This is the story of Mandy Balk and Mighty Mouse, her 1994 ext. cab s10 pulling truck! Mandy tells us that she has always been interested in small engines such as snowmobiles and atv’s. When she moved in with her dad during high school she was forced into an auto shop class, so she knew how to change her own oil and tires before she got her license. Mandy and her family had no idea at that time she would love it and continue in the automotive field. She ended up taking all the auto shop classes she could during high school! Mandy then became a service technician at a local Dodge dealership without even going to school for it. She then ended up working for a NAPA store selling parts, which is what she loves to do. She currently works for Auto Value as a Parts Professional and she is also ASE Certified in parts. Selling parts is actually how Mandy met her husband, Cowboy.
Mandy and Cowboy have always enjoyed doing motorsports as a couple. They started with off-road/mud trucks during the summer and Mandy does her snowmobile drag racing in the winter. Cowboy always had a dream to have a 2wd pulling truck and the new mini trucks seemed like a budget friendly build. So in a matter of 6 weeks they built his truck. Mandy fell so in love with the pulling truck as it was being built that she thought about getting one of her own. She wanted to drive Cowboy’s truck at the end of the season to make sure she really wanted one of her own, and of course she did. So the search for her truck began!!
They found her 1994 ext. cab short box s10 from a mudding website in Minnesota. So, the couple made the 4 hr drive north of the twin cities from Withee, WI to pick up a rolling chassis with no motor or trans in the fall of 2011. They started the build in April of 2012. The whole truck was built by the last weekend in May, including the body work, paint and graphics!! The couple were actually 3 days away from pulling when they got the truck back from their decal guy. The truck is completely gutted on the inside with just a piece of stainless steel for a dash panel and her race seat. The front end is cut off right at the firewall to lighten it up with a custom built front end. Her rack and pinion is out of an older GM car. Mandy runs drag wheels on the front with tri-rib tractor tires and the only tires they can run in the rear are 31×10.5 R15 dot legal tire. Front fenders are skinned along with the box. Her ext. cab door and her gas door have been taken out and body work has been done for a clean sleek look.
Mighty Mouse started its life with a 400 sbc with some ported cast bowtie heads, otherwise a stock motor. The following year in 2013, they made a budget class which limited them to a 366 cubic inch make, which they decided to put her truck in. So the new motor was a 350 sbc with Vortec heads, 1.6 roller rocker with hydraulic lifters, flat top pistons, and a bigger cam. Again this year Mandy says she’s going bigger!! She will have a 362 sbc with an eagle crank, scat rods, Icon pistons with 12.1 compression, her bowtie heads will go back on, and the cam is yet to be decided. The motor is mated to a th400 transmission and a Ford 9″ rear end. She also has a pinion brake to conserve weight.
In 2012, Mandy took 4th place with her stock 400 sbc, out of 8 built trucks. Last year in 2013, Mandy and Mighty Mouse received 1st in the light side pulling 3400lb and they got points for the heavy side, 3600lb. She is hoping this year will be better because there are a few more trucks that will be in the budget class for competition!! They are growing in Compound Fracture Racing as well. The couple has 3 trucks in total with a 4th hopefully coming out this year!!