Sportsman Spotlight Update: NMCA Racer Andy Warren

Andy Warren 3

When we brought you news of NMCA Nostalgia Muscle Car racer Andy Warren’s 2016 upgrades back in January, he told us that his plans, included revamped engine and transmission programs, upgraded suspension components, and a weight loss initiative to help him get into the 9-second zone. Andy’s plan was to move into the 10.0-index within Nostalgia Muscle Car, so he wanted a little cushion to make sure he could routinely run 10.0 second 1/4-mile times without putting undue stress on the car. So far, it’s safe to say he has accomplished his goals.

Knieriem Racing Engines took the existing 427 small block and took it out to 434 cubic inches with a custom set of Ross pistons, AFR 245cc heads and Titan intake, Jesel rockers, a Quick Fuel Technology Black iamond series carburetor, American Racing Headers long-tubes,and a XS Racing S1600 16-volt battery.

Under the hood resides 434 cubic-inches of Knieriem Racing Engines-built small-block power.

“After getting only three 1/8-mile passes on the new combination,” Andy says, “we set sail to the NMRA/NMCA AllStar Nationals in Commerce, Georgia.” To Andy’s relief, the big Caprice ran a personal best of 9.96 at 132 mph right off the trailer. Since he was only able to make 1/8-mile passes before the race, he wasn’t sure where the car’s rearend gearing needed to be. The car had a 4.57 rear gear rato in it from the car’s previous combination, but on the 9.96 secind pass, Andy buzzed the rev limiter at 7,800 rpm. “I was able to tune the car back to run 10.0, but it was still winding the engine too tight for my comfort,” Andy said.

Without another set of gears available, he had to make due at the event and run the car like it was. He still had a successful outing before overpowering the track in round two. “It didn’t bring me down,” Andy tells us. “Considering all the changes that I need to get used to on the car, that was a very successful outing,” he adds.

One of the biggest hurdles Andy has had to overcome is the relocation of the shifter from the steering column to the floor. An ididit steering column replaces the original , while a B&M shifter now does the work of getting to the next gear.

One of the biggest hurdles Andy has had to overcome is the relocation of the shifter from the steering column to the floor. An ididit steering column replaces the original, while a B&M shifter now does the work of getting to the next gear.

After the AllStar race, Andy swapped out the 4.57 rearend gears, and ainstalled a Motive Gear 4.30 gear set in its place. He also swapped in an ididit steering column, which dropped 20 pounds off the car’s total weight. Another swap he made was to replace the car’s Mickey Thompson 3754X ET Street Radial Pro for Mickey’s 3355R 28×10.5 Pro Bracket Radial. To finish out the post-race adjustments, Andy consulted with shock specialist Mark Menscer on what suspension adjustments could be made to allow Andy to get more aggressive with launch rpm.

Fuelab plays a big part in Andy's program, with a complete fuel system powering the combination now to the tune of high 9s.

He was able to test out those improvements at the NMCA Bluegrass Nationals at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky. “The car didn’t slow down a bit,” Andy says. As a matter of fact, he says the car was getting faster and faster each pass. Andy and his Caprice made it to the final round, but he hadn’t quite mastered the car’s setup, and broke out by running 9.993 seconds on his 10.0 index. A runner-up finish had to be good enough at the Bluegrass Nationals.

Since then, Andy’s been working on safely running 10.0 times during the summer months. If he’s successful in his bid for a 5th NMCA Nostalgia Muscle Car championship, he’ll be looking at making the Caprice even quicker. According to Andy, “An F1-R ProCharger would be nasty.”

Sounds like this won’t be the last Andy Warren update.

Aerospace Components brakes bring the Caprice to halt, while Bilbrey Automotive built a new Turbo 400 transmission with a freshened converter from Ultimate Converter Concepts. Out back is a TRZ Motorsports-braced Strange Engineering 9-in that now carries 4.30 gears.

Aerospace Components brakes bring the Caprice to halt, while Bilbrey Automotive built a new Turbo 400 transmission with a freshened converter from Ultimate Converter Concepts. Out back is a TRZ Motorsports-braced Strange Engineering rearend that now carries 4.30 gears.

About the author

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson brings his years of experience in the Mustang aftermarket and performance industry to StangTV. He has been passionate about cars since childhood, with a special affinity for the Mustang.
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