DEMOTTE | There's a time machine inside the laboratory at Snyder Motorsports.
Or maybe it should be more aptly referred to as a "time-warping" machine.
It's a Powersource Transportation-backed modified '63 Corvette, which for its driver, Mick Snyder, tends to speed up and slow down time simultaneously.
"You're talking about four-and-a-half 'G's' pulling you back in your seat at the start," said Snyder, 31, of DeMotte. "It's a pretty intense rush getting to 100 miles per hour in just 100 feet, and breaking past 200 in just an eighth of a mile.
"But for me, time seems to slow down as I'm going down the track. I'm usually (mentally) ahead of my car."
"It's when you get behind the car is when lose control of it," Mick's father, Larry Snyder, said.
Mick Snyder rarely gets left in the dust by his own car. He just leaves other drivers in the dust, like he did this past American Drag Racing League season while claiming his first Pro Extreme world championship.
It may have been only a matter of time before Mick was crowned the Pro Extreme king. He was the ADRL Rookie of the Year in 2010, but his reputation proceeded him well before that.
Mick had already won three National Hot Rod Association Division III Alcohol Funny Car championships, an International Hot Rod Association national title, and was a major force coming up through Junior, Super Comp and Pro Outlaw classes.
Mick even got the "outlaw" treatment during his formative years. While he was a 14-year-old prodigy, Mick had his face splattered on "Wanted" posters distributed by a track owner down south offering a $500 "reward" for anyone who can beat him.
"It was a promotion they set up," said Snyder Motorsports Racing Team crew chief Larry Snyder, who incidentally was the 1999 IHRA Pro Outlaw world champion. "If no one could do it, we would claim the reward money, which we did."
In a sense, the ADRL's popular Pro Extreme class is the "outlaw" of Pro-Mods, full-bodied cars also known as "doorslammers."
"It's the fastest eighth-mile in drag racing," Mick said. "We're talking 3.59 (seconds).
"Basically, there are no rules in Pro Extreme."
As well as no speed limits, except those imposed by the laws of gravity.
"I remember not too long ago people thought 200 was impossible," Larry said. "Now we've reached 210. Who knows how fast things will get in a couple of years?
"It's not a matter of how much power you can put in a car. It's a matter of keeping it on the ground and getting it down the track."
After a winless sophomore season in 2011, Mick charged out of the gate — or peeled off from the Christmas Tree — with three straight wins to start the 2012 season. Still, lone Synder Motorsports teammate Jason Scruggs, a two-time Pro Extreme champion from Mississippi, managed to make it interesting with some wins during the latter part of the season, but had to settle for a close second in the final points standings.
Mick, Larry and members from their crew took a final bow Dec. 8 at the International Motorsports Industry Show in Indianapolis, where they and their car were part of the Hall of Champions display. After that, playtime was officially over until next spring.
"This is how we earn a living," Mick said while he and his father took a brief break in one of the garages at Synder Motorsports, where they build and rebuild racing engines and transmissions for customers as far away as Australia.
"You can say what we do on the race track serves as advertisement for our company," Mick said of the family business, which has become known for its engineering innovations while synthesizing torque converters with LencoDrive transmissions.
"People see what we have, and they want it, too," Mick said.