What's Happening at BTE: June 2017

BTE is a busy place, and we want to give our customers a chance to see behind the scenes every once in a while. Here's what's happening at BTE this month:
 
-We’re loving our new website, and hope you are too. If you haven’t had a chance to see the cool new features yet, here are just a few updates we included.
  • Our products now have high-resolution photos, so you can see exactly what we’re offering.
  • A virtual tour of our manufacturing facility.
  • If you have a question or concerns, please take advantage of our real-time chat opportunities, accessible via the lower right-hand corner of our website.
  • We are mobile-friendly, so you can browse and even purchase easily right from your phone.
-BTE field trip. We had a lovely trip to Tierp Arena with StigO in Sweden, where we visited with European customers and assisted racers from the pit. 
 
-New products. After years of racer feedback and changes in manufacturing technology, we set out to offer a solution to create faster, longer-lasting and more adaptable parts for our customers—we are proud to offer the billet aluminum valve body as a result. Read why we think it’s a better deal here.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, June 22, 2017

Car of the Week: William Feckley's 1992 Ford Mustang Coupe

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, we're featuring William Feckley from Hardin, Kentucky, and his 1992 Ford Mustang Coupe.
 
How did you get into drag racing? 
I had a 1989 Mustang GT, stockish, and my buddy had a 1985 GMC shortbed truck. He was bound and determined to race me. His truck was built with a lot of good parts: aluminum heads, Vic Jr intake, big stall, gears, high compression, the works. I finally agreed to race, even though I thought it was dumb, and I was so surprised when I beat him. He said, “No way that thing’s stock, let’s do it again.” So we did, and I won again. From then on, we found our local track, Northwest TN Motorsports Park, and I’ve been racing ever since.
 
When and where was your first race? 
My first race was actually on the street. I had a ‘68 Chevelle 4-speed car, and I raced Chris Dublin. He was fast in the day. It was a blast and I really liked it, but never figured I could have a car fast enough. That was around 1996.
 
What model/year do you race now? 
1992 Ford Mustang Coupe
 
Does your car have a nickname? 
It doesn't have a name, unless I am irritated while working on it.
 
What's under the hood?
It draws a lot of hate. It’s a 6.2 aluminum LS engine from a 2009 Escalade. It has an Ed Curtis custom camshaft, Vic Jr intake and a Pro Systems 950 carburetor, Turbo 350 trans, and 4.30 gears—lots of homemade and good suspension parts. It has all the interior in it and could really be a street car again easily. I built the entire car from four cylinder to now, even paint and body. My awesome wife helped with the paint.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I am currently running the BTE 8-inch race converter and trans kit at the moment, and I plan to switch to a glide.
 
Why do you use BTE?
Lucas Walker uses it. He recommended it. The converter has been flawless in my car, and it’s been in for five years or so now.
 
Someone you look up to in racing? 
Lucas Walker. He’s a good racer and a good friend that always tries to help others.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
Probably my Mustang, but I’d make it a whole lot faster and race a whole lot more.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)? 
Don't really have one. I try to do the same thing every time—but usually mess it up somehow.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Car of the Week: Jake Howard's 1976 Pontiac Trans Am

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, we're featuring Jake Howard from Lavon, Texas, and his 1976 Pontiac Trans Am.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
I got into racing at the young age of seven. My dad always enjoyed hot rods and he came across the junior dragsters back in the dial-up internet days. At this point, my dad had a 1970 GTO that was street driven, and he figured racing would be something we would do together. We showed up the first time, and never stopped going. It’s gotten out of control ever since.
 
When and where was your first race?
My first race was at the Texas Motorplex. I had a cast on my arm from a broken thumb I earned playing baseball, but we'd just bought the car and went out on a Friday night to see if I would enjoy being at the track. We ended up going to our first competitive race a couple weeks later, where I met my now best friend, Max McGlothin. I was drawn to his car because we were the only two cars out there running gas carburetors. My dad still has my first time slip in his log book—I think I killed the tree with about a .850 RT (on a .500 tree).
 
What model/year do you race now?
I currently drive a 1976 Pontiac Trans Am.
 
Does your car have a nickname?
I have an uncanny ability to come up with nicknames for cars/people on the fly (usually good). I started calling my car the Fireturd and it’s just kinda stuck over the last couple of years.
 
What's under the hood?
A 517 CI Pontiac motor, with out of the box Edelbrock heads built by Max Long at Long Racing Engines. I lean on my car a lot, and Max is a guy I trust to build me a bullet I can lean on.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I use a Top Sportsman glide and a 4600 stall converter built by one of the best in the business, Bryan at BTE.
 
Why do you use BTE?
I use BTE because I build my car with products I trust to get me down the track upwards of 400 times a season without having to worry about parts failure. I’m very picky about what I put in my car because I need it to be one of the best cars out there. The competition is tougher than ever, and it takes a car built with great products to gain any edge.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
Easy, my dad. He’s taught me how to win and lose and we built this car together. I want him to win more than I do.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
Just an updated version of the Fireturd. Maybe build a back-half/front half ‘69 Firebird with an all-aluminum 540 CI Pontiac. 5.20s would be fun.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I typically don’t eat a lot on race days. I’m not sure if you call that a ritual or being stupid. I also just try to focus on my game plan every round, whether it works or not – when you stage the car you have to believe something.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, June 12, 2017

Top 3 Reasons You Should Switch To A Billet Aluminum Valve Body

BTE now offers a billet aluminum valve body. This product update came after years of racer feedback and changes in manufacturing technology. In other words, we've been listening to your concerns, and hope to answer them with this new valve body!
 
This new valve body is a big departure from previous versions made more than 35 years ago, which were modified OEM castings (primarily made from cast iron). Here's why we think billet aluminum valve bodies are a better deal - and why you should switch over when you have the chance.

Top 3 Reasons For Switching To A Billet Aluminum Valve Body

1. Weight

Weight reduction is one of the primary methods improving track performance.  A transmission valve body made from aluminum is often 50% or more lighter than the original iron castings. (7.8 lbs / 3.58 kg lighter in the case of the powerglide!)
 
2. Design Updates
 
Machining the valve body from a clean slate of aluminum opens up more possibilities for design changes and performance improvements, because we are no longer restricted to modifying the original designs with cuts and plugs. Fluid channels can be more directly routed or adjusted in size to improve performance or open up new features not possible with the iron valve bodies.
 
3. OEM parts availability
 
As the most popular racing transmissions were largely manufactured originally in the 1960s and 1970s, the availability for original parts has become increasingly scarce in the last decade. Scrap metal recycling, the elements, and usage by performance enthusiasts have all decimated the supply of these pieces. Newly designed and manufactured parts may not always be designed to mate with the OEM parts, so part failures in these older units may not be replaceable or repairable in the future.  
 
Bonus! Last but not least: Billet parts look cool! Though it is covered by the oil pan, the fit and finish of these new parts are shiny and attractive.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, June 8, 2017

Car of the Week: Jeremy and Wayne Beavin's 1955 Chevy Bel Air

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, we're featuring Jeremy and Wayne Beavin from Charlestown, Indiana, and their 1955 Chevy Bel Air.
 
How did you get into drag racing? 
Family tradition
 
When and where was your first race? 
Ohio Valley Dragway 1998
 
What model/year do you race now? 
1955 Chevy Bel Air
 
Does your car have a nickname? 
Hefty Smurf
 
What's under the hood? 
454 with 8/71 Dyers Blower.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 
TH400 and 10” Converter
 
Why do you use BTE? 
Reputation and great service.
 
Someone you look up to in racing? 
Big Daddy Don Garlits
 
If money were no object, what would you drive? 
Nostalgia Top Fuel Front Engine Dragster on the Track and a 1955 Nomad on the street.
 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Car of the Week: William Smith’s 1972 Chevy Nova

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, we're featuring William Smith of Mt. Vernon, Kentucky and his 1972 Chevy Nova. 
 
How did you get into drag racing?
​My father got me into racing.
 
When and where was your first race?
It was the late ‘70s, at the Mt Park Dragway in Clay City.    
 
What model/year do you race now?
I drive a 1972 Chevy Nova.
 
Does your car have a nickname?
My car’s name is Rolling Holy.  
 
What's under the hood?
The motor is a SBC.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I use a BTE trans pump and converter.
 
