When you end 2015 on the high note of running your best ever elapsed time (a 4.38 at 169 mph run) on the infamous “Strip” at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the last thing you should probably do is start over with your engine combination. Yet, that’s exactly what we did.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with BlownZ — this is our iconic 2002 25.3 Camaro that we have been racing for the better part of four years in various different radial tire classes. It started life in PSCA Limited Street, morphed into a 275/Street Outlaw car, and then, finally, we settled on the Outlaw Drag Radial/Limited Drag Radial class.
Our “2015” conversion to the Outlaw Drag Radial class was relatively simple. We installed the larger ProCharger F3-121 Supercharger on our Late Model Engines 441 Dart LSX, and we strapped some larger tires on the old girl. Mickey Thompson’s 29.5 Pro Drag Radial (PN #3062R) got the call, having proven themselves to be able to run in the high 3-second range in Radial Vs. the World.
Boost comes from ProCharger’s F3-121 supercharger which stuffs more than 51 lbs of boost into the Late Model Engines small-block LSX. We also utilized ProCharger’s new boost ring for the 121.
A quick back-of-the-napkin calculation told us we needed to ditch 300 pounds or more to be competitive in 2016, and that is no simple recipe. The only thing we could figure out was to go through the car with a fine-toothed comb to eliminate weight, as well as moving our 441-inch LSX to alcohol from gas and ditch a lot of the intercooler and water pump hardware.
This is our fuel cell that we designed with the help of Tim McAmis, utilizing their high-capacity alcohol fuel cell fitting kit.
The conversion to supercharged alcohol has been challenging, to say the least. We’ve had some pain, and we had some broken parts. But we got some amazing help from a lot of great companies and some kickass tuners, and we decided to write this article a little differently. Today, as we sit, we are the NMCA WEST Limited Street Champions, as this season has come to a close. We are writing this in October. So this is a look back at what we changed, and what you need to know when you’re converting to blown alcohol. We’ve segmented this into sections advising you on what you need to change if you want to keep your engine reliable and your tune up safe.
It took four long, sometimes tumultuous and heartbreaking years to get there, but Dragzine’s very own BlownZ Racing Team finally broke through for its first series championship in 2016, achieving a goal that, at times, seemed so close, yet so far away. But, as they say, good things come to those who wait, and four seasons of highlights and low-lights, late nights, broken parts, and lessons learned after our endeavor began, it all culminated with the NMCA WEST’s ProCharger Limited Street title at the series’ season-ending West Coast World Finals at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California.
The championship run, too, had its challenging moments, but few of those came during the NMCA WEST’s four-race schedule of events, as driver James Lawrence parked the Project BlownZ Camaro in victory lane at every race in 2016, garnering 14 straight round wins and setting the class standard in the process with a 4.48 at 168 mph.
he Dragzine.com team has been utilizing JRi's four-way shocks on our Project BlownZ radial tire Camaro for more than a year, and they've proven to be quite an asset on some of the hotter and more challenging tracks common on the West Coast.
Despite their presence in the sport — and the more commonplace use on UTV’s and other off-road vehicles — four-way shocks remain a bit of a black art to many. After all, when many racers find themselves lost with a simple rebound and compression adjustment, adding yet another set of dials can be daunting. And so, with the help of Ryan and JRi’s Drag Racing Manager, Marc Smith, we’re going to give you a layman’s terms look at what a four-way adjustable shock is, how they work internally, and how racers are taking advantage of the unparalleled adjustability.
The newest flanged axle to surface from Moser is the first redesign of a lightened flange in about 20 years, as Moser went back to the drawing board to rework these extreme duty axles. This newest model has gone through a considerable number of revisions during its test phases. During this rigorous testing, the engineers discovered that their current floater hub design was the ideal setup for a lightened flanged axle, and as such, the new lightweight Pro Flange is almost exclusively based off their current full floater style assembly.
While Moser has never witnessed an instance where the previous Star Flange has failed, they chose to remain ahead of the game in terms of safety and longevity with the new design. For that reason, we opted to go with the updated Pro Flange on our Dragzine project car, BlownZ.
We’ve bolted up a set of these new axles to BlownZ for the 2016 season, giving in extra peace of mind we we release the transbrake button and plant all of the supercharged horsepower to the ground in our quest for a championship.
2015 In Review
2015 was a whirlwind for Team Dragzine.com. Coming off a strong NMCA 2014 season, we had a lot of upgrades planned for the car in hopes of winning an NMCA West Street Outlaw championship, along with an east coast trip that would include (3) Street Outlaw races. Well, you know what they say about the “best laid” plans, right?
Before we tell you how the season has progressed, we’re going to clue you in some of the upgrades and changes that we made.
