Those familiar with the popular saying, ‘Hard Work beats Talent, Every Time’ should relate to our tale of our infamous drag racing project car ‘BlownZ’. We may be short on talent, so we have no choice but to apply hard work to our efforts. Yet even that seemed to be not enough. Despite some that very hard work, we’ve had to slog through some challenging times with BlownZ over the beginning of the 2013 race season. Test sessions hadn’t produced much fruit, but our team led by Power Automedia Shop Dawgs Sean Goude, Dean J, and Josh Kirsch kept pounding away. Finally, we proved the slogan true.
NMCA Pomona: Where Records Are Made
A few weeks ago our team landed at the NMCA West Coast Shootout in Pomona, as we are chasing the NMCA West ProCharger 275 Drag Radial points series this year. Pomona is a historic track, and we were looking to make history. Our goals were simple: seven seconds in the quarter mile, and to perform well ‘on track’ so that we would stay in the points chase for 2013 going into the NMCA Las Vegas race in September.
We certainly had changed a lot of parts to try and accomplish that objective. Upgrades/changes for this event included:
- 3.70 gears instead of 3.50 gears
- VP Racing Q16 fuel instead of C16
- A larger COMP cams mechanical roller camshaft to try to take advantage of the F-1X supercharger with increased exhaust duration
- Looser TCI torque converter
Previous testing at the PSCA Las Vegas event had shown us that we had some real challenges with BlownZ. We were having trouble finding a tricky balance with our combination. The problem was putting in enough timing and leaving at a high enough RPM, with a loose enough converter, to get it 60-foot properly. We knew the ProCharger F1-X was making a ton of power, with more in the bag. The issue was applying to the race track. Luckily, we got it figured out.
In the first test ‘n tune run, we did a nasty burnout on the M/T Pro 275 tires and eased into the staging lanes. We had quite a bit of timing in it, because previously with our old setup, we had to do that in order to get the converter to flash properly. Well, one let up on the trans brake let us know that we wouldn’t have that issue any more. The car left hard, lifting the wheels it’s normal 3-5 inches, but around 50 feet out, it kept climbing. And climbing. And climbing. The front end was about a foot and a half in the air and going when our driver decided that he didn’t want to ride the bumper and pedaled BlownZ. Maybe not a hero, but the safe choice. Either way, we knew that our combination had some stones and wanted to eat.
Round 3 Qualifying – The Record is Set
In the second round of qualifying, the track was fairly soft and tricky like it had been for most of Friday and Saturday. We had pulled five degrees of timing out on the starting line, and cruised to a 8.09 at 179 mph after pedaling the car twice. We knew we had our seven second run if we could get a recent run down the track. 179 was our best speed by far. So in the third round, we reduced the launch retard to 3-degrees at launch and crossed our fingers.
During the run, we knew we had a good pass going. The wheels stayed down, and the ProCharger F1X was stuffing 27 lbs. of boost furiously into the LSX 388-inch engine. After a 1.21 60-foot (our best ever) we carded our first ever four-second run in the 1/8-mile with a 4.99 at 145 mph, and ripped through the quarter mile in a pretty stunning 7.69 second at 181.5 mph. This was by far our quickest run ever, and that was at a portly 3,400 lbs. of race weight. You could say our car was a real ‘porker’ yet we were really pleased with how fast she ran.
There’s no doubt that the bigger camshaft, and the upgrade to the VP Racing Q16 was responsible for the performance improvement. Getting the torque converter right also helped a great deal.
While we still have a ways to go to catch the class leaders like Artis Houston and Paul and Kevin Young who all run consistent 7.40s, we’re now in the ball game. The ProCharger F1X has proven to be a major addition to this car, and we’ve only scratched the surface of what this game-changing supercharger is capable of.
And equally as importantly, we stiffened our grip on the title of the World’s Quickest and Fastest Drag Racing Magazine project car that was actually built and driven by a magazine. That’s something we at Dragzine and Power Automedia are very proud of. The exciting news is that we have some further upgrades in the works, including losing 200 pounds of weight with a fiberglass door conversion prior to the next race, and we’re planning on running low 7.50s, at least, at Vegas. Let’s just say if we keep working our ass off that a 25.3 chassis upgrade is in our future.
The 7.69 Run
The Rest of the Race – A Round Win, and No. 2 in Points
The rest of the Pomona race included our very first round win in Drag Radial competition. Probably not the most exotic thing to be happy about, but we won our first round match up against a very game Armen Maghdessian’s ’55 Chevy with a 7.86. In the second round, we stepped it up against Kevin Young, but had to pedal the car twice in a slippery left lane and finally lifted. We got clipped pretty good with Kevin’s 7.39. Unlikely we would have taken the win there.
Our Second Round Match With Kevin Young
That leaves us No. 2 in Points in NMCA 275 Drag Radial with 600 points to Artis’s 850 points. That’s a 250 point gap that we’ll do our best to make up at the next race. Two and a half rounds isn’t a small gap but we do get to drop one race, so we’ll do our best to make up some real state in Las Vegas.