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Tin Soliders Help Bird Brothers Repair a Wreck in Four Short Days

Posted By: Ainsley Jacobs
Racing during an early June filming of the Discovery Channel’s Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings event at National Trail Raceway in Ohio, Jerry Bird nearly collided with Kye Kelley in the opposing lane. Although the Bird Boyz driver was able to avoid contact with Kelley’s car, Bird wasn’t able to avoid the wall.
Shortly after launching, Bird’s blue 1997 Ford Probe became unsettled and made a drastic switch from its right lane to the left lane instead. Kelley passed mere inches in front of the Probe’s nose, and Bird bounced off the retaining barrier as he worked to control the car and get it stopped safely.

The Louisiana-based Birds, who compete on the show on behalf of Team Nola, typically work with Wizard Race Cars but didn’t have time to waste making the long drive down to Louisiana and back up to Bowling Green, Kentucky, for repairs and still be able to make the next race of the hectic NPK tour.
During the event, Tin Soldiers Racecars co-owners Jason Terrell and Brad Schnieders were on the property with their “Charlie Brown” four-door when Darryl Bird came into their pit to talk business.
“He thought Charlie was someone who worked at Tin Soldiers, we had never met him before,” laughed Terrell, who was quick to address the Birds’ issues and devised a plan to get their damaged Probe race-ready in a matter of days. “The front end was okay but the header had been ripped off and then from the door to the back, it was pretty jacked up.”

The Probe was quickly taken to TSR’s Kentucky-based shop and work began on Monday, June 6. With no time to source a new Probe quarter panel, the Tin Soldiers team got busy cutting off the original sheet metal. “We beat the wheel tub out of it and it beat the quarter panel back into submission as best we could, then welded it all back together,” noted Terrell.
TSR also had to repair the wing, redo the sill plate, replace some of the door mounting hardware, and glue the door itself back together before the mended body parts could be smoothed and skimmed with a coat of Bondo and fresh blue paint sprayed over it all.

By Wednesday, June 8, the bulk of the bodywork had been completed and Terrell was nearly finished rebuilding the header. The damaged front struts were shipped in a hurry to Mark Menscer at Menscer Motorsports to be gone through and freshened up with an estimated return deadline of June 9.
“We’re hoping to have the car in the trailer tomorrow [June 9] so they can make it to the race,” affirmed Terrell. “A big shout out and thanks to Joe Thornton, a local friend of ours who works at a body shop, who came in after-hours to help out.”
It has been a wicked thrash session to get the Bird’s nitrous-huffing and 959 ci Buck Racing Engines-powered Probe turned around in just four short days, but Tin Soldiers’ army of talent stepped up to the task to ensure that Bird can be flying high and running fast with no time off.

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