Over nine years had passed since Jack Foshee was involved with any bracket racing, and it was time to get back into action. Since there weren't any cars that interested Jack, and he drove a Dakota as his daily driver, why not race one too? Jack found this '87 Dakota at a salvage auction in January 1995, and bought it for $1400. It was hit in the rear, but this wasn't a problem, as Jack was going to completely rebuild and modify it for his racing adventure.
It wasn't until March 1996 that Jack started stripping the truck down, preparing it for a rebirth. Jack purchased the 2x3 boxed tubing frame and a custom pre-bent roll cage from Art Morrison Industries. The front suspension consisted of Pinto upper and lower control arms and rack and pinion steering with Wilwood front disc brakes. The rear suspension is a 4-link design that uses Chris Alston components and a wishbone locator.
The Dakota's new engine is a '72 400 big block Jack found in the trunk of a '70 Olds 98 in a local salvage yard. Maurer's Performance in Tempe, Arizona, fitted the block with a 440 crankshaft, B-engine connecting rods, and Keith Black 10:1 flat top pistons ending with a displacement of 452 cubic inches. The '67 B-915 cylinder heads were fitted with Mopar Performance 2.14 intake and 1.81 exhaust valves, and uses a Chrysler 292/.509 hydraulic camshaft to move the Mopar Performance adjustable rocker arms. The top of the engine received an Edelbrock Six Pack intake manifold and a set of original '70 carburetors. To ignite the gas, an MSD 7-C controller with a Chrysler mechanical distributor was used. The spent gases exit through a custom fabricated Stahl Headers Kit.
To move the power back to the rear of the Dakota, a 727 Torque Flight fitted with Turbo Action components, a manual valve body, and Cheetah shifter was used. A 3,800 rpm Turbo Action converter connects the engine and transmission together. From the tail shaft, a Mesa Driveshaft spins the Dana 60 rearend that came out of a '67 Dodge pickup. Jack narrowed the rearend's axle tubes and equipped it with Moser axles, a Strange spool, and a Richmond 4.56 ring and pinion set.
It wasn't until January of 1997 that Jack and Richard Young of Specialty Motors in Taylor, Arizona, started on the paint and bodywork. The Dakota's cab was first moved back 10 inches and the bed was shortened the same to compensate. Six inches were added to the front fenders and the front wheel openings were moved four inches forward. To permit the use of an Unlimited Products cowl induction hood, two stock cowl panels were fitted and welded together. Once the bodywork was completed, a fresh coat of Tangelo Orange base coat/clear coat was applied.
The interior work was put together by Bob Bielik of Ahmo Design in Glendale, Arizona, using aluminum panels and Autometer gauges. A Jaz seat and a Grant steering wheel finish off the inside.
The first time out to the track, Jack's efforts on the truck were nearly lost when static electricity ignited five gallons of race fuel in the bed of the truck. If it wasn't for an unknown, well-equipped racer with a halon fire extinguisher, it would have been a complete loss. Once the fire was put out, to everyone's surprise, the only damage was a melted tail lamp! Jack raced the truck that day and on its maiden run it went 10.97 seconds at 123.98 mph, and he was eventually able to knock off a few tenths to get a best time of 10.67 seconds at 123.61 mph.