Love at First Shift: One Woman

Love at First Shift: One Woman’s Goal to Hit 8s in Her Camaro 2SS

From a general knowledge standpoint, Jessika Johnson probably knows more about the entire Chevrolet vehicle lineup and GM engineering developments than most of the guys down at the local watering hole. Chances are she can also drive a lot better than them too.

As a Chevrolet Service Advisor for the better part of the past twenty years, Jessika has seen, studied, and talked about everything the bow-tie badge offers. But nothing has captivated her interest quite like the vehicle that would propel her into the 9-second bracket in the 1/4-mile.

Roxy, the 2016 Camaro 2SS, and her pilot, Jessika Johnson, patiently awaiting their next race…

How Jessika wound up with “Roxy,” her 2016 Camaro 2SS, is a bit of a journey in and of itself. Just prior to taking possession of the vehicle in May of 2016, Jessika was preparing the last of her divorce papers. In desperate need of a distraction from the anguish she had just endured, she looked for comfort in the arms of an M6 Corvette but was unable to find solace.

But when the Simi Valley Chevrolet dealership where she works received a trailer full of sixth-gen Camaros, all it took was firing up a 2SS for Jessika to forget all about her Corvette love affair. The chassis provided the perfect match, and with the last of the divorce papers filed, Jessika decided that it was time to start a different sort of relationship.

The license plate says it all, in case you had any questions.

Putting things in reverse, it becomes evident that Jessika’s attraction to all things Chevy started long before Roxy appeared on the scene. Way back in high school, a counselor suggested that Jessika get an easy “A” by attending auto shop class. All it took was disassembling and reassembling an alternator for Jessika to realize that she was born to be a gearhead. Shortly after that, a ’70 Nova ended up in Jessika’s possession, a fantastic first car that would take her to street races and drag strips all over the greater Los Angeles area.

As her hobby turned into a career, Jessika found herself moving from auto parts stores to tire installers and onward to aftermarket brand positions. Around this time, a Pontiac G8 GT came into the picture, followed shortly thereafter by a job at Magnuson Superchargers. During this period, Jessika built and installed a custom supercharger setup and started going to the track consistently.

You can live in your car, but you can’t race your house. – Jessika Johnson

It was after leaving Magnuson that Roxy, the 2SS Camaro introduced herself. No more than six weeks after getting the keys, Jessika already had Roxy on the dyno, where the 2SS made 427 horsepower. The next day, she decided to make the call that fueling would be the Camaro’s first mod, at which point she went all-in on e85.

Just over six years, three blowers, five differentials, and six clutches later, Roxy’s 2.9 Whipple supercharger (and the entire forged bottom end) have been pushed to its limits. The most recent dyno figures for Jessika’s 2SS reveal an impressive 1,086 horsepower at the wheels, further assisted by a modest Nitrous Outlet setup up top.

These numbers have helped turn Roxy into the fastest M6 sixth-gen Camaro in her class, with a 9.54 at 151 mph record on file in her name. This is a far cry from her owner’s initial goal of owning a reliable 9-second street car. Drag racing remains Roxy’s primary purpose in life, as the few trips to Streets of Willow, Chuckwalla, and local autocross events have proven that Jessika and her Camaro prefer “not turning” when possible.

This statement is backed by the minor “incident” these two had in 2021, where oil was left strewn across the track, and one heck of an expensive repair bill was plopped in Jessika’s lap. Hitting the wall at just a hair below 100 mph destroyed Roxy’s entire left side, including the suspension and some core internals.

Fortunately, the Camaro’s frame was still straight, so Jessika decided to move forward with giving Roxy some reconstructive surgery. After an extensive amount of work at the Emergency Room at City Auto Body in Simi Valley, the entire left side of the Camaro has been replaced.

Surgery complete, Roxy was taken to KD Wraps for a repaint. At that point, Jessika recognized how much she truly loves the fact that she has the power to modify her Camaro 2SS any way she pleases easily. Repairs complete, the new goal is to make it into the eights with the TREMEC TR6060 before upgrading the entire engine, installing a beefier Whipple Supercharger setup, and declaring that it’s “‘glide time.”

For now, Roxy drives as if she were stock when on the street or cruising on rails down the interstate. But put her out on track, and this Camaro 2SS becomes an entirely different animal, which has caused Jessika to prefer launching in the same fashion. A slight slip off the line, and then it’s sandwich-making time in between shifts, praying the entire time that her beloved Roxy will keep it together for one more pass down the 1/4-mile.


Current CID: 376

Bore/Stroke: Stock

Crankshaft: Stock

Pistons: GPI

Connecting rods: Callies Ultra Beam

Compression ratio: Stock

Engine built by (city/state): New Era Performance, Agoura Hills, CA

Machine work: QMP

Name of shop: New Era Performance

Camshaft make: Cam Motion, custom New Era/Jessssiko Spec

Cylinder heads make/type: CID

Heads built by: of (city/state): West Coast Cylinder Heads, Van Nuys, CA

Air and Fuel


Engine tuner: Modern EFI & New Era Performance of (city/state): Agoura, CA

Injectors: Stock LT4 & Injector Dynamics 1300

Fuel Pump: LT4 in-tank, LT4 HPFP, Cordes secondary setup for port injection

Intake manifold: Whipple 2.9-liter and Roto Fab Big Gulp

Throttle body make/size: Katech 103MM

Headers: Stainless Works

H/Xpipe: Stainless Works

Mufflers: Stainless Works

Pipe size: 2-inch

Power Adders

Nitrous Oxide System: Nitrous Outlet

Wet or Dry: Dry

Jet size: .051

Single or multiple stage kit: Single

Supercharger System: Whipple

Headunit Model: 2.9 with MoTEC port injection

Pulley setup: 3.0-inch

Boost: 17lbs

Intercooler: New Era designed custom icebox


Type: TREMEC TR6060

Clutch: Currently Tilton twin disc.

Shifter: Hurst short throw

Driveshaft: Driveshaft Pro, Carbon

Safety loop: BMR Suspension

Other trans/driveline modifications: Stock trans with carbon synchros

Trans built by: Steven Rankins


Type: GForce Engineering/Strange 9-inch 

Gears: 3.50

Axles: GForce Engineering


Front upper/lower control arms: OEM

Front shocks/struts: OEM

Front springs: OEM

Steering box (manual/power) Power

Sway bar: None

Other front suspension mods: None

Rear upper/lower control arms: BMR Suspension

Rear shocks: Viking

Rear springs: Viking

Sway bar: OEM

Other rear mods: Complete BMR rear suspension and bushings

Wheels and Tires

Front: Weld

Rear: Weld

Tires, front: Hoosier bias-ply

Tires, rear: Hoosier bias-ply


Front: OEM

Rear: BMR/Carlyle 15-inch conversion with Wilwood


Original/Current color: Gray = White/gray/pink

What condition was it in when you bought it? Brand new with six miles

Hood: IROCZ Skorpion hood

Spoiler: Deleted

Paint: House of Kolor

Shop: Abe at KD Wraps & Paint of Camarillo, CA


Roll Cage: Custom 8.5 cage by Carlin Fabrication in Calimesa, CA

Other safety equipment: Schroth seat harnesses

Other interior mods: Corbeau seats


Best 1/4-Mile ET: 9.546

MPH: 151.1

60 ft. time: 1.44

Lap time/track Famoso

Horsepower: 1086

More Sources

About the author

Micah Wright

Raised on LEGOs by grandfathers who insisted on fixing everything themselves, Micah has been a petrolhead in training since age four. His favorite past times include craft beer, strong cigars, fast cars, and culinary creativity in all of its forms.
Read My Articles

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