It’s Friday, July 2nd. For a lot of Mitsubishi owners here in the States, that means staging for a three day weekend. Let’s get this party started right. Make the jump to learn a little bit about Kevin Jewer and his sequential-turbocharged, RWD Talon.
Does your Mitsubishi race team have an official name? What would that be?
What Mitsubishi do you race? In what series?
91 Eagle Talon, RWD. I run it at most DSM specific events and all of the local import events, as well as the various events that come around like Nopi, etc.
What’s your real name and role in the team? (Do you have a screen name online?)
Kevin Jewer (kjewer1), owner, driver, tuner, mechanic, pit crew, etc.
Where do you live?
In the wonderful state of Massachusetts. Someday I’ll move to a free state…
What do you do for a living?
To pay the bills I work as an equipment specialist for Intel. Essentially I work semiconductor equipment used to make computer processors and chip sets.
How long have you been racing this car?
This is the third season with this car. 10th season racing a Mitsubishi though.
Why did you choose this Talon to race? Features? Benefits?
After all of the drivetrain breakage on my 2g Eclipse GSX, the much more robust driveline of this car appealed to me. I can put about as much power as I want to this drive train and just keep on racing. It’s also consistent enough to test new ideas and gather good data.
What have you already accomplished with the Talon?
Mostly just new personal bests. Getting into the 9s on the first full pass in the car was a welcome surprise, and the first 8 second pass I made, at the 2008 DSM Shootout, was probably the highlight of my racing “career.” I’ve also been able to make compound turbocharging work pretty well in this application, which has been a rewarding and educational experience.
When giving the car the final once-over before a race, what sort of things are you looking at? What are your primary concerns at this point?
The car is ready to race when I put it in the trailer, hopefully. I’m generally just making sure the fluids are still good, tire pressure is set, chute is ready, etc. I’m basically just trying not to do anything stupid. :o)
What’s the stupidest thing that’s broken (or the stupidest reason why something broke)?
At the last event I won my round, but when I went to restart the car on the return road the starter was toast. Somehow the whole nose of the starter got blown off, no idea why. And naturally I had the bye in the next round, which was the semi-final. Figures. :o)
Walk our readers through what happens between when you get into and out of the Talon for a run and your concerns each step of the way.
And, when the car gets back to the pits? What then?
Man, a lot goes on in that time. I used to have a lot more to do, but I’ve gradually changed the setup so that I can focus more on the task of driving than anything else. My logger is set up to start automatically, the car runs great without overheating or anything, etc. Once I leave the pits I don’t bother thinking any more about the tune. I try not to think about anything except my performance as a driver on the track. A proper burnout is fairly important. Staging is 90% of the race. The rest is driving the car as straight as possible and getting it stopped safely. Back at the pits there’s a flurry of activity for a short time while the car is checked over, logs downloaded, tune up changed, and so on. Then it starts all over again.
What does it take to go the distance? Mechanically? Mentally?
Physical, mental, and emotional durability. Gaining the knowledge and the funds to run a car like this seems easy compared to the constant abuse you take from the long hours, hard work, and inevitable disappointments. And I’m just a casual sportsman racer, sometimes I wonder how the big dogs do it…
How have you tuned the car for what kind of powerband? Flat torque curve? Peaky?
What has been your favorite event? Why?
What other expenses are involved when budgeting for season of drag racing?
With the compound turbos I went for a pretty flat torque curve, compared to what I had on the big single. It’s just easier to drive the car this way. My favorite event is always the DSM Shootout in OH, and more recently, the DSM Showdown in NJ. Probably because I know and respect so many of the other DSMers that compete in those two events. As far as the racing budget goes, the biggest share goes to parts, but I’m always surprised by what it costs me to simply get the car to the track and back. Diesel, truck, trailer, etc.
What’s next for the Talon? Why?
More testing! The other half of the compound turbo project is to test intercooling between stages, and its effects on drive pressure, charge temp, etc. The goal for this season is 8.50.
Can people come and watch? Where and when?
Yes, I’ll have the car at the DSM Shootout August 15th, and at the DSM Showdown October 23rd, as well as all of the local events at New England Dragway.
Is it easy to get into this type of racing?
Easy to get into, hard to get out of. :o)
Who has helped you the most along the way?
Other DSMers mostly, it’s a solid community with a lot of guys willing to help and share knowledge.
Who do you look up to in the Mitsubishi community?
How do you encourage other enthusiasts to get involved in legitimate racing?
The guys that get it done and share their knowledge and help others. Shep, Kiggly, Marco, the guys at Forced Performance, and a lot of the NABR guys.
I try to encourage a lot of the younger guys to go to the track and give real racing a try, and help guys out on the forums as often as time allows. I had some help and encouragement along the way, so I always try to give some of that back.
Mod list? Dyno sheet?
Where can our readers go for more information on your team online?
Most of the car’s info can be found at POSRacing. The key mods are the RWD conversion including the Powerglide transmission, 12 bolt rear, ladder bar suspension, and big slicks, and the the compound turbo system, which consists of a T3 50 trim on a custom JM Fab exhaust manifold being fed by a T6 Borg Warner S475. The car doesn’t dyno well through the auto, but it has put down around 590whp on a Mustang dyno for 8.9-9.0 second passes in the mid 150s.
Thanks for taking the time, Kevin. We all appreciate getting to know a bit more about you and your DSM. It just goes to show that, if you put your mind to it, anything is possible. Going beyond that and sharing what you know with others is truly paying it forward. That is going fast with class.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the rapid fire run of badass DSM racers this week. Did you learn anything new? Was there anything more you would have liked to have known about each of these racers? Leave a comment below (or below any article on Gearbox) and we’ll see about getting those questions answered for you from now on!
Happy Independence Day!