Love him or hate him, one thing you can’t argue about is Cleetus McFarland’s patriotism and his obsession for Dale Earnhardt. It should be of no surprise that this Mountain Dew-guzzling guy loves screeching bald eagles, America, and most of all, his “Dale Truck.”
There aren’t many things out there that are more iconic in the racing world than the black and white paint scheme of the Intimidator himself. Any racing fan, no mater what genre they follow, recognizes the No. 3. Cleetus’ truck was officially a NASTRUCK built by Lockland Racing but it was driven by Dave Marcus who drove for RCR and not Earnhardt.
Earnhardt never officially raced in the truck series, but it is super cool to see this rowdy machine in the Goodyear Service Plus livery. Cleetus and crew even went so far as to add the yellow letter sidewalls back on the BFG drag radials to make sure he preserved the theme of this truck. Everything else is pretty much the same as it was when McFarland bought the truck — but the engine is a different story.
The new setup from Texas Speed & Performance consists of an LS7 427 topped off with a monster CDI intake manifold and a 4-barrel style throttle body. This mill has all of the goods to keep the engine together at the tune of 7,300 rpm. This is great news considering the engine made it’s peak power at almost 7,000 rpm … plus we have seen how Cleetus likes to beat on his cars.
With the Dale Truck on the rollers, Cleetus called on Jeremy from fasterproms.net to handle all of the adjustments to the Holley Performance Products ECU. It’s a good thing he did as well! McFarland thought they had the tune “pretty close” after making a few pulls on the street just to find out that the Holley was doing it’s job in closed loop and adding fuel to keep the engine from going way lean. When Jeremy switched over to open look the Holley was not able to correct for the tune and it was lean. After tuning on it for several pulls, the Texas Speed 427 cranked out an impressive 619 horsepower and 524 lb-ft of torque at 6800 rpm. If you estimate for a 15-percent drivetrain loss that makes this LS7 produce over 700 horsepower pretty easily at the flywheel.
Evidently 700 horses isn’t enough for the McFarland camp. With talk of them wanting to hit 1,000, nitrous is in the works for the truck. It should be fun to watch this thing going down the drag strip spraying 400 horsepower and trying to run in the nines. After all, what could be more fun than 427 cubic-inches, spraying nitrous, grabbing gears, and doin’ it for Dale?
We don’t know what Dale Earnhardt would think about this truck. He’d probably smile if it passed him going down the road and that’s exactly what every racing fan would do if they saw it. If you do happen to see it, give Cleetus McFarland a thumbs-up for us and of course a “Hell yeah brother!”