News

Car of the Week: Jeff Clark's 1994 Chevy Lumina Z34

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 Jeff Clark from Mt. Washington, Kentucky, who owns and races a 1994 Chevy Lumina Z34.

How did you get into drag racing?
My father and oldest brother raced.

When and where was your first race?
In 1988 at the Summit Motorsports Park High School Nationals. Lost in the quarterfinal but had a good run!

What model/year do you race now?
1994 Chevy Lumina Z34

Does your car have a nickname?
Brutus

What's under the hood?
Badman Racing Engine big block Chevy 572 with Profiler X375 CNC heads and two 950 cfm alcohol APD carbs on a Holley tunnel ram. Motor makes 1050 hp on dyno.

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I use the converter, transbrake and 1.80 gear set.

Why do you use BTE?
Al Gottschling built my transmission for years and that’s all he used. They work great!

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
Lucas Walker helped me pick out my new converter. It’s more consistent and faster than my old one from another company. It’s safe to say I’m making the switch.

Someone you look up to in racing?
My father who passed away a few years ago.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Top Sportsman 66 Chevy II with a pro charger motor

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
My wife Teresa gives me a kiss after I get in the car.

Anything else you’d like to share?
Personal best ET is 5.14 at 135 mph


 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Car of the Week: Steven Ronneberg's 1985 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're featuring Steven Ronneberg from Dobbins, California, who owns and races a 1985 Camaro.

How did you get into drag racing?
I went to a Team Boddie grudge race with Monti Fitzgerald.

When and where was your first race?
My first race was last year in Sacramento against Mike Murillo.

What model/year do you race now?
1985 Camaro

Does your car have a nickname?
No

What's under the hood?
High nitrous 434 small block

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
2-speed powerglide

Why do you use BTE?
Because they came highly recommended by high level grudge racers. Everyone says BTE’s transmissions can take the power.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
They have the strongest, most reliable parts without sacrificing affordability.

Someone you look up to in racing?
Monti Fitzgerald, Cole Dow and Jay Boddie.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
I’m already driving it!

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I sit in my car and get in the zone.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, September 6, 2018

Car of the Week: AJ Casini's 1969 Plymouth Barracuda

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 AJ Casini from Hunker, PA, who owns and races a 1969 Plymouth Barracuda.

How did you get into drag racing?
It runs in the family.

When and where was your first race?
Fairmont Dragway, Fairmont WV

What model/year do you race now?
1969 Plymouth Barracuda

Does your car have a nickname?
The ‘Cuda

What's under the hood?
572” BGR HEMI

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Top Sportsman Powerglide

Why do you use BTE?
Customer service and product quality.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
The transmission has been flawless this season.

Someone you look up to in racing?
No one—I am 6’7”! Just kidding, I have many I look up to but my dad is one of my biggest role models. He is always ready to step in and help get something fixed, even when I’ve given up hope. Whether it’s the race cars or the rig, he always finds a way to keep it going.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Factory Shootout Challenger

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
High Five “bams” from my wife and 2 daughters. Same from my parents, sister, niece and nephew if they are at the track.


 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Car of the Week: Brett Vanstory's 2012 Cadillac CTS V

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 Brett Vanstory from Braden, TN, who owns and races a 2012 Cadillac CTS V.

How did you get into drag racing?
I had some friends that started racing and that got me motivated.

When and where was your first race?
Memphis Motorsports Park July 2005

What model/year do you race now?
2012 Cadillac CTS V

Does your car have a nickname?
Nope.

What's under the hood?
388” LSX

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Reverse manual BTE TH400

Why do you use BTE?
Quick to answer questions and convenient location.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
The transmission is great, really shifts well!

Someone you look up to in racing?
No one in particular.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
458 Ferrari

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Don’t have one.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, August 24, 2018

Car of the Week: Todd Stone's 1979 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're featuring Todd Stone from Port Clinton, OH, who owns and races a 1979 Camaro.

How did you get into drag racing?
Been around all forms of racing my entire life. Grew up at local oval asphalt short tracks. And loved hotrods and built classic cars.

When and where was your first race?
I was still in high school and I was at Kil Kare Dragway. Must have been the late ‘90s.

What model/year do you race now?
1979 Camaro

Does your car have a nickname?
Stepping Stone

What's under the hood?
SBC 355. Brodix heads.

