Brent Sinclair’s fourth-gen, 1999 Camaro has become a regular sight at some of the nation’s biggest drag-and-drive events, including Drag Week, Sick Week, and the Midwest Drags, where the Evansville, Indiana native and his machine have collected hardware along the many miles of pavement they’ve covered over four years.
Like many, Sinclair jumped into the car hobby as soon as he could legally drive, sharing that he “always had a passion for cars and all forms of motorsports,” but says that no one in particular really set the hook.
“At 16 my daily driver was an ’87 V8 S-10 that I raced at our local track in Chandler, Indiana. At 18 I had a ’91 Camaro Z28, and then a ’95 Pontiac Trans Am that I raced. In ’99 I turned my attention to racing motorcycles, but continued to do a little drag racing and road racing. In 2015 I bought an ’87 Grand National that re-lit the drag racing bug, but the car was way too nice to cut up to make safe to do what I wanted to do with it, so a year later I went out and found this ’99 Camaro SS roller. It had a very nice 25.3-certified chrome-moly cage in it, built by NRC Motorsports. The rest of the car was completely gutted and we changed everything.”
During that period, Sinclair befriended another Evansville native and drag racer turned street-car enthusiast, Ryan Hargett, of Hargett Automotive & Performance. The two, who today are so close that their homes actually back up to one another, worked together to build their respective drag-and-drive cars that they now travel the country racing in tandem. Generally anywhere you find Sinclair’s bright red Chevy you’ll find Hargett’s blue Mustang, and vice versa.
“Ryan’s become my best friend, and we did all of the work on this car ourselves. I learned so much having such a good mentor.”
Sinclair spent two and half years reconstructing the Camaro part-time while also helping finish Hargett’s Mustang (which you’ll also see here in an upcoming feature). Sinclair says he “found working on the car was very therapeutic. At the time I was my sick mother’s caregiver, and working on the car helped me clear my head.”
Sinclair debuted the car at Drag Week in 2019 and successfully completed the week — a win in the eyes of most for the debut of any new car at such a grueling event. But just a week after earning his license, he also earned a second-place finish at that edition of Drag Week in the Modified Power Adder class.
In 2022 Sinclair achieved a long-time goal by scoring a 7-second elapsed time at every track on Drag Week. Because of the license he presently holds, he was and remains limited to no quicker than 7.50 seconds, and spent most of the week lifting off the throttle around 1,000 feet to ensure he stayed over the mark. But he assures that the power is there to put the Camaro into the low sevens or perhaps even the high sixes, and he’s also hopeful to crest 200 mph in the process.
The car, one of the early chassis completed by Bob and Jay at NRC and at one time raced in the NMCA Extreme Street class, has a fiberglass hood, a carbon-fiber roof, and a wing, but otherwise is very much a real-deal ’99 Camaro on its exterior.
The TKM-built LS engine measures 395 cubic inches (3.622-inch bore x 4.15-inch stroke), built upon a Chevrolet LSX iron block, Callies Magnum crankshaft, Callies Enforcer connecting rods, and Wiseco full round pistons, producing a final 10.5:1 compression ratio. Previously fitted with Trick Flow 245 heads, a set of aluminum Brodix BR cylinder heads with Crower shaft-mount rockers are going on this spring. A Bullet Black Sheep camshaft provides directions to Victory titanium and inconel valves, TKM pushrods, PAC springs, and titanium retainers.
A Holley Hi-ram intake manifold with a Visner billet lid is mated to a Wilson 105mm throttle body to ingest the incoming air from the big Forced Inductions GTR102 turbocharger. That system also features a Precision PT3000 intercooler, two Precision 46mm wastegates, and a ProCharger blow-off valve.
The fuel system is comprised of a Magnafuel Outlaw 1000 belt-driven fuel pump, a Holley electric feed pump from the rear cell to the front, Holley 10 and 100 micron filters, a Weldon regulator, and Fuel Injector Clinic injectors. Sinclair drives the car on pump gas, and then drains the fuel at each track to switch over the C16 race gas. A Melling oil pump keeps the vital lubricants circulating up from the Moroso F-body oil pan, and a large AFCO radiator aids in keeping it all running at the optimum temperature as Sinclair drivers to and fro. ARP studs and fasteners have been utilized throughout the entire build. Sinclair and Hargett plumbed and wired the entire car, and Hargett handles the tuning duties through the Holley EFI system, traction control, and Racepak Smartwire.
The power is backed up with an RPM-built Powerglide transmission with a Gear Vendors overdrive, paired with a PTC bolt-together torque converter, all controlled with an M&M shifter. A PST carbon-fiber driveshaft transfers the grunt back to a 9-inch rear with a Moser Engineering third-member with Strange 40-spline axles and a 3.50 gear. TBM brakes are featured at all four corners; the front suspension sports AFCO struts, Burkhardt control arms, and Racecraft spindles, while the rear has a HAP-fabricated torque arm, AFCO coilover shocks, Racecraft lower control arms, a reverse wishbone, and a TRZ anti-roll bar.
Up front are Weld Alumastar 17×4.5 wheels with M&H 26-inch frontrunners, and Alumaster 15×12 4-inch backspace, double beadlock rears are wrapped in 275 Mickey Thompson radials.
Inside, you’ll find a racecar crossed with a showroom fourth-gen: factory carpeted floors, stock door panels, all the turn signals, lights, working power window and lock switches, and all, mixed with Kirkey aluminum road-race containment seats, a carbon-fiber rear seat delete, a VFN fiberglass dash, Racepak IQ3 and Holley 7-inch digital screen, and an aluminum steering wheel a with Strange quick disconnect.
With another round of under-the-hood upgrades underway, Sinclair is targeting the Summit Racing Midwest Drags and its east-coast route this July to let his F-body fly.