Why do you use BTE?
BTE parts just seem to hold up longer.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
I’d drive my old 1980 Malibu.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Pre-race, I just get excited.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Car of the Week: Greg Woolard’s 1965 Ford Mustang

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, we're featuring Greg Woolard of Parkersburg, West Virginia and his 1965 Ford Mustang
 
How did you get into drag racing?
My father raced a little when I was growing up. I remember attaching a tow bar from the family wagon to the Mustang and heading to the strip.
 
When and where was your first race?
My first pass down the track was in 1999 at Kanawha Valley Dragway.
 
What model/year do you race now?
1965 Mustang
 
Does your car have a nickname?
Old Red
 
What's under the hood?
347 CID SBF, Edelbrock Vic Jr heads, solid roller, Vortech YSI with a Mark Sullens Blow Through carburetor on E85.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Powerglide parts, input shaft, 1.80 straight cut planetary, valve body, aftermarket pan, clutch hub, bands, seals and gaskets.
 
Why do you use BTE?
My transmission guy is also a racer and he uses BTE.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
Bill Glidden
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
Pro Mod Mustang with a screw blown engine.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Before a pass, I take a moment of silence and thank God for all I have and ask Him to watch over me.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Car of the Week: Michael Hollis' 1970 Chevrolet Nova

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, we're featuring Michael Hollis of Keller, Texas and his 1970 Chevrolet Nova. 
 
How did you get into drag racing?
It’s in my blood. My dad started racing in the 70s, and started bringing me to the track when I was one month old. In 1994, when I was old enough to race, I got a junior dragster. I haven't looked back since.
 
When and where was your first race?
My first run in 1994 was at the Texas Raceway in Kennedale. I drove my junior dragster.
 
What model/year do you race now?
1970 Chevrolet Nova ran in the limited 275 class
 
Does your car have a nickname?
My car doesn't have a nickname, but they call me "student driver."
 
What's under the hood?
The engine is a 565 BBC with a single Nitrous Outlet plate system
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I run BTE planetaries in my powerglide.
 
Why do you use BTE?
Great products at great prices and customer service that is second to none.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
Don Garlits, John Force and Stevie Fast
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
It's always been my dream to race an NHRA Pro Stock or Pro Mod car. I would also love to race Radial vs the World Drag Radial class.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Before every pass I always make sure my son Landon gives me a high five before I get into the car, and I make sure to give my girlfriend a quick kiss. Right before the race I roll into the burnout box and my dad always opens the door and gives me a fist bump. It's really a family sport for us, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Welcome to the New and Improved BTEracing.com

BTE Racing is thrilled to announce the arrival of our updated and redesigned website. As leaders in high performance automatic transmission assemblies and components for drag racing, we want to provide our customers with a site that’s easy to use and nice to look at, too.
 
With a clean design and improved layout, we’ve simplified our site to create better functionality and navigation—for mobile devices and your desktop. On the new homepage, you can easily find products with high-resolution photos, so you know exactly what you’re clicking on. And, because each customer has specific needs and questions, we offer real-time chat opportunities on our website.
 
Wondering where we build our great transmissions, torque converters, and racing parts? Now you can virtually explore our manufacturing facility. When it comes to news, you can expect the same great information and updates on your favorite racers, cars and drivers on our blog.
 
We wanted to build an online space that reflects our attention to quality, and we hope you’ll like it as much as we do. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback and answer any questions or concerns. You can reach us by calling 1-800-626-1828, using our contact form or live chat on the site.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, May 15, 2017

Car of the Week: Scott Schuler's 1989 Ford Mustang

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, we're featuring Scott Schuler of Harrah, Oklahoma and his 1989 Ford Mustang.
 
1989 Ford Mustang Drag Racing BTE powerglide
How did you get into drag racing?
My parents started bringing me to races when I was two months old, and so of course as soon as it was legal to drive I started racing myself.
 
When and where was your first race?
My first race was in the class high school drags at Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Noble, Oklahoma.
 
What model/year do you race now?
1989 Ford Mustang
 
Does your car have a nickname?
Roxy
 
What's under the hood?
440-inch 23-degree headed SBC with Nitrous Express plate
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
 
Why do you use BTE?
The racer support and service.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
John Force and Steve "Fast" Jackson
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
Roxy. She’s been in the family too long now to start over.
 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Welcome to the updated BTERacing.com!

Welcome to the new BTERacing.com!  We've updated the site with a cleaner interface that allows you to get to our product and techincal sections faster - on any device!  Please hang on as we work to add more products to the online shop that you've been requesting - from fully assembled units down to the smallest gasket or washer.  
Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bogacki Reflects On The "Biggest Win" Of His Career

Luke Bogacki is enjoying what he calls “the biggest win” of his career after clinching the title in last month’s K&N Spring Fling Million. Despite winning over 250 event victories and more than $1,000,000 in prize money over two decades of racing, the Million remained elusive—until now.

After nine grueling rounds of competition in Las Vegas, he finally clinched the win of his career, driving his American Race Cars dragster in the final race against Michael Pennington. Pennington’s .012 reaction time was slightly faster than Bogacki’s .014, but as DragRaceResults noted, “both racers ran dead-on their dial, with Bogacki .003 closer for the win.”

Though his skill as a driver is obvious, in a recap of the day on the Sportsman Drag Racing Podcast, which Bogacki hosts with fellow bracket racer Jed Pennington, “Cool Hand Luke” credits his victory to having “the best car on the property.” For those who want to follow in his footsteps, he gives this advice: ”If you’re starting from scratch and want to build the car with the best of everything, go look at that car.”

In an interview with Drag Illustrated, Bogacki noted “Our American Race Cars dragster was on point all weekend long with the horsepower from Huntsville Engine and Advanced Product Design, a great converter package from BTE Racing, a set of sticky Mickey Thompsons on the rear and Renegade Racing Fuels in the tank. This would not be possible without all of the manufacturers and marketing partners who had a hand in what I truly believe is one of the baddest hot rods on the planet right now in bracket racing.”

But you don’t win a stacked competition with a car alone, and Bogacki speaks about the value of practice in this episode of the WFO Podcast. He also explains his motto “train it and trust it,” a phrase he used to propel himself to victory in the biggest win of his career.

What’s next after a bucket-list win like this? Bogacki plans to focus on his family, both on and off the track. He hope to help his wife “score a big win somewhere” and coach little league for his son. Of course, those junior races won’t be too far away.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, May 5, 2017

Car of the Week: Scott Wallace's 1978 Chevy Malibu

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, we're featuring Scott Wallace and his 1978 Chevy Malibu.

How did you get into drag racing?

I got into racing when I was 5 years old. My dad, uncle, and brother took me to the races. After that, I was hooked. 

When and where was your first race?

My first time to race was in my Nova at the age of 14. My brother-in-law would get the car to the track so I could race it.

What model/year do you race now?

I currently race a 1978 Malibu.

Does your car have a nickname?

My car doesn't really have a nickname. We just call it “The Malibu.”

What's under the hood?

Under the hood I have a small block 421 with Brodix heads and an APD carburetor.

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

I use a BTE torque converter & high volume pump, in addition to a BTE transbrake.

Why do you use BTE?
I use BTE components because I need parts that are reliable. Also, the staff is always very professional and helpful.

Someone you look up to in racing?

I always looked up to my dad in racing. He may not have been the best driver, but he always had a good time racing with his family and friends.

If money were no object, what would you drive?

Even if money were no object I would still drive my Malibu. This car is part of my family.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?

My pre-race ritual is getting to the track early to get the car ready and then hanging out with friends.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Car of the Week: Bobbie Rader's 1970 Chevelle + A Big Announcement

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, we're featuring Bobbie Rader of NCK Racing out of Willow Springs, MO and her 1970 Chevelle

On top of being our Car of the Week, Bobbie has recently joined the BTE roster of sponsored racers throughout the United States. Bobbie races alongside her daughter, Krysta, to form a most dynamic duo. Read more about the family legacy here and we look forward to bringing you more news about our partnership with their team, NCK Racing. We welcome their team to the BTE family. 

How did you get into drag racing? 

