Dragzine’s Project BlownZ Chevrolet Camaro made its second start of the 2014 racing season last weekend alongside some stiff competition at the NMCA WEST Street Car Nationals at the historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California, and although we didn’t come away as victors, we did get a round win on the board and gained some valuable data that will only serve to better our program as we move forward.
And gone are the black and silver colors — and the concoction of primer and gel coat that we had a few weeks ago in Fontana — as we rolled into Pomona with a brand new look, after having the car wrapped with a fresh new matte white scheme with carbon fiber racing stripes just days before loading up to head to Pomona. Far from just new colors, BlownZ endured an extensive off-season rebuild with a brand new PMR 25.3 chassis, and new LME 400ci engine topped with RFD LSR heads and powered by a ProCharger F1x, and new parts like a Hughes Turbo 400, Racecraft Suspension, and Holley EFI.
Qualified sixth out of the seven cars in the field, this set us up a first round match with reigning series champion and perennial frontrunner Kevin Young and his ’86 Camaro out of Idaho. Young also happened to be testing the new ProCharger F1X-12 supercharger. Based on qualifying, Young had us covered, but they don’t run them on paper for a reason, and we were able to put together our best run of the weekend by far — a 7.46 at 194 — to get around Young, who slowed some from qualifying pace to a 7.88.
In the second round, we were matched up with the always-tough Ryan “Toaster” Jones and his ’65 Nova, which had qualified second in the field with a 7.58. There, a simple case of driver error with a slip of the transbrake button on the starting line cost us the chance to challenge Jones, who put up a 7.40 at 191.10.
We’ll never know what might’ve been, but as always, it was a learning experience we can build upon. Of course, we were still pretty elated with the speed and the elapsed time in round one, given the 3,200 feet of air density we were running in, and the rather soft 1.21 short time, 3.28 330-foot, and 4.91-second front half that car turned on it’s way to the 7.46.
While we were happy with our 2.55 back split and 194 mph blast, an analysis of the data logger showed that there was plenty left in the can on the back of the track. We’ll need to be in the high 2.40s on the back split to be able to contend with the top runners in the class like Kevin Young, Eric Gustafson, and Ryan Jones.
Crewed by NMCA Drag Radial champion Jason Lee, Eric took with the win with consistent 7.20s at 194-195 mph in his quarter-mile debut. In the finals, Eric took out Jones, who red-lighted and sloowed some to a 7.447.
Dragzine.com and the BlownZ Racing team will be back in action shortly and looking to improve on a good start to the 2014 season. In order to step up in the points, we’re going to need to start going more rounds to have a shot at a championship in 2014.
Round One Eliminations