$10K Drag Shootout 3: Revealing The Final 5 And The Popular Vote!

It’s time to get down to business in the Lucas Oil $10K Drag Shootout 3: No Prep Edition!

From a pool of highly talented candidates, we recently revealed the final 10 teams from around the country — and the world — that will vie to compete in the highly-anticipated third season of the build-and-drag reality show. From those 10, we’ve now narrowed them down to five — two of which the Horsepower Wars staff has chosen to appear on the show alongside returning champions, Team Enemies Everywhere of Australia. The remaining three teams will enter a worldwide popular vote to determine the fourth and final entrant to go to California this summer and build the quickest and fastest drag car possible in 10 days and with $10,000 and then compete on an un-prepped racing surface.

Before we reveal who is locked-in to the big show, let’s first introduce you to the three teams that will rely on YOUR vote to get them across the finish line and into contention for the $10,000 winners prize and the pink-slip to their racecar!

Team Out In Front

Pennsylvania’s Marcus Thompson is the leader of this team from Out In Front Performance, which features members with experience in everything from X275 radial-tire racing to big-tire shootouts, high-dollar grudge matches, and street races.

** TEAM OUT IN FRONT ** TOP 10 FINALIST - 10K DRAGS SEASON 3 - NO PREP EDITION

** TEAM OUT IN FRONT ** TOP 10 FINALIST - 10K DRAGS SEASON 3 - NO PREP EDITION ANNOUNCED TOP 10 FINALISTS ➡️ https://bit.ly/2JifXPb “We have been in those tight deadline experiences with minimal time to build a car before an event and have came out on top several times,” Thompson states. “We have spent those long weekends at the track fixing our cars through the night, fixing motors, chassis, and any other curveballs these racecars throw at us.” Let us know how you think they'll do in the next season of $10K Drag Shootout No Prep Edition! Special thanks to Lucas Oil, Summit Racing Equipment, and many others for their sponsorship of the 10K Drags Season 3!

Posted by Horsepower Wars on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

“Our team is experienced in all the required fields of racing experience, starting with our leader, Marcus, who is the ‘main brain’ of the team and our driver. His skills as a driver is another key factor for us. He has gotten several wins from out-driving his opponents. Not only can he drive but also has dealt with power management, and those last second laptop changes before every race have gotten us the win multiple times. Bobby Stephenson is our hard-working crew chief…he’s always responsible for making sure the car is 100-percent ready to make a pass from all the maintenance on the car. He has spent years racing and building cars with Marcus and other racing teams in the class-racing world and has done it all, from minor fabrication and wiring, to full-blown racecar builds and anything to do with drag cars.

“Joseph Zamulinsky is our late-night worker — Joe’s skills with fabrication, paint, and wiring have saved us several times when we are working with tight time schedules. He has no problem working through the night or nonstop to get the job done. Brandon Paone is our all-around crew member — he has been on our racing team and in the chassis shop for quite some time now and his skills have shown several times, from assembling the cars, chassis and welding, tin work, turbo kits and pretty much any job we throw at him. Lastly, Donald Robinson is our chassis man and all-around fabricator. He has been doing roll cages, turbo kits, tubular front ends, tin work, you name it, and he can pretty much fabricate anything we need which will be crucial in this event.”

Says Thompson, “Team Out In Front is the best choice because we’re going to build the baddest $10K No Prep car. We are a group of average guys that just have a passion for drag racing, and will do anything we can to build our cars. We don’t have crazy sponsorships or anything handed to us. We wheel and deal for everything we have and our shop is known for being one of the hardest-working teams around. My team and I have built multiple proven cars in all different categories, especially no-prep racing. This limited budget and tight deadline is something we are experts in. It would be an honor and we would love to put on one hell of a showing, and will not disappoint.”

Thompson’s team is already working on a game-plan should it advance on to the show.

“Our strategy to win the $10K No Prep competition is to not waste any time and play it smart all the way through. Our team is not a pieced-together group — we have worked and raced together for a while now and all have a critical role on the team. We will have our whole game-plan ready to go, and we are going to build ourselves one killer budget racecar.”

