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Time To Shine—David Fallon put the focus on his 2002 Chevy Camaro in NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street

Posted By: Steve Baur
Written by Ainsley Jacobs
Photography by Kevin DiOssi

 
After dedicating his life to caring for his family and putting everyone else’s needs above his own, David Fallon Jr. got to the place where it was his turn. Now, he’s quickly making up for lost time with his 2002 Chevrolet Camaro in NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street.
 
Fallon always loved cars and even raced dirt bikes and four-wheelers when he was in his late teens, but they weren’t serious endeavors. In his adult years, he focused on growing his career as a licensed building contractor through his company, Fallon Construction, and raising his five children and stepchildren.
 
“I knew I wasn’t going to get into the game until I could do it the way I wanted to,” said 48-year-old the Belleville, Michigan, resident of how he prefers to go all-in with everything he does. “I worked hard to save and make sure I live in a ‘paid for’ world—my house and everything—which later let me be able to focus on racing because I don’t have payments.”
 

It was Fallon’s father, though, who reminded him that nothing is guaranteed in life, especially time. So, thanks to prompting from David Fallon Sr., and after many years of tagging along to the track with his friends, including fellow racer Jackie Slone Jr., to help and crew, Fallon knew the time had come for him to move forward with his program.
 
In 2014, Fallon purchased a 1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo that ran in the late-1980s and ‘90s as a potent street car. Not long after, he obtained a 1972 Chevy Nova that was more drag racing-focused.
 
“Being around Jackie [Slone], a big nitrous guy, I started putting nitrous on everything I owned,” laughed Fallon, whose initial dip into drag racing snowballed quickly.
 
The two men partnered up to start their own business, Pro Hose Connections, in 2018, so that they could offer assembled AN race hoses and associated products to help offset the cost of racing, while providing their friends and fellow competitors with professionally fabricated custom hose assemblies. Additionally, Pro Hose Connections offers complete plumbing services and more.
 
Intrigued from having watched the Outlaw 632 and NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street classes, Fallon bought a 1969 Nova from Jeff Rudolf that Kevin Parent previously campaigned in Nitrous Pro Street.
 
“I raced the Nova with NMCA and PDRA a few times in 2020,” noted Fallon, who had a great time touring with his friends at Sloneboys Racing and finished fifth in NMCA Nitrous Pro Street championship points for the season. “I met a ton of new people and learned a lot like figuring out the processes and procedures, the characters and quirks of every track and its surface, and even how to park or get to the staging lanes or turn off at the big end at each.”
 

The Nova proved to be a great maiden partner for Fallon, but he knew the Outlaw 632 and Nitrous Pro Street categories were rapidly evolving from former Top Sportsman chassis and back-half older cars to full tube-chassis entries and Pro Mod-type builds.
 
Fallon listed his Nova for sale, and, on November 13, 2020, he quietly purchased a 2002 Chevy Camaro from Justin “Lil’ Country” Swanstrom. At the time, the F-body was skinned in an orange hue and was racing on the no-prep circuit under the “Aftermath” moniker, but Fallon’s acquisition brought it back to heads-up class racing with a white and black scheme from Phil’s Custom Paint.
 
Originally built by Jerry Bickel Race Cars in 2006 but updated by Cameron Johnson Race Cars in 2019 to incorporate more titanium components to bring the weight down, the 25.2 SFI-certified chassis hasn’t needed to be touched since.
 
The fact that the Camaro was already equipped with electronic fuel injection from EFI Technology saved him a ton of time and a ton of cash from having to do it on his own. Plus, Slone and his other friends who help out whenever possible were all already familiar with EFI and able to lend a hand with tuning.
 
A new powerplant was always in the cards, though, and Fallon called up an old-school legend in the nitrous world: Pat Musi. Originally, Fallon spec’d out a 4.84-inch-bore-space, 632-cube big-block Chevy engine with billet cylinder heads in late November of 2020, but as supply chain woes have lengthened lead times significantly and he still didn’t have the heads by the following June, he had Musi top the bullet with Dart 11X cast units instead.
 
For the nitrous oxide system itself, Fallon went with none other than “his guys” at Speedtech. “They’re my kind of people. Wayne [Davis] and Shannon [Jenkins] are some of the best—they’re always helping,” said Fallon, who plumbed the entire car in-house at his Pro Hose Connections company.
 

To transfer all the spray-enhanced horsepower to the racing surface, Fallon rounded out the remainder of his Camaro’s drivetrain with a non-lockup, three-speed Turbo 400 transmission from M&M Transmission with a matching M&M shifter, torque converter, and more. 
 
