Date published: May 20, 2011
Journal code: NDRG
'10 CHALLENGER STOCK
When you consider that James Caro comes from a drag racing family that has competed exclusively with Mopars over the decades, it's no surprise that his current ride is one of the new Mopar Drag Pak cars, a '10 Challenger equipped with a 360-cid engine that competes in SS/IA.
"Among the cars that my father, Jerry, raced in the past were a '64 Dodge and '64 Plymouth that both ran in SS/BA and a '65 Dodge that ran in both SS/BA and SS/CA classes," said Caro. "More recently, he began competing with a SS/AH '68 Hemi 'Cuda in 2002."
Caro's first race car was a B/SA Hemipowered convertible that he started racing in 1977, which was followed by a variety of Mopar entries that either belonged to his father or other individuals. The new '10 Challenger is owned by Linda Wofford and her husband, Lloyd, with whom the Caros have raced for quite some time.
"They also have a '05 Dodge Stratus that we run in Comp," said Caro, "and they decided to get the new Challenger Drag Pak car because they wanted something new and different. We were all very excited when we heard that Mopar was going to produce the three different versions of the Drag Pak vehicles because we consider them to be the next generation of muscle cars."
All of the chassis preparation work was done by B&B Race Cars in Hohenwald, Tenn., which built the roll cage, added the four-link rear suspension, installed the engine and drivetrain components, and had the car painted.
Caro did the engine work with the assistance of Sonny Stancil and Don Brown. The car features a Mopar factory block, heads, intake manifold, and fuel injection; Diamond pistons; B&B headers; and a Charlie's oil pan. Modern Cylinder Heads prepared the heads and intake manifold, and Patterson Racing performed the required machine work. The drivetrain consists of a Pro Trans Torqueflite three-speed with an A- 1 torque converter, Ford 9-inch-type rear-end housing with Mark Williams axles and spool, Weld wheels, and Phoenix tires.
Having just recently taken delivery of the car, Caro has competed in only two races, the Division 4 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event in Dallas and the 24th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston.
"The car is a little different from what we've run in the past because the windows are not as tall as our previous cars, so the vantage point took a bit of getting used to," said Caro. "But the biggest change is switching from carburetors to the factory fuel injection. We're going through a learning curve with that."
To date, the best times for Caro's new ride are low 9.70s at 136 mph, and he expects to improve on those times considerably once they become betteracquainted with the fuel-injection system.