We finished 2013 on a high — winning the NMCA WEST World Finals in 275 Drag Radial and also making the quickest run in class history with a 7.353 at 190 mph. Our team was extremely proud of that accomplishment, but we wanted more for 2014 as we fell short of the championship by just a few points. Despite our solid progress on the racetrack, we knew we were in for some heavy lifting to get serious in NMCA Street Outlaw in 2014 and beyond, as well as competition in PSCA Wild Street and potentially WCHRA 275. It was time for a serious overhaul. Below are all of our 2014 updates to our build. If you’d like to check out the 2013 updates and history of our racing click here.
When we used the term, “serious overhaul” — we really weren’t kidding! Our goals are much higher this year – an all-out assault on the 2014 275 championships out West, plus select East Coast events. That means a new 25.3 roll cage/chassis, a new suspension setup, drivetrain, and engine. Essentially, everything is new in the pursuit of 7.15-7.30 performances in the 1/4, and 4.60′s in the 1/8 mile with 1.13-1.14 60-foots.
A New Team
One thing that’s also new in 2014 and beyond the car is our relationship with fellow 275/Outlaw 8.5 racer DJ Reid and his crew chief Eric Kvilhaug. DJ, Eric and our team (led by Crew Chief Sean Goude, Dave Lukason and Dean Jigamian) are creating an informal partnership to campaign our two 275 Drag Radial Camaro’s together during the year. The idea behind the relationship is simple: we will be able to take our programs to the next level by effectively doubling the data gathered in a given session and double the brain cooperative in analyzing that data. Essentially, the relationship will unify the efforts, resources and data of two capable teams into a singular machine with one goal – winning. In addition, we will use the off-season to unify the two programs in race-day processes and hardware as much as possible.
Our 2014 Combo – The Basics
Engine: Our 2014 combination is fresh to make the horsepower needed to compete at this level. We’ve got an LME-built 400ci LSX, with a Chevy Performance LSX Block, Callies Billet Crank, GRP Rods, Diamond Pistons, Total Seal Rings, Jesel Lifters, COMP Camshaft, Curtis Boggs-ported Edelbrock LSR heads, and a Wilson single cast intake. Boost will come from a Procharger F1X with Holley EFI. We will also have a 427ci LME-built LS as another option with similar components with JE LSX Pistons and slightly higher compression.
Drivetrain: The team will be utilizing 3-speed Turbo 400′s for 2014, and we will be testing a Neal Chance NXS torque converter.
Suspension: Racecraft’s 46″ Pro Series Torque Arm, Fabricated 9-inch housing with Moser Axles, Santhuff rear shocks, Strange Brakes, Racecraft Control Arms, Sway Bar and a Wishbone will be under the rear of the car this year, with the front featuring the Racecraft front suspension setup and Santhuff shocks we ran in 2013.
Chassis: A complete new 25.3 roll cage and chassis by PMR – Phil Mandella Race Cars will keep us safe as we run 190-195 mph consistently, along with Tim McAmis mini-tubs, a Racetech seat, and lots of bits and pieces from Jerry Bickel Race cars. The chassis build team will consist of Phil & Tony Mandella along with lead fabricator Charles.
Phil is handling all of the major design, layout and engineering of the build process – Charles will be doing a lot of the tubing, fab work and welding along with some design implementation. Tony will be doing the sheet metal fabrication and also have some input in design implementation. “We are very excited to be working with the Dragzine.com Team on their BlownZ project,” explained Tony. “We know that they had a lot of choices of places to take the car and are excited about getting this new and improved car back on the track. The project has evolved quickly in the first few days due to the fact that the existing 25.5 chassis structure was not sufficient to build a 25.3 car out of it. That meant we had cut out the existing cage and start over.”
Going in Deep
The difference between a magazine build and a typical race car build is that in a magazine build we spill the beans and show the readers what we’re doing. For those of you ‘in the know’ – our chassis build process is standard/typical for a top 275 Radial 25.3 build today. That includes things like removing the floor pans to do the 25.3 chassis and frame rails and then re-installing them, removing the rear frame rails to get them dip-stripped and cleaned up, and then re-installing them as well. It includes re-jigging up the stock suspension points so that we can place them back in the stock locations, but with greater adjustability in the suspension geometry.
The hard truth is that building a 25.3 stock suspension car is dramatically more complicated, difficult and expensive than building a 4-link car. The process that we’re going to show you may be surprising, but the final product won’t be – it will be fully finished and carpeted. Once the stock frame rails and floorpan are re-installed –it will be a complete, class-legal 275 stock suspension car.
February 15, 2014 Updates:
February 9, 2014 Updates:
January 19, 2014 Updates:
January 12, 2014 Updates:
January 8, 2014 Updates:
December 28, 2013 Updates:
December 22, 2013 Updates:
Stay tuned for more weekly updates.