THe named Dominator – Joe Woods for his mother – synonymous with what I think is the funnest reality TV racing series of this century so far: Straight Outlaws. Basically, it’s about a group of guys from Oklahoma who are taking up street racing, and who’s been a standout on the show since day one with their big-block, Chevy-powered 1967 Dodge Dart.
First published in the December 2022 issue. Street Machine
Joe’s easy-going nature, the fact that he’s a budget fighter trying to juggle family, business and racing commitments, and his skills under and behind the wheel have all endeared him to racers and fans alike. I have become extremely popular.
Joe and his brother Shane originally built Dart in their back shed. The initial motor setup was a tunnel-equipped big-block shiv with four nitrous kits. Over time, Joe developed an online friendship with Sydney-based car builder and tuner Dale Heller of Castle Hill Performance. Dell, a popular Haltec dealer, eventually moved to the States with the promise that it would help with remote tuning in Australia.
This new EFI/nitrous combination on the Joe’s Dart quickly evolved into the case of a nitrous-assisted twin turbo, and then a full twin turbo. “When it comes to setting up the car with tuning, I owe all my Haltech equipment and the system’s ability to manage the deal,” says Joe.
In addition to the full Haltech Nexus vehicle management system, the big mover and shaker in the car’s development is the new, fully built, Australian-made Noonan Hemi engine. “They’re an amazing engine, basically based on the Chrysler Hemi but with all the modern improvements,” says Dale.
Joe has gone for a full water-filled engine on a solid block, which you’d think would be a lot of extra work. Not so, according to him.
“The only real work it created for me when I first put the engine together was to bleed the air out of the system,” he says. “My whole deal was, that’s it. Straight Outlaws And I want to drive my car on the road. My goal is that when we’re not filming, I try to avoid some drag and drive events like Rocky Mountain Race Week, Drag Week, and things like that, and I don’t really do that. can engine.”
Anyone hoping to participate one day. Street Machine Drag Challenge! “We’ve discussed bringing the car to Australia to do a drag challenge, and I’m 100 per cent in,” he says. “The hangup is getting the car back in time for the movie. No problem getting there, because it’s the end of our season. Your summer is our winter.”
Joe’s current Dart is not a real car. This is version two. He and Shane do most of the fab work themselves, and while they didn’t build the entire chassis, they fitted double frame rails, moved the engine and transmission to the rear, rebuilt the wheelie bars and four-link. And made new things. Header and turbo piping.
The rear is a sheet metal nine-inch with a 10.5 Quick Performance gear set, rims shod in 35×13 rubber, which essentially hold the car in place from the rear. To run with the big dogs, Joe needs to go 36×17 or thereabouts, which won’t happen without putting a new back half on the car.
In addition to the Haltec linkage and Noonan mill, other Australian components on the Dart include Plasmin clamps on plumbing joints, XX Racing injectors, a PWR electric water pump and Speedflow fittings. “I’ve got to tell you right off the bat, I don’t have a single Australian piece I don’t like,” enthuses Joe. “Noonan Hammy just makes me speechless, to be honest. [Plus] Speedflow stuff, plasma main parts, and I have a floater rear end housing that I haven’t set up yet from Race Products.
Joe recently switched from running Precision turbos to a set of twin 88s with Hearts turbos. “At 66lb of boost, the turbos are up considerably, and the 521ci Noonan will be making every bit of 3800hp,” says Dale Heller.
The car has every conceivable sensor to acquire data, from converter pressure to shock travel sensors, EGTs, wheel speeds and more. Dell is responsible for fuel and ignition tuning, while Joe handles power management based on track conditions.
With a busy race schedule taking Joe from one side of the country to the other on a weekly basis, maintenance at the Noonan mill is fairly quick.
The motor gets a new set of rods every 40 passes or with every big over rev. Joe has managed two seasons of a set of pistons, changing the big end and main bearings at 20 passes and the valves at 40.
“When we’re not filming, I’ll try some drag and drive events like Rocky Mountain Race Week and Drag Week.”
To date, the Dart has clocked a best of 3.89@200mph in eighth place, which is quite impressive on an unprepared track. But an overhaul is underway that should see it go even faster.
“We’re in the middle of building a new car with a completely new chassis,” says Joe. “Unfortunately we only have a small window to build the car from November to February, and we’re not done yet. It will be slightly different as it will be fitted with a Daytona rear wing and front end.
”The car has a steel roof and quarters and will be a double frame rail construction with a funny car cage and race products floater rear end. We’ll get a 36-inch tire under the rear and we’ve really focused on building a car that’s easy to work on.
We can’t wait to see Joe’s redesigned dart-kicking ass on both the road and the track. Here’s hoping those Drag Challenge plans become a reality!