Outlaw 632 racer Ken Quartuccio Jr. set the performance standard in his immaculate 1969 Camaro for the class, and earned multiple event wins behind the wheel of his car. Intoxicated by the desire to go even faster, Quartuccio is moving up to the Radial vs The World and Outlaw 10.5 ranks with a beautiful C7 Corvette from Skinny Kid Race Cars. With initial testing done, Quartuccio is ready to see what the turbo life is all about with his slick new ride.
Quartuccio, who owns a transportation company, has just always enjoyed anything mechanical. The self-described “traditional gear head” got his education in the classroom at a technical high school for all things automotive, but gut his racing education on the streets a youngster. Quartuccio has done more than just rip off low four-second passes in his Camaro, he’s made laps at a mecca of motorsports in Florida too.
“I’ve been heads up racing the last 25 years. I had a chance to do road racing as well, and it’s exciting to run around Daytona at 200 mph, but I always come back to drag racing. I’d like to also point out to people that I’ve never bracket raced a day in my life and I never will,” Quartuccio says.
You would think being so successful in the competitive Outlaw 632 ranks would be enough for Quartuccio, but he’s not wired to just do well at one thing. The thrill of trying something new and challenging attracted Quartuccio to try his hand at small tire racing. Donald Long’s Duck X Productions events at South Georgia Motorsports Park give Quartuccio the biggest stage in front of the most people to enjoy racing in an exciting fashion. Quartuccio plans to run his new Corvette in Outlaw 10.5 trim as much as possible since he can get plenty of racing in around the Northeast region of the United States.
“I built the car around 10.5 rules with some influence from the Radial vs the World rules too, but my main focus will be running Outlaw 10.5. The goal is just to have fun racing this car. The Atomizer 10.5 series hits different tracks and I wanted to focus on races that were closer to home. We’ll definitely be running Radial vs The World and some NMCA Radial Wars as well. Radial vs The World is the most exciting class out there and I love the feel of radials, so I want to be a part of that. We are focusing on Outlaw 10.5 because the only big Radial vs The World races are Duck’s, and I want to drive the car more than three times a year,” Quartuccio says.
Being in the market for a top-shelf car, Quartuccio only had one shop on his list to call, Skinny Kid Race Cars. Keith Engling and the team at Skinny Kid were responsible for crafting Quartuccio’s Camaro, so it made sense to return to them for another piece of rolling art.
“I have a close relationship with Skinny Kid’s Keith Engling – he’s the one who built my Camaro. I’ve always been a Chevy man, even when I did Trans Am racing, I was in a Camaro. Keith didn’t want to build another Camaro and I liked the aggressive look of a C7 so we went with that. It was also important to me that the car looked as close to how it came from the factory as possible,” Quartuccio explains.
To match the elegant looks of his new C7, Quartuccio decided he needed some brute force power. The most logical choice was a Proline Racing Stage 4 481X with all the bells and whistles.
“We chose the 481X over the Hemi because I thought the long-term maintenance and reliability would be better for what we’re looking to do. I’ve raced nitrous my whole life, and my longtime friend of 20 years Jamie Miller wanted me to try something different. Jamie has been helping me for a while on the Camaro and this new car is just as much his baby as mine,” Quartuccio says.
Continuing the trend of using high-end parts on this build, Quartuccio added an M&M Transmission two-speed transmission and lock-up torque converter to the driveline. The turbo system built by Skinny Kid uses a pair of Precision Turbo & Engine 88mm turbos, along with TiAL wastegates and blow off valves. Controlling all the car’s functions is a full FuelTech FT600 ECU system that was wired up by Johnathan Homier of Homier Fabrications.
This new car will be a pretty drastic change compared to what Quartuccio is used to. Transitioning from a big cubic-inch nitrous car, to an ultra-powerful boosted machine doesn’t worry Quartuccio one bit, in fact, he’s ready to jump into this new horsepower-filled adventure with both feet.
“I’m actually very excited to learn a new set-up since I’ve been racing nitrous cars heads-up for 30 years. I think the transition will go very well because the right people are on the team and, when I built the car I went to the best of the best. The hardest part of the transition will be on me, not my guys. I have to learn to stage a turbo car, I have to get used to the power.
Already from testing, I can tell that driving it is totally different than my Camaro. The big difference being my 632 car weighs about the same as my Corvette, but makes half the horsepower. At one second, my Camaro pulls just over 3g’s and at four seconds, it pulls just over 1g. The Corvette at four seconds pulls well over 3g’s. So that part of driving is totally different than what I’m used to street racing and nitrous racing,” Quartuccio explains.
Getting everything together for a car like this is no small task. Quartuccio surrounded himself with a great team to turn his desire to go fast into a real car.
“This never would’ve happened without Keith Engling and Bill Gilsbach from Skinny Kid Racecars, as well as Alan Pennywitt. My friend Justin Carmack from Carmack Engineering has been supplying my billet center sections for the past four years and he also contributed to this car. I also want to thank Mark Menscer and Mark Micke for all their help on the project. Jamie Miller and all the guys at Proline have made these decisions and their executions seamless, I love working with them.”
With the new C7 already seeing some track time ahead of its debut at the PDRA Firecracker Nationals, Quartuccio is pleased to see this project making some laps. What started in 2016 as a pile of tubing and parts, has now turned into a small-tire machine that will turn heads at the track for years to come.
Photos Provided By Kelsey Quartuccio