X275 Founder John Sears Debuts Nitrous-Fed Malibu


John Sears’ name is synonymous in the radial tire racing world, especially the small tire X275 class, of which he is the founder. While John is best known these days for that role and similar technical positions he’s held at various races over the years, he’s not one to shy away from doing a little driving himself, either.

Over the past few years John has been updating his sleek Chevrolet Malibu and boy, what a beauty it is. John’s Malibu first started in the Real Street class down in Florida but now he’s turned to NRC Motorsports to make the Malibu a much safer ride for him to compete with in a multitude of classes. NRC Motorsports stuffed an awesome 25.3 chassis into John’s other office!

Building a racecar of this caliber John has turned to many high-caliber companies such as TRZ, Strange Engineering, Menscer Motorsports, Induction Solutions and a host of others to build a quick and safe car that every time he takes down the track he’s able to put it back into the trailer in one piece.

NRC Motorsports was enlisted to make John Sears nitrous fed Malibu as safe as possible.

Below you can see John back in the seat starting to getting some seat time in his Malibu.

John debuted the monster a couple of weeks ago at the Maryland International Raceway, testing behind the No Clock Small Block group at the Metro Area Grudge event. For his first outing with the changes made the car looked good and went pretty straight. Sears said it’s driving a bit to the right, but it’s not anything he can’t manage. But, he shared that it’s time to get it back in the shop and on level ground to make some adjustments.

The SB2 was built by Clements Racing Engine who modified the chambers to support some big nitrous use. The engine utilizes 11.5 to 1 compression pistons, a solid roller camshaft, and all Jesel parts that include the belt drive, rockers, and lifters.

Video credit: TheRacingVids

Even though the little 409 SB2 has some potential John has decided in the interest to get costs under control and have a reliable bullet that can be somewhat competitive and raced regularly in multiple small tire classes he is moving to have a new motor built.

Brodix and Abby’s Performance Engines in South Carolina have come onboard and are building a new bullet. This time around a 421 cubic inch, Brodix-headed aluminum block, big block cam bearings, a raised camshaft, and .904 lifters for a stable valve train. John will be using their off-the-shelf CNC 245 standard intake port cylinder head and intake manifold combo. Plans are to send the intake to BES Racing Engines for some porting and utilize Induction Solutions for a single fogger. In the theme of keeping costs down John will be trying to use off-the-shelf parts to show that you can be competitive in the radial classes using parts that anyone can get!

John will be campaigning the car, coined “Blue Collar Bu”, in Nitrous X and X275.

Founding X275 Drag Radial member John Sears back in the seat again!

Founding X275 Drag Radial member John Sears back in the seat again!

John would like to thank his crew chief Randy Van Raden and give special thanks to Jason Waterman, Dean Marinis, and Steve Johnson for all of the tuning advice, along with Randy Van Raden, Mark Menscer, Jason Waterman, and John Mellon on the chassis and suspension side of things.

About the author

Bill Robaey

Bill is a freelance photographer/writer from New York with a background in the drag racing field, with a decade of experience as both a participant and close follower of the drag radial classes and has extensive knowledge of those cars and categories. Bill campaigns a 1987 Mustang with a ProCharger-fed, big-big-bore 363 in the X275 class.
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