A great friend asked my husband John and I if we wanted to go watch him do some testing a on Friday night. At that time, we were big into the show truck scene. We didn't have a show that weekend, so we went. The next weekend I took my body dropped/bagged full-size Dodge Ram and made my first pass. It was a 20 second pass but I was instantly hooked! The truck was built to look good and win shows, not to go fast. The following month I bought the Chevelle for $1000, and it was in horrible shape. A rust bucket with no floor that we have rebuilt ourselves. A few months later, we bought our 11-year-old son Joey a Jr. Dragster. As he grew out of it, our daughter Krysta was ready to jump in. The day she turned 16, she jumped into her 1997 Camaro. 

When and where was your first race?

Ozark Raceway Park in Rogersville, MO in October 2007 

1970 Chevelle and Camaro

What model/year do you race now?

1970 Chevelle

Does your car have a nickname?

The Chevelle 

What's under the hood?

Naturally aspirated 540 BB 15:1 compression, Brodix BB2 extra heads. Built by Mustang Mike at LTM Performance. Fed my Rons Injection, custom front exit headers that we built. 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

Converter and Top Sportsman Powerglide transmission 

Why do you use BTE? 

The customer service is why we initially went with BTE. We made a few phone calls and BTE was by far the most helpful. But now, it's definitely the quality of the products. 

BTE Racing NCK Racing

Someone you look up to in racing? 

Honestly there isn't just one person. I'd have to say it's the racing community as a whole. They are family! 

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

I drive it! I've been into cars since I was little and a ’70 Chevelle was my dream car. 

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)? 

I don't really have a pre-race ritual but I have a pre-pass ritual. Before I head into the waterbox I take a deep breath, wiggle myself up in my seat, wiggle and pull down on my helmet. Not sure why I started doing it but now it's the calm before the storm. 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Car of the Week: Rodney Aulds' 1988 Chevy S-10

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, we're featuring Rodney Aulds of Ruston, Louisiana and his 1988 Chevy S-10.

How did you get into drag racing?        

I started drag racing at the age of 16, when I would drive my 1974 Chevy long wheel base pickup that my granddad gave me to the track, race it and then drive it back home hoping I wouldn't tear it up. 

When and where was your first race?

Twin City Dragway in Monroe, LA

What model/year do you race now?

I drive a 1988 Chevy S-10

Does your car have a nickname?

I haven't come up with a good nickname. Every time I think of something, someone else will already have it.               

What's under the hood?

I purchased this truck from a used car lot 10 years ago and drove it home. At the time it had a 327 with a turbo 350 and it ran high 13s through the quarter. After taking it to the local race track on Friday nights (just to play around and never would drive it on the streets even though it was all legal and it drove well), I decided that it wasn't fun anymore. So, I did something a little different: I back halved it, bought a Currie Ford 9” rearend and had a hot little 355 built for it, and built a powerglide to go behind it. 

Now it ran some 10.60s and instead of playing around on Friday nights, I started bracket racing (foot braking) on Saturdays and got pretty good at it. It wasn't long after, that I started replacing steel with fiberglass to lighten it up, threw a few more cubic inches into it and started running the 1/8 instead of quarter mile. From there, it ran some 5.60s and would stand it on the back bumper. After a lengthy process, now it is an all round tube, chrome moly, full chassis that weighs 2090 lbs with a 427 small block and a 2-speed powerglide.

It also has a Moser center section with 40 splined, gun drilled axles and a 486 rear gear ratio. In October 2016 this little truck ran its best ET at Prescott Raceway of 5.28 at 128 MPH with a 1.08 60 foot and this is off the foot brake. And NOOO, I do not run nitrous or any other power adders. I run a single Rons fuel injected alcohol toilet bowl. 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

1.98 BTE straight cut planetaries and all BTE internals. The engine block, crank and rods were also purchased through BTE.  

Why do you use BTE?

I use BTE because they have great customer service and the best transmission products on the market with a very affordable price.

Someone you look up to in racing?

I would have to say that my favorite racer was Mike Edwards, because every time he would win he'd give thanks and glory to God.  

If money were no object, what would you drive?

I think I would have a 1969 pro mod Camaro.                      

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?

I really don't have a pre-race ritual, I just like to pray before and during the races and I thank God after each round whether I win or lose.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Car of the Week: Josh Scott's 1997 Honda Civic

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, we're featuring Josh Scott and his 1997 Honday Civic out of Lakewood, CO. 

Drag Strip

How did you get into drag racing?

Went for the first time in high school and was instantly addicted.

When and where was your first race?

Legal? Bandimere Speedway, 1995

What model/year do you race now?

1997 Honda Civic

Does your car have a nickname?

Gunmetal, the RWD Civic

Engine view Josh Scott engine drag car

What's under the hood?

Previously was a Honda 2.4l 4 cylinder on a turbo 400, but this upcoming season will be a 3.2l V6

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

I bought this transmission used, so I can’t say for sure everything internally. However when my transbrake solenoid fried, I posted a picture of it trying to identify it. BTE contacted me to let me know it was theirs, and I had a replacement within a week.

Why do you use BTE?

See the previous answer. Can’t beat that kind of service. Plus, my transmission takes everything I throw at it.

Someone you look up to in racing?

Brent L from PFI. He’s an innovative dude, not afraid to travel uncharted waters.

If money were no object, what would you drive?

What I have now, but a tube chassis version would be pretty nifty.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?

I just visualize the pass, and keep my heart rate down. Don’t want to get antsy.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, April 12, 2017

4 Things To Check Before Hitting The Strip: Your Official Racing Season Checklist

It’s officially racing season for most of the United States, but are you really, really ready to hit the strip? Here’s a handy dandy checklist to make sure your engine is running perfectly just in time for spring. 

1. Change your automatic transmission fluid.

Racing transmissions experience conditions beyond their original OE design specifications: More heat, torque, and RPM. This additional stress is amplified on the clutches and gears if the automatic transmission fluid isn't in good condition. BTE recommends regular oil changes depending on your setup, and for these changes, we recommend a full or semi-synthetic fluid - like our own blended specially by Lucas Oil.

2. Service your torque converter. 

Torque converters benefit from annual service in several ways. 1) Adjusting for any new changes to your car like new differential gears, tire sizes, or increased power will affect the torque converter's performance profile.  2) Matching the converter's configuration to the car ensures optimal performance and consistency. 3) In addition, torque converters have bushings, bearings, and sometimes sprags or clutches that also need regular service to maintain your competitive race car's performance. It is also a good time for us to make sure the pump and turbine fins and font cover are in good condition.  

3. Adjust your low gear band.

In a racing powerglide transmission, make sure that the low gear band is properly adjusted! You can see more about this adjustment on our blog post here.

4. Check the status of your steel and friction clutches.

Steel and friction clutches will wear over time - especially in high power, high temperature scenarios - a burnt clutch pack can severely affect performance and can cause other transmission damage, too. Check it now to prevent damage from happening later.

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, April 10, 2017

Car of the Week: Adam Boulia's 1984 Camaro

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, we feature Adam Boulia of North Carolina and his 1984 Chevy Camaro

How did you get into drag racing?

My dad

Where was your first race?

Coastal Plains Dragway

What model/year do you race now?

1984 Chevy Camaro

What's under the hood?

408ci SBC, built by P&M Racing Engines in Jacksonville NC, Powerglide built by Jim Robbinson at Performance Powerglides and a Moser 9" rear. 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

Input shaft, transbrake solenoid, shifter arm 

Why do you use BTE?

Why not?

If money were no object, what would you drive?

I wouldn't mind having a pro stock style S-10!

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Car of the Week: Jeff Barnes' 1965 Chevy Nova

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Meet Jeff Barnes, proud owner and racer of today's featured 1965 Chevy Nova with a killer paint job. You can find him racing near his hometown of Rochester, WA.

How did you get into drag racing? 

My dad

When and where was your first race? 

Mission B.C. in 1993 

What model/year do you race now? 

1965 Nova

Does your car have a nickname? 

“The Mistress”

What's under the hood? 

Shafiroff 540 ci BBC, Dart Big M Block, Dart Pro1 345 heads, 1200cfm Dominator

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

Top Sportsman Spec Powerglide w/ pro brake, 8" BTE converter, 6000 rpm stall

Why do you use BTE? 

Great reputation and preferred by my tranny builder

Someone you look up to in racing? 

Any guy in the opposite lane

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

Pro Mod

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)? 

Get gear on, Get belted in the car. My son walks me up to the line, reaches in the car and fist bumps and closes me up. Pull up to stage. Hit the loud pedal!

