In season one of the Horsepower Wars $10K Drag Shootout, North Carolina-based Team Bigun drove to victory over the COMP Cams Dream Team at the Summit Motorsports Park, earning not only the $10,000 winner’s prize, but the right to take it’s affectionally-named “Beer Money” 1989 Ford Mustang home with them.
Bigun, comprised of team leader Eric Yost, driver Lyle Barnett, engine builder Pete Harrell, fabricators Jason Smith and Chris Bailey, and with beverage-consumption support from Bangshift’s Chad Reynolds, had made up “Beer Money’ shirts featuring the car and the whole nine yards. To say they had quickly become attached to the car they assembled together over 10 days — as did each of the four teams — would be an understatement, and they would have admittedly been emotionally defeated had they been forced to say goodbye to it that day.
A fairly low-tech machine with a concoction of new and old parts built with $10,000 and a whole lot of heart, Beer Money had character to make up for its shortcomings — a bottle opener on the c-pillar, a Miller High Life can affixed to the spoiler, and a switch panel built inside of a pencil box, to name a few.
In the nearly two years since, the Bigun camp has spent a few dollars upgrading parts they couldn’t afford to buy with their $10,000 allotment at the time, converting the car into a bonafide player in small-small-time races in the south. Namely, they overhauled the bottom end with a K1 crank, Molnar rods, and Wiseco pistons, and bolted on a Precision 85/88 turbo, running on VP Racing Fuels M1. The heads and intake have been untouched, as has the transmission. Yost notes their Greg Slack-built torque converter they swapped in has been the best change they’ve made to date. A Davis Technologies Profiler and VPS are also part of the program.
Those modifications, combined with the driving and tuning prowess of this group, has made them fordable in small-tire no-prep and stock-block shootout racing of late — two weeks ago they won on back-to-back nights at Mooresville and Rockingham, and then returned to
Rockingham again last weekend for a “Fastest Cars in the Dirty South” no-prep and waltzed through the field there, defeating Peter Hayes in a close match in the finale.