This month, we conclude our Pavement Pounders Shootout VMP Edition, which took place at Virginia Motorsports Park (VMP) in Petersburg, Virginia, the day before the first Performance Years Pontiac Nationals.
As in past Shootouts, we give the racers exclusive use of a quarter-mile track for the day and instruct them to test their engine combos, experiment with alternate tunings and techniques, troubleshoot any performance gremlins, and find the lowest e.t.'s. If you've been waiting throughout this series for a pure-Pontiac versus LS-engine comparison, you're going to love this month's Shootout.
Our first participant feels right at home with his early '70s A-body that he built specifically for quarter-mile bracket racing and heads-up races, though it still retains streetability. Our second participant is an industry expert on Third- and Fourth-Gen F-bodies and brought his Third-Gen sleeper, which he turned into a sinister street machine and strip-scorcher.
Rich Dwin of Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, goes by the nickname GTO Rich, so it's not too far off the mark that he currently races a '72 LeMans, which features a 0.030-over 455, Wenzler Series II heads, a Turbo 400, and 3.73 rear gears. With a previous best of 10.48 at 128 mph, will Rich be able conquer the VMP track to set a new personal best, or will the hot, humid Virginia air hold back his performance?
Bruce Hawkins of Easley, South Carolina, is the owner of Hawks Third Generation, and he doesn't just build go-fast '82-'02 Firebirds and Trans Ams for his customers-he builds them for himself, too. His Jamaica Yellow '92 Formula Firebird looks mostly stock, but underneath its hood lurks a cammed LS1 engine with No. 317 (6.0L LQ9) heads, a Magnuson MP112 supercharger, a T56 six-speed trans, and 4.11 rear gears.
The temperature at Virginia Motorsports Park during our Shootout ranged from 68.9 to 91.9 degrees; the barometric pressure was 29.88 hg. The track is 170 feet above sea level and density altitude varied from 1,710 to 2,015 feet.
We give each racer his own correction factor based on the density altitude at the time of his best pass. Rich's best pass occurred at 1:14 p.m. with a density altitude of 1,833 feet, so he will receive an altitude-correction factor of 0.9796 for e.t. and 1.0213 for mph. Bruce's best pass occurred at 12:20 p.m. with a density altitude of 1,710 feet, so he'll receive an altitude-correction factor of 0.9809 for e.t. and 1.0199 for mph.
The correction factors are designed to chart the theoretical best performance at sea level and are done on the best pass only, based on e.t.