If you’re reading this between June 1 and June 8, then chances are Rob Fisher and I are going deaf, reek of exhaust, and are most likely rather sore from spending way too much time in race seats on surface roads all across the south land. If you’re confused, it is all about to be cleared up.
This year marks a couple of milestones—2013 is Circle Track’s 30th anniversary and our sister publication, Hot Rod magazine’s 65th anniversary. These are both events that need to be celebrated. We kicked off our year at Daytona International Speedway competing in the UNOH Battle At The Beach with our 30th anniversary Super Late Model driven by Dalton Zehr. For the next anniversary project, Circle Track is building a rather unique project, which is based around the 2013 Hot Rod Power Tour. We have purchased a retired NASCAR Camping World truck and (as of April 1) are in the process of transforming it into a street-legal vehicle. No, this is not a very delayed April Fools’ joke. Once the transformation is complete, we will take the truck on the full 1,500-mile Hot Rod Power Tour. You may be asking yourself, why? Well, the answer is simple: Why not? The fact of the matter is we are all idiots, morons, and crazy people who thrive off of doing crazy stuff. This is one of those crazy ideas that has been spinning around my head for years. Luckily enough for me, Rob Fisher is just as crazy, and saw this as just as good of an idea as I did! I know—scary!
What stared as a joke (sort of) has spun into an awesome project with tons of support from great companies and people from all over the racing world. We picked up a late ’90s RCR chassis, which for the past few years has been sitting in storage. Before that, it was used as a show car and hasn’t been raced in quite some time. Our good friend Greg Peterson of Peterson Racing in Concord, North Carolina, is making a few updates to the body, as well as adding a second seat and headlights and taillights. Once his work is finished, the truck is being wrapped and brought back to our Tampa Tech Center to be finished.
The heart of the project comes from the guys at Ford Racing Performance Parts. They were nice enough to send us an old Cup engine that they used for some development work a few years ago. Once we got out hands on the engine, we headed south to MPR Racing Engines where Tim Eichhorn helped us with the refresh. You’ll see more on the engine soon.
For many of the loose ends, Summit Racing has come through in a big way. They have supplied us with new seats, the wiring harness, head- and taillights, and a bunch of miscellaneous odds and ends.
With a real Cup engine under the hood, Fisher and I thought it might be difficult to communicate during the trip. Rugged Radios stepped up to take care of that issue. They supplied us with a slick intercom system that not only allows us to talk to each other, but we can record all of our conversations to use the audio in the video we take on the trip. The intercom also allows us to listen to music when we don’t want to listen to each other.
But the entire project would not be possible without the help of Auto Meter. The company stepped up in a big way to support this project. It supplied us with a full set of Elite Series gauges (just like you see in the Camping World Trucks today), which you’ll see the full install very soon. The Elite Series gauges feature some trick stuff to help monitor what’s happening with your engine, all while you focus on driving.