Marty Pearcy’s Turbocharged Challenger Wins Bama Outlaws in Debut

Getting back into racing has been a long time coming for Bronte, Texas, resident Marty Pearcy. He did it in style by winning the X275 category at the Bama Outlaws race, which is part of the Radial Outlaws championship series.

Pearcy’s Challenger R/T began life has an Enterprise rental car theft recovery, and he commissioned B&B Race Cars to build the chassis. The Dodge was fitted with a Drag Pak rear suspension and Santhuff’s shocks. Pearcy chose a P5 Mopar small-block, which was the engine of choice for NHRA Pro Stock competitors to power the Challenger. When the engine let go in 2020, Pearcy had a hard time finding replacement parts, not only because of the pandemic parts rush, but also because of the obscurity of the engine combination.

The decision was made to switch his turbocharged powerplant combination to a Gen III Hemi, and Pearcy procured a Noonan Race Engineering billet block. While he was at it, he purchased a set of ThiTek solid cast cylinder heads from fellow X275 competitor Rob Goss. Kris Nelson at Nelson Competition Engines assembled the 426ci engine with a Winberg crankshaft, GRP connecting rods, Diamond pistons, Jesel rocker assembly, Trend pushrods, Morel lifters, and a Charlie Westcott camshaft from Militia Racing Products. The methanol-burning beast boosts atmosphere using an X275-spec Precision 88mm turbocharger that pressurizes the Thompsen Motorsports intake manifold.

Pearcy backed the Gen III Hemi with the ProFormance Racing Transmissions three-speed Turbo 400 and ProTorque converter he was previously using. He also bolted on some carbon fiber parts to curb the weight and wrapped the Challenger for a new look.

The week before the Bama Outlaws race, Pearcy took the Challenger to FuelTech to have them tune the FT600 ECU on the company’s hub dyno.

“We wanted to run for the championship this year, but didn’t get the engine done in time. We made it to FuelTech the day before the Alabama race to get it running right on the dyno, On its fifth pass, it ran a 4.139 and we took out the number one qualified car belonging to Shane Moses. We were number 9. We expected it to be extremely fast, but you have to take baby steps on these engines so you don’t destroy them. I’m pretty glad to see we were four numbers off the record in our first outing. B&B Race Cars had two weeks to disassemble the car, build new headers for the Gen III along with a new charge pipe, and get it up and running again,” Pearcy explains.

Grant Breaud and Eric LaFerriere are helping out with the tuning. The 4.139 run began with a 1.01-second 60′ and finished with a speed of 175.02 mph. Pearcy leaves next week for the Battle of the Thrones race in North Carolina where he will continue to make his mark on the X275 class.

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Steve Baur

A lifelong automotive enthusiast, Steve Baur attended the University of South Florida for journalism and has worked as a technical editor and editor for numerous automotive publications for over 20 years.
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