Pontiac Pavement Pounders Shootout - POCI/Pontiac Drag Days Edition
This month, we go back to Ontario, California, for the second installment of the HPP Pavement Pounders Shootout from Auto Club Dragway at California Speedway in Fontana, California. It was held in conjunction with POCI Convention and Pontiac Drag Days, with Dave "Big Injun" Anderson organizing the racers and working with the POCI Drag Race Committee to bring it all together.
This time around, we have chosen four cars out of the field that represent solid drag performers from opposite ends of the spectrum and from different eras of Pontiac's performance history. Three are modified A-bodies from the 1960s, and the fourth is a front-drive W-body GTP.
While the approaches are quite different, they end up dealing with the same problems at the strip, namely the 100+ degree heat, thin air quality and a slippery track whose surface temperature was literally hot enough to cook an egg-we watched someone do it. The bottom line is that the track conditions ensure that they are chasing after the same sort of fixes and their solutions can be helpful to other racers, regardless of their type of Pontiac.
Ron Hildreth: Ron Hildreth, a 57-year-old Corona, California, native has been a familiar sight in the Southern California Pontiac drag scene for the past 16 years. He was the 2003 Pontiac Drag Days Sportsman Bracket Champion, piloting his '65 GTO post coupe. Will his experience be enough to persevere through the grueling conditions?

Maryangel Camacho: Though this 26-year-old Chula Vista resident is the only female and by far the youngest participant, Maryangel and her '00 GTP still represent a formidable challenge to the other racers. The secret weapons are hubby Victor's preparation and her youthful reflexes.

Jerry Beaudry: Next up is 57-year-old Jerry Beaudry's 10-second '66 LeMans. With 482 cubic-inches of Bill Takanabe-built Pontiac and 41 years of drag racing experience, Jerry represents a formidable force in the shootout and in the So Cal drag scene.

Barry Troup: The 67-year-old West Covina resident has a lot of experience with early A-bodies and has a well-dialed in '65 LeMans combination. Will his tuning and driving technique be enough to beat the heat and stay in the game?

Weather ReportAs mentioned last month, So Cal Pontiac racer and former shootout participant Jim "Old Man" Taylor kept tabs of the temperature and air quality while we were there. It was a hot one: the ambient air temperature reached a peak of 105 degrees and the track surface temperature spiked to 151 degrees. Combined with a 16 percent relative humidity, the effective elevation was a lofty 4,870 feet. We'll use 4,900 feet for our conversion of the best pass for each participant to sea level, which works out to 0.9406 for e.t. and 1.0633 for mph. Our thanks to OMT for his precise record-keeping.
Owner Bio: Ron HildrethThe road to the HPP Pavement Pounders Shootout has been a long one for Ron. Back in January of 2005, he was scheduled to take part in our first California shootout at Los Angeles County Raceway. Unfortunately, he was on the operating table undergoing heart surgery, instead. Though his recovery was fairly quick, he had to go in for a second time to correct some additional problems. These setbacks made his participation that much more important to him. Fully recovered and back in action, Ron was able to take his rightful place at the Fontana shootout. It turned out to be a very big weekend for him, as he won the Warrior class at the POCI Drags that day and also celebrated his 33rd wedding anniversary with his lovely wife, Melanie. Ron has been a fan of '65 GTOs and always wanted one. "In 1965, I was a junior in high school and could not afford a GTO," he explained. "I have always wanted a '65 and could finally afford my dream in 1988." Ron's passion for Pontiacs also includes a '98 GTP and a '71 Firebird. In the past, he also had a '70 GTO.
Strip Tuning LogRun/TuningLaunch RPMShift Pt.60-ft.1/8-mile1/4-mile1. As arrived1,2005,5001.757.80/88.0612.26/110.472. Same1,2005,5001.747.80/88.2412.24/110.93 3. Same7505,5001.787.80/89.0212.20/111.51BEST PASS CORRECTED11.47/118.63 4. Tire pressure up to
14.5 from 15.5 psi7505,5001.787.82/88.8212.24/106.775. Softened rear shock setting7505,5001.897.97/88.5412.46/96.30 6. Stiffened rear shock setting
Tire pressure raised to 16 psi 7505,5001.827.88/89.1512.29/111.697. Same7505,5001.917.97/88.8912.37/111.57 Run Notes: 5) Did not like new shock setting 6) Track temperature is 148 degrees 7) Spun the tires bad-bad reaction time. Track temperature is 150 degrees.
