As turbocharged power and EFI-controlled engines become ever more common within the sport of drag racing, New Jersey’s Carl Stevens is certainly on the cusp in his totally creative fifth-gen Camaro.
Along with his father, Carl Stevens Sr., Carl is the owner and operator of drag racing innovators Xtreme Racing Engines (Newton, New Jersey). The flagship for that facility is a one-off, radical turbocharged Camaro that sees most of its participation within the PDRA’s ultimate class offering: Pro Extreme (P/X).
Since first coming on the scene in late 2014, this Camaro has made nothing but big waves with a series of astounding eighth-mile performances. Late last season, while racing at Virginia Motorsports Park, Carl Jr. made genre history when his Camaro became the first ever door-slammer on the planet to top the elusive 230-mph barrier. The Camaro clocked 230.10 mph to the eighth-mile marker, which is an official PDRA national speed record that still stands today.
“Being the first door car to officially exceed 230 mph was pretty special for us,” Carl admitted. “And the fact that the mark has held up and is still standing is something we’re very proud of.”
Carl and his father designed and completely built this Camaro themselves over about a five-month period. It oozes innovation and creativity at every corner. The team even uses their very own shop-crafted engine program: a billet-blocked 521ci engine that features an EFI-controlled twin 98mm turbocharger system that produces more than ample horsepower.
“We did all our own engine development, including block, cylinder heads, and intake,” Carl confirmed. “It’s pretty much all our own craft and unique parts. But because of that there’s really no one else we can go to and ask for help, so it’s been a constant learning curve that we alone control.”
To clarify, this Xtreme Racing Engines Camaro is also bit of a different breed for Pro Mod-type vehicles out there. It is purpose-built primarily for eighth-mile P/X class racing, and when compared to more conventional PM class cars, there are a lot of differences. It is also a significantly lighter vehicle (P/X rules set the minimum weight, with driver, at 2,275 pounds).
For Stevens Jr., who is 33 years old, his present-day racing venture is also continuing on a Chevrolet racing vein, which his father Carl Sr., started. “My dad is my crew chief, best friend, and right-hand man,” Carl affirmed. “He has been building and racing high-performance Chevy cars for many years, and I’m following in his footsteps. In fact, he is very proud of the fact that one of his cars was on the cover of Super Chevy magazine back in 1991!”
This team is a 100 percent self-funded, independent operation, and they use their awesome looking and sounding Camaro to effectively promote their aspiring engine and race car-building company.