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Car of the Week: Wes & Jackie Litrell's Fleet of Homemade Woody Trucks

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Welcome father and daughter duo, Wes and Jackie Littrell, who race a trio of handmade Woody trucks in Leasburg, MO.

How did you get into drag racing?

Had friends that raced and went with them to the track and was hooked. 

When and where was your first race?

April of 1996 at Mid America Raceway in Wentzville, MO

What model/year do you race now?

I have three racetrucks that me and my daughter drive: A 2008 homemade woody truck, 2010 homemade woody truck and a 2015 twin engine homemade woody truck. 

What's under the hood?

588 ci BBF in the 2010, two 429 BBF's in the 2015 and a 557ci in the 2008

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

20+ years old BTE converter and 1.80 straight cut planetaries

Why do you use BTE?

Reliability 

Someone you look up to in racing?

All of the real innovators that thought out-of-the-box. 

If money were no object, what would you drive?

What I have now. 

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?

Pray nothing breaks so me and my daughter can race again as soon as possible. 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Car of the Week: Brian Nealey's 1974 Chevrolet Vega

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race.  Let us introduce you to Brian Nealey of Darlington, SC and his ’74 Chevy Vega.

How did you get into drag racing?

My father got me started in 1998 in a JR Dragster at Darlington Dragway, my hometown track.

What model/year do you race now?

I drive a 1974 Chevrolet Vega trunk car.

Does your car have a nickname?

“Born Ugly”

What's under the hood?

SBC 383

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

A stall converter and transmission

Why do you use BTE?

Because it is the best!

Someone you look up to in racing?

I look up to my father, because without him I would not be able to do what I love.

If money were no object, what would you drive?

My ‘ole Vega!

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Saturday, March 11, 2017

Car of the Week: Bryan Yaeger's 1979 Chevy Malibu

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race.  Let us introduce you to Bryan Yaeger of Lodi, Ohio and his 1979 Chevy Malibu

BTE racing

How did you get into drag racing?

I got into racing because my dad is into racing. Ever since I can remember, I was always at the racetrack on Saturday nights watching him race his 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass, that we call "The Green Weenie." Our local track is Dragway 42 and that's where my love for racing began.

When and where was your first race?

My first time racing was at Dragway 42 in 2010. I was 13 and got to race a junior dragster for the first time.

What model/year do you race now?

The car I race now is a 1979 Chevy Malibu. My father and I are currently are currently doing bodywork to it.

Does your car have a nickname?

My car did have the nickname "Lady in Red," but now since it's getting painted, I just call her "The Lady." Still trying to come up with something more interesting than that. 

What's under the hood?

Under the hood is a 2 bolt main 454 big block Chevy bored .030 over. Nothing special and after market parts like rods and pistons. It's currently only about 9.5:1 compression. Currently having the motor gone through and the block decked. It's topped off with a 950 QuickFuel gas carb.

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

The BTE products in my vehicle would be in my trans like the transbrake valve body, clutches, transbrake solenoid, and pan.

Why do you use BTE?

I use BTE because they provide some of the best transmission products around. They're reliable and the people at BTE are real nice to work with. I would recommend BTE to anyone. My transmission guy, Randy Biddle at Biddle Performance Products and Transmission, uses BTE products in my trans and those products have yet to let me down. 

Someone you look up to in racing?

The person I look up to in racing would have to be my older brother, CJ. I believe he is one the toughest racers there is and can compete with anyone. I've learned all I've known from him and watching him race, I've learned how to become a better racer. I know racing him there is no such thing as an easy round win. 

If money were no object, what would you drive?

Even if money wasn't an object, I would still run my old reliable 79 Malibu. It only goes 7.30s to the 1/8th mile, but it's fun to drive and always a little sweeter when I get to beat dragsters. Don't get me wrong, I would love to drive a dragster one day, but my heart will always be sold on my slow door car.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?

My pre-race ritual is pretty quirky but after I do my burnout, I grab a towel, wipe my hands off, then my steering wheel, and finally my transbrake button. It gets me relaxed and focused at the task at hand. After all that is complete, I put the car in low and proceed to the staging process and hope I can turn on the win light in my lane!

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Car of the Week: Brooks Stevens' 1993 Fox Body Ford Mustang

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race.  Let us introduce you to Brooks Stevens of Alabama and his 1993 Fox Body Ford Mustang.

How did you get into drag racing? 

Went local track to watch and ended up racing my car that night. I’ve been hooked ever since. I still have that car too. My son drives it.

When and where was your first race? 

It was in 1989 at Green Valley Dragway in Glenco, Alabama.

What model/year do you race now?

A 1993 Fox body Ford Mustang 

Does your car have a nickname? 

“The black car”

What's under the hood? 

545 BBF

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

All transmission internals, torque converter and trans shield

Why do you use BTE? 

Customer service and the support given to the racers is awesome. For example, the sponsorship of the World Footbrake Challenge. 

Someone you look up to in racing? 

Jared Pennington is a class act and has done so much for the footbrake racers.

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

The car I have now!

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)? 

Really don't have one, but I do the same thing every week in the same order when I get to the track.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Car of the Week: Justin Wanamaker's 1927 Suncoast Roadster

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race.  Let us introduce you to Justin Wanamaker of Kalamazoo, MI and his 1927 Suncoast Roadster.

How did you get into drag racing?

I got into racing because of my dad. I grew up at the racetrack, it was just what we did. My dad got a new car in 2003 and let me use his old car in 2004 after we found a motor for it. My dad's buddy had a truck he plowed snow with that had a healthy 360 in it, and through some horse trading we ended up with the "broken in" motor with probably 60,000 miles on it. It still ran good, so we put it in the Dart, 1975 Dodge Dart called Daddy's Dart.

When and where was your first race?

I ran my first race at the end of the 2004 season at US 131 Motorsports park in Martin, Michigan. I was a blind squirrel that stumbled on a few nuts that day and wound up losing at 4 cars to the guy who won. 

What model/year do you race now?

A 1927 Suncoast Roadster

Does your car have a nickname?

It doesn't have a nick name yet. (Taking suggestions.)

What's under the hood?

Small block Mopar 360 cid, street motor. It's got a hydraulic flat tappet cam stock casting heads, and runs on E85.

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

BTE valve body in the powerglide, a straight cut gear set and converter is on my wish list.

Why do you use BTE?

I really like BTE's customer service and tech help, as well as the fact BTE supports my favorite races and promoters. We always look forward to No Box Nationals, and anytime we get to go to either the WFC or SFC. 

Someone you look up to in racing?

I really look up to Jared Pennington, the man has done it all, both as an accomplished racer and promoter. 

If money were no object, what would you drive?

I think I would still take my current car, just with a few upgrades. 

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?

My pre-race ritual has a lot of checking tire pressure, it's the last thing I do before I leave the trailer and the last thing I do before I get in the car. I always put my belts on the same way, then helmet, neck collar, left arm restraint, right arm restraint, right glove, then left glove. I really like to be relaxed and having a good time, right up until I drop it in gear to stage. 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The 3 Most Important Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying a Racing Transmission

A transmission is one of the most expensive and most important parts of your racing vehicle, which is why it is incredibly important to ensure you’re getting the right setup...the first time around. To save yourself some time, money and possible headaches down the line, ask yourself these three very important questions before purchasing your racing transmission. 

1. What exactly is it that I’m getting?

After all, the devil is in the details. An automatic transmission is full of important components like planetary gears (their ratio and material specifications), friction and steel clutch capacity and materials, transmission oil specifications, valve body, pumps and more. Are the components new or remanufactured? 

Often, these features are boiled down into a handful of highlights — not enough to give you the full picture. Ask plenty of questions to know exactly what you’re getting or you may be sorry later. 

2. Do I have the experience to install and configure this myself?  

If you are unsure about setting up a shifter cable, the amount of oil needed to fill a transmission, or how far to install a converter into a pump - do not try to “figure it out” on your own. Ask BTE or any other trained professional BEFORE you get yourself into trouble. A mistake made during the installation can cause an instant failure of your new drive train. It’s better to ask for help now and swallow a little pride than have to eat thousands of dollars invested in your vehicle. The freight costs alone will set you back at least a few hundred dollars. 