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Custom 8" converter on a Fleenor Racing Powerglide.

Why do you use BTE?
Can’t beat the quality.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
Still finishing the car. But everyone I know that runs a similar set up says you can't beat the consistency of BTE converters.

Someone you look up to in racing?
John Force on the pro level. And Nick Hastings as a bottom bulber.

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

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Jamming out to Midnight Rider.

Anything else? 
Thank you BTE for sharing our stories and keeping us competitive!


 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, August 16, 2018

Car of the Week: Harrell Coulter's 1993 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 Harrell Coulter from Prentiss, MS, who owns and races a 1993 Mustang.

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

When and where was your first race?
Hub City Dragway sometime in the late ‘80s.

What model/year do you race now?
1993 Mustang

Does your car have a nickname?
Black Magic

What's under the hood?
427 LSX

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Pro Tree Brake and BTE Custom Nitrous Converter

Why do you use BTE?
Convenient location, excellent products and service.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
I was struggling with a loose converter and made a call to BTE. I was already pleased with my transbrake so I gave Brandon my car info. A couple of days later the converter arrived and I picked up .2 immediately.

Someone you look up to in racing?
Always liked John Force. His winning attitude is reflected in his team performance.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Radial vs the World car (on nitrous of course!)

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Go on my trailer to suit up and clear my head before every round. Concentrate on nothing but the car, the tree and my lane.

Many thanks to BTE! I love supporting a local Mississippi business with top notch products and customer service!!


 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, August 14, 2018

2018 Fall Race Round Up

The summer may be winding down, but there are still lots of races to keep on your radar this fall. Take a look at our race round-up to help plan your competition schedule and check out major drag racing events across the United States.

Pepsi Nightfire Nationals & All Access Bracketeer Challenge - Firebird Raceway, ID
Aug. 9-12, 2018
Now in its 47th year, the annual Pepsi Nightfire Nationals at Firebird Raceway has attracted racing icons the likes of John Force, Don “the Snake” Prudhomme, Ed “the Ace” McCulloch, Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen, Gordie Bonin and many others. Join hundreds of racers from 15 states and Canada to battle in the All Access Bracketeer Challenge presented by IWS Sales and race for a combined purse topping $185,000.

GSTA Muscle Car Shootout - Brainerd International Raceway, MN
Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2018
No plans for Labor Day Weekend? Head out to Brainerd International Raceway for the Gopher State Timing Association Muscle Car Shootout. The event will feature the Muscle Car Series’ grand finale on the drag strip, Superbike racing on the road course, live music, a classic car show and much more.

Best of Detroit Footbrake Nationals - Bandimere Speedway, CO
Sept. 15, 2018
Now approaching its 60th anniversary, Bandimere Speedway (a.k.a. Thunder Mountain) never disappoints. The Manufacture Cup Championship is open to all Chevy, Ford, Mopar, Buick, Olds and Pontiac vehicles. The event will also feature the Sunoco King Street series and the Fastlane Automotive Stick Shift series.

King of the Coast Bracket Racing Series - Gulfport Dragway, MS
Sept. 21-23, 2018
BTE is proud to sponsor the 14th annual King of the Coast Bracket Racing Series at Gulfport Dragway. Electronics & footbrake racers will compete to win a golden check for up to $1,000! In addition, the driver who finishes highest in the 2018 Points Championship will win a BTE Top Sportsman transmission.

Battle at the Bridge - Sebring International Raceway, FL
Sept. 29, 2018
Safety-Kleen presents the Battle at the Bridge at Sebring International Raceway. Sebring’s legendary concrete front straight makes it one of Florida’s premiere tracks. The event will include drag racing, a drift contest, a car show and a power wheels race and will kick off at 1 p.m.

Fall Brawl 2018 PPV - Antioch Speedway, CA
Oct. 13, 2018
Whether it’s the close, slam-bang action of the Hobby Stocks or the fendered Stock Car competition of the Limited Late Models, the popular A Modifieds and B Modifieds, or the open wheel action of the Dwarf Cars, Antioch Speedway offers something that every fan can enjoy.

