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Local team ready to: Run all out


Racers to appear on Speed channel



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A 1968-2 door-Plymouth Barracuda manufactured by the Chrysler-Plymouth division from 1964-1974 takes off from the starting line during a recent race. Photo provided. (click for larger version)
September 01, 2010 - Lose the race, lose your ride.

There's an auto racing concept where racers bet their car's "pink slip" or registration on one trip down a quarter-mile. The loser walks home.

The concept spawned from street racing was moved to cable television a few years ago on the Speed Channel on Fox Sports. From those beginnings the show known as "Pinks" moved into "Pinks All Out" where everyday people stepped in behind the wheel of cars they built with no sponsors, no pit crews with one simple rule:

Run all out.

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Show creators say it's a chance for the grassroots racers to go head-to-head on a national television stage and win a part of the $25,000 in cash and prizes.

A handful of local auto talent took the challenge.

Local businessman David Milligan of Ortonville-based Northwest Heating and Cooling, engine builder Michael Casey of Goodrich, and chassis/paint man Robert Isbell of Ortonville pooled their skills and took a shot at making it to the show.

"About two years ago I had a double heart bypass," said Milligan, who drives the car. "At that point I decided, 'Hey, it's time to give this a try.' In the 1960s and 70s I raced for pinks up and down Woodward Avenue—when it was really a cruise. So this was a natural."

The team put together a 1968 two-door Barracuda, manufactured by the Plymouth division of the Chrysler Corporation from 1964 to1974. The engine was replaced with a 451 cubic inch big block Chrysler, dual 750 Holly carburetors and a automatic transmission. The combination kicks out about 700 horsepower and averages just over 10 seconds in the quarter mile with a speed of about 129-131 mph.

"Across the United States there are about a dozen, "Pinks All Out," races," said Milligan. "On Dec. 7, 2009 they opened the registration for the competition and about 20,000 racers from all over tried to get in. We made it."

The local crew competed against 440 other cars in Norwalk, Ohio, on Aug. 27-28.

Milligan said that each car gets two runs on the quarter mile on Friday and two passes on Saturday.

"They take the times of the 32 closest group of cars, that way the fast cars and the slower cars are eliminated," he said.

Milligan said the first race was against a Ford Mustang, which the local team won.

"That win put us into the round of top 16 cars. So my next race put us on national television—they put a camera in the car to show what it was like behind the wheel."

The next race was a Chevrolet Chevelle with a 632 cubic inch big block engine.

"I had him beat for about half way down the quarter mile. Then he pulled away at the end and won by about five feet."

The local team did not win cash, but a gift card.

"We are going to try it again."

Milligan said he expects the show to air on the Speed Channel sometime within the next 90 days.

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