Once every August, High Performance Pontiac invites select drag racers from across the United States to arrive in Norwalk, Ohio, the day before the start of the Ames Performance Tri-Power Pontiac Nationals and attend our private-invitation Pavement Pounders Shootout. The event gives our chosen racers the opportunity to get out on the Summit Motorsports Park quarter-mile track and test their engines and combos, tuning and timing, launch techniques, shift strategies, and track behavior in a fun and relaxed environment, which is free from the stresses of the highly competitive Pontiac Nationals race program that follows our event.
For our first installment, we compare vintage pure-Pontiac-powered muscle to a modern LS-series small-block with a twist.
Let's meet the racers.
Richard Quintero of Idaville, Indiana, is a USDA meat and poultry inspector, but on the track, his only job description is to make chicken feed out of the competition. His '68 LeMans started life with a 350 two-barrel, but it now features an IA II 505ci block, Edelbrock heads, a Turbo 400, and 3.73 gears.
Chuck Schendel of Toledo, Ohio, is a second-generation GM employee, who came to our event to prove that Pontiac made some of the finest muscle cars in the world-all the way until the brand's forced retirement. His G8 GT features an L76 364ci engine, a modified 4L60E automatic trans, and 3.27 rear gears.
The temperature at Summit Motorsports Park during our Shootout ranged from 78.5 to 88.2 degrees. Barometric pressure was measured at 29.74 hg; the dew point was 72.6 degrees. The track is 853 feet above sea level and density altitude ranged from 2,424 to 3,245 feet, so we give each racer his own correction factor based upon the density altitude at the time of his best pass.
Richard's best pass occurred at 1:42 p.m. with a density altitude of 3,369 feet, so he has an altitude-correction factor of 0.9588 for e.t. and 1.0437 for mph. Chuck's best pass occurred at 2:23 p.m. with a density altitude of 3,245 feet, so he'll has an altitude-correction factor of 0.9614 for e.t. and 1.0499 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.