Lyle Barnett Wheels Jason Digby's Dart To Insane Leaf Spring World Record at OSCR 5!
Let’s be honest here, the rear suspension is usually one of the first major changes made to a chassis when a team decides to take an all-out approach to going fast on the track. If not one of the first, its often a last resort when trying to extract that last little bit of ET from a combination. The point here being that when a car is a max-effort build, it usually has some pretty trick, high-dollar coil over shocks keeping the rear end planted.
And then there’s this!
Jason Digby, a dentist from Mississippi and quite literally one of the nicest guys on the planet, decided to take a drastically different approach with his beloved Dodge Dart, appropriately nicknamed Tooth Jerker. Instead of upgrading the rear suspension to the latest ultra-trick shocks, he decided to leave the leaf springs in place. To help put this in perspective, you’re talking about the same type of rear suspension that was used on horse-drawn carriages as far back as 1750.
However, with a lot of work, dedication and testing, they’ve managed to make the car insanely quick. Not only does driver Lyle Barnett have his name etched into the history books as the driver of the first leaf spring car in the 4.teens in the 1/8th mile, the car is also knocking on the world record in the class in which it competes, Limited Drag Radial. The current class record is a blistering 4.11 held by Justin Martin, while Barnett sits just behind him with a best elapsed time of 4.13 in the Tooth Jerker.
With a Chrylser engine under the hood, the car remains loyal to its Mopar roots, and the 547 cubic inch Harrell Engine and Dyno-built engine – force fed by a single monster 118mm turbocharger hung out front – makes enough power to push the car even quicker, according to Digby.
Could we see a leaf spring car in the hallowed 3-second range? Everybody in the Tooth Jerker camp certainly seems to believe they’ll get there soon. Not bad for a car riding on the same springs as your grandpa’s old farm truck!