Eric Malone and Team 256 are back for the second season of Fastest Cars in the Dirty South! It’s been a rough year for Muscle Shoals’ preeminent grudge racing team. Track closures due to the pandemic mean half the racing season has gone by with no racing to speak of, but worse, Britt Berryhill spun and wrecked at the finish line on his first pass in his freshly built 1989 Fox-body Mustang.
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“The Bull,” Britt Berryhill’s 1989 Ford Mustang LX, was set to live up to its name with the 645-cubic-inch Ford big-block topped by a Gary Williams 1600 Dominator carburetor and a two-stage Nitrous Express kit. Hefty!
With its Bullet 9.80-inch lift solid-roller cam, Trick Flow single-plane intake and “A” heads, Maximizer 5 progressive controller, 275-series Pro Mickey Thompson drag radials, PTC Powerglide transmission and torque converter, and a Quick Performance 9-inch spooler with 4.10s and 35-spline axles, Team 256 expected this bullish Fox-body to charge down the eighth-mile in the mid-4-second range. But the best laid plans have a way of coming undone.
The Tragedy of Racing
Motorsports can be the highlight or the lowest point of a gearhead’s life. Working all year (or all your life) to build a capable vehicle, then going out and winning with it—not many experiences in life can match the exhilaration and joy of man and machine joining forces for victory. But all motorsports are inherently dangerous, and it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” something bad will happen. Many who participate in the various forms of vehicular motorsports have lost or know someone who has lost a loved one to an accident.
Britt Berryhill never met his father; he was killed in a motorcycle street race two weeks before Britt was born. A racer never expects a crash, but the smart ones always prepare for it. When tracks did start to open up for the 2020 grudge racing season, it was time for Team 256 to take out The Bull and show the South what it could do, but a tire blew at the finish line and Britt spun into the wall.
In its first pass ever, Britt’s Mustang was destroyed in a ball of nitrous-fueled flames. Thankfully, Britt walked away unharmed. Track workers were able to extinguish the flaming Fox-body before it was a total loss, but the engine, transmission, and front clip were ruined. Now that the racing season is in full effect, it’s time to not only rebuild the Mustang but also get Britt back into the car and racing again.
Rebuilding a Wrecked Fox-body Grudge Racer
Eric Malone set up a grudge race against Eddie Nunley driving “Cranberry Shine”—a New Age SN95 Mustang owned by Howard “Cotton” Shulte. Nothing brings a team together like a common goal, and getting Britt and the Fox-body ready for a race at Jackson Dragway is just what they needed.
While at Team 256 member Jamie Wayne’s shop looking for a new fiberglass front clip, Jamie just happens to offer up a dyno-verified 632ci Ford big-block. Kenny Ford, owner of PTC and Team 256 memer Deda Minor’s father, helps out in rebuilding the Powerglide transmission. And David Key of Key Speed and Suspension rebuilds the front end of the Mustang with a tubular subframe. Just getting The Bull and Britt Berryhill back out on the rack is a victory in its own right, but does the untested “Wrecking Bull” have what it takes to stand up to Cotton’s formidable Mustang and driver?
The Memphis 10 Call Out Team 256
When you’re number one, everyone wants a piece of you. Team 256 has a reputation for winning on the eighth-mile dragstrips of the South, but so do the Memphis 10, led by Jamie Otts and his formidable turbo 1968 Camaro. Jamie has not been leaving Eric Malone alone on social media and now Eric has accepted a team grudge match against Jamie and the Memphis 10. Brant Arnold is not happy about this match, even if Team 256 has two months to prepare for it.
Eric is going to have to make some big changes if his nitrous big-block G-body has a hope of keeping up with Otts’ lighter and more powerful Camaro. The racing season may have been cut short, but there’s still going to be plenty of action and drama on this season of Fastest Cars in the Dirty South.
Photos by Discovery.
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