Fallon set up the rearend “loaded for bear” with all the bells and whistles.
 
“We run a Bickel low-mount, Pro Stock fab 9-inch rearend with a 10-inch gear, Carmack’s billet rearend, and I run Strange Engineering Ultra case stuff, so it’s a combination of everything,” he continued of the specs, which also include a Precision Shaft Technologies carbon-fiber driveshaft and MVM wheelie bars from Bohr Racing Products.
 
Eric Davis at Penske Racing Shocks Midwest manages the shock and spring program of Fallon’s nitrous-assisted entry and often comes to the track with the racer to ensure all the settings and air dumps are tuned to perfection.
 
When it’s fired up and huffing exhaust out through its zoomies, the 632ci Musi engine sounds a lot larger—and meaner—than its comparatively small size and Fallon enjoys the surprised looks he gets from people when they find out what’s truly “under the hood.”
 

He didn’t debut the F-body until midway through his 2021 season, but Fallon certainly made a statement when he did bring it out at the Inaugural Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival Presented by Force Engineering in late July at US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan.
 
Although he went out in the first round of eliminations, Fallon was pleased overall and couldn’t wait to get back to it again with the 20th Annual NMCA All-American Nationals a month later in Norwalk, Ohio, at Summit Motorsports Park. He made an early exit that weekend due to missing the reaction time in eliminations, but his confidence in his car was rapidly rising.
 
By the time the 20th Annual NMCA World Street Finals Presented by Chevrolet Performance at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in Indiana rolled around at the end of September, Fallon was undeniably more than ready.
 
“The car had originally been set up for two systems of nitrous, but we had only been running it on one at first to see what it wanted,” he confessed of how things changed later in the season with an additional shot engaged. “We quickly found out that it thrived when we added the second kit and an extra 225 pounds on it.”
 
In Indy, Fallon set the NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street elapsed-time class record not once, not twice, but three separate times.
 
“We ran a 4.31, which was a record, broke it with a 4.30, and then went 4.284,” he remembered of the exciting occasion where he took the top spot in qualifying with the run that also included the fastest trap speed overall. 
 

Fallon made it through to the quarter-finals, but wasn’t sure about the tune-up.
 
“I felt we needed to add more power and just goofed and knocked the tires off at the hit,” he shared. “If we had left it alone, we probably would have been more successful, but didn’t want to risk not winning. I didn’t want to kick my own ass all winter thinking ‘if I had just put a bigger pill on there…’”
 
Once again, Fallon finished fifth in points for the season championship chase and spent the entire off-season preparing for 2022. Before the first NMCA race of the year at Florida’s Bradenton Motorsports Park in March, Fallon headed to Bradenton for the U.S. Street Nationals race to do some preseason testing.
 
The USSN wound up being called due to unseasonably cold and unsafe conditions, so Fallon stuck around for some testing afterward.
 
“Me, my dad, Jackie, and his dad went back and I made 13 passes in two days,” added Fallon, who changed stators, changed gears and stayed busy working nonstop. “It was a lot of work, but we were successful at NMCA as a result.”
 
At the 20th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem Presented by Holbrook Racing Engines, Fallon was both tuning and racing for the first time. He showed tremendous skill in doing so when he ran 4.330 at 168.35 mph—including a top speed of 169.34 mph for the class—during qualifying to head into eliminations from the number-two spot.
 

Fallon advanced over Bill Garrock in round one, then enjoyed a freebie in round two when Kyle Salminen red-lit at the start. A ladder bye in the semifinals meant the man took a trip to the finals and faced off against Nicole Liberty-Cach. He had the advantage from start to stripe, capping off a great weekend with a winning 4.374 at 167.28mph blast.
 
A well-deserved visit to the winner’s circle was made even more special by the fact that Fallon’s 16-year-old daughter and crew chief, Ryleigh, was there to celebrate with him.
 
“She was crying, and it felt awesome to get that win,” said the typically stoic man. “It’s amazing the amount of knowledge she has already, and she wants to win as much as I do.”
 
When the NMCA tour headed to Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina for the 14th Annual Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport, Fallon was feeling positive, but had to eat a little humble pie along the way.
 
Between races, he had sent his TH400 transmission back to M&M for a little work and bought one of the company’s external transmission coolers at the same time.
 
“I made the quick connect hoses longer and hooked ‘em together. We had qualified number one with a 4.319 at 169.06 mph, but the car kept slowing down after that,” recalled Fallon, whose 4.623 at 161.00mph hit in round one of eliminations did the job by a slim margin. Concerned, he reached out to Micke for guidance. “Turns out, we were dumping converter charge into the pan every pass.”
 

