Return Of The Fat Man: Vengeance Racing’s 1/2-Mile Weapon

“Fat Man” was the codename for the second nuclear bomb that the United States detonated over Japan on August 9, 1945, during World War II. It was the last nuclear weapon ever to be used in warfare. The name Fat Man refers to the round, wide shape of this bomb design which was also known as the Mark III. 120 of these weapons of mass destruction were produced between 1947 and 1949. By 1950, the Mark III nuclear weapon program was retired and superseded by the Mark IV weapons program.

Fast forward 74 years and Vengeance Racing has a “Fat Man” of their own which isn’t nuclear but at one point it was atomic — Atomic Orange anyway.

Ron Mowen, the owner of Vengeance Racing, says “the name Fatman came from my shop foreman, Jey Clegg, and the owner of the car, Randy Hunter. They were joking about the car going all over the country and sh*tting on the competition.” The car’s exterior was originally Atomic orange and with Jey’s unique sense of humor and a bit of going back and forth, they deemed the car the “Fatman”, referencing the nuclear bomb.”

The now white 2007 C6 Zo6 Corvette only has 7,000 original miles on the odometer, and it’s no stranger to breaking records. This car arrived at Vengeance Racing (VR) the summer of 2013 100-percent stock. Jey completed the initial build, upgrades, and tuning. At that point, the car had a 457 cubic-inch Racing Head Service (RHS) based engine that included a custom-fabricated twin-turbo system built by Jey. The ‘Vette was using Pro EFI for the engine management and according to Ron, “a ton of other upgrades.” The owner of the car at this point decided to put it up for sale when he learned that he and his wife were going to be expanding their family.

Randy Hunter jumped on the deal and bought the C6 as soon as he heard it was on the market. Randy had been eyeing the car at the shop and wasted no time in getting a deal done. There was one glaring problem with the car, though.

What was Randy going to do with a 1,250 rear-wheel horsepower car? He would drive it on the street and Ron would drive the twin-turbo’d machine at half-mile events. This seemed like the perfect environment to race the high-horsepower ‘Vette. According to Ron, “after a few passes dialing in the car, we broke 200 mph in the 1/2-mile, becoming the first Corvette in the world to do so. The build started snowballing in search of higher speeds.”

In September of 2013, with Ron as the driver, the VR crew took the manual transmission Corvette record and held it for several years. In the summer of 2016, Randy decided to step away from racing to follow another of his passions: aviation.

The “Fatman” was sold to Vengeance Racing. Sadly, on August 28, 2017, Randy was involved in a fatal plane crash as a result of engine failure.

 

Ron’s new goal is to get the car back on the airstrip and reclaim the half-mile world record for the Corvette platform.

Ron states, “we originally had this record and were the first Corvette in the world to crack 200 mph in the 1/2-mile. Then we held the manual transmission Corvette record at 204.6 for several years. We ultimately ended up running 217 mph with the car with an automatic transmission before sending it to the chassis shop.”

We will be shooting for a 3-second eighth-mile pass. I know this has been done with an LS already but there are only a handful of folks who have accomplished this feat and we would like to be among them. – Ron Mowen

After a visit to JSC Racing and Carbon Fiber, the ‘Vette now has all of the right parts for safety as well as speed. JSC completed the gorgeous 25.3 chassis while incorporating a four-link suspension system in the back-half of the car and tons of carbon fiber components. The back-half will accommodate a set of 315 drag radials as well as the new Mickey Thompson Tires 31×16.5×15 radial that are double bead-locked to Weld Racing wheels. Ron hopes that this mammoth-sized new tire will be enough to get around the traction woes provided by the Borg-Warner 88/96 twin-turbo Late Model Engines (LME) LSX 427 powerplant. And if that isn’t enough for a power adder, VR decided to go ahead and add a Nitrous Outlet Interspooler to get the turbo system lit immediately.

A Strange Engineering full-floating axle was used in conjunction with 40-spline axles and a spool. Menscer Motorsports adjustable shocks were called upon to keep the ‘Vette’ suspension calm on the sometimes bumpy runway events. An RPM Transmission‘s lock-up TH400 with a Pro Torque converter will be handling the gear changing duties that will be controlled by Pro EFI engine management.

Vengeance Racing is gunning for 240-plus mph when the “Fat Man” returns. After they accomplish their goals, Vengeance Racing will be focusing on the 1/4-mile and might ultimately end up racing at a Lights Out event or two.

“We’ll be shooting for a 3-second 1/8-mile pass,” Ron Shares. “I know this has been done with an LS already but there are only a handful of folks who have accomplished this feat and we would like to be among them.” Ron plans on piloting the new build while Jey will continue to handle all of the tuning duties.

Ron said, “we have every intention of building the baddest LS-powered Corvette the world has ever seen.” It’s pretty obvious that Vengeance Racing is taking this seriously and we’re excited to see the end result. Will the “Fat Man” prevail and take vengeance on its competition? We think so.

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About the author

Brian Havins

A gearhead for life, Brian is obsessed with all things fast. Banging gears, turning wrenches, and praying while spraying are just a few of his favorite things.
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