With more than two decades of drag racing experience to his name, New Hampshire native Tim Dutton is jumping into the deep end and just kicked off an all-new, comprehensive build aimed at taking down the competition in Pro 275, Outlaw 10.5, and even Radial vs the World.
Most recently, Dutton campaigned a turbocharged ‘99 Camaro built by Markow Race Cars in X275. Powered by a 364 cubic-inch, small-block Chevy engine, the eye-catching F-body clicked off an impressive 4.29-second, eighth-mile blast at Donald Long’s No Mercy X race in 2019, but Dutton parted ways with the Fourth-Gen Camaro not long after.
“I had a chance to sell the operation and decided to take some time off,” he stated. “Then my wife, Sherri, talked me back into it so we’re building a whole new car.”
Thanks to the encouragement from his better half and due to Dutton’s past history of working with renowned tuner Jamie Miller, he decided to base his TD Construction-backed build around the Ball Ground, Georgia, area—a hotbed for radial-tire race car production. Partners Peter Volpe Jr. with Commonwealth Scaffolding and Jason Gates with Gates Consulting have also joined the venture and are involved with the project.
The build is still in the preliminary phases, but Dutton’s hungry to get rolling. As soon as the carbon fiber C7 Z06 ’19 Corvette factory body replica in GM Medium Impulse Blue is completed by Skinny Kid/Cynergy Composites, Ryan Rakestraw at RK Racecraft will begin the chassis work.
“I spent three weeks interviewing chassis guys, and Jamie recommended Ryan. This will be Ryan’s first build,” noted Dutton, as Rakestraw typically worked mostly on finishing and repair work in the past. “He’s hired Gary Naughton who has built a ton of cars, so this should be really top notch.”
Practically right down the road from RK Racecraft is the legendary Pro Line Racing operation, and Dutton has decided on running a PLR raised cam HEMI engine. “Why not? It’ll be the baddest of the bad—the latest HEMI that Pro Line offers,” he added excitedly.
Although Dutton was formerly a turbocharger guy, he’s also decided to go with a ProCharger with zoomie-style headers for his new platform because it reminds him of the old days of watching supercharged Pro Mods and he just wanted to try something different from what he had done in the past. Pro Line’s recent success with ProCharged combinations, too, certainly didn’t hurt.
Some things never change, though, and Dutton will stick with his transmission of choice—an M&M two-speed Turbo 400 and lockup converter.
Dutton’s location selection for building his Corvette also comes with convenience, as Homier Fabrications is also in the area and will handle the wiring work of the FuelTech FT600 engine management system and other requisite accessory components once the car reaches that stage of readiness.
Mark Menscer of Menscer Motorsports has been tasked with overseeing the suspension setup, which will undoubtedly take only two clicks to get Dutton to the front.
“I can’t stray from the guys that have led me right so far, and Jamie [Miller] is the driving force behind it all,” Dutton said of how Miller was able to completely turn around his program last season. “My crew chief, Paul Thompson, will also still be with me and will be working with Jamie to make sure all of his instructions are implemented.”
With an estimated completion date of just under a year set as his target, Dutton can’t wait to hit the ground running with his high-end Chevy in late 2021 with a goal of running Pro 275 as well as Outlaw 10.5 on radials, and dabbling in some Radial vs the World when he gets the urge to do so, at various events around the country.
While the build may be taking place in the South, Dutton’s definitely aiming to take down Dixie and show that the North leads the way in Pro 275 performance. “Between this car and Manny Buginga [from Massachusetts] who has the record already, the South better watch out because there will be two heavy hitters coming now!” he laughed.
And, while he waits… Dutton has been asked to pilot a twin-turbo, 481-X-powered Mustang (for an undisclosed owner) in Pro 275 at the upcoming Sweet 16 and/or No Mercy races at South Georgia Motorsports Park in October, so at least he’ll have a little something to keep him busy in the interim.