Clutch
With 667 whp currently on tap and more to follow Al quickly exceeded the capacity of the Exedy Twin Disk Carbon clutch. Luckily Exedy was there to save the day with the release of its brand new Exedy Triple Carbon clutch. "The new triple is a really revolutionary clutch unit," says Al. "Amazingly it has smooth and easy engagement and feels like a totally stock clutch when driven normally. It was even quieter than the twin and has a super light pedal pressure.

"When making serious whp on an AWD car, being able to slip or feather the clutch out of the hole is the key to not breaking driveline parts. I have now done at least 20 drag passes into the 10-second range with my EVO with this new clutch and I have had no transmission or differential failures - even though I am on a stock transmission and differentials."

Driveshaft
"I am using some brand new Driveshaft Shop half shafts. After breaking five stock rear half shafts, I contacted Frank at the Driveshaft Shop who fabricated some extra heavy-duty EVO VIII half shafts which can take any amount of abuse you can throw at them."

Ignition
"I must give special thanks to David Buschur, the godfather of 4G63 performance, for taking the time to help me with the truly amazing Buschur Racing coil-on-plug ignition and also for personally working with me on the setup and tuning of my AEM EMS ECU. I am still running the Buschur Racing three-inch exhaust system on my car, the same system any one with a EVO VIII can buy from Buschur Racing seven days a week."

The Horizon
What's next for Al and his emblazoned EVO? He wants to run 9s in full street trim while retaining 100-percent driveability so his daughter, Avery, will still make it to school every day.

When it comes to the tuning side of the scene things have never been better. With cars like the EVO, WRX, 350Z, Mazdaspeed offerings and others and enthusiasts as committed as Al out there pushing the envelope things will only continue to grow.