From his years spent on the West Coast class racing circuit to his debut on television’s big stage with the Discovery Channel’s “Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings” (NPK) series, Giuseppe Gentile has always brought the heat. Now, he’s turned the wick up once again with an all-new, screw-blown S550 Ford Mustang that was purpose-built for the NPK ranks.
The Southern California native got his start on the streets of the San Fernando Valley in the mid-1990s and would often race late into the night with friends. His first car, a Mustang, instilled a love of the platform that never once waned as the years progressed. Eventually, Gentile transitioned to the track and began running with the PSCA, where he set multiple records and was one of the first in his area to pioneer turbo technology with his small-block combination.
“I took a few years off around 2011 but got back into racing in 2016 when Robert Remillard called and we partnered on building another Mustang,” noted Gentile of his infamous twin turbo New Edge SN95 Mustang. “I started running with [Jay] Boddie in his grudge racing series and won a championship, and someone told me to look into Street Outlaws.”
Gentile and Remillard converted their SN95 to a big-tire car and competed at their first “Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings” race during season three in 2019. Gentile made it all the way through to the final round, but Ryan Martin took home the win that weekend. Gentile continued on with a very competitive car and made several more appearances over the following months.
“We knew we didn’t have the right car for it, though,” he shared of what prompted the decision to put together a purpose-built platform for NPK in 2019. “Me and Robert got together and discussed the best combination, wheelbase, and a bunch of other things. I’ve always been a Ford guy, so we opted to stick with the Mustang.”
The racing partners picked up a Jerry Bickel-built chassis, then hit up a junkyard in Sun Valley to source the actual VIN-equipped 2016 Ford Mustang. It was a ton of work to cut the body off the sixth-generation pony car and graft it onto the Bickel armature, but the final result was well worth the effort.
Thanks to helping hands from Gentile’s uncle “Pino” Adante and friends such as Ryan “Junior” Shoftle, Jack Remillard, Troy Baugh, and Job Spetter, the bulk of the build was performed at Gentile’s home in his two-car garage. One of the easiest aspects of it all, though, was selecting which engine combination to use.
“We took everything from the turbo setup, left the turbo cam in there, and basically got a manifold and bolted a supercharger on,” laughed Gentile, who had previously been running more of a blower-type COMP cam in his turbo SN95 and knew the Hemi was a proven combination that would serve him well. “We felt it was the right call for “No Prep Kings,” with the way the rules are at the moment.”
The engine – a Brad Anderson Enterprises 8X 521 cubic inch Hemi filled with a billet Bryant crankshaft, Don Schumacher Racing connecting rods, Ross pistons, Total Seal rings, and some Isky valvetrain components – got a second lease on life with the addition of a monstrous PSI C-rotor screw supercharger that Gentile acquired from a friend of Larry “Axman” Roach.
A trendsetter and leader in innovation, Gentile deviated from the traditional mechanical injection route and instead opted for electronic fuel injection controlled by a FuelTech FT600 system. “My last car had a rear exhaust for downforce. I’m always open to trying new things, especially when people tell me it won’t work,” he shared. Jason Syvertsen at JS Powersports tricked out the fuel injector holders for the screw setup and Gentile was suitably impressed with the work.
Regarding the transmission, Gentile once again strayed from the more common Turbo 400 path when he selected a Liberty four-speed gearbox with a Bruno drive and Neal Chance torque converter. “We wanted something different with more gear ratio options, and that was more reliable, and we heard great stuff about the Liberty,” he explained.
In the back, the sixth-generation Mustang was fitted with top-shelf components, such as Penske shocks that had been valved by Chris Bell from Kinetic Engineering, Jerry Bickel chromoly sheet metal rearend housing, a Mark Williams Enterprises third member, Mark Williams axles with MW carbon-fiber brakes, and a Precision Shaft Technologies carbon-fiber driveshaft.
Gentile also took special care to widen the rear end by a full 9-inch over a conventional Pro Mod rear end, simply so the 34.5-inch Hoosier slick tire-wrapped Sander Engineering 16×18 wheels wouldn’t have the “sunken” look. “The Mustangs are really wide in the back, so I had to go beyond the normal width to bring the wheels all the way out so it looked good,” he elaborated. Although there was initial concern that the expanded stance would put him a little out of the groove, Gentile affirms that the car leaves hard, straight, and fast, with 60-foot times in the 0.960-second range.
Inside, Gentile’s workspace favors function over form and has been outfitted with only the necessities. The Liberty takes center stage while the carbon-fiber wheel tubs occupy the rear space, and the carbon door panels shroud the matching carbon driver’s seat, while Stroud Safety supplied the harness, window net, and dual ‘chutes.
Gentile did the bulk of the finishing work himself, too, including the wiring, while Shoftle assisted with the fabrication of the headers and exhaust. He mounted the Mustang’s new front end, along with the carbon-fiber doors, deck lid, and rear wing, all from Modular Motorsports Racing (MMR), then prepped the body for paint. Although he wasn’t the one who sprayed the stunning charcoal gray hue, Gentile did lay the eye-catching blue Shelby accent stripes by hand.
After a mad thrash for nearly five months and with additional support from Lucas Oil, NGK Spark Plugs, F & L Racing Fuels, Summit Racing, Deeds Performance, RaceQuip, and others, Gentile and Remillard finally wrapped up their highly anticipated new “No Prep Kings” ride.
Without even really having time to appreciate it, Gentile rolled the car into the trailer and transported it from California to FuelTech’s headquarters in Georgia. “It made pretty impressive power, only about a hundred horsepower less than what the current class leaders are producing,” the owner alluded to on how the car performed on FuelTech’s hub dyno.
With “go time” quickly approaching, the guys were able to make two test hits in early May of 2022 in Ohio before heading out to Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania for their season five debut May 13-14.
Running in the “Race Your Way In” class with the supercharged S550 successor to his previous ride, Gentile wasted no time in getting the suspension properly set up and the tune-up dialed in, but still faced a few small new car blues.
“It was good early on, but was shaking the tires down the track. We made some shock adjustments and a four-link change and it came back around,” noted the driver who had a good time going rounds as he began to apply more and more power.
Gentile and team continued on to race in Epping, New Hampshire, the following weekend at New England Dragway. Two weeks later, they arrived at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio, before pulling double-duty with another back-to-back race weekend in Bowling Green, Kentucky, at Beech Bend Raceway Park in mid June. The hectic schedule was a blast and Gentile loved getting to meet so many of his fans while on the road.
Going from traditional class racing to no-prep/no-time racing has been an interesting transition for Giuseppe, who had often utilized knowledge of what the rest of the field was doing when adjusting his own tune-ups. “With no-time racing, you don’t know what everyone else is doing, so it’s harder to know where you need to run in order to be competitive,” he said of the more challenging scenario.
Similarly, Gentile has had to adjust to running on a different track surface. He admits it can be “a little sketchy” early on in the race, before good rubber has been put down by other cars making their runs.
Sadly, with only twelve hits on their stunning new toy, Giuseppe and Remillard made the incredibly difficult decision to take a temporary hiatus and park the screw-blown Mustang as funds were quickly diminishing.
Despite the choice, Gentile won’t be completely absent from the remainder of the “No Prep Kings” 2022 season: he will be driving Chris Michael’s Hemi-powered, twin turbo “Gucci” 1969 Chevrolet Nova. “The S550 can’t just sit and do nothing, though,” he added. “So, there’s a chance it will come back out and it definitely isn’t for sale.”