Bruder Brothers Breaking Hearts and Taking Names in X275

June 12, 2018 / by Bradley Iger

For the better part of a decade the Bruder Brothers have been a dominant force in X275 racing, securing a sizable number wins over the years and setting world records along the way.

“Our centrifugal blower got banned,” explains Nick Bruder. “Then years later we were let back in when we went with turbos and got some weight handed to us. Then they tried to kick us out because of our roots blower last year. We expect another rule change to come soon, so they’ll probably do something against us again!”

Like most gearheads, Nick and Rich Bruder got their start wrenching on their daily drivers. “We had street-driven Mustangs with little centrifugal blowers, making 600 to 700 horsepower at the tires,” he says. “We just kept wanting to do more and more with the cars, and eventually we decided to just team up and combine the best parts of both of our cars into one. And, you know, it kinda just blossomed from there.”

The Bruder brothers have gone fast with just about every combination possible. Here is the '89 with a turbo setup, but the car is currently running a roots blower. 

275 Radial racing is where the duo cut their teeth. “Eight or nine years ago we started there, and the classes kept progressing as we got our hands on more and more teams,” Nick tells us. “Now we do a lot of Radial Versus the World cars, No Prep cars, 10.5 cars, and Pro Mods.”

The Bruders’ weapon of choice in X275 is their trusty ‘89 Fox-body Mustang, a car they’ve been campaigning in various series over the past decade. “These days it’s got a Chuck Ford 8-71 blower and it’s full EFI – there’s sixteen injectors in there,” he tells us. “There are very few cars in the country that are running this kind of setup with EFI and Roots blowers. Jack French at Billet Atomizer Injectors wanted to pursue the development of race injectors for an application like this. We knew if we went fast we’d get hell for it, but it was an opportunity we saw and we took a gamble on it.”

The pair seem to court success and controversy in equal measure. “We were the first car to the [4].30s, and I think we were the first car in the .50s, .60s, and .70s too,” Nick says. No matter what combination we’ve used we’ve been the fastest in the class at one time or another. Recently we were the first in the .20s in X275, too.” That last feat was accomplished at the Outlaw Street Car Reunion in April of this year with a 4.297 pass during the quarterfinals. The year prior they set a record at the same event too, posting a 4.36 with their roots-blown small-block, a pass that prompted X275 founder John Sears to briefly to consider banning Roots blowers from the class altogether. “They got a whole bunch of backlash from that idea,” Nick says. “After that they decided to let it back in, but they took our lockup away and added weight to us. Over this past decade in radial racing, this has got to be one of the most penalized cars you’ll find anywhere.”

The team’s ’89 Mustang radial car was originally Rich Bruder’s street-driven daily. Over the past decade, it has evolved into a record-setting beast.

Striving to continuously up the ante in a class is demanding on the hardware, especially when you’re generating roughly 2,000 horsepower from a unique setup like this, so strength and reliability are key. “Pretty much every car that we work on uses Diamond pistons,” he says. “These pistons hold up to the abuse really well. We change our sets every year as a rule of thumb, but they’ve been doing really good for us.”

With Rich serving as the de facto wheelman, Nick’s focus on race day is making sure the team is doing everything they can to give his brother the best chance of success out on track. “Every round we go over the maintenance on the car – we check valves, take plugs out, maybe check rod bearings if we see something wrong. You always try to plan ahead a little bit, get a game plan going, and never count the competition out. But with radial racing the biggest key is keep lane choice – you never know what’s going to happen.”

On typical race days, Team Bruder is a family affair. “The crew most of the time is me, my brother, and our father,” Nick says. “My dad takes care of all the fuel stuff, gets air in the tires, hooks up the charger and makes sure everything else looks good. My brother and I will go over the motor, download the data and go through it, and handle any of the typical maintenance that might need to be done.”

Nick says that when he and his brother Rich started getting serious about racing, they ended up combining the best parts from both of their cars to build up Rich’s ’89 Fox-body. Starting in 275 Radial quarter mile racing, the Mustang eventually landed in X275. Rich also handles driving duties for Atomizer Racing Injector’s twin-turbocharged no prep Dodge Challenger in Street Outlaws.

Not ones to rest on their laurels, Nick explains that they’re changing up their strategy yet again. “We’re going to bring back the Procharger blower. We just recently made it so we can switch back and forth between the Roots blower and the Procharger without making too many major changes, so no one’s going to know which one we’re running when we show up to a race. We’re also testing a lot of stuff with the transmission and converter – we’re going to keep pushing the envelope there. What a lot of people don’t understand is how crucial the transmission and converter are in racing. All these motors make power – you need to make them reliable. Without a proper trans and converter, you’re just wasting your time.”

Nick also points out that while they have something of an infamous reputation, they’re not out there to make adversaries. “A lot of people hate us – some people aren’t happy that we can pick up a new combo and go fast with it right away,” he explains. “But we’ll do anything for anyone at the track.” 

Looking down the road, Nick tells us there’s a few milestones they’d still like to hit. “We want to try to be the first in the .20s with a centrifugal blower,” he says. “And then at the beginning of next year, Donald has that big Sweet 16 event, so we want to keep testing and get our ducks in a row to figure out how to get on top of that race.”


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Written by Bradley Iger

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