A steady supply of C16 race fuel comes from a Summit 4-gallon fuel cell, thanks to a BG400 electric fuel pump, while an MSD ignition system lights the fire in the 68cc combustion chambers. Outgoing air travels through a set of Lemons headers and into the 4-inch exhaust system, complete with Bullet racing mufflers. Mike relied on Steve Johnson at Induction Solutions for a killer nitrous system to squeeze every ounce of power out of the single stage, so he's legal for Cheap Street. Mike puts it to the ground with a Powerglide transmission equipped with a Pro Tree transbrake, a ten-clutch drum and PTC 5,500-rpm stall converter. The owner-built transmission sends power to the rearend with a custom 31/2-inch driveshaft from Hudlow Axle.
Along with the undeniable performance abilities, this Camaro features a paintjob that rivals most show cars. When Mike found the car, it was totally stripped, so he replaced the doors, fenders, bumpers, and hatch to bring it back to life. He then added a 6-inch Sunoco cowl-induction hood, which is the only modification to the Camaro's body. Mike painted the car at his shop in Dunlap, using PPG Hugger Orange basecoat for the body and bright white for the stripes. From start to finish, he spent four months on the buildup, and just because this car spends most of its time on the dragstrip doesn't mean it's strictly a race car. All of the lights work, and it's fully capable of street driving-in fact, Mike drove the car to the photo shoot location.
Inside, the Camaro is far from stock, but it has carpet, a full dash, and the original console. Mike installed a pair of aluminum Kirkey race seats, while Lee Burge handled most of the other interior work. Auto Meter gauges mount to a custom panel and replace the original cluster, while two switch panels replace the heater controls and stereo. You won't find many creature comforts in this driver's compartment, only the essentials to going fast.
Mike unveiled the Camaro in May 2009 and tested continuously in preparation for the upcoming events. Like most cars, there were a few issues to figure out, but it didn't take long for him to win back-to-back Bounty Races in Cheap Street trim. At the July event, he certainly put on a show on his way to victory, as he dragged the back bumper over 100 feet down track in the semifinals and was still able to win the race. The August race proved to be an easy victory for Mike, as he turned up the wick and gained three-tenths, making his fastest elapsed time 5.561 seconds. That's definitely impressive for a 3,250-pound car with only one stage of nitrous. Mike said the buildup wouldn't have been possible without the help of friends, Phillip Barras, Lee Burge, Mike Sims, and Rick Weatherbee. It was also nice to have the support of his wife, Melinda, and daughter, Ashley, throughout the process. And while most enthusiasts are stuffing LS1 engines in old Camaros, Mike did just the opposite and came up with a killer combination.