Strip SpecsYear/Model'65 GTO post coupeRace Weight With Driver3,950 lbsCurb Weight3,650 lbsFuel Level When Last Weighed1/2-tankFuelShell, 91-octaneEngine'71 455Cubic Inches Before/After455/469Engine Built ByLee AndersonPower AdderNoneInduction SystemAir CleanerK&NCarburetorHolley, 750 cfm, vacuum secondaryJets#72/#76Spacer PlatePacific Performance Racing (PPR), aluminumIntake ManifoldPPR TomahawkFuel SystemPumpHolley BlueLines3/8-inRegulatorHolley set to 6.75 psiHeadsCasting'71 #197 455 H.O.Head PortingStockValvesManley 2.11/1.77-inBottom EndPistonsRoss, forged, flat-top 4.210-inRingsChilds & AlbertRodsEagle, forged, stock 6.625-in Compression Ratio9.1:1CrankshaftStock iron, 4.210-in strokeRotating Assembly BalancedYesCamshaftBrandUltradyne hydraulic flat-tappetDuration at 0.050247/255-degLift with specified rocker arms0.530/0.551-inLobe Separation Angle108-degInstalled PositionStraight upRocker ArmsJim Butler Performance, 1.60:1 rollerIgnitionDistributorPontiac, HEIAmplifierMSD 6ALCoilPontiac, stockWiresPackardSpark PlugsAC Delco, R45STotal Timing36-degRpm that total timing is reached2,000ExhaustHeadersDoug's Primaries1.875-inCollectors3.5-inExhaust pipes3.5-inMufflersNoneCrossoverDesigned by Doug Thorley, 3.5-inDrivetrainTransmissionTurbo 400ConverterTCI, 1,800 rpm stallShifterB&M QuicksilverRearChevrolet 12-bolt built by Tom's DifferentialsRear Gear Ratio4.10:1SpoolTom's DifferentialsChassis and SuspensionBrakes F/RStock PontiacWheels F/RWeld AlumaStarsTires F/RM/T 24.5x4.5x15 / M/T 28x10.5x15Tire Pressure F/R35 psi/15 psiSuspension FrontSpringsEaton coilControl ArmsStock PontiacStabilizer BarH-O Racing 1 3/8-inShocksSummit 90/10Suspension RearSpringsEaton coilControl ArmsH-O Racing lower, Morrison/Gazan adjustable uppersStabilizer BarH-O Racing, 1 3/8-inShocksKoni set at full stiffChassis ModsNoneThe RestInterior ModsNoneExterior ModsNoneSafety ModsN/APaintLight blueLaunch TechniqueFoot brake, bring rpm up to 1,200 Best 1/4-mile ET, MPH prior to event11.88, 114
Owner Bio: Maryangel CamachoThe husband and wife team of Victor and Maryangel Camacho represented a very formidable presence at the shootout. With Victor capably undertaking the preparation and Maryangel handling the driving, they showed how efficiently couples can participate in racing. Maryangel is a San Diego Deputy Sheriff and has been racing for two years. "The GTP was Victor's first new car," she explains. "He bought it with 5.8 miles on the odometer and it now has 158,000 miles. We really enjoyed making our first 12-second pass at LACR."
The basic engine combination is actually quite simple: use as many stock components as possible, beef up the weak links and throw a healthy shot of nitrous at it. The combination has proven to be a reliable and cost-effective plan to get into the 12s. Maryangel will be sitting out a good portion of the 2007 season, though, as she just gave birth to their first child, Diego, born on April 28, 2007. Congratulations to the Camacho family.
