Texas-Sized Showdown: This Vs That With The Kraken And A 4WD F-150

The Hoonigan YouTube channel’s “This Vs That” series is known for pairing two wildly modified vehicles to compete in a best of three drag race. Typically the two vehicles are not what you would expect to see paired together which makes the race even more interesting. For this episode the Hoonigan crew made their way to Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas for an epic showdown between one of the quickest Coyote-powered trucks in the state and a no-prep monster known as the Kraken.

This — Velocity Performance-Built F-150 Truck

For this shootout Russel Guerra of Velocity Parts and Performance brought his 2020 Ford F-150. Four-wheel drive pickup trucks have become one of the hottest things going in no-prep drag racing and Velocity is a premiere builder of some of the fastest and quickest street driven drag trucks in the country.


This F-150 features a 5.0-liter Coyote engine that has been resleeved and has had o-rings installed between the cylinder heads and block. According to Guerra, the engine has twin Precision Turbo Next Gen 74/75 turbochargers feeding air through an intercooler system he fabricated and into a Plasmaman billet aluminum intake manifold. Power is sent through a GM TH400 automatic transmission to a narrowed factory Ford rearend.

As mentioned before, this truck is four-wheel drive so a GM manual transfer case sends power to the factory Ford front differential. Guerra says the truck is making between 1,500 and 1,600 horsepower and still retains the truck’s factory ECU, but being that he’s a grudge racer it’s probably safe to take that power figure with a grain of salt. Planting the power to the pavement are four Belak Industries beadlock wheels. The fronts are 17×9.5 wrapped in M&H drag slicks while the rear wheels are 15×12 and roll on Hoosier slicks. Additionally, the truck features carbon fiber doors with lexan windows that Guerra says is good for a 120-pound weight savings. This F-150 is no-doubt very quick, but Guerra is going to have his work cut out for him against the Kraken.

That — The Kraken

If you follow small-tire no-prep racing at all then you will have most likely heard of, or seen, the purple 1971 Chevy Camaro known as the Kraken. Steve Little has made a name for himself and Kraken by winning many of the country’s biggest no-prep races as well as many races in “Mexico”, or as Little puts it, “It has a pretty good success rate.” The ’71 Camaro was a bracket car in a previous life before Little put it to work  in the no-prep scene. Powering Kraken is a stock-bore diameter 5.3-liter LS. The stock block is filled with a forged rotating assembly that is force fed air from twin 72mm turbochargers from Forced Induction Solutions. According to Little, the engine uses a pair of Kraken cylinder heads that are an exclusive part he sells through Kraken Race Supply. The car was recently converted to run on alcohol and still has an intercooler so keeping intake air temps down is no problem. Little says the car makes approximately 1,500 to 1,800 horsepower depending on whether or not he’s spraying the Nitrous Express nitrous system.

Obviously the Kraken is a two-wheel drive car which will be the challenge going up against a four-wheel drive truck making similar power. Kraken rolls on 15×12 Billet Specialties double-beadlock rear wheels wrapped in 28×10.5 Mickey Thompson slicks. Getting power to the rear wheels is a Freakshow Performance-built Powerglide automatic transmission rated to handle 2,500 horsepower. Controlling everything and adding traction control to the mix is a FuelTech ECU.

The Race

This race pits two drivers that are accustomed to getting down less than ideal surfaces and two vehicles making similar power that are built to make quick passes on no-prep type surfaces. Although Guerra’s F-150 is four-wheel drive and making similar power to the Kraken, it’s also considerably heavier than the Camaro and less aerodynamic. Round one is always a heads-up race to see where the two vehicles stand before negotiating the second and third races. The first race was close, with both drivers leaving clean the Kraken edged out Guerra’s F-150, winning by a one and half car lengths. Negotiating for round two, Little gives the F-150 the back tire. Fortunately for him, the result was the same as the purple Camaro pulled away of the truck, winning by approximately the same margin.

Until Next Time

This showdown was a good race and only adds fuel to the firey debate between the Coyote and LS engines. In this particular instance, the Kraken’s twin-turbo LS showed that it was the bigger gun in the fight. No doubt there will be many more races between Kraken and four-wheel drive trucks in the future.

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Jeremy Nichols

Jeremy loves to go fast, whether that's on two wheels, four wheels, or boating. With a willingness to compete at almost anything, Jeremy shoots competition long-range rifles matches and races road bicycles and enjoys building vehicles for people.
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