The time has certainly come for some racers to decide what the future of their programs is going to be. Everyday we see cars going up for sale, whether it's to finance a new build or just to get out. Then there are those that take a step back, look at rules, and see what makes sense for them to do in the long run to be able to continue racing. The latter is where Don Lamana falls in with his gorgeous black foxbody Mustang.
A few weeks ago I talked to Don about why he's switching to the up and coming LDR (Limited Drag Radial) class. Don stated that his old engine technology just didn't have enough to run 4.40's in X275 trim, and would start knocking head gaskets off deep in the 4.50's. He had to make the decision to either spend $50k for a new X275 setup, which would still require way more maintenance than the 600+ CI BBC (big block Chevy) that he went with.
Another reason for stepping away from X275 is because of where Don lives. He is a resident Hudson, FL and he gave me the same answer that a lot of track promoters and other racers in Florida do...there is no X275 to run in Florida. There are very few X275 cars in Florida, for that reason most tracks in Florida don't have a 275 class. Ultra, 632, and some other classes dominate the scene in that state. So Don, looking outside the box, wanted to make sure he had a versatile enough setup to run in different shootouts, along with LDR classes, & Pro 275 which is contested twice a year at SGMP during Donald Long's No Mercy & Lights Out events.
Now the combo, what everyone wants to know. Don said that it starts out with a 600"+ CN Billet BBC from Proline Racing. Cylinder heads are Frankenstein heads. Engine management comes in the way of a Haltech Engine Management System. And tuning all of that will be the one and only Wade Hopkins of Southern Speed. As for transferring that beast's power to the rear, Don relies on M&M Transmission out of Jefferson City, MO and one of their 2 speed Turbo 400's. Attached to that is a stunning EV1 Converter from the folks at Pro Torque Converters. The suspension appears as though Don went through the Racecraft catalog and just said...yep. All the suspension is Racecraft including their floater rearend. Moser third member in that floater handles whatever gear set Don is running and the Strange Engineering brakes handle slowing him down. Santhuff was Don's choice from shocks and struts on the build as well.
What you may find different about Don's car is that the chassis is done in house. That's right, instead of sending the car off for the chassis work, it's taken care of in house, which helps to speed up the total build time and have complete control over the quality. They are also building the headers and handling the other metal work in house. That is because Don is the co-owner of Pro Fab Performance Plus and they specialize in doing metal work. Speaking of quality control, Don is know to have one of the most beautiful looking cars at the race track and we are sure this build will be no exception. The front end, doors, and deck lid are all carbon fiber and made by Feather Carbon. Handling the wrap for all of this will be none other than Jeff Salvato of Salvato Designs.
There are some people that Don wanted to thank and mention as well. First and foremost his wonderful and beautiful wife Jeri. If you have ever been at the track when Don is running you know exactly who Jeri is. She is out there with the pom pom's and cheering Don on. Literally his biggest cheerleader. The fact that she put her LS swap Jeep project on hold till after the build is amazing too.
Don also wanted to give a thanks to Matt Larue his crew chief, Tony Fedora his fabricator, Morgan Oliver, who is apparently the lead broom specialist, along with Mark Micklovitz who is the lead supervisor.
Not to make assumptions, but if I know Don, I am pretty sure this beast will be on full tilt and ready to go before the No Mercy race at the beginning of October. I am sure it will be one to be reckoned with as well. We at E3xtreme wish Don the best on the build and can't wait to see it out at the track again. And yes we will get Don to give us the scoop on the LS swap in the Jeep too.