Team Low Budget Racing

Led by no-prep racers and event promoters Jason Flores and Matt Plotkin, this group from Texas has a wealth of experience in street and no-prep racing, and that could give them the upper hand if they nab enough votes to move on to the Lucas Oil $10K Drag Shootout.

** TEAM LOW BUDGET RACING (LBD) ** TOP 10 FINALIST - 10K DRAGS SEASON 3 - NO PREP EDITION

** TEAM LOW BUDGET RACING (LBD) ** TOP 10 FINALIST - 10K DRAGS SEASON 3 - NO PREP EDITION ANNOUNCED TOP 10 FINALISTS ➡️ https://bit.ly/2JifXPb “I am BIG into street racing as I really love how the street is the equalizer. I have had numerous cars that were mainly dedicated to street racing,” Flores says. “These past few years my team and I have been getting into the no-prep scene.” Flores and his crew have each purpose-built a variety of cars for different classes and all help one another like a team, and that could make them formidable in this competition. Let us know how you think they'll do in the next season of $10K Drag Shootout No Prep Edition! Special thanks to Lucas Oil, Summit Racing Equipment, and many others for their sponsorship of the 10K Drags Season 3!

Posted by Horsepower Wars on Thursday, April 2, 2020

“We believe we are the best choice because we are the most authentic team to no-prep racing as a whole,” Flores says emphatically. “Our team has been heavily involved in many different areas no-prep racing for a number of years before this competition. From hosting events to racing in them, sometimes both in the same weekend! We definitely know what it takes to get down an up-prepped surface faster than the competition.”

Flores and his team are already borrowing on their experience as they share the on-track strategy needed to win, telling, “our plan is to focus mainly on getting down the front half of the racetrack as quick as possible. From our experience this competition will be won or lost in the first 60-feet of the race.”

Says Flores of his team, “Matt Plotkin has been in the racing scene for years and has had numerous cars…he has great knowledge of modern technology. Justin Cavacos has been in the game just as long — he works at Texas Speed and Performance and definitely helps us with parts. Mike Garza can find you any part in any state or country in the world…he is a great help when it comes to assembly with his attention to detail. And Jason Maldonado is our designated highway driver when he isn’t helping in the shop with fabrication and assembly.”

Team Homegrown

Reigning Limited Drag Radial national champion Jim Howe, Jr. is bringing his personal race team along for the ride in the Lucas Oil $10K Drag Shootout, and their collective experience as a unit could well earn him yet another title, this time on the small screen. Howe, a menacingly large figure, has included both family and close friends — all part of his championship effort — to his team, and that, he believes, is their ticket to success.

“I feel Team Homegrown is the best choice because we work together now as a team, and we know how to battle against time and money better than the rest, with a decade-long track record together doing it. Failure is not an option for our team. We have the best folks for the job. Every member of this team can and has driven these style cars, every member of this team has worked together in critical times, and every member of this team is driven to win. There is no better team in the world.”

** TEAM HOME GROWN ** TOP 10 FINALIST - 10K DRAGS SEASON 3 - NO PREP EDITION

** TEAM HOME GROWN ** TOP 10 FINALIST - 10K DRAGS SEASON 3 - NO PREP EDITION ANNOUNCED TOP 10 FINALISTS ➡️ https://bit.ly/2JifXPb “I feel I can bring something to the show that’s not been seen yet: a family team with a passion to go fast and no-quit attitude. I’ve raced my entire life with less than the rest, so this is right up my alley,” says Howe. Let us know how you think they'll do in the next season of $10K Drag Shootout No Prep Edition! Special thanks to Lucas Oil, Summit Racing Equipment, and many others for their sponsorship of the 10K Drags Season 3!

Posted by Horsepower Wars on Thursday, April 2, 2020

“My father Jim Howe Sr. is the best problem solver in the world…there’s nothing he can’t do,” Howe, Jr. says, as he introduces his team. “He’s a driver, tuner, wrench, welder, with 60 years automotive experience. Bret Moore is a former shop manager of Mondello Performance, and is a machinist, engine builder, fabricator, and crew chief on my radial car. And my wife, Amanda Howe, known as ‘Puddin,’ is the fastest woman in the world on drag radials, street racer, lightweight driver. My wife is an accomplished driver as am I, but the limelight has been on me for several years because, with our kids, we both can’t compete like we would like. This gives us a chance to showcase our true abilities, and hers, and let the people at home see what a family team can do.”