Southern Footbrake Challenge - Holly Springs Motorsports, MS
Oct. 25-28, 2018

Want more footbrake fun? Don’t miss the 6th annual BTE sponsored Southern Footbrake Challenge. We’ll have two $2,000 to win gamblers races, along with Triple 10s format on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The popular fish fry will return and livestream is tentative but likely. Pre-enter now!

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Car of the Week: Lee Sawyer's 1971 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 Lee Sawyer  from Orland, CA, who owns and races a 1971 Chevy Nova.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
I’ve always liked fast cars so it just seemed logical.
 
When and where was your first race?
Redding, California
 
What model/year do you race now?
1971 Chevy Nova
 
Does your car have a nickname?
The Hooker
 
What's under the hood?
SBC 406
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I use the street/strip TH350 and converter.
 
Why do you use BTE?
I’ve been a fan for a while. I’m on my 2nd transmission and 3rd converter and I like the reliability, performance and value of BTE parts.
 
Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
They’re very knowledgeable and have great customer service.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
John Force
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
I’d keep my same car, but with improvements and upgrades.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I always hit the bathroom before heading to the staging lanes. Gotta pee!
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Car of the Week: Don Nelson's 1967 Ford Dyno

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 Don Nelson from Greensboro, NC, who owns and races a 1967 Ford Dyno.

How did you get into drag racing?
I’ve been a fan all my life. My dad took us when we were young, as far back as 1963.

When and where was your first race?
My first race was in 1973.

What model/year do you race now?
1967 Ford Dyno

Does your car have a nickname?
Dyno Don

What's under the hood?
351

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I swear by their converters.

Why do you use BTE?
Good parts & good people.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
Always helps the car leave on time.

Someone you look up to in racing?
Glenn Ferguson

If money were no object, what would you drive?
I’m already driving it!

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Always do everything the same, whether I’m winning or losing.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Differences Between Your Race Car and Daily Driver Torque Converter

Comparing the torque converter in your daily driver (or tow vehicle) to the one in your drag race car is like comparing the kid that grows up to be an office manager to his or her sibling that pursued a career in the US Marine Corps.  While they both come from the same beginnings, one took a much different path and was molded to a specific, heavy duty purpose. 

And if your daily driver is your race car, or you don't drive an automatic, or you don't even have a race car, here's a video of Australian burnout competitions. 

Torque converters for passenger vehicle designs have evolved over the decades with large improvements in:

  • Fuel economy
  • Lock up clutch life and smoothness of operation
  • General durability and reliability (well, mostly)

Drag racing converters are designed and modified to:

  • Remain reliable under increasingly demanding conditions 
    • Rapid development in turbo, supercharged, and nitrous powerplants
    • Extreme automatic transmission fluid temperatures as a result of staging requirements in these setups, turbos particularly
  • Work in unison with the engine and suspension to transfer power through the drivetrain and to the ground without losing traction
  • Work in unison with the engine, gearing, camshaft, tire diameter, and other factors to keep the car in its best average horsepower RPM range

The differences in these mission requirements are highlighted in the methods of manufacturing and modification.  Here are the two major examples.

Torque converter front (or cover)

In an OEM converter, the front is typically constructed of stamped steel, and in modern vehicles will contain some variant of a lock up clutch.  The light stamped steel cover and lock up clutch aid the car in lowering fuel consumption.  The pads that secure the converter to the flexplate are simply welded to the stamped cover and feature a mild-mannered 3/8" bolt.

In comparison, the forged steel cover as featured in our 8, 9, and 10-inch race converters is machined from a single forged steel piece.  The bolt holes are increased to 7/16" (and available at 1/2" in some cases).  In this case, the lockup isn't even part of the assembly, as this converter is designed for a non-lockup transmission.  (Though lock-ups do exist for many typically non-lockup transmissions)

Stator assembly

The stator of this OEM converter is designed for a specific car, with a specific engine, drive train, and gearing option to provide a very exact performance profile. This one, like many others for daily driven vehicles, actually contains some components that are plasticlike or composite. Such materials would be unsuitable and likely melted or destroyed in a heavy duty race application. (The OEM sprags and stators are often the first components to fail when adding additional power).

plastic, HAHA

Our racing stator is made from 8620 steel and finished machined on a CNC mill to accept a heavy duty sprag, diode, or spragless insert.  Steel and special alloy aluminum stators give the converter designer many options to adjust the stall, torque multiplication, and efficiency of operation.  