Strip Tuning LogRun/TuningLaunch RPMShift Pt.60-ft.1/8-mile1/4-mile1. Nitrous delay 0.2 sec,
Tires 15 psi (Left)
14 psi (Right) 3,200 6,000 2.12 8.75/81.6513.60/100.922. Nitrous delay 0.8 sec,
Tires 14 psi (Left)
13 psi (Right)3,000 6,000 2.10 8.84/82.73 13.48/101.523. Nitrous delay 0.6 sec,
Tires 14 psi (Left)
13 psi (Right) 3,300 6,000 1.97 8.28/83.89 13.18/103.46 4. Nitrous delay 0.5 sec,
Tires 13.5 psi (Left)
12.5 psi (Right) 3,200 6,000 1.92 8.18/84.9612.82/105.96 5. Nitrous delay 0.4 sec,
Tires 13.5 psi (Left)
12.5 psi (Right) 3,200 6,000 1.86 7.98/89.34 12.67/109.10 BEST PASS CORRECTED 11.91/116.32Run Notes: 1) Tire spin 2) Easy launch 3) Aggressive launch, tire spin 4) Aggressive launch, no tire spin 5) Aggressive launch, no tire spin
Strip SpecsYear/Model'00 GTPRace Weight with Driver3,860 lbsCurb WeightN/AFuel Level When Last Weighed3/4-tankFuelVP C16 RacingEngine'00 3.8LCubic Inches Before/After231/231Engine Built ByVictor CamachoPower AdderNOS 75 shot dry system, stock Eaton M90 Gen-3 supercharger, 3.0-in pulley, 13-14 psi boostInduction SystemAirboxThrasher CAI, K&N FilterMAFStock 68mm Throttle BodyStock 68mmFuel injectors60 lb/hr MotronCustom ProgrammingVictor Camacho using DHP PowrTuner SoftwareFuel SystemPumpStockLinesStockRegulatorStockHeadsCastingStock 3800 V-6Head PortingNone Flow NumbersStockValvesSI 1.80/1.52-inBottom EndPistonsJE forged, 3.8-in boreRingsStockRodsStock GM powdered metalCompression RatioStock 8.0:1CrankshaftStock Rotating Assembly BalancedYesCamshaftBrandComp Cams hydraulic rollerDuration at 0.050200/212-degLift with specified rocker arms0.504/0.520-inLobe Separation Angle115-degInstalled PositionStraight upRocker ArmsStock 1.60:1 rollerIgnitionTypeStock GM crank triggerAmplifierN/ACoilsStock GMWiresMSDSpark PlugsAutolite 103 CopperTotal Timing14-16-deg (electronically variable) Rpm that total timing is reached4,600-6,000 (electronically variable)ExhaustHeadersThe Other GuysPrimaries1.625-inCollectors3-inExhaust Pipes2.25-inMufflerBorla cat-backCrossoverStock, 2-inDrivetrainTransaxle GM 4T65E, cooler, Thrasher shift kit, stock open differential, 2.93 ratioConverterStock 258mm, 2,200 rpm stallShifterStockChassis and SuspensionBrakes F/RStock disc, 11-in Power Slot rotorsWheels F/R16x7/18x8 5-spokeTires F/RHoosier Quick Time Pros 25x9.5x16 / Pirelli 245/50ZR18Tire Pressure F/R14-15 psi/35 psiSuspension Front SpringsEibachControl ArmsStockStabilizer BarStockStrutsKoni fully adjustable set on firm Suspension Rear SpringsEibachControl ArmsStockStabilizer BarStockStrutsKoni fully adjustable set on firmChassis ModsNone The RestInterior ModsAuto Meter boost, oil press., fuel pressure, trans temp gauges, Split Second A/F ratio gaugeExterior ModsNoneSafety ModsNonePaintGM WhiteLaunch TechniqueFootbrake to 1,600-2,000 rpmBest 1/8-mile ET, MPH prior to event7.98, 84 (Barona, San Diego)Best 1/4-mile ET, MPH prior to event12.51, 109 (LACR, Palmdale)
Owner Bio: Jerry BeaudryFor philanthropist Jerry Beaudry (on the left), racing has been a part of his life for 41 years. The resident of La Mesa started racing at the age of 16 and has been actively involved ever since. The list of cars he's owned would make any Pontiac lover proud, as it includes one of the rare '63 Swiss Cheese Catalinas, a fuel-injected '57 Bonneville and a '71 GT-37. Jerry purchased the LeMans back in 2002 from a racer in South Carolina and has been enjoying it ever since. His favorite moment with the LeMans was the first wheelie and "all of them ever since." In addition to this racecar, Jerry also owns a '66 GTO coupe and convertible, and two '57 Safari wagons.
