It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t without dedication, without a lot of long hours in the shop and late nights at the track or a few broken parts along the way. But on Sunday afternoon, two years after debuting our Project BlownZ Camaro and bringing what was at the time a proverbial knife to a gunfight, the Dragzine crew proudly hoisted the hardware for the first time after scoring the 275 Drag Radial crown at the NMCA WEST World Street Finals at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California.
And not only did BlownZ win, but it did so with a sub-record performance in the final round, as we poured the coals to it in a gloves-off, last-ditch 7.35-second pass in the final round, quicker than the existing national record in the class.
As we’ve documented in recent months, with the power to “go big” under the hood, we’ve been on a mission to get BlownZ down to race weight after competing more than 200 pounds overweight since our debut, with the installation of fiberglass doors and lexan windows, lighter weight suspension components, and the removal of anything that didn’t need to be on the car. Those efforts culminated just in time for the final hurrah of the season in Bakersfield, with the championship on the line. We were going to need every bit of performance we could get, and the results of our diet plan were obvious from the word go.
BlownZ clicked off a best-to-date run of 7.53 at 186 mph early in qualifying, which we later stepped up to a 7.46 and then a 7.41 at 187, with a much improved 1.21 short time (on the back tires) and a 4.80 at 150 to half track.
In an unfortunate turn of events, incoming points leader Artis Houston got into the wall during testing, and though he was thankfully uninjured, his weekend was done, effectively opening the door on the championship to our our team and Kevin Young. It certainly wasn’t the way we wanted it to end for Artis after a great season, but we were giving it our all, nonetheless.
After a 7.44 in the first round and with one final pass for the season remaining, the Power Automedia crew threw the kitchen sink at it in the final against fellow title challenger Kevin Young, posting the sub-record number that was good enough to put us in the winners circle. And while we ultimately came up short of winning the championship, we accomplished everything we were aiming for and then some over the weekend and set the table for a run at it in 2014.
We also hauled our Project Biting the Bullitt ’65 Mustang up to Bakersfield for it’s on-track debut in the Mustang Madness class, with great success for our first time out. With a conservative air-fuel ratio of 10.5:1, 27 degrees of timing, and just 10 lbs of boost to get a handle on the new build, we managed to run in the 9.80’s at almost 140 mph. With the combination dialed in, we’re shooting for the wights next year, so look out True Street!