As we often write, all torque converters have a shared origin, even the fancy all-billet race converter designs from from the OEM versions. Modifiying or building a drag racing converter addresses the specific requirements of the racer, and should be noted when deciding on a full race converter vs. a "street/strip" version.

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Car of the Week: Glenn McCary's 1971 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 Glenn McCary from Rossville, Georgia, who owns and races a 1971 Chevy Nova.

How did you get into drag racing?
A lot of my friends and family are involved in racing and got me interested.

When and where was your first race?
I remember it like it was yesterday. 1981 at Cooper River Drag Strip driving a 1968 Mustang. 

What model/year do you race now?
1971 Chevy Nova

Does your car have a nickname?
No.

What's under the hood?
496 BBC

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Converter and transmission, both have served me well.

Why do you use BTE?
Quality parts and good customer service. Neil is a huge help.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
They’re always there when I need them in a pinch.

Someone you look up to in racing?
Any of the small tire radial racers. Those guys continue to amaze me.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Radial vs the World Car

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I always say a prayer before getting in the car.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, July 20, 2018

Car of the Week: Ricky Gay's 1975 Chevy El Camino

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 Ricky Gay from Joelton, Tennessee, who owns and races a 1975 Chevy El Camino.

How did you get into drag racing?
I’ve loved it my whole life… way before I was even old enough to drive! It's a family hobby for me, my dad and Uncle Eddie. 

Where was your first race?
I hit the track for my first race at Music City Raceway.

What model/year do you race now?
1975 Chevy El Camino

Does your car have a nickname?
Black Betty

What's under the hood?
SBC 406 with 2-speed Powerglide

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
BTE 2 speed powerglide with 1.98 straight cut planetary

Why do you use BTE?
They have a good reputation for top notch customer service. I was referred by a lot of local drivers. 

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
Great products at affordable prices to keep your car race-ready.

Someone you look up to in racing?
My Uncle Eddie

If money were no object, what would you drive?
1955 Chevy Belair

Advice for beginners?
Just drive your race, don't worry about the other car. Repetition is key to success. 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Car of the Week: Dannie Stacy’s 1997 Chevy Cavalier

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 Dannie Stacy from Rogers, Arkansas, who owns and races a 1997 Chevy Cavalier. 

How did you get into drag racing?
I was introduced to racing by my brother-in-law.

When and where was your first race?
My first race was in 2000 at Mo-Kan Dragway.

What model/year do you race now?
1997 Chevy Cavalier 

Does your car have a nickname?
No.

What's under the hood?
413 Small Block on alcohol. Special shout out to BMS Racing Engines in Hulbert, OK!

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Transmission and converter. 

Why do you use BTE?
They’re the best there is! Their products come highly recommended. 

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
BTE helped me find the perfect converter for my car. Couldn’t have done it without their expertise. 

Someone you look up to in racing?
Grumpy Jenkins

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

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I never eat the day of the race.

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Friday Rain Out, Father-Son Match Up Mark BTE World Footbrake Challenge 2018

Since well after last year’s BTE World Footbrake Challenge, the 2018 event—the 12th such event in the WFC history—was billed as the Yukon Gear & Axle Triple $10s, three days of racing with three separate $10,000-to-win races for those leaving off the bottom bulb with no electronic driver aided devices. However, Friday’s race was cut short by Mother Nature. One round of racing was complete but that wasn’t enough for co-promoters Steve Stites and Jared Pennington to deem it an official race.

Partly because we guarantee the entire purse, said Pennington, and mostly to be fair to our customers, we chose to scrub the whole day and instead take the Friday purse and split it amongst the Saturday and Sunday races. If you had lost that first round, it didn’t matter, you were back in for Saturday and Sunday. 

In essence, both Saturday and Sunday now became the Double $15 for lack of a better term. A single time trial session began at 8:00 am and by 11:00, the first round of eliminations began with an invocation by Jeff Gatlin and the singing of the greatest song in our country, the Star Spangled Banner. Three hours after the first round was complete, a total of 383 entries made the first round call ranking it right there as one of the best fields in WFC history.

Once the Saturday $15K event was done, the schedule called for a second Gambler’s Race to take place during the Saturday Racer Appreciation Dinner.

