It goes without saying that there is no shortage of first-generation, 1967-69 Chevrolet Camaros in the sport of drag racing, but its equally good-looking and oft-forgotten sister, the Pontiac Firebird, is tragically underrepresented. And that’s why when we saw Texas native Chase Kurszewski’s ‘bird, we were instantly googly-eyed.
Kurszewski’s machine, a 1969 model, has been in the family longer than he’s been alive.
“My dad drove and raced this car 26 years ago and he’s held onto it. I’m 26 myself, and this car has just escalated a little every year throughout my life,” Chase says with a laugh. It once had a completely stock 402 in it, and it’s been all the way up to a 706. My dad and I have always enjoyed racing, from dirt bikes when I was four years old to now. If we were smart we’d quit, but we enjoy it too much and have too much fun.”
The chassis was done a number of years back by famed Pro Stock chassis builder Jerry Haas. The car is a true back-half setup, and even retains the stock front framerails. At one time a nitrous car, then swapped over to a single turbo, the Firebird now sports power from a 540 cubic inch Morgan & Sons big-block with twin 88mm Garrett turbos. Billet Atomizer 950 lb-hr injectors feed it the go-juice. A two-speed Turbo 400 is paired with a Cameron’s torque converter to deliver the power to the rear tires. The car is tuned by D-Bomb, Dave Deramus, whom Kurszewski says he “can’t speak highly enough of. Dave is super good guy and one heck of a tuner, and we’re very lucky to have him onoard.”
In its nitrous configuration, Kurszewski ran the Firebird on no-prep surfaces, but has since transitioned to drag radial and 28×10.5 no-time competition with the twins.