Big Boost: Grudge Racing Standout Johnny Quick Goes Turbo

As a grudge racer John “Johnny Quick” Kramer has established himself as one of the fastest racers in on the street or the track. His nitrous-fed orange Mustang seemed to always be in the mix for the biggest races and pots at any event he attended. Kramer decided to change things up for 2018 and stray away from the familiar confines of nitrous grudge racing to step into the boosted world by switching to a twin-turbo setup and moving to Outlaw 10.5 racing.

For over two decades Kramer has been prowling the streets and track looking for any kind of racing action he can get. It didn’t matter if it was behind the wheel of his own car or as the hired gun for someone else, Kramer was game to run anyone. He has even brought his talents to the Discovery Channel’s Street Outlaws program taking on the best from OKC on the streets.

For 2018, Kramer made the decision to go class racing for the first time with his 2000 Ford Mustang that he fabricated himself at his home shop. To start off the year in Outlaw 10.5, Kramer’s Mustang will be powered by a 420 cubic-inch LSX-based engine that is filled with Diamond Pistons and Trend pushrods that he assembled himself. Competition Induction Designs provided the intake and LS7 cylinder heads that will mix the alcohol fuel with air to make power. A pair of 88mm turbos from Garrett will keep the boost flowing through the turbo system that Kramer designed, while a TH400 from JCR Transmissions and 10-inch floater rearend from Merillat Racing puts down the power.

This setup is something new for Kramer that he’s been working on for a while. Moving out of his comfort zone will be a big change, and he hopes it will make him even more competitive after he gets the car sorted out. “I’ve always run carburetors and nitrous on everything I’ve raced. I started messing with turbos and fuel injection a couple years ago and like the power it made. I liked it so much, I decided I wanted one of these setups on my own car and here we are,” Kramer explains.

With so many racers really stepping up their game in the heads-up world Kramer saw the writing on the wall and knew he needed to do something to keep up, but just keeping up won’t win you races. After crafting a plan for the project, Kramer got to work turning his Mustang into a new car that’s ready to race in multiple configurations to match his racing aspirations for 2018 and beyond.

“The 29-inch tire grudge class I was racing in got really out of control, so had to build a car to compete with new cars coming out. During the build, I wanted a car I could race everywhere and not just one class, so the car can run in big-tire or small-tire based on the changes we made. The car currently has my street car engine in it to start the year off. I have a bigger Hemi that will be going in at some point when we get the car sorted out more,” Kramer explains.

Now that the car is done, Kramer is concentrating on making it as consistent as possible. As he’s going through that process he is going to be doing a lot of racing anywhere he can.

“I’ll be racing this car in the Outlaw 10.5 heads-up series at Milan Dragway this year. I will also try to attend as many big-tire No Prep and street race events as I can during the season, as well,” Kramer says.

Taking a car that was running well and totally upending the combination has been a difficult task, however, Kramer got a lot of support to help get the car ready. “Joe Delucia and my girlfriend Nikki have been a huge help the past couple of weeks getting the car ready. Victor and Eric from Haltech along with Michal Ice Ignition have answered a lot of questions and provided technical support. Brian Winarski has given me great advice on how to build a badass LS engine. Joe Cicalo got me the transmission I needed and Pete from SDE Torque Converters helped to round out the driveline. Marty Merillat hooked me up with a great rearend and other trick fabricated parts for the car too.”

The plan for Kramer and his team now is to get as much testing in as they can to get the Mustang ready for a heavy schedule. When the new Hemi is ready Kramer will be able to show the full potential of what this small-tire terror can do on the track or street.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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