Strip Tuning LogRun/TuningLaunch RPMShift Pt.60-ft.1/8-mile1/4-mile1. Per Strip Specs3,9006,0001.48N/A10.38/129.492. Same3,9006,0001.49N/A10.36/129.713. Same3,9006,0001.49N/A10.35/130.134. Same3,9006,0001.47N/A10.28/134.21BEST PASS CORRECTED9.66/142.70Run Notes: 1) Tire Spin 2) Good Run 3) Good Run 4) Best Run
Strip SpecsYear/Model'66 LeMansRace Weight With Driver3,600 lbsCurb Weight3,400 lbsFuel Level When Last Weighed5 gallonsFuelRace 111-octaneEngine'70 455Cubic Inches Before/After455/482Engine Built ByBill TakanabePower AdderNoneInduction SystemAir CleanerK&NCarburetorDemon 1190 cfmJets#71 squareSpacer PlatePhenolicIntake ManifoldVictorFuel SystemPumpBarry GrantLines1/2-inchRegulatorBarry Grant set to 9 psiHeadsBrandEdlebrock 72 cc chamberHead PortingBill TakanabeFlow Numbers350 cfm intake at 28-in of pressureValvesFerrea ss 2.11/1.77-inBottom EndPistonsRoss forged, 4.25-in boreRingsTotal Seal RodsBill Miller 6.625-in aluminumCompression Ratio13:1CrankshaftEagle cast 4.25-in strokeRotating Assembly BalancedYesCamshaftBrandIsky solid rollerDuration at 0.050260/260-degLift with specified rocker arms0.655/0.655-inLobe Separation Angle110-degInstalled Position106-degRocker ArmsARP 1.65:1 rollerIgnitionDistributorModified GMAmplifierMSD 6ALCoilMSDWiresMSDSpark PlugsN/ATotal Timing34-degRpm that total timing is reached1,000ExhaustHeadersDoug'sPrimariesN/ACollectors3.5-inExhaust Pipes3.5-inMufflersNoneDrivetrainTransmissionTurbo 400, transbrakeConverterCustom, 4,500 rpm stall ShifterB&M RearFord 9-inchRear Gear Ratio3.89:1SpoolMoserChassis and SuspensionBrakes F/RDisc, Wilwood Wheels F/RWeld 15x3/15x16Tires F/RM/T 24x4.5x15 / M/T 26x18x15 slicksTire Pressure F/R35 psi/9 psi Suspension FrontSpringsHotchkisControl ArmsStockStabilizer BarStockShocksKYB gas set at 90/10Suspension RearSpringsCoiloversShocksHotchkisOther featuresLadder BarChassis ModsCustom 12-point cageThe RestInterior ModsAuto Meter gauges, custom seat installed by ownerExterior ModsPro Comp hood scoop with flames by ownerSafety ModsAll required for 9sPaintBlackLaunch Technique4,500 rpm on transbrake, no electronicsBest 1/8-mile ET, mph prior to event6.52, N/ABest 1/4-mile ET, mph prior to event10.32, N/A
Owner Bio: Barry TroupFor Barry Troup, the decision to build and race his '65 LeMans was made in order to take his beautiful, one-owner, triple black '65 GTO out of racing service. It was much too nice and original to keep pounding at the track. Barry's LeMans may not have the shine that the GTO has, but it has what it needs to win races, including a 463-inch Pontiac sporting a set of heads massaged by Canadian porting wizard Dave Bisschop. A father of three and a grandfather of seven, Barry has been racing for 13 years and has been with his girlfriend for more than 20 years. He lists his favorite moment in this car as, "Running my dial to the thousandth on two consecutive passes." In addition to the LeMans and '65 GTO, he also owns a '70 GTO hardtop and a 428-powered '69 Bonneville four-door hardtop.
