1968 Firebird 400 vs. 1970 GS455
400/340hp vs. 455/360hp
Qualified: 12.57 vs. 12.59
After some high-profile press awhile back, Stage 1 Buicks had quite a reputation. Surely no Firebird 400 would have a chance against the elite Stage 1, would it? Dave Hemker, skilled driver and all-around nice guy, has the fastest Buick at the Pure Stock Drags. Rick Watson will go up against him in a very hot ’68 Firebird 400 Ram Air II. Both are automatics. The Firebird has 4.10 digger gears; the Buick has 3.73s.
Round 1: Rick rockets off the line on a 0.070 light—but what’s this? Dave’s out of the hole even quicker. Yep, it’s a red light for Dave and team Buick. Rick stays in it, posting a 12.85 and taking the win.
Round 2: Another Buick red light. You can’t win two out of three with two red lights. Not one to back off, Rick hammers the Bird, running a 1.94 60-footer and breaking the beams with a winning 12.61. It may be an easy win for Rick and his flying F-body, but it’s a win nonetheless. Oh, yeah—let’s not forget it’s a stock R/A-II 400 running mid-12s on Redlines.