Builder's "dream project" is a stunner on and off the track.
Cool hotrods were not in short supply at PRI 2013, but none received more attention than the "Knox County Driller" in the Sunnen booth. This custom-designed 2010 Challenger is the 2013 MOPAR Top Eliminator for owner/driver Brent Jones, and was a "dream project" for designer/builder Mike Roth.
Jones approached Roth with a carte-blanche opportunity to design and build the super stock racer with a "70's retro look" and Roth immediately drew on a childhood memory of "The Driller" -- a perennial-winning tractor puller at his local fairgrounds. "The memory of The Driller stuck with me and when I found out that Brent is also an oil driller I knew I had the design theme," said Roth.
The car started as a Chrysler factory-prepped drag race package with only the motor and a plain, white body, and Roth did all the design/build work including the backend and transmission. The car sports a Mopar 5.7L HEMI engine built by Jeff Taylor in Louisville and a Chrysler transmission. Taylor used a Sunnen SV-10
to build the engine, and was also in attendance at PRI to see the finished product, and to purchase a new Sunnen line hone
The 4000-hour project includes crushed velvet in the dash, seats, wheel tubs, door panels and floor mats. "The custom paint is Pagan Gold and Candy Wine Red, with Gold Leaf HEMI logos on the hood scoop," said Roth. "I also added subtle touches like oil derricks in the trunk with the oil barrel-shaped fuel cell, and I put a UFO image in with the derricks just to drive people crazy."
Owner/driver Brent Jones is the first Mopar-powered Sportsman racer to receive the "Top Eliminator" award. The hot rod routinely posts 9.5-second quarter miles.