Nitrous bottle on

Arm nitrous system

Purge nitrous until white gas comes from exit line

Rev truck to 3000ish rpm

Mash BANG! button 4-5 times just because its the coolest thing to do with nitrous

Put in drive and wait for FarmTruck to pull me to the line

Alright, I'm going in first

Bring rpm's up to around 2000 rpm

Gently roll forward and stop on FarmTruck's signal

Watch FarmTruck pull Dom to the line and motion for him to stop

Watch FarmTruck turn to walk back(and Dom roll forward lol)

Green light!

Mash gas!

Pedal

Mash gas again and hang on!

Luckily for me, unfortunately but not surprising for him (lol sorry Dom), he had issues with the transbrake holding and I got to advance to the next round. For $25,000, I'll take it any way I can get it. That's where my luck would stop though, as I drew Kamikaze and the 1,500hp monster he was driving to be the first pair down in the second round. I didn't have any choice but to try and leave on every bit of power I had which resulted in too much tire spin on the hit to recover from.

 

I'd done it. I made my truck fit the rules, I made the 100 mile cruise with cars that had 8 and 10 speed transmissions that allowed them to not turn the 4000 rpm's that I had to to keep up, I was allowed to race, I had a great time, and then I drove it 2 hours back home. Exactly what this truck is meant for. I've done a little more to the truck since then. I've race it quite a bit, driven it quite a bit, and still have a few things I want to do to it and a number I want to run at the track before I make some changes to it over the winter. I'll touch on all of that in a later post.

 

Well, as usual, if you managed to stick with me 'til the end, I appreciate it! I know it can be tough at times lol. 

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