teve Kirk is of the new breed of Outlaw 10.5 racers. He shows up with a major-league racecar hauler, his 2000 Camaro carries only the best of everything, his uniformed team presents a professional image to the fans, and he backs it all up with stout on-track performances.

Kirk actually began his race-driving career as a roundy-rounder in dirt late-models back in 1984, but made the permanent switch to straight-line action in 1988. He has previously competed in Pro Stock, Pro Street, and Pro Mod, but the Monroe, GA-based driver seems to have found his niche amongst the outlaws. In March, he sat down with DRO at the Outlaw Racing Street Car Association’s season opener at Jackson, SC, to give his inner view of the class.

DRO: How did you get started in Outlaw 10.5 racing?

Kirk: Around ‘95 and ‘96, the 10-inch tire stuff started coming around really good and we actually had the first Outlaw 10.5 car that would go in the sevens in the quarter mile. We won numerous events, local races, in those years.

Then I went Pro Street racing with NMCA in 1998 and campaigned a ‘69 Camaro for a year and a half. I think we still hold the world record for a Pro Street automatic car, which was 6.88 at 207 mile an hour. After the ‘99 deal we helped Macon put on a big 10.5 race and that’s what really got this deal initiated, the first $10,000 race to win. I put that package together for them and since then I’ve been doing 10.5 racing exclusively.

DRO: What do you do for a living away from racing?

Kirk: We own Kirk’s Speed Shop and SKJ Race Cars in Monroe. We basically can build another car exactly like this one for whoever wants one.

DRO: Describe the car you’re racing now.

Kirk: It’s three years old, a 2000 Camaro that was originally a Pro Street car. We cut the front-end off; we front-halved it, basically. Cut the front off and replaced it with a stock OEM-style front-end on a chassis car. Davis Sheppard at Sheppard Race Cars did some of it originally, and then we came back and had to re-do a lot of it when the rules got tighter. Vanishing Point did the original car, but we’ve basically reconstructed the whole car since 2001. It’s got one of our personal Kirk’s Speed Shop engines in it, a 706 cubic inch.

DRO: What’s the attraction of 10.5 racing for you? Why not continue in Pro Street, or even move up to Pro Mod?

Kirk: Where else can you go for a two-day weekend and run for $7,500? For the amount of rounds you run here you can‘t beat it, and you don’t have to lean on your motor anywhere near as hard as you would in Pro Modified.

DRO: Is that it, then? It’s just more cost-effective?

Kirk: Yeah, the maintenance is a little more cost-effective, but you go through three sets of these 10.5 tires versus one set of big tires for the Pro Mods. This is a very expensive class to maintain, and I really look for a lot of corporate sponsors to get out here. There’s a race every weekend, starting from the end of February to December right now.

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