3. Do I have a full build plan and strategy for my new race car or combination?  

The choices of gear ratios, transmission types, line pressures, clutch counts, and more can vary greatly depending on how the car is built and expected to perform. The transmission selection is a critical part of the entire performance profile. It’s best to get it right the first time. Making sure all your engine, suspension, and electronics are configured properly is a big part of selecting the perfect race transmission.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Car of the Week: Richard Goins' 2006 DFS Undercover 245'' dragster

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race.  Let us introduce you to Richard Goins of Tennessee and his 2006 DFS Undercover Dragster.

How did you get into drag racing?

I raced motorcycles in the 90s. A Good friend of mine, Jeff Campbell, called me in August of 2004 and asked me to drive a door car he had just bought. Fast forward to 2017 and here I am,  a complete addict.

When and where was your first race?

Knoxville Dragway in August 2004

What model/year do you race now?

2006 DFS Undercover  245''

Does your car have a nickname?

My kids called it "Beast" when we first got it and the name stuck.

Whats under the hood?

That's just wrong!! I have no hood!! 632 ci

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

The transmission in this car was bought at the track from Bryan. We have 1.80 planets in the spare and also the other 2 dragsters.

Why do you use BTE?

Track support, Bryan has been great to deal with.

Someone you look up to in racing?

There are a bunch of killer drivers in our sport. I honestly look up to my engine builder, John Lafond at B&B Performance Race Engines. I have learned so much from this guy.

If money were no object, what would you drive?

I would do my best to get Undercover back up and producing cars again, then I would buy a new one.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?

I try to get lost in some heavy metal music, getting life out of my head so I can focus on the race. Honestly, post race is my favorite, win or lose. I have met the best people while drag racing and wouldn't trade the memories for anything in the world.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Car of the Week: Mike Simons' 1967 Ford Fairlane 500

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race.  Let us introduce you to Mike Simons of MN and his 1967 Ford Fairlane 500.

How did you get into drag racing?
Tried drag racing just to see what my car would do. It snowballed from there.

When and where was your first race?
About seven years ago at Brainerd International Raceway.

What model/year do you race now?
1967 Ford Fairlane 500

What's under the hood?
302 Ford

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Currently not using any BTE products, but I am building a new car.

Someone you look up to in racing?
The older guys

If money were no object, what would you drive?
A ’69 mustang in super stock

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Why is your car moving forward or rolling when applying the transbrake in your powerglide?

A common problem for powerglide racing transmissions equipped with transbrake valve bodies is any kind of movement when the transbrake is activated and the car is staged.  This happening during a race can often result in an instant red light and loss.

Normal transbrake operation:

  1. You activate the transbrake solenoid in low gear when staging.  The solenoid pushes the brake valve to a position in the valve body that redirects fluid.

  2. Fluid rushes within the transmission to apply the reverse clutch piston and reverse clutches.  This locks the transmission in a 1:1 fight between low gear and reverse.

  3. You increase engine RPM to prepare the car for launch.  The transbrake remains locked and keeps the car in place.

  4. You release the transbrake solenoid switch which removes fluid pressure from the reverse piston and clutches.  The car now has forward movement in low gear and accelerates down the track.

If the car is moving forward any during the transbrake setting and staging process, it is likely due to one of the following problems:

  • Staging at an RPM that does not supply sufficient fluid volume -  OEM or weak pumps need additional RPMs to move fluid quickly and adequately to apply the reverse clutches.  Increasing your RPM before setting the transbrake is the first solution to try.

  • Reverse is not being engaged with enough pressure or not at all

    • From the solenoid to the reverse clutches, something is not applying the full force of the reverse circuit to give the transmission a firm transbrake hold.  

    • Examine your transbrake solenoid operation and engagement.  Is it getting enough power?  Is it too old and need replacing?  Is it engaging all of the way?

    • The reverse piston may have have a damaged seal, be worn, or just stuck all together.

    • Make sure the valve body and governor support are properly secured.  A leak internally can affect the reverse fluid circuit.

A new powerglide pump like our high volume powerglide pump is a great replacement for the OEM unit.

With a fully operational reverse circuit, your powerglide transmission should be holding steady and not rocking when it is time to race.

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Monday, February 6, 2017

Car of the Week: Jeffrey Ferree & Richard Whitaker's 1980 Chevy Camaro

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race.  Let us introduce you to Jeffrey Ferree and Richard Whitaker of IN and their 1980 Chevy Camaro.

When and where was your first race?
The first race was at Chandler Raceway Park in 1974, right when bracket racing started.

What model/year do you race now?
1980 Camaro built by myself and my brother-in-law.

Does your car have a nickname?
Every now and then we call it “Baby.”

What's under the hood?
427 small block, Comp cams and 18 degree Brodix heads

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
1.80 straight cut gear set, Top Dragster, valve body, input shaft, clutches and band with a BTE 8 clutch drum rear support and hard parts kit for P/G and 8” torque converter

Why do you use BTE?
Good prices and selection, plus we can buy direct. BTE makes really dependable parts, they are pretty tough.

Someone you look up to in racing?
No heroes, as there are a lot of people that could fill the spot, but can't pick just one.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
We would probably still drive the Camaro, but it would have a better suspension than what we built. Maybe we’d have it built by a pro like Tim McAmos.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, February 2, 2017

Car of the Week: Nick Pressimone's 1976 Chevy Nova

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race.  Let us introduce you to Nick Pressimone of Las Vegas, NV and his 1976 Chevy Nova.

How did you get into drag racing?
I got in to drag racing at a very young age. My farther drag races and has been for over 30 years.

When and where was your first race?
Super Chevy Show at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

What model/year do you race now?
1976 Chevy Nova built by Vince Generalao at Triple Nickel Race Cars

What's under the hood?
A 509 big block Chevy built by Bill Webber at Sureway Auto and Machine

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
A BTE input shaft and pump

Why do you use BTE?
I use BTE because they make parts that last and work. They also have amazing prices for a beautiful product.

Someone you look up to in racing?
John Force

If money were no object, what would you drive?
A funny car

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Car of the Week: Justin Purcell's 1980 Chevy Malibu

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race.  Let us introduce you to Justin Purcell of Mineral Wells, TX and his 1980 Chevy Malibu.

How did you get into drag racing?
Drag racing is the family business. My great grandfather, my grandfather, and my father all drag raced in their younger days. It was only fitting for me to one day follow in their footsteps.

When and where was your first race?
My first race was when I was about 20 years old. It was in my first Malibu at the Ellis White Raceway here in Mineral Wells.

What model/year do you race now?
Today I race a 1980 Chevy Malibu.

Does your car have a nickname?
“Great White”

What's under the hood?
The car is powered by a Morgan and Son 421 cu. in. small block Chevy race engine with a heavy dose of nitrous provided by Nitrous Outlet and a powerglide with a badass torque converter built by you guys.

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Torque converter

Why do you use BTE?
If you'll look at the photo of my car looking at the moon you will see why I use your converters. This pass was after I had just switch to one of your spragless converters. Needless to say we made more power than we ever had that night.

Someone you look up to in racing?
The person that I look up to the most is "Stevie Fast" Jackson. He's a true hard working racer who isn't scared to take risks or tell it like it is. Love him or hate you gotta respect him.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
If money were no object I would continue to drive Great White. Of course the car would be a 100 times better and faster, but I can honestly say I am driving my dream car.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Kiss my wife, say a quick prayer, purge the nitrous through the motor 4 times, and then let it eat!!!

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Car of the Week: Andrew Lindamood's 1969 Pontiac GTO

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race.  Let us introduce you to Andrew Lindamood of Alabama and his 1969 Pontiac GTO.

How did you get into drag racing?
It started with seeing my family (Jared Pennington, Bob Pennington, my dad Hank Lindamood and many more) be so successful in racing. I enjoy the competition, the friendships it creates, and of course the adrenaline rush.

When and where was your first race?
My first race was in 2010, when I was 9 years old. My dad bought me a go kart, because we couldn’t afford a JR Dragster. The first pass was made at a place called Lassiter Mountain Dragway in Coalburg, AL.

What model/year do you race now?

A 1969 Pontiac GTO that my grandfather bought brand new for $1,600 in 1969.

Does your car have a nickname?
My car’s nickname is very original. We normally call it “The Goat.”

What's under the hood?
It’s not a Pontiac under the hood like most people suspect, it actually has an SBC 383 on alcohol. It’s the combination that I can afford to be competitive in this sport.

