As you’re reading this it’s the winter leading up to the 2011 season. This is when basic maintenance pays big dividends to your bracket program. In my last column, one of the main points discussed was the importance of consistency and parts longevity as being part of a successful bracket car. Consistency because it goes hand-in-hand with predictability, a primary factor in winning races, and longevity because broken race cars are not typically effective tools for going rounds. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
I never knew Joaquin Arnett or the Bean Bandits but what has been so cool about researching them is that is in almost every contemporary photograph they’re smiling and look like they’re just having a good time. (more…)
Since race pistons in domestic V-8 engines move up and down in excess of 100 times per second, replacing them is a normal part of the racer’s routine. NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car teams replace them after every race pass and every second qualifying pass. Pro Stock teams replace them after every 40 passes approximately, and weekend warriors replace them every 12 to 18 months, sooner if their engines are nitrous-assisted. At piston replacement time questions of spec changes usually arise—especially the topic of compression ratios. (more…)
“I missed it every day for the past 28 years.” Lloyd Wofford’s not talking about smoking or any other vice; he’s referring to not participating in drag racing.
Lloyd’s story is echoed throughout the pits. He started racing in the mid-‘60s, only to “retire” years later. In his first tour of duty he ran through a variety of rides, including a C/MP ’57 Chevy, stepping up to A/SM with a ’68 Camaro and finally a Don Ness-built C/Gas Chevy Monza. In the mix was a ‘65 SS/BA Plymouth Belvedere owned by “Mr. 4 Speed” himself, the legendary Herb McCandless. Lloyd bemoans the fact he let that one get away! (more…)
Chapter One of a Three Part Series
If you’re new to drag racing, it may seem odd that some engines are equipped with carburetors. If you’ve been racing for years, it probably seems odd that some aren’t. In either case, carburetor operation may be a bit of a mystery. (more…)
I sometimes feel like bracket and sportsman racers are drag racing’s forgotten children. It bothers me that the stands at a national event clear out when the dial-in or index classes come to the line. That’s why I’m so excited to be presenting a column to the readers of Drag Racer written from the perspective of someone who’s logged thousands of bracket passes down the quarter-mile. Perhaps you own a drag car of your own, but have only done heads-up drag racing; or maybe you’re a fan of the sport, but have never been down the track yourself. If my column helps bring some understanding as to why racers like me became involved with and dedicated to bracket-style racing, maybe you’ll take your own car to the local track and get involved in bracket racing, too.
The most revealing sign of a pushrod’s capability is its resistance to undue deflection—its column stiffness. Until 1993, meaningful research into valve train testing had not been possible. It was only when the Spintron emerged, a revolutionary electrically powered valve train test machine, that profound inadequacies in pushrod design were first revealed. (more…)
Pro Stock Mountain Motors have cubic inch displacements of 820 to 825. Their capacities began much smaller, deriving from original equipment big-block engines of the ‘60s. But gradually the dimensions between their pan rails grew, allowing longer throw cranks to appear with connecting rods measuring 7.750 inches center to center and 5-inch bore centers with 4.770-inch-diameter pistons, all functioning within a deck height of 12 inches. Today’s Pro Stock engines operate on compression ratios of around 18:1, run on VP Race Fuel grade Q16, and generate in the region of 1,900 hp. Depending on weather conditions, they run quarter-mile elapsed times in 6.25 seconds at speeds close to 225 mph. (more…)
Could this be the ultimate NMCA Stage-1 street-legal nitrous car? Grandville, Michigan’s Ted Pelech of Pelech Brothers Racing holds the distinction of having been the two-time National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) Elapsed Time and Mile per Hour Record Holder at 7.22-191 mph with this 465-ci Applied Nitrous Technology-nitrous assisted, Jeff Prock-tuned street legal ‘90 Camaro. (more…)
As I write this, two days following the conclusion of NHRA’s Lucas Oil Nationals, somewhere outside of Chicago there’s one really happy guy—actually a bunch of really happy people: Bob Bode, his wife (and “bug”) Alice, son Bobby and crew. After 10 years of competing, they’ve just won their first NHRA National Event. Bob Bode notes wistfully, “There’s just no way to put into words what this feels like…what this means to my family, crew and me.” (more…)