In addition to those already named, Howe has added Radial versus The World heavy-hitter and renowned chassis builder David Reese to his group, making for a very formidable team.

Says Howe of his strategy, “I don’t think anyone is more capable than we are on a tight schedule and a tight budget, we do it every week. My father, my wife, and I all have experience in every aspect of drag racing and street racing. And none of us understand failure. Like anything else in life, it’s proper planning and team work. We have several options put together on paper going into the official build date. We know the Summit catalog and off-the-shelf combinations that work. This is our lifestyle and we are already a working team…this is not a hand-picked team that hopes to sneak in a win. We are a functional team that only accepts winning.”

There are your three teams — one goes on, two are left watching from home. The decision is up to you! The final vote will run for a period of 7 days, beginning today (April 10) and running through 11:59 p.m. PT on April 17. Cast your vote for your favorite team on Facebook NOW by clicking HERE.

[Ed note: You need to be logged into Facebook to vote. If you are on a mobile or tablet, it may be easier to visit the Horsepower Wars Facebook page on your Facebook app and cast your vote.]

So Who’s In?

Team Mid America Kustoms

Indiana’s Adam Hodson is an engineer by trade who dropped everything to go off and build racecars, so we’d say he’s got just the ambition and mindset needed for the Lucas Oil $10K Drag Shootout.

A successful no-prep racer and race promoter, Hodson has assembled the best in his circle for what he believes will be a winning team

“Not sure how we did it but we are extremely excited,” says Hodson. “This stuff is literally our life and especially when it comes to the no prep side of things.”

** TEAM MAK ** TOP 10 FINALIST - 10K DRAGS SEASON 3 - NO PREP EDITION

** TEAM MAK ** TOP 10 FINALIST - 10K DRAGS SEASON 3 - NO PREP EDITION ANNOUNCED TOP 10 FINALISTS ➡️ https://bit.ly/2JifXPb Folks around the Midwest — and even the country — are likely aware of Indiana native Adam Hodson and members of his team. Hodson, an engineer by trade, quit a perfectly good job and followed his passion to open up Mid America Kustomz, building an assortment of cars, performing EFI installs, tuning, and all things automotive. Let us know how you think they'll do in the next season of $10K Drag Shootout No Prep Edition! Special thanks to Lucas Oil, Summit Racing Equipment, and many others for their sponsorship of the 10K Drags Season 3!

Posted by Horsepower Wars on Thursday, April 2, 2020

Locked in to the show, Hodson and his camp are full steam ahead in drawing up plans for the $10K Drag Shootout. And he makes no bones about their overall strategy: go for the jugular.

“Our strategy is to come out and kick these guys asses,” he says. “Building fast, budget-restricted, no-prep cars is what we do on a weekly basis. Whether it’s one of our own personal cars, a car in the Team260 group, or a customer car, we have learned how to not only make a lot of power with little money but also how to make multiple chassis go right down a dirt road. That is all we are giving away right now…we don’t want these other guys trying to snipe our ideas.”

Hodson adds, “Planning for us will be everything. We are over 2,000 miles away from home, so we don’t exactly have our normal support team or guys we can lean on for parts locally. We will definitely be spending a lot of time plotting out our expected budget and how we can build the most competitive car with the $10,000. Obviously we won’t know the chassis until we get there, so we will just have to plan out a few options.”

Hodson goes into detail on the members of his team, sharing, “Nick Taylor is our lead fabrication guy and part owner of Mid America Kustoms; he can fabricate and weld anything needed, no matter what the material. Nick is also a talented driver and chassis man. Shawn Fensler is our suspension and chassis specialist with a background in not just drag racing but other things like offroad truck racing. Shawn is also a very talented tuner and problem-solver. Shawn is a quick study that loves to learn and no challenge is too big. Mick Bodigan is an OG car builder and racer in our area…he’s the one who everyone went to for the past 30 years when they needed big-tire chassis cars built or even nasty blower big-blocks. Mick is an old-school type of guy with a never-quit attitude that knows how to do things the right way.”

