When was the last time you witnessed something in drag racing that made you stop and pick your jaw up off the ground? Well that is exactly what happened over the weekend when Jimmy Dolan took his Gen 2 Ford Lightning into the record books.
For years, Jimmy has been chipping away at the performance a Gen 2 Ford Lightning is capable of. When I say capable, I mean something that still looks like a real truck that you would see at your local cruise in, and not something that is just a chassis and a giant, out of proportion, fiberglass body. Never one to take the easy way, Jimmy, along with his right-hand man Nicky Notch, proved to the entire world that dedication, intelligence, and a touch of brass balls can turn the drag racing world on its collective heads.
Over the weekend, Jimmy had the truck at Maryland International Raceway, more commonly know as MIR (No I will Not Call it MDIR) for World Cup. This is a race that gives a lot of the domestic hotrods running eighth mile all season a place to really let it all hang out by running it out the back door. Jimmy had the goal of obviously bettering his time from last season and maybe breaking into the six second zone. A feat that has only been accomplished by one other person in the sport, that being Gary Soulages with his mod motor, twin turbo. Gen 2 Lightning.
Gary, previous to this weekend was the only driver, according to our research that has ever managed to pick up an elusive 6 second timeslip while behind the wheel of a Ford Lightning. By the end of the weekend, Gary had some company though, and Gary’s record is close to being in jeopardy. The last I could find is that the record stood with a 6.64 at 212 mph. Jimmy’s truck is only a few clicks away from the record now though, as he left Maryland with a stout 6.72 at 208mph. Becoming, as I say it again, only the second driver in the history of the Ford Lightning to snag a six second time slip folks!!
As if Jimmy’s accomplishments weren’t impressive enough, there were some other things that you need to know about this last weekend. Based on the research we did, Jimmy is now the quickest and fastest quarter mile drag radial truck in the world. He is the only truck to run a six second pass on radials. So not only is Jimmy knocking on the door of owning and piloting the quickest and fastest Ford Lightning in the World, he is also doing all of that on a 315 drag radial tire.
What about the combo is what I have had a lot of people ask. They want to know how Jimmy gets a 3500 pound brick, yes you read that right, Jimmy’s scale weight is 3470-3480, down the track like that. It all starts with great parts and great people Jimmy said. He is running a tried and true Bennett Racing 400 cubic inch small block Ford with a pair of 88mm Bullseye Turbos mounted up front. All that power is transferred to the rear via a M&M Transmission built 400 trans. Not a damn bit of that matters if he can’t get it to the ground and get moving forward though. That is exactly why Jimmy utilizes Menscer Motorsports equipment to put all that boost to the ground and propel the YeTTi into the record books. The final part of the equation is the part that some people over look. That is the part that involves trusting another human being with your life and the life of your truck as you blast down the track at over 200mph. The man with the plan is none other than Nicky Notch. Nicky takes care of the tuning for Jimmy and makes sure that the parts survive and get down the track. Nicky is a huge part of the equation here. You don’t run record times by just bolting hairdryers to the front of a SBF and think that’s going to work. If you do think that’s how it works, you are a moron. Nicky spends countless hours making sure the fuel curves, boost curves, driveshaft speed, and everything else is just where it needs to be so that Jimmy can set records and win
In closing, we at E3xtreme want to send a huge congrats to Jimmy and Nicky on their accomplishments over the weekend. I have been a Ford guy for more than twenty years, and a Lightning fan since the moment they can off the assembly line. There is nothing better than to see continued progression in some beside a damn Mustang and Camaro. Jimmy and Nicky are literally taking a cinder block shaped vehicle and pushing it beyond all conventual wisdom to do something that most wouldn’t think about doing or even bother trying to do. On top of that, those two are two of the nicest guys you will have the opportunity to meet at the track. I believe that if Jimmy decides to do so, we will be talking about him being the World Record holder for the Quickest Ford Lightning in history next year. Keep on doing great Jimmy! The sport needs outside the box thinkers like you!!