Nick Bacalis grabbed a lot of attention when he rolled out his BES Racing Engines 1996 Mustang to compete in the NMCA’s Street Outlaw category last year. In addition to the Grabber Blue paint job on the car, it also featured a mammoth 700-cubic-inch engine that wore a huge A/Fuel dragster hood scoop. Wild wheelstands followed, and the Mustang charged to a best elapsed time of 4.63 seconds at 153 mph.
For 2018, Bacalis and team decided to go with a power-adder combination. “We were going to take the engine out to 750 ci, and then the rules came out for a big-block on nitrous. We decided to go that route since we couldn’t get the car down to minimum weight for the NA motor.” With that, the short-block was taken out to 738 ci and several modifications were made up top to aid the nitrous oxide induction. “We took out compression with some new Ross pistons, Comp Cams redid the camshaft for us and we did some work on the heads to make the combustion chamber more nitrous friendly,” Bacalis explained. “Edelbrock makes a cast manifold for that engine, so we went to that to take advantage of the weight break the cast option offers. We also added some JR1 racing oil, a Visner 4500 throttle body, and an Induction Solutions direct-port, single-stage nitrous oxide system.
Making its re-launch at the 2018 NMCA race in Bowling Green, the SN95 Mustang charged hard to a much improved 4.47 at 166 mph. BES customer Isaac Preston was brought on to handle driving at this event, which allowed Bacalis to focus on tuning the Holley EFI. Bacalis informed us he will once again take over as the wheelman for the rest of the season. “It’ll run with the top guys in the class once we get the 60-ft time knocked down and get the car working a bit better,” Bacalis surmised. “We’re working with Ultimate Converters Concepts to get the right torque converter to work with the RPM Transmissions Turbo 400 we have.”