“Yes Bull” Camaro
“Unorthodox” and “unique” are the first words that come to mind for race fans when viewing the 1968 Camaro SS convertible raced by Lil Bull (Yes, that is his legal name) out of Orlando, Florida. Bull, who began racing this car way back in 1977 has meandered it through a number of upgrades over many seasons, including experimenting with nitrous-injected, supercharged, and port fuel injected engine programs. Keeping with tradition, the latest version of the Camaro remains pretty outrageous, with a BDS roots-style supercharger sitting on top of a 540ci big-block that also includes a FAST XFI fuel injection system. The Camaro, which also features a Turbo 400 automatic transmission and an NHRA-legal full exhaust system and mufflers, focuses its participation at various Fastest Street Car events, but it is also a “black sheep” of sorts within NHRA’s dragster chassis-dominated 8.90 Super Comp category. This car, which is street driven with fully functioning lights, turn signals, wipers, and a “bull” sounding horn, is capable of running in the 8.8 e.t.’s at 155+ mph. Lil Bull’s primary sponsor is his own company: BIMP (Bull’s Inboard Marine Power), which is a mobile ski boat repair service.
10.5 Storm Troopers
The names Chuck Ulsch, Gil Mobley, and John Ferguson are pretty much considered legendary within the Fastest Street Car racing scene, and their 2014 Corvette Stingray is quickly becoming the epitome of that association. After racing a series of ultra-successful Chevrolet cars together over a 15-year period, the team debuted their newest Corvette during the 2015 season following a 14-month build at industry-leading Vanishing Point Race Cars (Loganville, Georgia). The “Can-Am/road racing” look and configuration of their Corvette is considered quite revolutionary within the Outlaw 10.5 scene. It’s been very successful since its unveiling, highlighted by a huge win at the largest 10.5 race of the year, the infamous Yellow Bullet Nationals—held each September—at Cecil County Dragway (Rising Sun, Maryland). It has also set Street Car Shootout eighth-mile class records for e.t. at 3.97 seconds and speed at 191.63 mph. This Stingray was chosen for—and exploits—GM factory dimensions and that aero package. All of the car’s panels are GM factory original except for the front clip, which was mocked up from GM panels but made out of carbon fiber. The team employs a 500ci engine program from Brad Anderson that is capable of producing in excess of 3,500 hp using a C Rotor Screw blower. The Missouri-based car gets its funding from owners Gil Mobley (Eastern Housing) and John Ferguson (South Street Auto). Associate sponsorship comes from Chuck’s company (Absolute Auto & Truck Service), BAE, Neal Chance Racing Converters, NGK Spark Plugs, Mickey Thompson, and Santhuff Suspension. The close-knit team is rounded out with valued team members Jeff Weddle, John Dillinger, Keaton Rosborough, and Brian Mobley.
Texan Tommy Phillips is regarded as one of the most successful Sportsman drag racers anywhere in the nation. While his present-day career focus has been primarily racing a Chevrolet-powered Super Comp dragster and Chevy Camaro Super Gasser, Phillips has increasing aspirations for his very cool GT/CA Chevy Cavalier Super Stocker. The 2005 Cavalier was originally built by Canada’s FJ Smith for Jim Boburka. Following its acquisition from Boburka four years ago, Phillips reports that the Cavalier was taken completely apart (at Sullivan Motorsports in Dallas) and was rewired, replumbed, and back-halved to add in a new four-link suspension and a different rearend housing configuration. Phillips then tasked Bret Voges (Voges Racing Engines) to build him a 358ci LT1 fuel injected engine. The engine is backed by a Pro-Trans-built three-speed automatic with an A-1 converter. After the 2 1/2-year rebuild, the car was ready for action in December 2013. Since then the Cavalier has been run somewhat sporadically, but Phillips confirmed he is developing plans to race it more frequently in the future. To date, the car has shown that it is fully class capable—as evidenced by a best run of 9.35 seconds (1.05 seconds under the national index) and strong showings at NHRA events in St. Louis and Dallas in late 2015. Tommy and his crew (Jay and Linda Thornburg) are proud to showcase their sponsors CBS ArcSafe, K&N Filters, and Orteg Energy Technologies at all events they attend. Tommy Phillips’ group is one of only a handful of professional Sportsman-level racing teams that compete full time on the NHRA circuit, and very interestingly, make a profit doing so.
Tennessee-based, second-generation driver Ray Miller is a prime example of a racer successfully displaying his own products. Since 1989, Miller Race Cars has developed an expert reputation within NHRA and IHRA Sportsman drag racing circles by producing a series of very successful race cars (dragsters, roadsters, and door-slammers) for those circuits. In 2015, the team began using an eye-catching 1968 Camaro Super Gasser roadster as the company flagship for their craft, and that car has been very successful since its onset. The Camaro was finished in July 2015 and features a 632ci Chevy engine program built by Dave Hartman (Heart Beat Racing & Competition Engines), an Abruzzi Powerglide transmission and converter, Moser rearend, and Mickey Thompson tires to transfer the available 1,200 hp to the surface. While the focus for the car is the Super Gas 9.90 index, Ray reports that unleashed—without the throttle stop—the car can run in the 7.4 e.t. zone at 180+ mph. The high-tech Camaro is finished off with a stunning-looking scheme, which was applied by Todd’s Extreme Paint. The racing reputation of Ray’s team, which includes his father (Ray) and mother (Christine), is buoyed with great success, which includes multiple NHRA Divisional championships, two Jegs All-Stars wins, and three NHRA national event victories. This Camaro, which won at its debut race held in Norwalk, Ohio, last July, will most assuredly continue the Miller reputation.