Welcome to High Performance Pontiac's Pavement Pounders Shootout, which we held at Summit Motor-sports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, the day prior to the Ames Performance Tri-Power Pontiac Nationals. As in previous installments, we hand-picked Pontiac racers from across the United States, invited them to the track, and told them to go to for their best e.t.'s ever. This month we bring you another action-packed round of Pontiac power versus Pontiac power. Let's meet the racers.

Gary "Marty" Atkins of Summitville, Indiana, is a GM assembly-plant worker, but what really gets him truckin' is putting his '66 LeMans on the track. It features a 400/406 with cast-iron D-port heads, a Turbo 350, and 3.90 gears.

Tom Scala of Warren, Ohio, is a steel-mill maintenance technician. His '68 GTO is powered by a 455/464 with Edelbrock heads, a Turbo 350, and 3.42 gears.

Both had high hopes of low e.t.'s, but found the day would be more challenging then they expected.

Weather Report

The temperature at Summit Motorsports Park ranged from 73 to 87 degrees. Barometric pressure was measured at 29.93 hg and the dew point was 57.9 degrees. The track is 853 feet above sea level and density altitude ranged from 2,177 to 3,073 feet. We give each racer his own correction factor based upon the density altitude at the time of his best pass. Gary's best pass occurred at 11:50 a.m. with a density altitude of 2,553 feet; Tom's best pass occurred at 3:21 p.m. with a density altitude of 3,073 feet. The correction factors are designed to chart the theoretical best performance at sea level and will be done on the best pass only, based on e.t.

Strip Specs
Year/Model: '66 LeMans
Race Weight With Driver: 3,680
Curb Weight: 3,490
Fuel Level When Weighed: 1⁄2-tank
Fuel: 93-octane
Engine: 69 code-XH 400
Cubic Inches Before/After: 400/406
Engine Built By: The owner and his father
Induction System Air Cleaner: Spectre Ram Air Box, two 4-in inlets
Carburetor: Quadrajet, 800-cfm built By Brent Flynn
Jets: 0.078 primary, 0.040 primary rods, 0.052 long-tip secondary rods
Spacer Plate: None
Intake Manifold: Edelbrock Performer RPM
Fuel System
Tank: 12-gallon Jazz fuel cell
Pump: Holley black
Lines: 1⁄2-in 8 AN front to back
Regulator: Holley, set to 6 psi
Casting: '71 No. 96
Head Porting: Yes, by Brad Spidel
Flow Numbers: Unknown
Valves: Ferrea stainless steel, 2.11/1.77-in
Bottom End
Pistons: TRW, four-valve relief, 4.15-in
Rings: Speed Pro 1⁄16-, 1⁄16-, 3⁄16-in
Rods: Stock GM, reconditioned
Compression Ratio: 9.4:1
Crankshaft: Stock, 3.75-in stroke, reconditioned
Rotating Assembly Balanced: Yes
Brand: Crane hydraulic flat-tappet
Duration at 0.050: 224/234-deg
Duration Advertised: 278/284-deg
Lift with Specified Rocker Arms: 0.467/0.494-in
Lobe Separation Angle: 114-deg
Installed Position: +4-deg
Rocker Arms: Comp Cams roller-tip 1.52:1
Distributor: GM HEI
Coil: ACCEL HEI Super Coil
Wires: Taylor Thundervolt 8.2mm
Spark Plugs: ACDelco R45S
Total Timing: 34-deg
Rpm That Total Timing is Reached: 2,300
Headers: Indian Adventures
Primaries: 1.75-in
Collectors: 3.00-in
Exhaust Pipes: Torque Tech 3.00-in
Mufflers: Pypes Race Pro 3.00-in
Crossover: None
Transmission: Turbo 350 with shift kit
Converter: Coan 11-in, 2,400-stall
Shifter: B&M Pro Stick
Rear: Pontiac 8.2-in with T/A Performance cover
Rear Gear Ratio: 3.90:1
Posi: Eaton
Axles: Moser, 28-spline
Chassis and Suspension
Brakes F/R: Stock 11-in disc / 9.5-in drum
Wheels F/R: American Racing Torq Thrust 15x4, Pontiac steel 15x7
Tires F/R: M/T Sportsman Fronts 26x7.5x15 / M/T ET Streets 28x11.5x15
Tire Pressure F/R: 35 psi / 18 psi
Suspension Front
Springs: Stock replacement
Shocks: Cure Ride, 90/10
Control Arms: Stock with polygraphite bushings
Stabilizer Bar: 1.25-in
Other Features: . .Airlift bags (10-psi right/5-psi left)
Suspension Rear
Springs: Stock
Shocks: CE three-way drag, set to 60/40
Control Arms: Stock boxed upper, SSM Bars lower
Stabilizer Bar: None
Other Features: None
Chassis Mods: None
The Rest
Interior Mods: Auto Meter tachometer and gauges, B&M Pro-Stick floor shifter, CT Performance shoulder belts
Exterior Mods: High-beam headlights removed for ram-air tubes
Safety Mods: Driveshaft loop, steel-braided transmission lines, SFI harmonic balancer
Color: Barrier Blue
Launch Technique: 2,000-rpm footbrake
Best 1/8-mile ET/MPH Prior to Event: 8.01/85.80
Best 1/4-mile ET/MPH Prior to Event: 12.62/106.69 (with 750-cfm carb and open headers)

Gary "Marty" Atkins Gary, at 46 years old, has been racing for five years. He acquired his '66 LeMans in 1983 because he liked its looks and Barrier Blue color. "My dad has known the car since it was new. A good friend of his bought it in 1966 and kept it until Dad got it from him in 1981," Gary says. His favorite moment in the car was way back in high school, when he "let three girls take turns driving it, while riding in the backseat with the other two." Gary also owns a '63 Tempest drag-car project and an '02 Grand Prix. He wants to thank Brent Flynn, Terry Spidel, and Brad Spidel (now deceased), for all their help in getting the most out of the combo.

Strip Tuning Log
Run/Tuning Launch RPM Shift Pt. 60-ft. 1/8-mile 1/4-mile
1. 34-deg timing at 2,000 rpm, 0.078 jets and No. 0.040 pri metering rods, 20 psi in rear tires 1,800 5,400 NA NA 12.95/103.47
2. 18 psi in rear tires, removed air cleaner 1,800 5,400 2.12 8.67/81.44 13.58/99.32
3. 0.052 pri metering rods 1,500 5,400 2.12 8.69/81.96 13.58/99.49
*4. Same 2,000 5,400 1.86 8.24/84.10 12.95/103.99
*5. Same 2,000 5,400 1.81 8.21/83.75 12.95/103.51
Best Pass Corrected 12.55/106.76
Run Notes: 1) Baseline run, short shifted First; 2) Bogged off line; 3) Poor burnout, spun off line; 4) Good run; 5) Same. (*Note: Runs 4 and 5 were done on Friday, August 3, 2012.)