There’s never a shortage of cool stuff to look at in the Competition Eliminator pits at any NHRA event. The sheer variety of engine combinations and different vehicles is outstanding, and you’re guaranteed to see something interesting. John Frech’s F/D Comp Eliminator dragster has a really cool four-banger Pontiac-based engine that lights the boards with 7-second e.t.’s without a power adder.
Frech’s racing career started in the 1970s when he participated in the Modified Eliminator category behind the wheel of his 1969 Camaro. Drag racing drew Frech in because he likes trying to figure out how to build a better mousetrap and make more horsepower than the other racers. Frech will be the first one to tell you he gets more enjoyment out of making horsepower than driving his dragster.
The mill between the tubes of Frech’s dragster isn’t something you’ll see in any other vehicle. The 181 cubic-inch engine features a short block that was used in the Pontiac Fiero for a road racing application during the 1980s. Chevrolet created the cylinder head during the 1990s for the Corvette racing program. Frech shifts gears with a five-speed Liberty transmission and the engine uses mechanical fuel injection. With this combination, the dragster has been a best of 7.83 at 168 mph.
So why did Frech decide to build such a unique engine package? That’s simple: he wanted to race a combination in Comp Eliminator that nobody else had.
“This combo forced me to do something different, and if I found some extra horsepower it would be mine, not everybody can build stuff like this. I looked at the Comp rulebook to find a place where if I made some power, nobody else could easily copy it. I’m a tool and die maker, so I do pretty much everything myself except for heads. It’s about being able to find a place where you can get the best advantage without busting the index.”
John Frech’s wild Pontiac and Chevrolet hybrid engine is just one of the many examples that proves Comp Eliminator is an incredible class.