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I use all BTE Powerglide transmission components in my ride. 

Why do you use BTE?
I use BTE products because they are performance parts developed by racers for racers. They already know what a part can withstand and what type of abuse it can take before they put it out there for you to purchase. The second-to-none customer service is just the icing on the cake. They are always there to help with any problems, and willing to go the extra mile to make sure you are satisfied.

Someone you look up to in racing?
My uncle, Jared Pennington. Not because the amount of checks he’s won or how nice his racing operation is, but how he’s made a difference in this sport with footbraking alone. The amount of friendships he’s made with people is unbelievable. He’s taught me a lot about racing, both on and off the track!

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Honestly, I’m very easy to please, but the 1966 Chevy tube chassis does make a pretty race car!

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I always make sure I’m hydrated before any race, because when your body is hydrated your mind can focus a lot better.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Car of the Week: Eric Tenney's 1969 Dodge Dart GTS & 1964 Plymouth Valiant

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s two for the price of one! Let us introduce you to Eric Tenney of Baltimore, MD and his ​1969 Dodge Dart GTS and 1964 Plymouth Valiant.

How did you get into drag racing?
As a third generation racer, I was born into a heavily involved racing family. My father and grandfather have raced for decades all over the East coast and still race today. I started racing at the age of 8 in junior dragsters and have been racing every year since. Drag Illustrated wrote a great article if you want more info!

When and where was your first race?
My first race was in 1995, which was the second year of junior dragsters in NHRA. My first race was at Cecil County Dragway. That year I qualified and went to the Junior Dragster Nationals at Indy.

What model/year do you race now?
I have 2 cars I race, a 1969 Dodge Dart GTS and a 1964 Plymouth Valiant.

What's under the hood?
Under the Dodge Dart is a 428” small block w2 (340 race block) 660hp. Under the Plymouth Valiant is a 340 small block with Edelbrock heads.

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
The 1969 Dodge Dart has an 8” BTE converter with a new BTE 1.80 Powerglide SFI case.

Why do you use BTE?
Customer service, well known in the racing community, great prices.

Someone you look up to in racing?
My father and Biondo

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Super Stocker or Pro Stock

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Clear the mind and focus on one race at a time.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Car of the Week: Johnny Shelton's 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about ​Johnny Shelton of Clio, Michigan and his 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle.

How did you get into drag racing?
My family got me into racing.

When and where was your first race?
Lapeer Dragway

What model/year do you race now?
1972 Chevrolet Chevelle

Does your car have a nickname?
Underdog

What's under the hood?
632 Big Chief motor

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
A powerglide transmission and bolt together converter

Someone you look up to in racing?
John Force

If money were no object, what would you drive?
I would drive anything fast!

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, December 27, 2016

How Often Should You Change Transmission Fluid in a Racing Automatic Transmission?

Automatic transmission fluid (ATF) comes in a wide variety of types and specifications. For your daily driver, fluid changes are required very seldomly in most cars and trucks and should be filled with the manufacturer’s recommended fluids.  

In a racing automatic transmission, fluid usage and recommendations vary wildly depending on the transmission builder’s preferences, experience, car weight, engine type, and racing conditions.  

For most racers, a synthetic or semi-synthetic is the best choice. Fluids such as our BTE Racing transmission fluid feature a higher temperature flash point and anti-foaming agents not found in conventional fluids. BTE suggests changing fluid based on regular inspection. For some cars this may be six weekends of racing, but for others, it may be good for usage all year. If the color or smell begins to change, its time for new fluid.

Hydraulic fluids are also a popular choice in turbo powered applications. These fluids are even more temperature resistant when the torque converter is being stalled to build turbo boost. (Also note that hydraulic fluids will affect the stall speed of the torque converter more compared to regular ATF.)

Contact BTE with any questions about which ATF is best for your high performance vehicle.

 

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Monday, December 19, 2016

Car of the Week: Chris Mohler's 1984 Chevy C-10

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Chris Mohler of Murray, KY, who was recently diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Though he’s undergoing chemotherapy, he’s “lucky enough to still feel like racing,” and often ends up in the winner’s circle with his 1984 Chevy C-10.

When and where was your first race?
My first race was when I was 16 on a back road with some high school friends. First track race was in Gleason, TN in the 90s.

What model/year do you race now?
A 1984 Chevy C-10

Does your car have a nickname?
Gertrude

What's under the hood?
406 small block Chevy

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
A TH350 with BTE 8" race converter

Why do you use BTE?
Because some very good racers at my home track recommended them, and the customer service is amazing.

Someone you look up to in racing?
I look up to all of my racing family, because no matter what I'm going through they are always there for me.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
I would probably keep it the way I have it, because it's all I really need

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I don't have a pre race ritual, but my motto is to take the family and have a good time win or lose.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Car of the Week: Corey Saint's 1967 Chevy II Nova

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about ​Corey Saint of Lexington, AL and his 1967 Chevy II Nova.

How did you get into drag racing?
I started going to the track with a friend of my father that later became my father-in-law.

When and where was your first race?
Winston County Drag Strip, 1989

What model/year do you race now?
1967 Chevrolet Nova Chevy II.

What's under the hood?
540 Huntsville Engines big block Chevy.

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Various transmission components

Why do you use BTE?
Good products and good service

Someone you look up to in racing?
Wes May, simply because he has won so much money in last few years bracket racing. He also always displays a very professional attitude.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
A 4 link dragster, but I wouldn't give up my Nova for one right now.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I drink Advocare products in hopes to maintain good reaction times.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Car of the Week: Henry Roberson's '84 Ford Mustang

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about ​Henry Giselle Roberson of North Highlands, California and his 1984 Ford Mustang.

How did you get into drag racing?
All I've ever wanted to be was a race car driver like my dad. And when I turned 15 in 2001, I got my first chance to race and have never looked back!

What model/year do you race now?
1984 Ford Mustang GT350 with a '90 front clip. Perfect for barely sliding into Nostalgia classes.

Does your car have a nickname?
“Money Maker”

What's under the hood?
Pick n Pull stock bottom end 302 small block Ford. Pro Comp 215cc, 2.05/1.62 valve, 56cc aluminum heads. Trick Flow Specialties Stage 3 .574 lift camshaft. Parker Funnel Web intake and a Holley 750dp. Transmission is a 2 speed Power Glide built by my good friend and fellow badass racer, Dennis Paz of Paz Performance, located in Stockton, California. TCI Sportsman Transbrake valve body, and a spagless custom built 4500 D&P converter.

Why do you use BTE?
Knowledgeable staffing makes it easy to get parts ordered. And proven parts, through a reputable company like BTE, makes sure my car never misses a race!

Someone you look up to in racing?
My father, Henry Roberson Jr. who I affectionately call "Pops,” was a street racer from Hunter’s Point, San Francisco back in the 60s. He moved to Sacramento in the late 70s when he met my mother, and began his racing career. When I came into the world, Pops had a race literally one week after I was born. I grew up in a rough neighborhood and my parents were too poor to get me into Juniors. While Pops barely maintained his own racing career, we rarely missed races. He was the neighborhood father figure as well. Most of the kids I grew up with didn't have a dad. We would stuff 10-20 kids in our motor home and head to the races. The track would, and still to this day always exclaims, "Henry's here, now we can start the race!"

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Every time I pull into the water box I say a prayer, for I am thankful. I remain respectful, humble, and hungry as I patiently wait for my chance to shine. My goal is to make bracket racing my career, and I feel truly blessed to excel in the sport I am most passionate about!

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Car of the Week: Terry Rawson's 1995 Chevy Berretta

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Terry Rawson of Illinois and his 1995 Chevy Berretta.

How did you get into drag racing?
Through high school street racing

When and where was your first race?
June 1974, I-57 Dragstrip in Benton, Il.

What model/year do you race now?
1995 tube chassis Chevy Beretta

Does your car have a nickname?
We call it the "Triple Nickel."

What's under the hood?
434 small block Chevy

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Converter, transbrake, all internals for the powerglide

Why do you use BTE?
Quality, availability and price

Someone you look up to in racing?
Tim Wilkerson

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Pro Stock

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I say a prayer for other racers, spectators and myself.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, October 18, 2016

4 Tips To Help You Get The Most Out Of BTE's Tune-Up Services

BTE is in the business of manufacturing and distributing new high performance parts for your racing vehicles, but we also service your current parts for optimum performance. Now is the best time to get your torque converters and transmissions tuned up; before the season gets underway in a few months. Just FYI: They don't have to be from BTE, we service all types of equipment.

