How many times have you bought a car, only to say you were going to leave it stock? If you’re reading this, chances are that you’ve said those words more than once. In actuality, what starts out as a simple cold air intake and a tune often turns into a slippery slope of full-on modifications. That’s exactly what Howard Tanner of Redline Motorsports said when he bought this Z06 new in 2006, “I’m leaving this stock.”
At least that’s what he told all his friends. Sunday night his “stock” Z06 ran a 7.98 at 179 mph. Of course, that would be some kind of record for a stock Z06, but by now you know it is a long way from being stock.
The Z06 has been Redline’s test car since Tanner purchased it new – it’s been used to help develop power packages for LS-based combinations. The car received a twin-turbo set-up in 2009, and made 945-rwhp with that combination. The Z06 then received a 4L80 swap to get the most out of the turbochargers, and with a 4-bolt, stock LS block with forged internals the car was good for 8.50s-8.60s at over 168 mph on Mickey Thompson 18-inch drag radials.
Setting a goal of running 7s led to a more robust engine package, bigger Precision turbochargers, a Powerglide transmission, and a 9-inch rear. The goal has come with its own set of challenges and setbacks due to suspension changes, electrical gremlins, and charge pipe issues.
Through perseverance, Tanner and the Redline Motorsports team kept at it, and Sunday night the team was rewarded with that elusive seven-second pass. It wasn’t easy. South Florida isn’t like Cecil County or Beech Bend Raceway in the fall; the DA was around 1,250 feet, which “in the swamp isn’t bad,” Tanner says.
Manipulating the boost ramp rate allowed Tanner to get the car out of the hole without blowing off the Mickey Thompson Radial Pros. The car turned in a 1.24-second short time on the way to the 7-second pass.
“We feel the car is capable of a 1.18 short time,” Tanner says. “Based on the almost 180 mph trap speed we feel a 7.60 pass could be in striking range…not bad for a full-interior car with A/C.”