$10K Drag Shootout 3: Team Out in Front

$10K Drag Shootout 3: Team Out in Front’s “White Boy Rick” Mustang

If you’re into cheering for a savvy group of guys who have earned their reputation as tough street racers, Team Out In Front are ones to watch as season three of the $10K Drag Shootout: No Prep Edition presented by Lucas Oil Products unfolds.

When the reigning champion Enemies Everywhere team suffered COVID travel restrictions from Australia, they could not return to defend their title. With that void, this group of Pennsylvania no-prep brawlers named Team Out In Front received the invite. This late notice provided little time to plan their build. Then the young team had another problem come up. “We had a trailer load of our tools, a short-block, heads, and transmission all destroyed in a flood right before we left,” Thompson said. “Still, nothing was going to stop us from winning this competition.”

Team Out In Front is made up of Marcus Thompson (middle), the driver, leader, and ‘main brain’ of the team, along with crew chief Bobby Stephenson, fabricator Joseph Zamulinsky, chassis builder Brandon Paone, and all-around fabricator Donald Robinson.

The Car & Chassis

The team purchased tools upon arrival and had a handful of components shipped after a thorough cleaning. Their determination began to pay off as the team scored exactly the car they wanted: the 1996 Ford Mustang.

“It looked like a pretty clean car,” described Thompson. “Immediately, Don and Brandon started on the rearend while the rest of us got to dismantling the overall car.”

The stock V6 powerplant was dropped with the front suspension, and the bare body was outfitted with a supplied Chris Alston Chassisworks X-brace style, 10-point cage assembly.

With both front and rear suspension removed, both were equipped with a selection of aftermarket components. A BMR Suspension driveshaft loop, upper control arms, lower control arms, and anti-sway bar were installed along with spherical bearings. QA1 High Performance adjustable shocks, coil-over springs, and front control arms set-up the Mustang suspension for the ‘strip.

The front brakes were set up with a Wilwood drag racing kit. A Steeda adapter helped mount a Wilwood aluminum compact master cylinder in the stock firewall location. The team chose to rebuild the existing OEM rear drum brakes to keep the budget in check.

The Mustang received the name “White Boy Rick,” based on the 2018 motion picture. “We have built several budget-oriented street cars around the LS-powered Mustang,” Thompson said. “When we removed the interior for the chassis and cage work, we wanted to put it back to original appearance.”

The Powerplant

Arriving without their flood-damaged engine, the team found a deal on a used 5.3L LS engine and went to town creating their desired powerplant. They utilized the used iron block, crankshaft, rods, and engine hardware; the best they could score was a pair of slightly mismatched cylinder heads.

A Moroso oil pan and HV oil pump were ordered to ensure proper oiling. A set of custom MAHLE pistons were combined with Total Seal piston rings to complete their block.

"We worked with COMP Cams and picked an optimum .624 lift, 239/243 duration camshaft (Part #54-467-11,)" noted Thompson. "We saved our budget for other hardware knowing the remainder of the valvetrain would hold together."

The Team Out In Front valvetrain is finished out with new GM roller lifters and lifter guides, and a BTR Performance valvespring kit, plus used 7.400-inch long pushrods from BTR. E3 Spark Plugs filled the heads and were mated to E3 plug wires and ultra-high output LSX coils.

We run a few cars back home on what we call whiskey, so we chose E85 fuel from Renegade Racing Fuels. We thought that would be the safest setup on an engine build with last-minute parts. We can produce all the power we need with E85, the turbo, EFI, and our laptop. – Marcus Thompson

For fastening the engine set-up together, a wealth of ARP fasteners were utilized for the head and main studs along with balancer bolt, header bolts, and transmission bellhousing bolts. Various gaskets were ordered from Victor Reinz for the cylinder heads and other points.

Front and rear racing tires and slicks were provided by Mickey Thompson. The team chose 3005s (28/10.5/15R) rear slicks and 30071 front tires. They scored a set of four Sander Engineering wheels for a good deal which helped with their budget.

The Mustang is topped off with Lucas Oil lubricants like Lucas SYN SAE 10W-40 racing oil, Sure Shift ATF fluid and SYN L9 racing gear oil. The shop was also filled with Lucas racing engine assembly grease, brake parts cleaner, and contact cleaner for the teams.

Induction, Power Adder, and Fuel Supply

The 80mm BorgWarner cast turbo was one of the biggest “hits” out of the team’s $7,000 gift card from Summit Racing Equipment. Decisions were made to combine this turbo with a Summit Racing intercooler (#SUM-260005) and a single VS Racing 60mm wastegate. The boost combination was completed with a Fuel Air Spark Technology boost control solenoid kit and aluminum intake tubing from Summit Racing.

Supplying the E85 to the injectors, the team ordered a Magnafuel 750 Series fuel pump and Aeromotive 40-75 psi regulator. The system is completed with a wealth of Vibrant and Summit Racing braided hoses and fittings and a used five-gallon plastic fuel cell.

