Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR as it’s more commonly known) has become an epitome of local racing events. One of these events that have become popular with the full size truck guys is the PBIR truck series. Matt Hermes and his dark shadow grey 2004 Ford Lightning finished out the 2009 season with a solid runner up position in this year’s truck series campaign. Hermes was the Moroso truck series champion in 2007 however.

What brings this truck to our news this week? Well, aside from the accomplishments this year, Hermes has recently run a new personal best run with a 10.29 @ 131, and posted the time slip on NLOC after already running many runs in the 10.40 range over this season.

Photos: NLOC.

A lot of people shy away from building heavyweight trucks such as the Lightning – the curb weight in excess of 4000lbs requires much more work to make it faster, but some fanatics love the rather bulky Lightning platform. While even in stock form the Gen 2 Lightning was impressive, Hermes wasn’t satisfied with that and ripped out the power plant in favor of a 5.4L JDM stuffed short block bored .020 over topped with JDM heads and cams.

Feeding the power is a 2.3L Whipple supercharger pushing out 21 psi on the C16 race tune. Hermes also runs this truck with a 93 octane/12 psi street tune for daily use, which brings the power down to a reasonable 490hp on the street - but well over 600hp on the race tune. A set of 3.73 gears stuffed in the 9.75” rear end also make driving this truck on the street rather easy. Supporting modifications such as a JLP intake and custom exhaust make sure the air/fuel charge can be cycled through the motor as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This unique Lightning was even custom tuned by Jim, the owner of JDM. Finishing off the JDM theme on this truck is their drag suspension setup that lowers the stance noticeably. Hermes is looking forward to another season of success in 2010 and we wish him the best of luck with his stellar Lightning combination!

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