When asked about his competition and their chances to win, Hodson stated, “Making horsepower is the easy part of this deal; the hard part and what will separate the winners from the losers is your ability to tune the chassis.”

Team Free Form

If Ryan Saiki and his team are any indication, perhaps what the Idaho drag racing scene lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality.

Saiki is a 27-year old, full-time fabricator and a second-generation drag racer with a wealth of experience passed down from his father — and his talents and professionalism are sure to make this team out of Free Form Motorsports a contender in this year’s build-off.

** TEAM FREE FORM ** TOP 10 FINALIST - 10K DRAGS SEASON 3 - NO PREP EDITION

** TEAM FREE FORM ** TOP 10 FINALIST - 10K DRAGS SEASON 3 - NO PREP EDITION ANNOUNCED TOP 10 FINALISTS ➡️ https://bit.ly/2JifXPb “I believe my team has the knowledge and know-how to get it done,” Saiki says. “We do all our own fabrication, engine building, transmission building, rear end set up, wiring, tuning, and so on. We like to do more with less and are always a threat to win when it comes to race day.” Let us know how you think they'll do in the next season of $10K Drag Shootout No Prep Edition! Special thanks to Lucas Oil, Summit Racing Equipment, and many others for their sponsorship of the 10K Drags Season 3!

Posted by Horsepower Wars on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

“We are extremely excited to be a part of the show,” Saiki exclaims. “I grew up in Southern California and it is like a second home to me and my crew. We are all really familiar with the area and travel there a few times a year for different races.”

Saiki’s team includes his father, Mike, and business partner, Jarom Woodland.

“My dad grew up drag racing his entire life. He builds custom cars in Southern California, and he’s in charge of building all the engines for our street and racecars. He also does paint and body work, fabrication, and wiring. As far as racing goes, he’s one of the winningest drivers on the west coast, having won multiple championships with WCHRA, PSCA and SCSN. Jarom has a background in metal fabrication for the commercial side of buildings and homes; he brought all his knowledge he learned doing that to the car scene and has adapted really well with his amazing fabrication skills. Brandon Weber is a good friend who runs and owns Accelerated Racing Solutions. They recently made the move to Texas to try and expand their business; he specializes in late model GM tuning and builds.’

“Our strategy coming into this is to stay focused and keep our eye on the prize,” Ryan says. “We’re going to form a plan and each team member is going to have specific tasks they’re in charge of. If we execute our plan to perfection, the other teams are going to have a hard time beating us!”

Calm and collected, Saiki isn’t sweating any of the competitors, neither those locked-in nor the teams heading to the popular vote.

“We aren’t too worried about any of the other teams in particular. It’s hard to say who I would want to win. They would all be good competition and that is what we’re after. We want to compete against the best there is to prove we are the best. But if I had to choose one, I would say Jason Flores and his team, as I think they’d be the best competitors.”

With three teams locked in — one from Indiana, one from Idaho, and the returning champions all the way from Australia — all that remains is deciding the fourth and final squad to enter into this four-way battle royale that will unfold on your television screens and mobile devices this fall. Get out and vote!

Horsepower Wars Season 3 will be made possible by its title sponsor Lucas Oil as well as ARPBMR Suspension, Comp Cams, Dyna-Batt, E3 Spark Plugs, Holley, Kooks Header, Lucas Oil, MAHLE Motorsports, Moroso, Moser Engineering,  NOS, PROFORM PartsPRW IndustriesQA1Ron Francis, Summit Racing, SpicerTotal Seal, Victor Reinz, Tuff Stuff Performance, Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, B&M, Impact Race Products, and more.

About the author

Andrew Wolf

Andrew has been involved in motorsports from a very young age. Over the years, he has photographed several major auto racing events, sports, news journalism, portraiture, and everything in between. After working with the Power Automedia staff for some time on a freelance basis, Andrew joined the team in 2010.
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