We had new 441ci LSX Engines built by Late Model Engines, built from Dart LS Next 2 billet blocks. These new engines feature 4.125-stroke Billet Bryant crankshafts, Diamond Billet Supercharged-spec Pistons and Trend Pushrods, GRP Aluminum Rods, Edelbrock LS-R heads, and are topped with a fresh billet Wilson Manifold intakes.
Specs on the new powerplants:
Block: Dart Billet LS LS Next2, 9.750-inch deck height
Crank: Bryant Racing Billet 4.125 stroke BBC Snout, 2.750 Main
Rods: GRP Pro Series Billet, 6.300-inch long, .927-inch pin
Pistons/Pins: Diamond Racing Hard Anodized, Trend TP-1 DLC-coated pins
Rings: Total Seal M2
Damper: ATI Racing Super Damper
Camshaft: Custom solid roller
Pushrods: Trend Performance
Lifters: Jesel Keyed, .937-inch diameter
Oiling System: Dailey Engineering Dry Sump
Cylinder Heads: Edelbrock LS-R by Race Flow Development
Rocker Arms: Jesel aluminum intake, steel exhaust, 1.8:1 ratio
Camshaft Drive: Jesel belt-drive
Valves: Ferrea Titanium
Valvetrain: PAC 1.522-inch-diameter double springs, retainers, locks, locators
Intake Manifold: Wilson Manifolds billet/sheetmetal
Exhaust: Custom headers from REF Unlimited/Burns Stainless
All Fasteners: ARP
A New Look with a Fresh Wrap – Those with a keen eye may have noticed that our own Project BlownZ — the quickest and fastest true magazine project car ever — has been given a fresh new makeover for the 2015 season, with a far more eye-catching look than in years past. Thanks to 3M and SocalWraps.com for helping us out!
Tommy and the crew at Mac-Fab helped us with some trick new wheels for BlownZ. We started with Mickey Thompson 15 x 12 rear wheels, and Mac-Fab did a beadlock conversion that gave us an optimum tire footprint for the 275 Mickey Thompson Drag Radials. We appreciate and thank Tommy and their great guys for their support! We would also be able to run with the new Mickey Thompson Pro Drag Radial 29.5 tire where it was legal in certain classes.
Another major change we made in 2015 was to change our intercooler setup and design, that we did in conjunction with Chiseled Performance’s Robert Rojas and Burns Stainless – which was moving to a complete 5-inch tubing setup in the car with rear-mounted intercooler. We did a complete article on the swap. We moved to a Chiseled IC3000 with a 5-inch Vband setup and Burns new mandrel-bent aluminum tubing. We found outstanding flow, and a minimal boost-drop.Finally, we want to give a special thanks to Driven Oil and VP Racing Fuels for their continued support in 2015. It’s easy to ignore some of the simple things like oil and fuel for your race car and take them for granted. We don’t. We’re proud to have both of these companies support us with product that we use and race every day.
Driven Oil supplies us with XP9 Racing Oil for 2015.
XP9 is a all-out race 10-W40 synthetic oil that’s specifically formulated for high-horsepower racing engines, it’s designed to protects aggressive cam profiles and has synthetic base oils that protect from high temperatures and viscosity breakdown. Since we’re going to playing with some alcohol next year (hint, hint) we also are planning to look at XP6.
Driven XP9 gets the call for our 441ci Billet Engines. We’ve had good success with this oil, but will be using a different Driven oil product for our 2016 Alcohol combination.
For 2015, VP Racing’s Q16 gets the call with the fuel. We just really like the Q16 product on a blown combination, and it works great. It’s oxygenated and we’ve seen a solid 5% in additional power. “Adding oxygen to the fuel, it’s just going to make more power, that’s basic chemistry,” Jason Rueckert from VP told us. We moved from the C16 we used two years ago, and the Q fuel has proven to be a no brainer. the only thing you need to be careful with is adding enough additional fuel in the fuel map to make up for the extra oxygen. But’s a tunable fuel.
That’s the 2015 combination, and here’s the story on how the season went.
2015 Race Recap
Racing BlownZ is a lot of work. We unloaded her for the first race and began a season long journey of sweat, tears, and cheers.
This season has been an interesting one – we started the year with the intention of competing in NMCA Street Outlaw, west coast and east coast, with our fresh 441ci Billet Engines. We started the season off in a positive way, with a PSCA Xtreme Drag Radial runner up. In more than 4,000 ft. of altitude, we ran a 4.75/160 mph first time out with the new engines on a very soft tune up on a challenging surface. At the next race, in the NMCA West Fontana opener, we struggled to get down the track. We ended up winning the race, running a best of 7.35/203.6, but we didn’t learn a lot. We only made one good pass down the racetrack and that one was with a 1.28 60-foot.