But back to the main event first and with five still left in round eight, the survivors and quarterfinal combatants were Lee Zane, Jonathon Surratt, Matt Sayers, Cody Barnhart and Devin Dudley. Sayers and Zane battled which didn’t last long as Sayers turned on the red-light, handing the win to Zane who was not giving much up as he had a .004 reaction time. In a double break-out affair, Dudley came out on top of Surratt. And finally, Barnhart took the bye run which set up a unique affair. With three remaining, each had already received a bye run which reverts to the best winning reaction time of the winning trio, which was Zane’s, giving him the semifinal round bye to the final.

Looking to match-up with Zane, Dudley and Barnhart staged up with reaction times respectively at .049 and a .016 and a double break-out with Barnhart the lesser offender to advance him to the final.

With Barnhart driving Chance Lykens BTE-sponsored Chevrolet-powered Volkswagen of all things, both he and Zane were close in dial-ins with Barnhart at 6.22 and Zane 6.19. Reaction time advantage went to Barnhart by just a slight .007 and it was Barnhart who seemingly parked his car at the finish line to force Zane under his dial handing the win to the 22-year old from Cullman, Alabama.

“I was so nervous every round,” said Barnhart. “I was praying every round before I got in the car and all the glory goes to God.”

Still left to complete was the Saturday night Gambler’s Race with an unusual father versus son final. It was dad Rodney Finchum and his son Jake squaring off at 12:30 in the morning to finish off the day. And it was old age and treachery which overcame youth and exuberance with dad behind in reaction time but using a dead on the dial with a “0” to defeat his son for the win.

MotorManiaTV was on hand all weekend thanks to Environmental Oil Recovery, broadcasting the entire race.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, July 9, 2018

Car of the Week: Lance White'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 Lance White from Laurel, Delaware, who owns and races a 1989 Ford Mustang
 
How did you get into drag racing?
My oldest brother loves hot rods and I followed right along with him.
 
When and where was your first race?
US 13 Dragway, Delmar, Delaware, 1996
 
What model/year do you race now?
1989 Ford Mustang
 
Does your car have a nickname?
Nopiggy
 
What's under the hood?
Drummond Race Car built 9.5 SBF on alcohol with a Vortech Supercharger rear-driven YSI.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Powerglide
 
Why do you use BTE?
Products are reliable, lightweight and safe. 
 
Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
The consistency and dependability of the BTE transmission has resulted in several “Cash Days” wins, including being named #1 on “The US 13 top 10 list” for several weeks. 
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
Stevie “Fast” Jackson, “Mustang Mike” R.I.P. Mike and “The Bruder Brothers” 
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
Stevie Jackson’s Radial vs The World car
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I give my two sons, Codie and Jacob, and my nephew Zane a fist bump, then Kathy Drummond tells me to relighted my belts.
 
Special thanks to Steve Drummond at Drummond Race Cars for all of their awesome work and to my lovely wife Tracy for her support! Thanks also to Jay Bradford and Bad Habit Trans for always keeping my BTE Powerglide trans 100%.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, June 25, 2018

Car of the Week: Kevin Grider's 1971 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 Kevin Grider from Iowa Park, Texas, who owns and races a 1971 Chevy Nova.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
My father go me into racing.
 
When and where was your first race?
Tri State Dragway, Hamilton Ohio, 1984
 
What model/year do you race now?
Chevy Nova, '71
 
Does your car have a nickname?
The Purple Nova, or Born to Raise Hell Nova is on the decklid.
 
What's under the hood?
All Iron oval port 440 ci big block chevy with 11 to 1 compression, making a little over 600 hp.  Herbert solid roller with 685 lift and a 750 cfm carb I converted to run on methanol.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
 
Why do you use BTE?
Honestly, I asked the best footbrake racers in my area what converter they were running and upgraded my program with what they recommended: BTE!
 
Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
From day one with the new spragless converter, my car was deadly consistent and predictable.  My new BTE converter was the missing piece to make my program competitive.  After a year of racing I also upgraded my son's car with a 5000 stall BTE spragless and the results were immediate.  His car picked up two tenths and is also deadly consistent and a winner.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
My father Charles Grider.  He is without a doubt one of the best racers I've ever seen and could bumper bolt and sand bag with the best of them.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
A full tube chassis, steel roof and quarter 69 Camaro with a 500 ci big block Chevy in it.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I guess it's really getting to the track and warming up the car, checking the tires and temps and trying to do everything exactly the same before every run.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Car of the Week: Brian Stockinger's 1979 z28

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 Brian Stockinger from West Bend, Wisconsin, who owns and races a 1979 z28.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
My pops! It’s in our blood.
 
When and where was your first race?
1993. Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, WI.
 
What model/year do you race now?
1979 z28. Had this car for 28 years now.
 
Does your car have a nickname?
The BluePrint
 
What's under the hood?
Dart 434 SBC
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
 
Why do you use BTE?
Reliability 
 
Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
My 60’ improved by nearly a tenth
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
My dad. He started all of this.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
1940 Willy’s gasser.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
My wife straps me in.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Car of the Week: Logan Sheffer's 1970 Monte Carlo

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 Logan Sheffer from Barlow, Kentucky who owns and races a 1970 Monte Carlo.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
My family has been racing for over 30 years.
 
When and where was your first race?
In Gleason, Tennessee when I was 10 years old
 
What model/year do you race now?
1970 Monte Carlo
 
Does your car have a nickname?
The Monte
 
What's under the hood?
SBC 414 built by Wilson Racing Engines
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I use a BTE torque converter built by Chance Lykens, and whatever parts Tommy Cook from Cooks Racing Transmissions uses
 
Why do you use BTE?
It’s a very good product and I haven't had any problems!
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
My uncle, Bear Nichols. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be the driver I am today!
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
Tube Chassis 1968 Camaro
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I double check everything, drink a RedBull, and jam to some music!
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Car of the Week: Rob Kruger's 2007 Police Interceptor Ford

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. This week we're featuring Robert Kruger from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, who drives a 2007 Police Interceptor Ford.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
 
My brother got me into drag racing when I was 14 years old. He gave me a '73 Oldsmobile and I built my first 455 old engine. Then I got an '84 Hurst Olds with lightning rod shifters (those were very cool), and I put a built 500 hp 455 Olds in. So I was hooked from the first day I got to get my hands dirty. 
 
When and where was your first race?
I lived in Oshkosh, WI, and my brother pulled up to a Dodge Viper in his '71 442 built. He raced the Viper and beat him, so that was my first time in a race.
 
What model/year do you race now?
Now I own a 2007 Police Interceptor Ford
 
Does your car have a nickname?
The nickname for my police interceptor is Black Sunshine. I kind of went off my favorite band Rob Zombie, and the song talks about a Ford. 
 
What's under the hood?
We decided to do a 4.6 2v mercury engine swap. We went with a Victor Jr intake and MSD modular box that we converted to quick fuel carb. With custom ground cams it runs on E85. It has a push button start and an air fuel ratio gauge. With the MSD box I can make any adjustment, so that's a pretty cool set up. I also have long tube headers, fuel cell, big fuel pump and Aeromotive regulator, along with a 2.5 inch dual exhaust and 456 gears. We lightened the car up over 700 lb. We also put 15x10 Mickey Thompson drag radials on the back.
 
Which BTE products are you hoping to use in your vehicle?
I love reading up on the stories on your Facebook page and looking at the transmissions, torque converters and other stuff you guys sell. I'd like to run trans and converter. I hear nothing but good things and like parts that hold up to torque. 
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
If money wasn't an object, I would keep building my 2007 police interceptor. I've been through a lot with that car. It even survived a huge fire.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Listening to the CD that survived the fire. I keep that CD for good luck and listen to it while I'm in the staging lanes.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Car of the Week: Brian Spear's 1937 Ford 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. This week we are featuring  Brian Spears from Newburgh, Indiana who drives one of the older race cars we’ve written about, a 1937 Ford Roadster.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
My dad raced a 1970 Nova my entire childhood so every Saturday was spent at the race track.
 
Where do you live?
Newburgh, Indiana
 
When and where was your first race?
At Chandler Motorsports Park in Chandle, Indiana in 1996.  I got my license on Wednesday and was racing my 1972 Ford Maverick on Saturday. I even won trophy class that night.
 
What model/year do you race now?
1937 Ford Roadster
 
What's under the hood?
557 Big Block Ford
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Transmission shield, 1.80 gear set and input shaft.
 
