VIDEO: Jason Keller Relives His Youth with Hawks Motorsports

Our formative years’ memories are usually embellished to reflect how great things were. When Jason Keller, a successful NASCAR Nationwide Series driver competing in 519 races between 1991 and 2010, visited car shows, he listened to each owner’s stories about their vehicle. He desired a car with such a story. However, due to all his years of racing, he only developed one deep vehicle connection – a 1985 IROC-Z Camaro, which he had in his youth.

To fulfill his craving for a car and a story, Keller contacted Tyler Hawkins of Hawks Motorsports to build the ultimate ’85 IROC-Z. Luckily, a 19k-mile original IROC-Z was located, and the build quickly progressed. Keller stipulated that the factory steering wheel remained and requested no wild modifications to the interior or exterior of the Camaro.

A stock LSA block provides the foundation for the engine build. ARP head studs secure factory heads fitted with dual springs and CHE trunnion roller rockers actuated by a BTR camshaft. Atop the heads is a Kong Performance LSA supercharger with a Synergy Motorsports LS9 lid to lower intake temperatures. The intercooler houses C&R bricks. 

A custom 5-in to 4.5-inch cold air intake attached to a Nick Williams 103mm throttle body feeds air to the supercharger. The spent gasses exit the heads via Hawks 2-inch primaries into a 3.5-inch collector. An LSX Innovations drive system spins the accessories. 


The suspension combines factory and Detroit Speed Stage 3 components. Forgeline 18×10-inch wheels wrapped with 315/30R18 Falken tires round out the autocross-ready Camaro. The flex fuel engine pumps out 722 hp and 665 lb-ft of torque on 93 octane and 794 hp and 719 lb-ft on E85. 

Keller and Hawks Motorsports have built a potent IROC-Z, which meets Keller’s needs for a story while paying homage to his racing career.

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