Strip Tuning LogRun/Tuning<STRONG>Launch RPM<STRONG><STRONG>Shift Pt.<STRONG><STRONG>60-ft.<STRONG><STRONG>1/8-mile<STRONG><STRONG>1/4-mile<STRONG>1. 36-deg total 1,5005,2001.818.08/84.5012.74/105.182. Same1,5005,2001.948.25/24.2912.92/105.283. Same1,5005,2002.088.33/85.8612.91/107.194. Same1,5004,9001.908.12/85.7412.71/106.99BEST PASS CORRECTED11.95/113.765.Same1,5004,9002.148.62/84.1413.29/104.23Run Notes: 1) 18 psi in slicks, bad tire spin 2) Still bad tire spin 3) Worse tire spin 4) 17 psi, best pass of day, lowered shift point to avoid high-end miss 5) Red light/tire spin
Strip SpecsYear/Model'65 LeMans 2-door post coupeRace Weight With Driver3,450 lbsCurb Weight3,250 lbs Fuel Level When Last Weighed5/8-tankFuelUnocal unleaded 91-octaneEngine'74 455Cubic Inches Before/After455/463Engine Built ByOwnerPower AdderNoneInduction SystemAir CleanerK&N 14x3-inCarburetorRochester Q-jet, 750cfmJetsN/AMetering RodsPrimary N/A; secondaries are BE on "C" hangerSpacer PlateNone Intake ManifoldPerformer RPM Fuel SystemPumpMallory 140 electricLinesAluminum 3/8-in to firewall, Earls -6 to regulator and carbRegulatorMallory 7.5 psiHeadsCasting#4X, '74 (98cc)Head PortingYes, Dave Bisschop at SD PerformanceFlow Numbers240/175 cfm at 0.500-in lift at 28-in of pressureValvesFerrea ss, 2.11/1.77-inBottom-EndPistonsTRW forged flat-top, 4.18-inRingsSealed Power, MolyRodsPontiac cast (prepped), 6.625-inCompression Ratio9.25:1CrankshaftStock iron, chamferred, polished, 4.210-in stroke Rotating Assembly BalancedYesCamshaftBrandCrane hydraulic flat tappetDuration at 0.050234/242-degDuration Advertised296/304-degLift with specified rocker arms0.473/0.488-inLobe Separation Angle112-degInstalled PositionStraight upRocker ArmsHarland Sharp roller 1.50:1IgnitionDistributorPontiac HEIAmplifierCrane HI-6CoilCrane LX92WiresMoroso Ultra 40Spark PlugsAC R45TSXTotal Timing34-degRpm that total timing is reached2,600ExhaustHeadersDoug'sPrimaries1.75-inCollectors3.5-inExhaust Pipes2.5-inMufflersWalker Turbo 2.5-inCrossoverNone DrivetrainTransmissionTurbo 400, performance rebuildConverterContinental, 10-in, 3,000 rpmShifterB&M MegaShifterRearChevelle 8 7/8-in 12-boltRear Gear Ratio3.55:1PosiGM clutch-typeChassis and SuspensionBrakes F/RStock 9.5-in drumWheels F/RWeld 15x6 Prostar/Weld 15x8 ProstarTires F/RBFG T/A 215/65R15 / BFG T/A, 255x60x15 (Street), M/T ET Drag 26x10x15 (Strip)Tire Pressure F/R40 psi/18 psi Suspension FrontSpringsEaton coilControl ArmsStockStabilizer BarPontiac, 0.875-inShocksMonroeOther FeaturesPST Polygraphite bushingsSuspension RearSpringsEaton coilControl ArmsHotchkis rectangular tube, urethane bushings, adjustable uppersStabilizer BarNoneShocksUnknown load-levelersOther FeaturesHotchkis frame reinforcement barsChassis ModsNoneThe RestInterior ModsStripped, no rear seat or headliner; Fiero buckets; Auto Gage tach and gaugesExterior ModsNoneSafety ModsDriveshaft LoopPaint"Desperately needed"Launch TechniqueFootbrake, 1,500 rpmBest 1/8 mile ET, MPH prior to event7.86, 87 (Irwindale, CA)Best 1/4 mile ET, MPH prior to event12.72, 106 (LACR, Palmdale, CA)
At The Track
Ron HildrethRon's approach to optimizing his track times came entirely from the chassis setup-the engine was properly dialed in for the conditions, the challenge was getting the power down. The track conditions were getting worse as the day wore on but by adjusting the launch rpm, tire pressure and shock settings, and evaluating what worked and what didn't, he was able to come up with a strategy that worked: going back to the original shock settings and dropping the launch rpm to a mere 750. The result was a corrected best of 11.47/118.63 mph. All in all, it was a valiant effort in an oppressively hot environment.