Fortunately, a quick fix resolved the issue, but that meant Fallon had to proceed with “bogus data” already acquired from the weekend. Luckily, he had a bye on the next round, the semifinals, and was able to get his Camaro cooperating again with a 4.323 at 168.64mph tip.
 
The final round was a rematch from Bradenton and, once again, the win light illuminated on Fallon’s side of the track as his 4.329 at 169.06mph time slip put Nicole Liberty-Cach on the trailer as the runner up.
 
“My wife, Maggie, and family were there and it was really great,” he said happily. “The ride home is way better after a win.”
 
With back-to-back wins already under his belt for the season, Fallon was the favorite on paper at the start of the 17th Annual NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing Presented by Fuelab at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis, Missouri, in mid-May.
 
The event started with a wild ride when a rear brake caliper failed just after the driver pulled the ‘chutes during testing on Thursday night. He stayed cool and calm during the incident, but a dip into the gravel traps meant he had to scramble to get the front end straightened out in time for the competition.
 

Just as expected, though, he captured the top spot in qualifying when he ran 4.286 at 168.60 mph, but the luck didn’t hold and he went out in the first round of eliminations due to a simple mistake.
 
“I goofed and didn’t turn on the nitrous,” he said flatly. “I ignorantly changed my routine and screwed myself, and I’ll carry that weight until I can redeem myself.”
 
For Fallon, it’s the thrill of the win and the taste of success that keeps him chasing the glory in NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street and Outlaw 632. Still striving for his first championship, Fallon plans to stick with both categories for the foreseeable future.
 
“There are a lot of million-dollar operations running there now, but that’s what I love about the NMCA—it’s still relatively affordable compared to some other organizations,” Fallon added. He works hard to be able to race and enjoys doing so in a professional manner with a polished team. An organized and welcoming pit area with a fun, family-focused vibe, matching crew shirts, and many other small yet thoughtful touches enable Fallon to be evenly paired with others who have significantly larger budgets. “We don’t have a toterhome or generator we can run all day. I try to help people as much as I can and give them information so that they can learn as others have done for me.”
 
For Fallon, as much as he loves competing at a high level in drag racing, it really is his friends and family that make it all worthwhile.
 
In addition to his wife, daughter, and father, his friends, including Jackie Slone Jr. and Jackie Slone Sr., Justin Carey, Jamey Carey, Keith Scharp, and more, all contribute to truly memorable experiences that were worth waiting for.
 
“When we’re racing locally in Milan and our pits are packed with thirty or 40 people, cooking out and having a good time, it’s just the absolute best,” concluded the racer who is enjoying absolutely every second of finally taking the time to fulfill his lifelong dreams.


The Details
Owner/Driver
Owner/Driver: David Fallon Jr.
Hometown: Belleville, Michigan
Occupation: Building Contractor
Class: NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street
Crew: Chief: Ryleigh Fallon, Jackie Slone, Justin Carey, Keith Scharp, Jamey Carey, David Fallon Sr.
Car Year/Make/Model: 2002 Chevrolet Camaro
 
Powertrain 
Engine: Big-block Chevy
Engine builder: Pat Musi
Displacement: 632 cubic inches
Block: CN Billet
Bore: 4.600 inches
Stroke: 4.750 inches
Crank: Sonny Bryant
Rods: GRP
Pistons: Diamond
Heads: Dart 11X
Valvetrain: Jesel
Carburetor or EFI system: EFI Technology
Power-adder: Nitrous
Fuel brand and type: VP Racing Fuels Q16
Headers and exhaust: ZWN Performance
Transmission: TH400, non-lockup
Transmission Builder: M&M Transmission
Clutch/shifter/torque converter: M&M Transmission
Rearend: Jerry Bickel Race Cars
 
Chassis 
Body and/or chassis builder: Bickel/CJRC
Suspension (Front): Strange Engineering
Suspension (Rear): Penske
Brakes (Front): Strange Engineering
Brakes (Rear): Strange Engineering
Wheels (front): Weld V-Series, 17-inch
Wheels (Rear): Weld Delta
Tires (Front): Mickey Thompson
Tires (Rear): Hoosier 24.5/17/16
Aftermarket body modifications: Paint by Phil’s Custom Paint
Safety equipment: Stroud Engineering
Vehicle weight: 2,875 pounds
Quickest ET: 4.284 seconds
Best 60-foot: 1.02 seconds
Fastest MPH: 169.87
Sponsors: Pat Musi, Speedtech Nitrous, Hoosier Tire, M&M Transmission, and Pro Hose Connections


 

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