At Fontana, the first race netted us a 7.35/203.6 run and a win NMCA Street Outlaw.
Next up was the West Coast Hot Rod race in Bakersfield, where we ran a best of 4.58/165 in 1/4 mile trim with our quarter mile rear end gear, with a 1.16 60-foot. We went to the semi-finals were we lost to a game Roger Holder where we ran a 4.59 in about 2600-feet of DA. This would have put us in a very competitive range for NMCA Street Outlaw. After this race however, NMCA changed Street Outlaw to 1/8 mile, which meant we needed to optimize for 1/8 mile and not 1/4 mile when it came to our gearing.
We experimented with ProCharger’s new inlet bell on the F1X-12R supercharger. We would later switch to a ProCharger 121.
NMCA Fontana #2: Our Nemesis
NMCA Fontana #2 was up next, and again, dealt a cruel blow to our egos and racing operation. We simply could not get down the racetrack with our 1/8 mile combination. 9 tries, 9 spins. We lost in the first round to Ryan “Toaster” Jones when we got out of shape around 200 feet down track. It was hot with over 140 degrees of track temperature and we definitely did not have the magic hand. This put us #2 in points.
At this point, our plan was to go back east, but a series of personal challenges faced our team that had nothing to do with racing. Two different medical issues combined to put our driver James Lawrence unavailable to go back east and also to compete in the third NMCA West event. With that, championship dreams went dark.
A Switch to Xtreme Drag Radial, Outlaw Drag Radial, True 10.5
Since the NMCA Street Outlaw class championship was out of reach, we made the decision to move up a class to the next class up. Referred to as Xtreme Drag Radial, Outlaw Drag Radial, or True 10.5, this class affords to the opportunity to go faster and also offers a broader set of rules that allows us to compete in more events. We entered the NMCA finals in True 10.5 with a bigger – the Mickey Thompson Pro Drag Radial – but still with our ProCharger F1X-12R supercharger and engine combination. We qualified #2, and went to the semi-finals against Johnny Coleman running a best of 4.64/160. Although under powered, we were feeling our way through the combination. Previously we ran a best of 4.58/165 mph in 2700 ft. of air. This combination with the ProCharger F1X blower is capable of mid 4.40s at 165 mph in the right conditions.
Although we ran in the 4.60s at 160 mph, we got our asses handed to us by Johnny Coleman in the second round of True 10.5. We were underpowered, and Johnny ran by us with a 4.42/167 mph run. We would get the bigger blower on for the next event.
We wanted to thank Bell Helmets for outfitting us with a matching helmet to our wrap. FIA 8860 and SFI certified, this HP7 carbon fiber helmet was world class and keeps us safe.
The next race up was the Street Car Supernationals. We were excited to implement our plan to step up to a more powerful engine combination – we would be competing with the larger ProCharger F3-121 supercharger. In NMCA, this is Xtreme Drag Radial/True 10.5; in other associations this will be Limited Drag Radial or Outlaw 275. We will be shooting for the mid 4.20s at 170+ mph for 2016.
At SCSN 2015, we qualified #8 in a 37 car field with a 4.50/165 mph run. Qualifying was challenging, as we were dealing with a cracked inlet pipe bleeding off boost. We made it 4 rounds, and achieved a new personal best at the Street Car Supernationals, running a 4.38/169 mph with a 1.12 60-foot to go to the semi-finals in a very tough field of 37 cars in Xtreme Drag Radial. Getting to the “final four” out of this very tough field was a great end of season accomplishment.
At Street Car Supernationals, we installed the new 121 ProCharger and ran a best of 4.38 at 169 mph grossly overweight. We will be optimizing toward the 4.20s for 2016.
We ran as fast as a 1.11 60-foot grossly overweight, as we were about 350 lbs overweight for the class. BlownZ needs to go on a diet. We were utilizing the Dart Billet LS Next 2 441 cubic inch engine, along with the ProCharger 121 supercharger that is class legal in Xtreme Drag Radial along with new Mickey Thompson 3062R Pro Drag Radial at 3,150 lbs.
Plans for 2016 include optimizing our setup for competition in True 10.5 Outlaw Drag Radial, Outlaw 275, and the Limited Drag Radial classes. We are currently converting to Alcohol and under taking other weight savings efforts in an effort to get the car to 2,850 lbs.
Our efforts are far more than just the driver! Our crew consists of crew chief Sean Goude, and crew/team members Dean Jigamian, Dave Lukason, Kyle Kitchen, Eric Kvilhaug, DJ Reid, and Tim Obetz. We’ll be sure to get ready for an exciting 2016 season where we’ll make sure to keep everyone in the loop as we travel back east to take on the heavy hitters.