Maryangel CamachoLike Keith Edelen last month, Maryangel was another front-drive racer who didn't seem to be as hampered by the weather as her rear-drive comrades. The secret for her was the sticky drag slicks and the cooling effect of the nitrous oxide injection. It isn't tough for even a modest blast of nitrous to drop inlet temperatures by 70 to 100 degrees, giving her an edge that paid dividends. Maryangel's husband, Victor, added an additional level of traction-enhancement for her in the way of a nitrous delay system. By dialing in the amount of delay of the N2O's activation, she was able to get out of the hole before the shock of the added power came on. For her, the sweet spot was a 0.4-second delay, a 3,200-rpm launch, and 13.5 psi in the left slick and 12.5 in the right. With a 1.86 short time, she ran a corrected best of 11.91 at 116.32 mph.
Barry TroupBarry's strategy for success was the discovery of a high rpm miss and the compensation for diminishing track conditions. By merely lowering his tire pressure from 18 psi to 17 psi and dropping his shift rpm from 5,200 to 4,900, he was able to come up with a corrected best of 11.95 at 113.76 mph. His fifth and last run came when the track really went away, and it was at that point that he wisely called it a day.
Jerry BeaudryJerry kept his baseline run information pretty close to the vest, yet he was able to make for some very consistent runs, in spite of the track conditions. With a launch rpm of 3,900 and a shift point of 6,000, his best time was very close to his other runs, any variance owing to traction. His best run of 10.28 at 134.21 corrected to a very impressive 9.66 at 142.70 mph.
ConclusionAs with last month, the hot temperature and slick track prevented anyone from running a personal best, but the challenges the weather presented added a new dimension of tuning experience.
Ron Hildreth was able to properly evaluate the changes he made and was able to spot where his tuning went wrong. He returned to basics, went in another direction and found the simple answer-a drop in launch rpm.
Maryangel Camacho, with her husband's tuning expertise, was able to use some high-tech tricks, some old-fashioned traction remedies and a dose of nitrous to come up with some truly impressive performances from a combination that isn't supposed to work at the strip. Her GTP benefits from a simple and effective formula that runs hard without spending a ton of money.
Jerry Beaudry was able to take an already dialed in combination to the strip and make some very impressive runs with a minimum of hassle.
Barry Troup was able to detect a problem in his car, work around it for the day and maximize his performance by simply dropping his shift point and tire pressure. His vast experience with early A-cars no doubt made paid dividends in this situation.
Our racers displayed some innovative approaches to dealing with the same weather and track conditions, and adapting them to their specific applications-lessons we can all benefit from.
Once again, we extend a special thanks to the POCI Drag Race Committee, and to Dave Anderson and Pontiac Drag Days for their help in putting together this shootout.

Photo Gallery: California Speedway Pontiac Pavement Pounders Shootout - High Performance Pontiac Magazine

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