To get the most out of our tune-up services, here are some easy tips to follow to ensure you get your equipment back in perfect condition and in plenty of time before the first big race of the year.

1. We will work our hardest to return your product as quickly as possible. However, please understand that hundreds torque converters and transmissions arrive at our facility this month for service. While we do them as fast as we can, we also need to take the time to do it right. Make sure you send your parts in to allow plenty of time for delivery to our facility, time for our mechanics to do the job right and time for the shipping company to get your parts back to their original location.

2. When sending in torque converters, please use FedEx or UPS. While the USPS is sometimes less costly, their deliveries are sometimes inconsistent. Also -- and this is very important -- please drain as much oil from the torque converters as possible and wrap them securely. The package carriers can dispose of leaky boxes! Don't let this happen to you.

3. Transmissions should all be shipped on FedEx freight. We have great shipping discounts, so call us before shipping to make sure you can share in the low freight costs.

4. It's simple, but it happens sometimes: Don't forget to include your name and contact information with any product sent to us for annual checkup. Otherwise, we won't know how to get in touch with you if we have any questions.

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Car of the Week: "Shock & Awe" Electric Motor '03 Pontiac Firebird

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Pat McCue of Washington state, his team of high school students and their record-breaking electric-motor Firebird.

How did you get into drag racing?

I am new to the sport of drag racing, other than going with my brother a few times when I was younger to watch.  As a high school auto shop teacher, when we decided to build an electric drag car for my automotive class, I enrolled in the Frank Hawley school of drag racing to get the basics down and earn my license.

When and where was your first race?

My first race was at Mission Raceway in Mission, BC.  We had run the car at our local track Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA, but only as solo runs. To this day, track officials like to send me out on solo runs to let the crowds hear (or not hear) what the car sounds like going down the track. I don't mind it too much, but would like to run with other cars as much as possible to gain more experience.

What model/year do you race now?

Our car is a 2003 Jerry Bickel Pro Stock chassis with an '03 Pontiac Firebird body.

Does your car have a nickname?

Shock and Awe! Fitting for an all electric vehicle don't you think?

What's under the hood?

This is where it gets pretty different. Under the hood we have a dual AMRacing A/C electric motor drive system. Kind of like two Tesla motors put together. It runs off of two Rinehart PM250 motor controllers. Together they are capable of making about 600 ft/lb of torque (from 0 RPM's all the way to about 9,000 RPM's) and 900 HP. We also have an 800 volt battery system under the hood. It contains 768 individual batteries! All of our high voltage electric stuff is under the hood, from the firewall back this is a standard NHRA spec race car. There are many electric racers out there utilizing D/C motor technology. But their motors are fragile when pushed to the limits of their power output. We have over 50 runs with no motor failures and no signs of fatigue!

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

We use a BTE Top Dragster Powerglide transmission. Of course because of our special circumstances, it had to be specially designed and modified. Our electric motors do not idle. So we do not need to have a torque converter or bell housing. We needed to have a custom input shaft fabricated to mate up with the electric motors. If it wasn't for Randy Hobson I don't think the shaft ever would have been completed. Randy and Bryan were critical to the completion of the project.

Why do you use BTE?

BTE was who another electric vehicle conversion company was using. Now that I've had the opportunity to work with them, I have sent several people directly to them. They are a pleasure to work with and were able to give me advice and specifications, like how much pressure and flow my electric fluid pump needs to produce while the "engine" is not running. Super helpful.

Someone you look up to in racing?

We have a great team of mentors working with myself and my students. Our biggest supporter in racing is Jeff Lane of Hancock and Lane Racing, he is a long time family friend and I appreciate the way he never hesitates to take time to help us and others while at the track. He and his son Cody run a Comp and a Super Stock. They've been allowing us to pit next to them at all our local races. They've even had their entire crew come to the line with us and mentor myself and my students in the details of pre-race prep and staging strategy. Jeff really thinks that with the A/C motor technology we use, it wouldn't be hard to build a dragster that could easily crack the 200mph barrier that Don Garlits has been striving for.

If money were no object, what would you drive?

Well if we are talking street car, I really don't have a fantasy ride. I've built a few street cars and enjoy the build almost more than the driving. I'd really like to build a dragster. I think that with some financial support we could build a 3 motor A/C powered dragster that would easily break 200 mph, and be robust enough to not have any motor breakage issues!

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?

I always have high school aged students working on and around the car, so getting the time to focus myself is sometimes difficult. I have taken a page from our race mentor’s son Cody Lane. I respect the way he, as a young man in the sport, is taking this sport so professionally while still maintaining a happy and friendly demeanor. He is hyper-focused but doesn't get wound up or carried away when things don't go his way, every time he gets into his car he stretches and takes a deep breath. I try to take the time to put my earbuds in to block out some of the noise, stretch and take a deep breath.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Car of the Week: Cole Cousins' 1968 Camaro

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Cole Cousins of Alabama and his 1968 Camaro.

How did you get into drag racing?

My father, Doug Cousins, has been involved with cars and drag racing since the 1960s. Being around him got me hooked on drag racing myself!

When and where was your first race?

August 4, 1994 at Capitol City Dragway in Montgomery, Alabama. I was 12 years old running the footbrake class.

What model/year do you race now?

A 1968 Camaro that we have owned since 1992 that my father gave me.

Does your car have a nickname?

“Ole Blue”

What's under the hood?

355 SBC with Brodix Aluminum Heads

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

We run several different BTE converters, a BTE 1.80 straight cut gears, Powerglide transmission and several performance parts from the BTE catalog.

Someone you look up to in racing?

Without a doubt, my daddy. He got me involved with drag racing and taught me all I know mechanical-wise, and a lot about the racing aspect.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Car of the Week: David Winklepeck's 1973 Chevy Vega Hatchback

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about David Winklepeck of Arboles, CO and his 1973 Chevy Vega hatchback.

How did you get into drag racing?

I was hooked on drag racing in 1968 at the age of 18.

When and where was your first race?

My first race was in 1969. 

What model/year do you race now?

I drive a 1973 Chevrolet Vega hatchback. I bought this car new April 15,1973 from Burt Chevrolet in Englewood Colorado.

Does your car have a nickname?

We call the Vega our “Little Hot Rod.”

What's under the hood?

The engine is a 1968 327 from a rolled corvette. I put in the engine in 1975. In the winter of 2015 I took this same engine to the max and turned it into a 360 ci. 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

There’s a BTE torque converter in the trans. I bought it used in 2015.

Why do you use BTE?

I have had good service from the BTE part I bought.

Someone you look up to in racing?

I have always followed Bill Jenkins, The Grump.

If money were no object, what would you drive?

Camaro pro stock if I had unlimited cash. (LOL)

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?

Before I race, I always use a practice tree.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Car of the Week: Wendell Dunaway's 1956 Chevy Bel Air

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Wendell Dunaway of North Richland Hills, TX and his 1956 Chevy Bel Air.

How did you get into drag racing?

In 1972, my dad had me going to a local track “Green Valley,” in the city that I live in now when I was only eight years old. I grew up watching Don Garlits, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme & Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen and it was all I wanted to do. 

In 1990 my good friend Jerry Smith also had a ’56 Chevy and took me to a race at the Texas Motorplex since Green Valley had closed down. He ran the Super Pro class and ended up winning that day. I knew then my “street car” was going to be a “race car”.

When and where was your first race?

My first race was at Texas Raceway in Kennedale, Texas. I remember that I raced a great friend and competitor, Paula Young. That race was in March 1992, and Paula welcomed me to the sport with a .005 reaction time and a dead on the dial with a zero in her ’67 Camaro. It was a thrill of a lifetime that stays with me today.

What model/year do you race now?

I have a 1956 Chevy Bel Air 2-door hardtop. I have been racing it now for over 24 years. Originally going 7.50’s, it now runs 5.50’s in the 1/8th mile.

Does your car have a nickname?

Spanky. The car was originally called “Our Gang” and I thought it was fitting for a heavy Chevy.

What's under the hood?