Why do you use BTE?  
They are quality parts that so far that I have been unable to break.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
My dad. He’s been doing this a long time and supports me in any way he can.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
A Ford in Pro Stock
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Car of the Week: Big Ray Salyers' 1971 El Camino

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 come to you from Xenia, Ohio where Big Ray Salyers races his 1971 El Camino.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
I grew up in the suburbs of Dayton Ohio in the 60s and 70s where fast cars were everywhere and I lived only a few miles from Kil-Kare Dragway. I had to have a fast car when I turned 16 so in 1976 I bought a 1964 Chevy II that had a high compression 327 engine and a 4 speed. The mold was set.
 
Where do you live?
Xenia, Ohio
 
When and where was your first race?
My first race was against my buddy Andy Wado’s 442 on State Route 42 outside of Xenia, Ohio.
 
What model/year do you race now?
I race a ‘71 El Camino.
 
What's under the hood?
468 Big Block Chevy
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
BTE TH400 Full Manual Transmission body, sprag and clutch kit.
 
Why do you use BTE?  
I Run BTE products because I only want the best.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
I was really impressed by Bo Butner last season. I was thrilled he won the Pro Stock Championship flying the Bo Bandit colors and he really hooked me up for Christmas!
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
If money wasn't an object I’d have a COPO Camaro or Yenko as a daily driver.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Pre-race is all about having a plan, being calm and execution. I seem to struggle more with the execution part more than anything else!
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, May 8, 2018

BTE Fans Share What Motivates Them to Race

The dictionary defines "motivate" as "giving (someone) a reason for doing something". For racing fans like us, our motivation is found on the track. We asked our BTE Racing fans on Facebook what motivated them and we weren't surprised to find that many told us they found motivation in their racing family as well as in the thrill of the competition and of course, the speed. Here are some of our favorite responses:
 
  • “The racing family and the little increases you get when putting on new parts.” - Michael Duff
  • “The challenge of turning a small fortune into a pile of broken blown alcohol and TF parts.” - Marc Sorger
  • “The racing family and all the hard work that goes in to it that pays offs.” - Greg Bunch
  • “The fun of hitting different tracks.” - John Molyneux
  • “Speed, challenge, technology.” - Jack Moy
  • “The clean, wholesome fun!” - Willie Watson
  • “I love speed, the adrenaline, the power.” - Mike WIlson
  • “Just the love of cars,seeing how fast they can go,and fixing it and repairing it after a good run.” - John Kupahu
  • “The people in it.” - Jake Howard
  • “The adrenaline rush!!!” - Jim Guelde
  • “That Win Light!!” - Richie Vail
  • “Joy, challenge, adrenaline!” - Wendy Marshall
  • “Family, friends and the thrill.” - Kevin Diaville
  • “That V8 sound!” - Max Szyszka
  • “Everything about it! “ - several fans including Chuck Turocy, Roy Hale, Dinnie Hagar
Thanks to our BTW community for motivating us to provide the best parts and service each and every day—you make it worth it!
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, May 3, 2018

Car of the Week: Steven Payne's 1970 Holden HT ute

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. Not all of our customers come from the North American continent—in fact, we're proud to have customers all the way out in Australia! We're excited to share today's 1970 Holden HT ute, driven by Steven Payne, from all the way out in Jabiru, in Australia's Northern Territory.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
It was the spur of the moment. I had to take the Holden HT ute (stands for utility) into the Darwin Motor Vehicle Registry for a registration inspection where I heard of a drag race meeting the following night, so I decided to stay an extra night and see how quick the Stock 350 Chevy was. I had so much fun and that started the spending frenzy.
 
 
When and where was your first race?
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia in 1998
 
What model/year do you race now?
I have owned and raced the same car—a 1970 Holden HT ute—since 1993.
 
Does your car have a nickname?
AGRO HT
 
What's under the hood?
A 540 stage 3 Scott Shafiroff BB Chevy short motor with Brodix heads and 8/71 Littlefield blower.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I needed a new transmission in a hurry and I was able to buy a transmission for another customer from a shop in Sydney 2006. The parts I know that are BTE in that transmission are the 2003-dated one piece SFI Powerglide case and the aluminium deep pan.
 
