Big Red History 2011

In 2011, filming of the Big Red documentary, Big Red — The Original Outlaw Racer begins. It started as a small project for an episode. It snowballed into
a huge project by the end of the year. The film crew started recording every time Big Red showed up somewhere to compete. March 25-27 was Big Red’s second attempt at the Texas Mile. This time it wore the number 11 on the doors. For Big Red’s previous trip to the Texas Mile in 2009, it ran 204.7 mph. To make the trip from California to Texas worth it, Big Red got some upgrades. The single-carbureted intake manifold was replaced with a 2-4 tunnel ram and other power upgrades. Right out of the trailer, RJ pedaled Big Red to a blistering first run of 217.1 mph. That run earned him a spot in the 200 MPH Club for the event. It turned out to be his fastest of the weekend. The team (from left to right) Dave Ward, Jordan Smith, Mark Ewing, and Chris Kaufmann (not shown, Tim Fleenor and Larry Mollicone) put in a ton of work over the weekend in the Texas heat, but just couldn’t muster more speed. More power was needed before the next “mile” event The following month, from June 16-19, Big Red was in the haunted mining town of Virginia City, Nevada to compete in the Speed by Spectre 341 Challenge. It was Big Red’s first hill climb, but not its last. Luckily, Big Red was still a licensed

and registered street car, because that was one of the requirements to run. The local people got to witness Big Red driving on city streets in hill-climb mode. Also obvious was the film crew experimenting with camera mounts so they could get footage for the documentary. This was before drones were available to get great shots from the air, so even a helicopter was used to get incredible footage of the race. Big Red finished fifth overall, with a best time of the weekend of 3:29.99, easily earning a spot in the coveted 3:41 Club.
RJ and Big Red went back to their roots in September 2011. RJ even talked Joe Pettitt into coming out of retirement and running the Silver State Classic Challenge (SSCC) with him again. During the days leading up to the SSCC, RJ clocked a 191.9-mph pass in the one-mile High Noon Shootout in road-racing setup, which was good for a second-place win. On race day, RJ took it easy on the course because of the poor quality of the road surface, and turned in an average speed of 185.972 mph for 90 miles of Highway 318. Electronics in the car showed some instances of hitting 222 mph on the ninemile straights. They took first place in the Unlimited class at the event. Going for 

the gusto, Big Red hit the Vintage Auto Racing Association (VARA) Big Bore Bash in November with the 990-horsepower 598-cubic-inch big-block nicknamed “The Bullet.” It was at RJ’s favorite track, Willow Springs International
Raceway. It’s considered a “fast track,” with some big sweepers and a good, long straight. This was RJ’s second time running the Big Bore Bash. Big Red came out strong with the top qualifying time (1:30.801) and speed (99.118 mph) of the day. Unfortunately, The Bullet was too much for third gear in the Jerico four-speed early in the day during qualifying. They installed  the backup transmission, and third gear disintegrated during the actual race, so RJ had to pull off on the seventh lap.

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In 2011, filming of the Big Red documentary, Big Red — The Original Outlaw Racer begins. It started as a small project for an episode. It snowballed into a huge project by the end of the year. The film crew started recording every time Big Red showed up somewhere to compete. March 25-27 was Big Red’s second attempt at the Texas Mile. This time it wore the number 11 on the doors. For Big Red’s previous trip to the Texas Mile in 2009, it ran 204.7 mph. 

To make the trip from California to Texas worth it, Big Red got some upgrades. The single-carbureted intake manifold was replaced with a 2-4 tunnel ram and other power upgrades. Right out of the trailer, RJ pedaled Big Red to a blistering first run of 217.1 mph. That run earned him a spot in the 200 MPH Club for the event. It turned out to be his fastest of the weekend. The team (from left to right) Dave Ward, Jordan Smith, Mark Ewing, and Chris Kaufmann (not shown, Tim Fleenor and Larry Mollicone) put in a ton of work over the weekend  in the Texas heat, but just couldn’t muster more speed. More power was needed before the next “mile” event The following month, from June 16-19, Big Red was in the haunted mining town of Virginia City, Nevada to compete in the Speed by Spectre 341 Challenge. It was Big Red’s first hill climb, but not its last. Luckily, Big Red was still a licensed.

and registered street car, because that was one of the requirements to run. The local people got to witness Big Red driving on city streets in hill-climb mode. Also obvious was the film crew experimenting with camera mounts so they could get footage for the documentary. This was before drones were available to get great shots from the air, so even a helicopter was used to get incredible footage of the race.

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Big Red finished fifth overall, with a best time of the weekend of 3:29.99, easily earning a spot in the coveted 3:41 Club. RJ and Big Red went back to their roots in September 2011. RJ even talked Joe Pettitt into coming out of retirement and running the Silver State Classic Challenge (SSCC) with him again. During the days leading up to the SSCC, RJ clocked a 191.9-mph pass in the one-mile High Noon Shootout in road-racing setup, which was good for a second-place win. On race day, RJ took it easy on the course because of the poor quality of the road surface, and turned in an average speed of 185.972 mph for 90 miles of Highway 318. Electronics in the car showed some instances of hitting 222 mph on the ninemile straights. They took first place in the Unlimited class at the event. 

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Going for the gusto, Big Red hit the Vintage Auto Racing Association (VARA) Big Bore Bash in November with the 990-horsepower 598-cubic-inch big-block nicknamed “The Bullet.” It was at RJ’s favorite track, Willow Springs International Raceway. It’s considered a “fast track,” with some big sweepers and a good, long straight. This was RJ’s second time running the Big Bore Bash.

Big Red came out strong with the top qualifying time (1:30.801) and speed (99.118 mph) of the day. Unfortunately, The Bullet was too much for third gear in the Jerico four-speed early in the day during qualifying. They installed  the backup transmission, and third gear disintegrated during the actual race, so RJ had to pull off on the seventh lap.

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