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Lyle Barnett Resets Leaf Spring E.T. Record With Holley EFI Power

By: Todd Veney l Images by Brian Wagner05/01/2018 < Back to Blog Home
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Lyle Barnett, who's been resetting his own leaf-spring E.T. records from the time he took the wheel of dentist Jason Digby's Holley EFI-powered '69 "Tooth Jerker" Dart, just lowered it again. At the Holley EFI Outlaw Street Car Reunion V showdown at Beech Bend Raceway Park, Barnett, who came back from life-threatening injuries in an October 2015 fire at South Georgia Motorsports Park, ripped off an amazing 4.139 in the first round of eliminations.

"When I got back in the car in October 2016, the quickest it had ever gone was a 4.41," said the 27-year-old Limited Drag Radial star from Robbins, N.C. "Early last year, we ran a 4.31 at Darlington to unofficially break the record, then a 4.27 at Bradenton to make it official. At Lights Out 8 at South Georgia we ran a 4.24 and won the race, then made the first run in the 'teens,' a 4.19, in qualifying at Memphis, then ran a 4.18 in eliminations – that was the record until we got to Bowling Green."

Power for the record-breaking runs comes from a Pete Harrell-built 547 cubic-inch big-block Chrysler with a complete Holley Dominator EFI system and a set of Holley Smart Coils. "Once you get the Holley EFI set, it's dead-on," Barnett said. "You really don't have to mess with it again – it just works. From the time we started running it, we've had no problems with it at all, I mean zero."

At OSCR at Beech Bend, just minutes from Holley headquarters in Bowling Green, Ky., Barnett and crew had to overcome a huge explosion early in the weekend. The car broke the tires loose off the line, over-revved, and sent more than 50 pounds of boost through the intake. Holley technicians stepped in to help with the machine work, and, believe it or not, .051-inch piano wire from a local piano repair shop was used for O-ring material and sealed a combustion chamber on the barrier-breaking run.

"The guys from Holley really stepped for us," Barnett said. "It was all hands on deck. Who would have ever thought that piano wire would actually work? We kept throwing power at it, and it just kept running faster every time – 4.20, 4.17, and then the 4.13 in the first round, all right in a row, back to back to back. In the second round, we lost the cam signal and the motor shut itself off and put us out of the race. If that hadn't happened, we definitely have won that round and could have won the race. A Holley crank trigger and Holley Hall Effect cam sync will be on there the next time this car goes out, and we won't have that problem again. We're really just getting started, as far as I'm concerned. We're still nowhere near how fast this car is eventually going to run."