Part IV: Black Juice -El Jugo Negro Es 8s
Owner Bio: Larry Cato
Owner Bio: Larry Cato
Larry, a 42-year-old anesthesiologist, bought his Formula in 2000 with the express purpose of building the country's fastest Fourth-Gen Firebird. As the owner of a head/cam '98 T/A, he immediately put the T/A back to stock and focused on his son/father racing efforts. The Formula is special to him because, "It's a great way for my father, Edgar, and I to share a common hobby, and we have made some great friends over the years racing it." The Formula is raced at LS events across the country and local fastest street-car contests. His favorite moment driving the Formula was experiencing a massive bumper-dragging wheelstand at a Thunder Racing LS Series Shootout-that is, until the Formula came down, smashing the oil pan, breaking the K-member, and doing tons of damage. That single pass lives in perpetuity on the internet, as do many of his wild nitrous-enhanced LSX Shootout runs.
We have reached the final installment of our Pavement Pounders Shootout Series, which focuses on late-model Pontiacs and the excitement they can bring on the quarter-mile. This month, we roll out a competitive "LSX Shootout" drag-race entry and provide you insight into some of the technologies employed to smash through time barriers once reserved for tube-chassis cars.
Our venue is Lonestar Motorsports Park in Sealy, Texas, situated alongside Interstate 10 outside of Houston. Considered by many to be the epicenter of the LS-series horsepower wars, it's not uncommon to see a 9-second street car, oil derrick, and a herd of cattle all in one short jaunt around Houston. Although things aren't always bigger in Texas, its residents' appetites for horsepower and fast cars are well earned.
Larry Cato of Katy, Texas, showed up for the Shootout in his black 2000 Formula. After purchasing it new, he built it to participate in LS drag racing events. As one of the fastest "stock-suspension," nitrous-based cars on the LS drag-circuit, this is a well-sorted-out entry that is crewed by Late Model Racecraft and normally driven by Larry. On this day due to a recently completed marathon session in the operating room, Larry had LMR's own Steven Fereday, aka Wormboy, behind the wheel.
The Formula sports an LSX block punched out to 427 ci and two direct-port nitrous systems that are jetted for a combined 450-shot. LSW All-Pro cathedral port heads and a nasty solid roller camshaft work in combination with a carburetor-style intake manifold and EFI throttle body to inject 116-octane race fuel and expel thunderous sounds through a custom exhaust. Will the power being parlayed to a Powerglide, built 12-bolt, and a full-race suspension allow the Formula to crack the 8-second barrier?
The temperature at Lonestar Motorsports Park during our Shootout ranged from 90.5 to an egg-frying 100.7 degrees. Barometric pressure was measured at 29.96 hg and the dew point was 70.2 degrees. This track is 185 feet above sea level, and density altitude ranged from 2,500 to 3,172 feet, so we'll use a factor of 0.9640 for e.t. and 1.0381 for mph for 3,000 feet to chart the theoretical best performance at sea level. This will be applied to the best pass only, based on e.t.
Strip Tuning Log
|1. 15-deg timing, nitrous unarmed
|2. 15-deg timing, ramp to 10-deg
|BEST PASS CORRECTED
|4. 15-deg timing, ramp to 9-deg
Nitrous jetted to a 300 shot and tire pressure set to 13.5 psi on all runs. 1) Nitrous bottle pressure, 900 psi; nitrous unarmed before the 60-foot mark; 2) Nitrous pressure set to 900 psi, timing ramped from 15 degrees to 10 degrees at 1/8-mile to conclusion of run; 3) Nitrous pressure set to 850 psi, timing ramped from 15 degrees to 10 degrees at 1/8-mile to conclusion of run; 4) Nitrous pressure set to 900 psi, timing ramped from 15 degrees to 9 degrees at 1/8-mile to conclusion of run.