Used part scores were few and far between with the current COVID restrictions, but the team scored a used Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake, fuel rails, and performance throttle body, which also helped their budget. That intake was then outfitted with Holley Performance 120 lb-hr injectors, a FAST air temp sensor, and a Holley Terminator X engine control unit.


The used GM Powerglide that the Out In Front team found back home did make the journey to the build contest. It was combined with a used 8-inch torque converter they found online. The ‘glide is mated to the engine with a PRW flexplate and shifted using a new B&M Quarterstick shifter fitted within the original center console.

When this team is back home, they're proud of the budget street-race cars they build with such details as stock appearing looks. They took the time to properly reinstall the factory interior following installation of the roll cage. That included a clean install of the Ron Francis wiring system and original stereo.

An 8.8 rearend from a GT model was found local and filled with Moser Engineering 35-spline axles, spool, housing ends, and much more. The team chose a 3.55 ratio Spicer ring and pinion and U-joints to complete the assembly.

Safety Equipment

Impact Racing Products outfitted the teams for safe racing. Marcus Thompson chose the Impact Vapor SNELL15 helmet, G6 SFI 3.35 gloves, 5-Layer, Nomex SFI 3.2A/20 pants, and jacket. A Summit Racing engine diaper, transmission blanket, and rollbar padding completed the safety shopping.

The original 8.8 Mustang differential was completed with Moser and Spicer components to live on the dragstrip. The rear suspension retained its factory geometry with the inclusion of BMR control arms and anti-roll bar. QA1 set the car up with single-adjustable shock on all four corners. A Stroud chute was cleanly fabricated through the bumper.

The Dyno

Before a fallout with the team’s tuner, the Mustang suffered severe torque converter damage while testing and spooling of the turbo. This damage repair resulted in valuable time ticking away from the window of chassis dyno opportunity.

Between lengthy repairs, some wastegate rewiring, and a conservative tune to begin in the engine control software, the team squeezed in three pulls during their allotted time. They walked away with data printouts showing just over 500 horsepower between all three sessions.

The cooling system for “White Boy Rick” is an aluminum 29×19.25-inch aluminum racing radiator and high-performance water pump from PRW Industries. Kooks headers provided the turbo headers along with a wealth of exhaust tubing. This all made its way to a BorgWarner 80mm cast turbocharger.

“I’m not sure what was going on,” Thompson shares. “We began with a baby tune and added more and more boost from there. It sure seemed to be making more power, but the dyno kept reading the same. We’re ready to race, but I’m just not happy with the dyno results.”


Despite time crunches, flooding, and damaged parts, Team Out In Front would not have their competition spoiled. “We are the youngest overall team to compete on the show,” Thompson states proudly. “We were determined to put our same teamwork to use that we have back home and come out on top.”

See each episode of the season three shows airing on the MAVTV network, and HorsepowerWars.com. You can also follow the show on Facebook and Instagram. Watch Team Out In Front battle in their no-prep savvy Mustang against three other teams in the finale at Barona Dragstrip.

Team Out in Front “White Boy Rick” Specifications

Vehicle: 1994 Mustang
Weight: 3,350 lbs, plus 200 lbs “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” rule
Roll cage kit: Chris Alston Chassisworks – 10-Point Rollcage X Brace Style – #7003
Driveshaft Loop: BMR – #BMR-DSL008
Roll Bar Padding: Summit Racing 45.1 Padding – #SUM-590102
Harness Mounting Tabs: Summit Racing Mounting Tabs – #SUM-510312
Driver’s Helmet: Impact Vapor 2014 Snell15 – #12515710
Driver’s Gloves: Impact G6 SFI3.3/5 – #34200710
Driver’s Suit: Impact SFI 3.2A/15 –  Jacket #29600810, Pants #29700810
Safety Harness: Impact 5-Point Harness – #5911111
Parachute: Stroud model 420 – STS-420-01
Plumbing: Vibrant fittings, adapters, Summit fittings, Russell adapters, Summit flex hose, Vibrant flex hose, Summit hose ends
Wheel Tubs: fabricated

Engine Diaper: Summit Racing engine diaper – #SUM-0590200
Seat: Kirkey 16 Series aluminum economy drag seats – #KIR-16800
Seat Covers: Kirkey black cloth seat cover x 2 — #KIR-16811
Gauges: Holley Digital Dash multi-function — #HLY-553-106
Electrical/wiring: Ron Francis Express Series Switch Panel, Bare Bonz Wiring Kit, connectors — #SP-80, #BB-16
Battery box: Moroso Performance – #74051
Battery: Dynabatt 12v by Performance Distributors – #5575A
Battery switch: Moroso battery disconnect switch – #74101
Trans-brake Input: Holley – #HLY-554-128

