While many Pro Mod racers use nitrous oxide, Tolbert decided early on that the Bad Bird needed the baddest powerplant available. That meant a blower combination, which had only been made legal in the division for a Hemi engine in 1999. For this, he turned to Rick Paradis of Gardena, Californina, who built the combination around a 526-cid Fontana Automotive design. This uses an Arias cast-aluminum 426-type block with a set of Fontana aftermarket heads. Arias also supplied the pistons, while Federal Mogul fuel racer Keith Stark reworked the crank. In the center, a Crane cam opens and shuts the valves and a Barnes oiling system keeps everything moving smoothly. Hedman headers route the methanol exhaust out into the atmosphere.
A 14-71 Kobelco blower (required by the rules to stay at 24-percent overdrive) now tops off the package, feeding fuel into Paradis' custom intake via an Enderle injector and pump setup. NGK plugs light the combustion chamber mixtures with help from an MSD Super Mag 44 (that's the hot one). Though it hasn't been on a dyno, the combination is estimated to be making around 2,000 horspower.
A three-speed Lenco, which is coupled to a Crower two-disk clutch and Trick Titanium bellhousing, is mounted behind the engine. That in turn feeds power to the big Hoosier slicks through a Mark William rear end with a 4.30 gear. Monocoque wheels are on all four corners. With literally hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the program since it began, not to mention time, the car and Matt are again ready to do battle in the division.
For Chrysler campaigners in Pro Mod, there is an additional incentive to do well. This is the Mopar Performance Parts Pro Modified Shootout, held at IHRA's season finale at Shreveport, Louisiana, which pays a total purse of $50,000. Any competitor who qualifies for that program using a Mopar body/Mopar engine combination will automatically receive double payment for their winnings!.