High Performance Pontiac has brought you the drag-race action from our Pavement Pounders Shootout private-invitational at Norwalk, Ohio, for the past three issues. We continue the series this month with two racers who want to learn how their new parts affect e.t.’s. The first is a classic Pontiac musclecar that’s been transformed into a striponly, 10-second bracket racer. Thee second is a former sporty street coupe that’s now flying high with e.t.’s in the 9s.
Let’s meet the racers.
Ron Beach Sr. of Sparta, Illinois, was a GM Service Parts Operation employee who remembers seeing Ram Air IV heads in parts bins before they were sent to dealer parts counters. His ’69 GTO features a 0.030-over 455, aluminum heads, a Turbo 400, and 4.10 gears.
Deryck Brown of St. Catharines, Ontario, was a Firebird fanatic years before the Fourth-Generation Trans Am and Formula’s LS-series engines were built there. His ’74 Firebird features a stroked and punched 428, aluminum heads, a Powerglide, and 4.10 gears
The temps at Summit Motorsports Park 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 on the density altitude at the time of his best pass. Ron’s best was at 1:58 p.m. (DA 2,618); Deryck’s at 3:04 p.m. (DA 2,741). 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.
This month’s Shootout participants came to the track to try out new parts with the hope of lowering e.t.’s; both achieved their goals. Like them, you may have parts you want to try the next time you’re at the racetrack, and then use the quarter-mile as your testbed. Both of our Shootout participants were happy with their changes, but how about you? We’re sure the cars and combos detailed in this story will give you plenty of ideas for your project. HPP would like to thank the management and crew at Summit Motorsports Park for their assistance in making this Shootout possible, and John Labuda and Arnie Brewer, who helped make the day go much more smoothly.
RON BEACH SR.
Ron was confident his GTO was dialed in for consistent runs (in 2005, he took home five First Place wins with it), so his goal was to document what effect a smaller carburetor and dropping timing 3 degrees would have on his e.t.’s. He laid down two back-to back baselines--35-degree and then 32-degree total advance--and saw only a 0.009 difference in his quarter-mile time. He swapped out a Holley 850-cfm for a 750-cfm for his fourth pass and earned his best time of the day, an 11.11 at 116.69 mph. "I think my engine combo likes the Holley 750 better, and I plan on keeping it on the car," Ron says. He described the track conditions as "great" and says his GTO "hooked
well and went straight."
Deryck wanted to slam the gears using some new slicks, but not before setting a baseline on the old rubber, which resulted in a 9.49 e.t. at 141.46 mph. "I decided to run the new slicks tubeless, which reduced sprung weight by 25 pounds (13 pounds for the lighter slicks and 12 pounds for the tubes)," he says. His best pass came at the end of the day with the new slicks--a 9.42 e.t. at 142.40 mph. "The DA was so high that I think the new slicks improved performance more than the timeslips show," he says. "I also wanted to change the jets and timing, but I got the new tires on so late in the day that I didn’t have enough time." When asked about the track conditions, Deryck said, "They were just fine; I set my best 60-foots to date." He added that despite his Firebird not hooking up on the first pass, "The rest hooked great."