All aluminum 582ci Big Block Chevy making 1060HP built by Morgan and Son Racing Engines, Ron’s Fuel Injection Terminator System, Brodix 2XX CNC 23 degree heads with Brodix Aluminum Block & Brodix intake

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

Thanks to the help of Mr. Bryan Robinson (AKA $50K): a complete BTE Top Sportsman Powerglide using the BTE 1.80 Straight Cut gear set, BTE 7 bolt pump, BTE ringless input shaft & BTE case, plus a BTE 10” torque converter custom built for my application with the direction of Bryan.

Why do you use BTE?

The legendary Luke Bogacki turned me on to BTE in 1998, I instantly started winning with their products and in 1999 with the help of Mr. Bill Taylor & Paul Barrentine I became a dealer and a builder.

Someone you look up to in racing?

Without a doubt it is Luke Bogacki. I claimed Luke as my little brother, since I have known him back when he ran the fuel station at Texas Raceway at age 14 in the mid 90s. I always have fun telling everyone that I knew Luke before he was Kool Hand Luke. I have had the opportunity to watch him grow into the best bracket racer in the nation. I learn from Luke every day. He amazes me with his knowledge and strategy. If you don’t subscribe to his website www.thisisbracketracing.com you are really missing out on some great information. Great family man, great friend and incredible racer.

If money were no object, what would you drive?

I would love to get my hands on a Jerry Bickel car. Late 60s Camaro.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?

I never wear anything red, and eat a McDonald’s bacon egg and cheese biscuit for breakfast.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Car of the Week: Sean Thomas' 1978 Chevy Malibu

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Sean Thomas of Grants Pass, OR and his 1978 Chevy Malibu.

How did you get into drag racing?

A long time ago a friend took me to a drag race and I was hooked!

When and where was your first race?

I raced my car for the first time in 1999. It was at Woodburn Dragstrip in Woodburn, OR.

What model/year do you race now?

My car is a 1978 Chevy Malibu. The car is currently undergoing a complete rebuild. We're adding a back-half, 7.5 cert cage and will run high 8's.

What's under the hood?

540 Cubic Inch Chevrolet Big Block, 850 HP / 750 ft. lbs of torque.  Fuel system - Ron's Toilet on Alcohol.  AFR345 cylinder heads.  In the 1/4 mile, its best performance is 9.39 @ 145 mph

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

My powerglide is all BTE, except the case is factory. I just installed a 1.80 chromoly straight cut gear set from BTE this year.

Why do you use BTE?

BTE has never let me down. Great products and prices, and the customer service is top notch.

Someone you look up to in racing?

Ron Capps is the man!

If money were no object, what would you drive?

I'd run a Pro Mod with the new Cadillac CTX body. Awesome.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?

I drink lots of water. It gets hotter than heck out there, and helps to be hydrated well.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, September 7, 2016

BTE Tech Tips: How to Adjust Your Powerglide Band

The powerglide transmission has a single band.  It is used to hold the clutch drum during low gear operation.  If the powerglide band is not adjusted properly the following things can occur:

  • Band failure (burning of clutch material)
  • Slipping in low gear or no low gear function at all
  • Shift flare between low and high gears
  • Car rolling backwards when the transbrake is applied

The powerglide band should be adjusted to the following specs:

  • Tighten the band adjustment screw to 72 inch lbs
  • Unscrew the band adjuster three and a half turns (3.5)
  • Tighten the band adjustment screw's locking nut

The band should be readjusted on a semi regular basis throughout the racing season.  BTE recommends using a heavy duty band adjustment screw to prevent band failure.  Stock band adjusters can bend and warp under heavy duty conditions.

See also:

BTE Kevlar Powerglide Band

BTE Wide Powerglide Band

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Car of the Week: Rob Thomas' 1969 Oldsmobile 442

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Rob Thomas of Southgate, MI and his 1969 Oldsmobile 442.

How did you get into drag racing?

Have had the "car bug" as long as I can remember going back to when I was a young kid back in the early 60s. A neighbor had a ’64 Dodge that he used to race at Motor City Dragway and took me once to watch. Got me hook, line and sinker from then on.  

When and where was your first race?

Not quite sure of the year - somewhere around 1985 perhaps. Place was Detroit Dragway.

What model/year do you race now?

1969 Oldsmobile 442. A street /strip car.

Does your car have a nickname?

It’s been called the "pumpkin" a few times.

What's under the hood?

461 Olds - 10:1 comp. Ported factory heads / Torker intake / Holley 850 DP / ARH headers thru full 3" Stainless Mandrel exhaust. Best ET to date 11.43 / 116 mph

Someone you look up to in racing?

Mike Edwards - he always impressed me as a very knowledgeable and gracious person.

If money were no object, what would you drive?

That would be a very tough decision... I love all makes to an extent, and if money were no object, I'd be like Jay Leno and have one of each.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?

Can't say actually have a ritual since I am just a hobby racer, but I try to be consistent with burnout and staging as a bracket racer.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Car of the Week: Roberto Ruiz's 1955 Chevy Bel Air

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Roberto Ruiz of Lynn, Massachusetts and his 1955 Chevy Bel Air.

How did you get into drag racing?

My dad use to drag race and, I liked it too.

When and where was your first race?

A street race, and the rest is history.

What model/year do you race now?

1955 Chevy Bel Air Pro Street

Does your car have a nickname?

"Killer"

What's under the hood?

Chevy 502 (Gen 6)

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

Flexplate

Someone you look up to in racing?

John Force

If money were no object, what would you drive?

I would drive my ’55 Chevy, but would install a new 632 cubic inch Chevy engine with fuel injection and a 6 speed paddle shifted transmission.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?

Pray I win and stay safe.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Car of the Week: Milan Perazic's 1923 Ford T-Bucket

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Milan Perazic of  Kamloops, BC Canada and his 1923 Ford T-Bucket.

How did you get into drag racing?

My stepfather turned me onto drag racing when I was a kid. We still try to make time and go together every year.

When and where was your first race?

Old Time Drags in Ashcroft, British Columbia in 2000

What model/year do you race now?

I have a 1923 Ford T Bucket. Currently modifying it from a daily driver to be more strip capable.

Does your car have a nickname?

I've called it a lot of things. But only after a blackened nail or exhaust burn.

What's under the hood?

SBF 347w 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

I run a BTE 10" street / strip torque converter

Why do you use BTE?

BTE had the best product for my application. And they had the patience to guide a novice builder on the proper installation.

Someone you look up to in racing?

F1 Racer Niki Lauda was pretty admirable.

If money were no object, what would you drive?

If money wasn't an object, I'd build my own nostalgia racer with all the goodies the Top Sportsman run.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?

More of a post race ritual. "Cracking a cold one.”

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, August 15, 2016

Car of the Week: Jessica Hicks' 1967 Buick Gran Sport

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Jessica Hicks of  Tennessee and her 1967 Buick Gran Sport.

How did you get into drag racing?

I have been around drag racing and cars my entire life. My dad has been drag racing since he was a teenager and my mom used to race as well; so I grew up around the racetrack and have been there ever since!

When and where was your first race?

My first race was at Greer Dragway in 2005 when I was 13 years old. I started in the Teen Championship Racing class before moving up to the Footbrake class two years later at 15 years old. My first footbrake race was in 2007 at Shadyside Dragway where I was lucky enough to finish in the runner-up spot.

What model/year do you race now?

I race a 1967 Buick Gran Sport that was built by my dad in his racecar shop, Hicks Fabrication.

What’s under the hood?

455 Buick motor

Does your car have a nickname?

I don’t really have one for it, but I’ve been told a few times it needs to be called Black Beauty.

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

We have a 10 inch BTE converter, BTE sprag and drum.

Why do you use BTE?

They are a well-known company with very good reviews. They also support the World Footbrake Challenge at my home track, Bristol Dragway!

Someone you look up to in racing?

My dad – he’s taught me a lot over the years and I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for him and mom.

Cody Spears – he can win races in a street car!

If money were no object, what would you drive?

I would still drive the same car I do now, it means a lot to me since Dad has put a lot of work into it. If money were no object though, I would definitely go race at as many different racetracks as I could.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?

I don’t really have a pre-race ritual that I can think of, except telling my opponent good luck or giving thumbs up before we run. I definitely think sportsmanship is important, win or lose.

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, July 27, 2016