It’s about this time each season that Ohio native Mark Carlyle’s name springs up in the news every few days as he and IPS Motorsports crew take advantage of the incredible fall weather conditions to chase records and make history with their twin turbocharged, late model Corvette.
Just two years ago, Caryle’s Corvette was still pulling street duty as a chauffeur vehicle to drop his kids off at school while it battled Keith Berry for the IRS record that stood in the low eights at the time. But my how things can change in just a couple of years.
On Friday we reported of the killer 6.91 — a career best — that Caryle dropped in testing prior to the World Cup Finals in Maryland, knowing all too well that it probably wasn’t the last time we’d report on the orange rocket and its exploits during the weekend. And we were right in those assumptions.
In the second session of qualifying Friday for the Radial vs. Modified category, Carlyle stormed to a 6.829-second lap at 223.28 mph, officially retaking the all-time IRS (independent rear suspension) record and lowering his own LSX world record. And he did it on 315 drag radials. The 6.82 bettered the record previously held by Sal Patel in his Dodge Viper, who was also on hand but couldn’t stop Carlyle and his record-breaking mission in Maryland.
Carlyle nearly parlayed his performance into a win on Sunday, running 6.89 in the first round and a pair of 6.87’s in the quarterfinals and semifinals, but breakage in the drive line slowed him to a losing 7.53 in the final round.