This month, we go back to Ontario, California, for the second installment of the HPP Pavement Pounders Shootout from Auto Club Dragway at California Speedway in Fontana, California. It was held in conjunction with POCI Convention and Pontiac Drag Days, with Dave "Big Injun" Anderson organizing the racers and working with the POCI Drag Race Committee to bring it all together.
This time around, we have chosen four cars out of the field that represent solid drag performers from opposite ends of the spectrum and from different eras of Pontiac's performance history. Three are modified A-bodies from the 1960s, and the fourth is a front-drive W-body GTP.
While the approaches are quite different, they end up dealing with the same problems at the strip, namely the 100+ degree heat, thin air quality and a slippery track whose surface temperature was literally hot enough to cook an egg-we watched someone do it. The bottom line is that the track conditions ensure that they are chasing after the same sort of fixes and their solutions can be helpful to other racers, regardless of their type of Pontiac.
Ron Hildreth: Ron Hildreth, a 57-year-old Corona, California, native has been a familiar sight in the Southern California Pontiac drag scene for the past 16 years. He was the 2003 Pontiac Drag Days Sportsman Bracket Champion, piloting his '65 GTO post coupe. Will his experience be enough to persevere through the grueling conditions?
Maryangel Camacho: Though this 26-year-old Chula Vista resident is the only female and by far the youngest participant, Maryangel and her '00 GTP still represent a formidable challenge to the other racers. The secret weapons are hubby Victor's preparation and her youthful reflexes.
Jerry Beaudry: Next up is 57-year-old Jerry Beaudry's 10-second '66 LeMans. With 482 cubic-inches of Bill Takanabe-built Pontiac and 41 years of drag racing experience, Jerry represents a formidable force in the shootout and in the So Cal drag scene.
Barry Troup: The 67-year-old West Covina resident has a lot of experience with early A-bodies and has a well-dialed in '65 LeMans combination. Will his tuning and driving technique be enough to beat the heat and stay in the game?
Weather ReportAs mentioned last month, So Cal Pontiac racer and former shootout participant Jim "Old Man" Taylor kept tabs of the temperature and air quality while we were there. It was a hot one: the ambient air temperature reached a peak of 105 degrees and the track surface temperature spiked to 151 degrees. Combined with a 16 percent relative humidity, the effective elevation was a lofty 4,870 feet. We'll use 4,900 feet for our conversion of the best pass for each participant to sea level, which works out to 0.9406 for e.t. and 1.0633 for mph. Our thanks to OMT for his precise record-keeping.