One could argue that the best racers in the world separate themselves from the rest through their ability to adopt and develop fresh technology. Ron Rhodes has been winning in drag racing’s small tire ranks for the better part of a decade with nitrous combinations and he’s making noise yet again by using the latest and greatest tech. Recently, Rhodes reclaimed the nitrous small-block record in X275 after making the transition to fuel injection from a carburetor for induction.
The X275 class could be one of the most difficult in all of radial tire racing in terms of the level of competition at big events. Rhodes has led the charge for the nitrous contingent for years behind the wheel of his iconic red 1968 Camaro and has done it with a small-block…on leaf springs nonetheless.
For 2020, Rhodes left his comfort zone of carburetors and jumped into the world of fuel injection. This kind of shift might set some racers back as they find the learning curve, but Rhodes isn’t like most racers. At WOOOSTOCK, Rhodes made a series of blistering runs in the low 4.30s. What makes this so impressive is that not only were those runs made with the new EFI system from Holley, Rhodes also did it with a brand new engine from BES Racing Engines.
Rhodes took what he learned at WOOOSTOCK and showed up to the Strange Engineering Outlaw Street Car Shootout at Cecil County Dragway ready to do battle. Once again, Rhodes ripped off another series of 4.3-second passes during the event and capped it all off with a 4.310 at 166 mph to not only clinch the record again, but win the event, as well.
On Facebook Rhodes explained what it took to put up these impressive numbers.
“The switch to EFI has given me the ability to do more fine-tuning to achieve a happier engine. I couldn’t have made the switch without the help of Mike Thompson. Mike shortened the learning curve big-time. I kept my AMS 2000 for nitrous control since it talks to the Holley. On the nitrous side, I have to thank my longtime friend Dean Marinis. I often lean on him for a second opinion or direction, and I wouldn’t be where I’m at without him.”
With a lot of racing left to do in 2020, it’s safe to say that Ron Rhodes is going to keep learning more about how to make this new EFI system work with his nitrous combination. When the big races roll around this fall we could see the world’s first small-block nitrous engine reach the 4.20s on a 275 radial tire.
Check out this video from TheRacingVids that shows Ron Rhodes marching into the history books again.