Mark Micke has always been a threat in the radial racing universe behind the wheel of Jason Carter’s 1978 Chevy Malibu, but something changed late in 2017. The team found some hidden horsepower and new ways to apply it and that led to lower elapsed times, big speeds, and a highly lucrative win at the Sweet 16. Now, Micke and Carter have the Outlaw Street Car Reunion V in their sights as the next event they want to visit the winner’s circle at.
Being among the first racers to dip into the 3.60s on a radial tire, and then ultimately resetting the record didn’t happen overnight for Carter and Micke. After looking at all areas of their program they were able to come up with a plan that would help make their G-body a real beast. When things finally came together, the team turned a pivotal corner and experienced exponential performance growth.
“We started working with Bill Miller at Bill Miller Engineering on the engines that Chris Nelson puts together for us. Bill really opened my eyes to some things in the engine that we were totally missing and introduced some new technology that we were able to take advantage of. That made a huge difference in horsepower for us and allowed the discovery of new data,” Micke says.
Finding horsepower is great, but maximizing that power isn’t nearly as easy. The team stumbled onto some new ways to advance both their transmission and torque converter technology that would help the Nelson Competition mill flourish. Between the new lock-up torque converter innovations and transmission discoveries that were made, all the pieces of the puzzle were finally in place.
With what the team learned late last season and early this year, they were able to take the opportunity the Sweet 16 provided and gather crucial data to see what the changes they made were capable of.
“We learned something on every one of those 3.60 passes and it gave us data we never knew was out there. Having a track that was that good every round and the weather conditions really helped to get reliable data. Now we can see how to create a pass like the 3.62 if the conditions are there, but also run solid numbers when the air or track go away,” Micke explains.
Supporting the Outlaw Street Car Reunion series of races has always been something that Micke enjoys. Promoter Tyler Crossnoe provides the teams with the opportunity to have a great time racing on a surface that’s always on kill.
“The level of organization that you see from the second you roll into the gate to how the race is put on is top-notch. The program is always moving and the track prep is never in question. Having that kind of prep across the board gives you extra confidence as a racer and makes for an enjoyable event,” Micke says.
With the move to a facility like Beech Bend Raceway Park, all of the Radial vs The World competitors will be able to run as hard as they can. There won’t be any easy round wins when the Outlaw Street Car Reunion begins so Micke and his team have a solid game plan in place.
“To win at this event you’re going to have to be consistent from the very start. There might be a situation during qualifying where you see a home run derby with the elapsed times, but overall it will take a car that can get down the track every pass. If you can run between a 3.69 and 3.75 you’re going to be in the hunt at the race, plus you will need a little luck and keep the car running,” Micke explains.
Micke and the rest of the biggest names in Radial vs The World will be locking horns at the Outlaw Street Car Reunion V April 18-22 at Beech Bend Raceway. Every round of racing will be shown live RIGHT HERE on SpeedVideo thanks to presenting sponsor COMP Cams along with Strange Engineering, Driven Racing Oil, ProCharger, Royal Purple, Nitrous Express, Moser Engineering, Race Star Industries, Speedway Motors, Doorslammers.com, Miller Electric Welders, Competition Products, Flying A Motorsports, and Neal Chance Racing Converters.