B&B Race Cars in Tennessee has put the finishing touches on what shop owner and racecar craftsman Darren Breaud ranks among the top three machines he’s ever assembled.
Jonesboro, Arkansas, Lloyd Wofford, a veteran of the NHRA Stock and Super Stock ranks — who most notably won the prestigious NHRA Mopar Hemi Challenge at the U.S. Nationals in 2015 — had a hankering to dip his toes into an another arena of the sport. Wofford had, a decade ago, teamed with Breaud to build his Engines Inc.-backed 1968 Plymouth Barracuda Super Stocker, and though their friendship, Wofford’s curiosity about small-tire drag racing was piqued.
A year and a half ago, Wofford tasked B&B with building him a competitive ride for Limited Drag Radial battle, giving Breaud complete and total freedom to assemble the car to his liking.
“He came to me a couple years ago and said he wanted to do what we do, and run some drag radial stuff. He said, ‘you build whatever you want to build, take it wherever we need to take it, all I’m going to do is write the check.’ ” Breaud says.
“He doesn’t know anything about the heads-up stuff, about radial-tire racing, so he asked me to take care of him just the same as we have with the other cars we’ve built for him. I told him, ‘we’re going to build a Cadillac,’ and away we went. We were actually building this car before Larry Larson started on his, and Larry said, ‘well, I’ve got to hurry up and get one built before you do,’ ” Darren notes with a laugh.
Unlike Larson’s all-steel car, Breaud cut apart a fully running and operational 2014 CTS-V coupe as the basis of the car, using the OEM roof, quarter panels, framerails, and strut tower. He then sourced carbon-fiber components — nose, doors, decklid, and rear bumper — which weren’t available at the time, delaying the project some seven months was he awaited their completion. Within their confines he assembled a world-class SFI 25.3-spec chassis intended for the 4.0-second performances needed to run at the head of the LDR class.
“I’m a different guy. I want something different. I don’t want what everyone else has…a Mustang, a Camaro,” Darren says of his choice to build the CTS-V. “I enjoy building those cars, but this is unique.”
Power is supplied by a 588 cubic-inch, all-billet powerplant from Kris Nelson at Nelson Competition Engines — a very similar combination to that of Mark Micke’s and Jason Carter’s Pro275 Malibu — with a billet Visner intake manifold, Billet Atomizer 700 injectors, and FuelTech FTSpark ignition, controlled by a FuelTech FT600 wired by Michael Bunton. A ProCharger F3-136 is spun by a Chris Alston’s Chassisworks gear drive to provide the boost.
The power is transmitted through a three-speed M&M Turbo 400, converter, and shifter to a Mark Williams nodular full-floater rearend housing. B&B fabricated the custom 4-link system, and paired it with Santhuff shocks and struts all the way around. The Mickey Thompson tires ride on blacked-out RC Components wheels at all four corners.
Breaud sourced some of the custom carbon-fiber parts from Mark Hord at Hendrick Motorsports, for whom its patriarch, NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick, B&B has built a car for in the past. Breaud fabricated the zoomie headers using ProFab materials. A carbon-fiber dash was sourced from Tim McAmis Race Cars.
In the nose is a factory grille with a block-off plate behind it, and the factory headlights, taillights, and reverse lights are all fully functional.
“This deal is a big team effort between myself, Mark Micke, Michael Bunton, Luis de Leon , Anderson Dick, and Cameron Lohrmann at FuelTech,’ Breaud emphasizes.
Breaud supplied Wofford with six color swatches to choose from, and Chris Averitt at Crossthreaded Customs sprayed the sharp Lexus OEM color to the blanks of the Cadillac. Wofford, traditionally a chrome kinda’ guy, requested the menacing all-black wheels to offset the car.
The stunning CTS-V will head to FuelTech’s hub dyno next week for tuning, and Breaud will then climb behind the wheel to shake it down on the racetrack. The car will then be slowed “a little bit” to let Wofford suit up and get acclimated to the feel of the drag radials and the speed of the car. Wofford’s full-time crew — James Caro and Jacob Delaney — will maintain the car with the assistance of Breaud and his son, Grant. Grant and Caro will tune the car, Darren will handle the suspension, and de Leon, Lohrmann, and Bunton will provide their expertise in support.
“I think this car is within the top three we’ve built,” Darren says. “Lloyd gives me open reign and doesn’t tell me what to do. He has a little bit of input, and just says, ‘build it like it’s yours.’ He’s one of two or three [customers] that’s ever really done that for me. They say don’t let money stand in the way of any idea you have. Lloyd is a super guy — one of the best guys you’ll ever meet.”
If all goes according to plan — with testing on Wofford’s side, and Illinois state COVID-19 guidelines — the team plans to debut the car the at the NMCA/NMRA Power Festival in St. Louis later this month in its Mickey Thompson Radial Rampage special event.