BTE Racing Car of the Week: 1978 Mercury Zephyr Z-7

Car of the Week: Jack Tarner's 1978 Mercury Zephyr Z-7

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Jack Tarner from Owasso, Ok, who owns and races a 1978 Mercury Zephyr Z-7 (and a Dodge Viper).

How did you get into drag racing?
Began going with my dad in the late 60s. Got interested in it with my own car in the high school drags (1980), and have been doing it on and off since.

When and where was your first drag race?
As a spectator I was 5-6 years old at a track somewhere in Texas (I remember 2 gassers), and as a racer in 1980 at Tulsa International Raceway High School Drags.

What model/year do you race now?
I have two... "Blue" is a 1978 Mercury Zephyr Z-7. My newer car is a 2000ish Dodge Viper I built to 25.1 specs.

Does your car have a nickname?
“Blue”

What's under the hood?
Reher/Morrison 588 12* BBC

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Pro Brake valve body, clutches and the 1.80 straight cut planetary

Why do you use BTE?
I trust my transmission builder, Lanny Maples. He likes and uses their products, and that's good enough for me!

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
My stuff starting out was fairly old, so upgrading to new equipment has given me peace of mind that I don't need to worry about breaking these parts.

A drag racer you look up to?
There are so many, but my dad taught me about cars and how to  build them, then let me go to discover my own strengths. A professional racer I always looked up to was Bob Glidden.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Blown Pro Mod, or possibly a Blown Nitro Nostalgia

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I'm always nervous and jumpy until I get into my car, then I start to calm down and get in the zone (close my eyes and visualize my pass). Once I'm past the gates it's game on.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at 1:33 PM