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Team Holley Racers Crowd the Podium at Lights Out 12

Author: Jason Reiss | Photographer: Luke Munnell | 03/05/2021 < Back to Motor Life Home
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Holley EFI customers raced their hearts out at Lights Out 12 this past weekend, with five racers entering the winner’s circle and four more capturing the runner-up spot in their respective classes. Whether nitrous-injected or forced induction, each of these racers has one thing in common — Holley EFI powered them to wins over the toughest competition on the planet.


Ron Rhodes: Winner X275


Ron Rhodes took out several X275 heavy hitters, including Charles Hull and Eric Laferriere, on his way to the event win — on his birthday weekend, no less.


Lights Out X275 winner Ron Rhodes switched to Holley’s Dominator electronic fuel injection system early in 2020 to give his program the advantage of modern technology. Ron credits the team around him, including his girlfriend Kim, Ryan Witte of Holley EFI, Dean Marinis, and tuner Mike Thompson, for doing the dirty work to keep his program at the top of one of the most challenging classes in drag racing. “I was scared of fuel injection for sure. I had it professionally wired and didn’t want to leave anything on the table, but it was a flawless transition. People couldn’t believe how easy we made it look, but you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. Ryan, Dean, and Mike deserve the credit — they were a big help this weekend as the braintrust on this,” said Rhodes.


J.R. Gray: Winner N/T Small Block


J.R. Gray’s ‘Jason X’ nitrous-injected Mustang is no stranger to the winner’s circle, and this weekend at Lights Out, he found his way there over Khameron Evans when Evans couldn’t make the final round call.


Although we have no idea how quick or fast N/T Small Block cars are, we can infer that since vast sums of money are bet on their performance at grudge races worldwide, they incorporate some of the best technology on the planet. J.R. Gray’s win on Small Tire No Time is unique to him because he took over tuning duties on the car on his own for the very first time after working with Steve Jackson for several years.

“I’ve never run that car in the heat like that, so I’m really impressed with myself that I made the right calls on all of it — how to set the chassis up, on the Holley and the MSD, and built a new nitrous tune off what Stevie had. I’ve learned so much; when you’re on the outside looking in, it all looks complex, but when I got in there, it was really user-friendly. I can’t believe I was scared of it for so long,” said Gray.


Jason Riley: Winner Limited 235


“We’ve been whittling away at it, making the car faster, changing parts that didn’t work. It’s been a long, hard road. It’s not just showing up with a bunch of nice stuff, and it goes fast — it doesn’t ever work that way. We had a lot of parts failures last year and made some changes over the winter, including the Holley Hi-Ram intake with a Shearer Fab upper lid with a built-in intercooler. I’m really happy with that — we’re going in the right direction,” said Riley.


Jason Riley took his runner-up performance in Limited 235 from No Mercy 11 and turned it into a win at Lights Out 12 by switching his power-adder from a ProCharger D-1X to the smaller P-1X and dropping 200 pounds out of his car per an offseason rules adjustment. Riley uses Holley Dominator EFI along with several other Holley products like a Sniper throttle body and Hi-Ram intake atop his Bennett-built small-block Ford. He also has high praise for the help he receives from Justin McChesney from KBX Performance, who tunes the car.


Marcus Birt: Runner Up Radial Vs. The World


Marcus Birt’s Holley EFI-powered nitrous-injected Corvette is always in play at Duck X Productions races. Lights Out 12 was no exception, as Birt powered his way into the finals over Eddie Harrison, Jody Voyles, and Melanie Salemi before losing to top qualifier Jason Lee.


Jeff Miller: Runner Up Pro 275


The Pro 275 class has taken off in popularity over the last two seasons, and Jeff Miller’s Bumblebee Camaro is one of the major players. Miller qualified second behind Manny Buginga and beat Justin Harris, Robert Adel, Roger Holder, and Eric Dillard in eliminations before getting outrun by Mo Hall in a close final round.


Other Holley Racer Notable Mentions


Bill Gregan Ultra – Runner Up


Carlton Thompson Carolina N/T Shootout Winner



Anthony Sellers Carolina N/T Shootout Runner Up



Jackson Henderson 6.0 Index – Winner



Greg Schmidt RVW racer chasing down a blow-through-carb record using Holley EFI Dominator system for vehicle management.



 X  2021 Wheel Sweepstakes
 X  2021 Wheel Sweepstakes