Power Automedia’s quickest and fastest project vehicle, our very own Project BlownZ, made its season debut just over a week ago at the NMCA WEST opener at the Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California, and it did so with some with highs and some lows, but in the end, provided our team with a very promising outlook on the new program for the months ahead.
As we have documented and continue to document here on Dragzine, BlownZ has taken on a complete transformation in the off season and is, for all intents and purposes, is a brand new race car, having been completely stripped down to the bare shell and reconstructed as an SFI 25.3 chassis for Street Outlaw and 275 Drag Radial competition by the talented crew at PMR Race Cars. We are calling it BlownZ 2.0. The changes extend to the running gear, as well, as we commissioned the LS gurus at Late Model Engines in Texas to build us a brand new 400 cubic inch, Edelbrock/RFD LS-R-headed, ProCharger F1-X-boosted LSX bullet for the new year, which we’ve paired up with a Holley Dominator EFI system and a Hughes Performance Turbo 400 transmission for an all-out assault on the small-tire ranks on the west coast.
The Camaro was completed at PMR and brought back to the Power Automedia shop just in time to install the drivetrain, wire it, plumb it, and check everything over with a fine toothed comb, but left us no time to take to shake it down before our debut, so when we arrived in Fontana, we knew the event would be a real learning opportunity and any rounds in competition that we could go were just icing on the cake.
As any race team does, we struggled with some new car blues in qualifying, and that, combined with a couple of early shutoff runs to check everything out, left us qualified No. 5 in the Street Outlaw field with an 8.56 best, but we quickly improved upon that in the opening round of eliminations, when BlownZ sailed to a 7.52 at 190.03 MPH — low elapsed time of the round with a 1.19 short time and soft 4.93 660’— to defeat west coast kingpin Ryan “Toaster” Jones and his Chevy II.
Unfortunately, our weekend “high” and “low” both came on the same lap, as right after the boards lit up with the 7.52 elapsed time, the car nosed into the sand at the end of the track, doing some minor cosmetic damage to the new fiberglass nose and covering many of the intricate parts and pieces under the hood in the driveline with sand.
Some complications inflicted by our little trip to the beach caused us to bow out of eliminations in the second round in our match with Armen Maghdessian and his beautiful 1957 Chevy.
Our crew worked their butts off during qualifying and after our little mishap in the first round, and while we’ll never know what might’ve been had there been more time to get the car cleaned up and turned around, the 7.52 on the just the fourth pass on a “green” race track with brand new everything left us with nothing to hang our heads about and plenty to look forward to.