G-bodies have grown increasingly popular for hot rod and race car builds, and Glenn Pushis’ new-to-him Oldsmobile Cutlass is as fast as it is good-looking. The multi-time NMCA Chevrolet Performance Stock (CPS) champion and former NHRA Factory Showdown/NMCA Factory Super Cars driver began looking for a new challenge in the middle of 2022 and had been paying attention to the radial-tire racing classes and the popularity they currently enjoy.
“We were big-block nitrous guys in the ’90s and we saw the radial-tire thing taking off. We didn’t know how to work on those, but thought it could be a neat learning experience for us,” he explained. “We wanted to get back into something we could play with more.”
Pushis set his sights on NMCA Xtreme Street, and liked the possibility that he could also run Ultra Street events as well as radial classes near his Indiana home base.
“I didn’t want to wait two years to build a car, so I talked to Bill Trovato and Rodney Massengale and asked them if they knew of any Xtreme Street cars for sale.” Trovato subsequently hosted a meeting at the following NMCA Norwalk race between Pushis and longtime friend and BTR customer Scotty Guiler, who had campaigned his Cutlass in the class for many years.
Just a few months later, a deal was made and Pushis was in the radial-tire game. It was seemingly the perfect deal for both parties, as Guiler wanted to see his pride and joy taken care of and campaigned in a professional way, and Pushis was not only looking for a sorted, turn-key, and competitive machine, but also added another Oldsmobile to his collection.
“I’ve been an Olds guy since 1972,” said Pushis, who currently owns a 1970 442 W-30, a 1970 Olds Rallye 350 cutlass, a bone-stock 1985 442, and now Guiler’s 1985 Cutlass.
After not doing much else aside from changing the rear gear ratio, Pushis’ first time behind the wheel was at a test session the Monday before the 2023 NMCA season opener in Orlando, Florida.
“The first two hits we ran normally aspirated and ran 5.90s,” he said. “On the first nitrous pass, it spun about 150 feet out. We made some tire pressure and shock setting adjustments and applied more power through the progressive system each pass. We turned it up against Bill because we knew we had to, but she gave up about three seconds into the run. I was proud to run the 4.72 and qualify mid-pack the first time out with it. Scotty was helping tune the car remotely and watching it on livestream,” Pushis noted. “I really appreciated his help.” At the track, Pushis had his crew of Steve Hilterbrand, and John Entley, helping out as well as longtime tuner Doug Thompson.
Currently, Pushis and his team are pulling the Induction Solutions direct-port nitrous-assisted, 582 cubic inch big-block and will deliver it to BTR Performance for some work before heading to the next NMCA event in Rockingham, North Carolina in just a few weeks.
“I’m going to have Bill build a couple of new motor combinations and we’re probably going to go to Holley EFI,” Pushis said. “I loved Scotty’s car when I saw it at the track. It’s an honor and privilege to run it. I’m not looking to set the world on fire, but I’d like it to be a top five car in the class by the end of the year.”