First on the list for the coupe was its ability to effectively apply big horsepower to the track. A SFI 25.2 spec cage was welded into place but the location of the main hoop and support bars was critical. Each time Noodles cut and welded a bar it was done with a specific strategy for rigidity and safety. Once the 'cage was locked in, the shop's attention turned to the rear suspension. NMRA Super Street Outlaw rules call for a ladder bar or stock-style rear suspension. Running stock suspension was out of the question, so a pair of custom-built ladder bars were secured to the custom Fab-9 housing and then attached to the chassis. A wishbone was utilized, a rarity in this type of application. "It is not as critical to the operation as many would believe. We have the wishbone on the green LX, our second SSO ride that is backed by Hellion. It runs well, so Noodles wanted to add a wishbone to this car too," comments the three-time champion.
The front suspension is straight forward, as NMRA rules don't allow for much else than stock replacement type components. A BBRC tubular front K-member and A-arms were bolted to the chassis in the stock location. John relies on adjustable Santuff struts to help control weight transfer on launch. The Santuff struts have special valves internally, designed for small-tire racing. His rear shocks are sourced from Afco and feature double adjustable rates. The driver sits in a Kirkey aluminum seat and the interior was kept sparse to save weight. The rear wheeltubs have been replaced with mini-tubs and sheetmetal replaces the trunk area. The interior is finished in a fireproof carpet. On the outside, a carbon fiber trunk, Racecraft wing, and carbon fiber nose and cowl hood are the only modifications. The smaller body, when compared to his '01 Mustang race car, provides an aerodynamic advantage. "I estimate we are gaining a few mph over our other race car thanks to being a much smaller body," comments John.
Underhood, a small-block Ford is the flavor, and his bullet produces nearly 2,000 hp. A Fontana aluminum 9.5-inch deck engine block has been bored and machined by Kuntz and Company. The savvy racer handles the engine building and he dropped in a 3.9-inch stroke Bryant crankshaft. Connecting the crank to the Arias pistons is the job of GRP aluminum rods. Compression ratio is pegged at 8.5:1 due to the 35 psi of boost generated by a ProCharger F3R supercharger. Final displacement comes to the party at 420ci. This year, Edelbrock released its new SC1 canted valve cylinder heads and John was one of the first to get a set. He sent them directly to Kuntz to be carved out specifically for his supercharged engine. The valves are titanium with the intake measuring 2.10-inches and the exhaust valves at 1.60-inches. The camshaft is a custom Comp unit of unknown dimensions. All he would admit to was that the cam was huge and the specs are pretty surprising for a supercharged combination. John's engine relies on Jesel rocker arms, lifters, and super thick pushrods to actuate the valves under such intense cylinder pressures and high lift demands. An Edelbrock intake was massaged heavily by Wilson Manifolds and also includes two sets of 160 psi fuel injectors. Yep, the engine requires so much fuel that it needs 16 fuel injectors. They are supplied high-octane VP fuel via two electric Weldon fuel pumps. The headers are custom built by Hellion using Bassani piping. The headers use v-band clamps in certain parts of the tube, which enable the team to remove the headers in a moment's notice for engine maintenance.