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Luis de Leon Goes Racing| Lights Out 14 | Bama Outlaws

May 02, 2023

Last month FuelTech pulled back the curtains to reveal a behind-the-scenes look at Luis De Leon’s racing efforts in 2023. The Part 1 video covered how he teamed up with Broke Azz Racing to field a Radial vs the World (RvW) entry in the FuelTech Outlaw Radial Championship series. The busy winter saw the team take a Pro Mod/RvW 1969 Camaro and add a Buck Racing 959ci nitrous-gulping engine, M&M TH400 lock-up transmission, and a full complement of FuelTech components.  

This time around, we get a look at the drivers and cars that make up the 4-car BAR team along with a recap of Luis’ first two events. The first racecar to get highlighted is Xavier McBride’s “Devil Horse” 2004 Mustang, it runs a large displacement nitrous engine and Xavier competes in the Limited Drag Radial eliminator.

The Pro 275 field must contend with Jack Greene and his nasty Cadillac CTS-V, which is powered by a Noonan 4.900-inch bore space billet HEMI. The car runs a ProCharger F3-series blower to run deep into the 3s on the 275 radials. It is a departure from Greene’s beloved nitrous combinations, however, he wanted a new challenge, so he went with a blower package.

The final entry in the four-car team is “Warbird,” an tried and true RvW 1968 Pontiac Firebird that Greene used to race. He sold it to Jimmy Taylor, who started off easy as he jumped in from a 4.50 car to a mid-3 second capable machine. This winter BAR added a Buck 959ci engine and M&M Racing drivetrain that is similar to Luis’ ride.

Luis’ racing season started strong with a runner-up finish during Lights Out 14 at South Georgia Motorsports Park. The Camaro rocketed to a 3.57 in the car’s first competition, adding more hype to the impressive operation. A month later, he ran even quicker in the Bama Outlaws event at Alabama Dragway when the team qualified first with a 3.549! Until that point, the operation had been flawless, however, they got a reality check in the fifth round of qualifying. Luis cruised to the finish line when the carbon fiber driveshaft decided to rapidly disassemble in an unconventional manner. The engine revved up when it snapped but the FT600 safeguards kept it in check. The team jumped into action, made repairs in time for the first round of eliminations, and they advanced with a 3.61 effort.

The Camaro pulled into the water box for its 15th run of the season and Luis advanced once again, this time he carded a 3.59 to get the job done. Unfortunately, the back-up driveshaft waived the white flag and gave up, too! This presented a problem—they only carry one spare driveshaft. The BAR came together and resolved the issue quickly; they raided the Warbird’s transmission tunnel since the car was setup to similar specs as the Camaro. One half of the team prepared the Buck engine for the semifinal round while the other group trashed inside the car, checking all of the components to ensure it was ready for action.

The semifinals delivered hope along with a side dish of disappointment. The car left the starting line and ran its best sixty-foot time ever, a .879-second sprint to the first timing cone. As the car advanced, the transmission didn’t shift into second and the engine sat on the rev-limiter, which caused damage and ended their weekend of fun. It turns out that the shifter solenoid was damaged by debris from the driveshaft failure. In Luis’ opinion, the Camaro was on its way to a 3.52 or better performance.

The team is making repairs to the Camaro and restocking the back-up parts as the series takes the summer off and returns for the Yellow Bullet Nationals at Cecil County Dragway over Labor Day Week in the opening days of September. Luis is sitting first in the point with four events left on the schedule.

From Formula Drift teams to multi-car championship Radial racing operations like Broke Azz Racing, there is a reason you’re seeing #FuelTechEverywhere