Thismonth High Performance Pontiac returns to Norwalk, Ohio, for another strip-scorching edition of Pavement Pounders Shootout. As in the past, we selected racers from various parts of the country (and Canada) to converge upon Summit Motorsports Park the day before the Ames Performance Tri-Power Pontiac Nationals to use our exclusive track event to try out new tunings, timings, and speed parts; experiment with launch techniques and shift points; and lay down baselines, and then try to best them with their most blistering-fast quarter-mile times ever.
For Part I, we feature two cars that bring back two bygone eras in Pontiac’s high-performance history—one is a restored, full-size coupe that recalls the Performance Division’s golden years in NHRA competitions and the second is an early-’80s eye-grabber with its DNA solidly set in the super ’70s.
Mike Ingersoll of Paola, Kansas, feels at home on the showfield or the dragstrip with his ’61 Ventura. It features a stroked 400 with No. 16 heads, a Turbo 400, and 4.10 gears.
Corey Wells of Lewes, Delaware, built his ’81 Turbo T/A to be a naturally aspirated hot-lap superhero. It features a stroked 400 with E-heads, a Powerglide, and 3.90 gears.
The temps at Summit Motorsports Park during our Shootout ranged from 77 to 81 degrees. Barometric pressure was 29.95 hg and the dew point was 70 degrees. The track is 853 feet above sea level and density altitude ranged from 2,504 to 2,741 feet, so we give each racer his own correction factor based upon the density altitude at the time of his best pass. For Mike, it’s 2,607 feet DA; for Corey, it’s 2,741 feet DA. 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.