Although he first started out drag racing, Ken Quartuccio Jr. eventually took a detour for a little road racing competition before coming full circle and getting back to his straight-line roots. After campaigning his Outlaw 632 nitrous-huffing Camaro for a few seasons, he decided to go big with a brand-new C7 Corvette radial tire monster.
Quartuccio, 48, lives in Wallingford, Connecticut, and is the owner-operator of the third-largest automotive transport company in the northeast by day. Fortunately, his family is involved in the business and not only understands his obsession with racing, but also supports it. So, when Quartuccio got to talking with longtime friend and renowned tuner, Jamie Miller of Pro Line Racing, an idea was piqued and promptly put into production.
“Jamie talked me into doing Radial Wars and some Outlaw 10.5 stuff,” explained Quartuccio, who knew he would need a new car for the challenge. Choosing a chassis builder was a no-brainer for the retired road racer, whose Camaro had been built by Skinny Kid Race Cars of Commerce, Michigan, and he decided to stick with the tried and true. “So, I went from the 632 ci nitrous motor to a 481X from Pro Line Racing instead.”
A C7 Corvette was selected as Quartuccio’s car of choice, and Miller was entrusted to spec out the whole deal. Keith Engling and Bill Gilsbach at Skinny Kid began work on the 25.2 SFI chassis in July of 2016 and completed the project in less than a year. “It’s got the bad boy GMM-7.8 four-link brackets and a billet center section from Justin Carmack at Carmack Engineering,” boasted Gilsbach of the bells and whistles included in the double frame rail Corvette, which also include shocks and struts from “The Shock Nerd” himself, Mark Menscer of Menscer Motorsports.
Gilsbach handled approximately 90% of the build himself and is especially proud of the work of art he produced. It’s what lies under the front end of the C7, though, that really matters. “It’s running a 481X with twin 88mm Precision turbos and Billet Atomizer injectors, and a TH400 transmission from M&M Transmission with a lock-up converter,” added Gilsbach as he sat between the frame rails while welding NMRA Mickey Thompson Radial Wars 2017 champion Josh Klugger’s new Mustang.
For Quartuccio’s Corvette, a FuelTech FT600 engine management system was wired up, along with an FTSPARK ignition system and SwitchPanel-8. “We’ve also got a lot of Racepak componentry and sensors to monitor everything, like ride height at all four corners, steering input, and more,” continued Gilsbach.
Once all the go-fast goodies were properly installed, the Corvette was sent off to Alan Pennywitt in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where it received it’s menacingly good-looking red and black façade.
“I’ve been nitrous my whole life, I’ve never had a turbo car… I’ve never even drag raced a fuel injected car,” laughed Quartuccio, who knows he’ll have a bit to learn outside of the carbureted world. Fortunately, he’ll have Miller to rely on for tuning and guidance, as Miller had also been tuning his Outlaw 632 Camaro in the past. “Jamie [Miller] had this car built exactly how he wants it, because I don’t even know what does what or what goes where – it was his deal to do however he wanted. He was absolutely instrumental in all of this.”
Once Quartuccio’s Corvette graduated from its life at Skinny Kid Race Cars, its next stop was to go to RK Racecraft in Cartersville, Georgia, to finishing and final setup. Previously, Quartuccio has run an Outlaw 632 elapsed time class record of 4.22-seconds in the eighth-mile and clicked a 4.11-second personal best in non-O632 trim while racing at Donald “Duck” Long’s “Sweet 16” race in March, 2018. He’s looking to pick up a few numbers with his new rocket, though, and plans to make a quick test session before joining the remainder of the 2018 NMCA Mickey Thompson Radial Wars tour.