K-Member: Summit Racing – unknown
Front shocks: QA1 Shock Stocker S-adj 13.25 x2 – #TS706
Front springs: QA1 Coilover spring, high travel, 150 lbs/in rate, 12 in. length, 2.5 diameter x2 – #QA1-12HT150
Front coilover kit: QA1 Strut Steel S-ADJ 14.63 — #HS603S
Lower control arms: QA1 Control arms – #QA1-MU2ESA
Coil Over Sleeve Kit: QA1 Coil-over sleeve kit — #QA1-COK103
Rear shocks: QA1 Proma Star shocks – #QA1-DS501
Rear springs: QA1 High travel coilover springs – #QA1-12HT170
Shock Mount: QA1 Adjustable shock mount kit — #QA1-MT102k
Anti-Roll Bar: BMR
Front brakes: Wilwood Drag Fronts — #140-10015-D
Manual Brake Adapter: Steeda master cylinder adapter — #SDA-555-6005
Master Cylinder Pushrod: Wilwood aluminum tandem compact master cylinder — #260-15542-BK
Rear Brakes: Ford drum brake upgrade
Brake Lines: Wilwood Flexline Kit Mustang 94+ — #220-6458

Transmission: GM Powerglide transmission — used
Torque Converter: — used
Shifter: B&M/Hurst Quarter Stick Power Glide with added button – #316001
Transmission mount: Energy trans mount – #ENS-3-1108G
Transmission safety blanket: Summit Racing transmission blanket – #SUM-590300
Flexplate: PRW Xtreme Duty SFI Hi Inertia Quick Launch – #1834624

Rear end housing: Bare housing and drum brakes stock 8.8
Axles, spool, axle bearings, rear end cover, drive studs: Moser Engineering  35-spline, Eliminator stud package – #A1400, #BPED
Driveshaft yoke: Strange driveshaft yoke – #STR-U1673
Wheel spacers: Baer wheel spacers – #BAE-200009
U-Joints: Spicer blue coated U-joints x 4 – #SPL30-1350xc

Engine block:
Stock Gen 3, 5.3L used block, crank, engine hardware, all engine covers — used
Pistons: MAHLE LS1 – #0930218503100000
Piston Rings: Total Seal — Custom CS-08
Rods: Stock Gen 4 Connecting rods — used
Head bolts, studs, fasteners: ARP Bolts
Oil Pan: Moroso GM LS Early f-body  rear sump — #20142
Oil Pump: Moroso GM LS High Volume Oil Pump — #22120
Oil Pump Pick-up tube: Moroso GM LS, Rear Sump Pick-up — #24050
Head bolts, studs, fasteners: ARP Bolts

Cylinder heads: Chevy cylinder heads — used
Camshaft: COMP Cams LS1 289L RB HR-114 Serial #409437-20 – #CCA-54-467-11
Timing chain: Comp & Liberty Trunion upgrade performance timing chain – used
Lifters: Chevrolet Performance Hydro Roller Lifters – #NAL-12499225
Pushrods: Brian Tooley 7.400 .080 wall — used
Head gaskets: Victor Reinz upper and lower gasket kit — #02-10440-01, 08-10126-01
Oil Pan gasket: Moroso GM LS 1 piece oil pan gasket — #93152
Starter: ProForm Hi Torque mini starter x2 — #66277

Engine oil: Lucas Racing high performance motor oil – #10911-1
Automatic transmission fluid: Lucas semi-synthetic sure shift – #10052-1
Gear oil: SYN L9 Racing gear oil – #10456

Radiator: PRW Industries racing radiator 19- x 29-inch – #PQX-5401929
Water pump: PRW Industries Alum Hi-Perf GM LS Gen 3 & 4 – #134605
Cooling fan: Proform Parts electric fan – #PRO-67016
Fluid cooler: Derale oil  cooler – #DER-13720

Intake manifold: Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake, fuel rails, elbow and no name throttle body — used
Intake tubing: Summit Racing alum coupler — #SUM-294532
EFI: Holley Terminator X
Fuel Injectors: Holley Fuel Injectors — #HLY-522-128
Fuel pump: Magnafuel Fuel Pump – #MRF-MP-4303
Fuel Cell: 5-gallon plastic fuel cell with fittings on it — used
Ignition coils: E3
 racing ignition coils pack set – #E3-602
Spark Plug wires: GM LS OE Replacement Wire Set – #E3.1002
Spark plugs: E3 spark plugs – #ETP-E3.53
Exhaust: Kooks Down-swept turbo header x1, upswept turbo header x1 – #29402410, 29402400
Exhaust tubing – Kooks #90-300-35-18-304, #JB-300-35-16-304, #9002S, #7116, and #70-038

Power Adder
BorgWarner AirWerks Turbo, SX400, cast iron turbine housing – #BWW-177287
Wastegate: Mechanical 6mm diameter – #VSG-VSR60WG
Turbocharger oil flange: Vibrant Performance oil flange — #VPE-2898
Boost Control solenoid Kit: solenoid kit boost control — #FST-301440
Nitrous: Nitrous Solenoid driver — #NOS-15620NOS

Front wheels: Sanders 15 x 4 — used
Rear wheels: Sanders 15 x 10 — used
Front tires: Mickey Thompson 26.0/4.0-15 ET Front – #MTT-30071
Rear tires: Mickey Thompson 28/10.5/15R Slicks – #3055S

About the author

Todd Silvey

Todd has been a hardcore drag racing journalist since 1987. He is constantly on both sides of the guardwall from racing photography and editorship to drag racing cars of every shape and class.
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