Why do you use BTE?  
My BTE transmission has copped 11 years of abuse and still going strong. I was serviced in 2015 with no problems found.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
The race starter.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
I’d drive the same car with more horsepower.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I check that the switches are all on.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Car of the Week: Craig Moar's 1984 Buick Regal

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 an Australian from Perth who races a 1984 Buick Regal that won the title of fastest Buick at Hot Rod Magazine’s Drag Week 2017.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
I got into drag racing due to a love of going fast as a kid. Once I got my licence I started racing my daily driver and I just got faster from there.
 
Where do you live?
I live in Perth, Western Australia but I keep my car in Oklahoma.
 
Where was your first race?
It was the 1/8th mile with no prep at the Barbagallo Raceway in Western Australia.
 
What model/year do you race now?
1984 Buick Regal                                                                  
 
Does your car have a nickname?
Ratbag
 
What's under the hood?
572ci BBC
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
 
Why do you use BTE?
The removable bellhousing and SFI certification works well for me especially at the such a great price.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
Larry Larson
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
A 1969 Dodge Daytona Pro Street Turbo HEMI car
 
 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Car of the Week: Michael Braddock's 1979 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. Today, we're featuring a 1979 Chevy Camaro from owner/driver Michael Braddock, hailing from Kelton, Texas. You can find him and his family racing every other weekend at either at Sayre Street Races in the small Western Oklahoma town of Sayre or at Amarillo Dragway in Amarillo Texas.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
My dad always had hot rods and worked on them at his mechanic shop when I was growing up. I always loved getting to drive a few very nice old school street cars and even raced a few of them on the back roads around my hometown. So I would have to say my dad is to blame for my addiction and for being broke all the time from buying new parts.
 
Where do you live?
I live in the middle of nowhere 15 miles east of Wheeler Texas. It’s a very small town in the eastern Texas panhandle. I live there with my lovely wife Cassie and our two children, Gus and Tess, who both race in the junior dragster class.
 
When and where was your first race?
I would have to say was in the late 1980s at Amarillo Dragway and as most youngsters, we would street race on the back roads.
 
What model/year do you race now?
I have a 1979 Chevy Camaro
 
Does your car have a nickname?
”Chump Change”
 
What's under the hood?
An F2 ProCharged 540 BBC with a Callies Magnum Crankshaft, a COMP cam, GMB aluminum rods, Damion pistons, Brodix heads and a C&S Blow-Thru methanol carburetor.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I run a BTE Top Sportsman Powerglide transmission, a BTE torque converter and a BTE billet pro tree brake.
 
Why do you use BTE?
Because BTE is the best in the business. I’ve never had a problem with any of my BTE parts and I pound on them way harder than most would. Customer service is also hands down the best I’ve ever dealt with.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
I look up to my racing family - they’re always there to lend a hand or offer parts to fix my car. It’s good to line up next to them and try to beat the brakes off them.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
I am driving my dream car now. Sure, there are better cars than mine but I have built my dream car and I love it. My kids help work on all of our cars too. It just doesn’t get any better that.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I clean our hot rods up and  go over every nut and bolt. We turn the music up in our trailer and just talk cars and how we can make them better for that day’s race.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Five Things to Bring to the Track Every Time

Preparing for a weekend at the dragstrip requires a lot of planning.  Lack of preparedness makes for a chaotic experience when things don't go perfectly. Here are five things you should always have before leaving the house for the track:

1.  Torque wrench

As much as possible, major fasteners should be torqued to proper specs. Flexplate to crank bolts, valve train, bellhousing to engine block, and countless other connections need to be properly tightened for safety and reliability. An inch lb. wrench is also a good tool to have for powerglide band adjustment!

2. Fluids

Drinking water, engine oil, and automatic transmission fluid should be in every trailer. Hopefully you won't need to drain an oil pan, but you may be able to help out a fellow racer in need that is having to check an engine bearing or swap a torque converter.  

3. Spares

A prepared racer will keep a box or cabinet in their trailer with commonly replaced items such as spark plugs, transbrake solenoids, carburetor gaskets, starters, and brake pads. A five dollar spark plug replacement will cost a lot less than a final round of a ten thousand dollar race!

4. Plastic tarp

When the storm clouds roll in, it isn't always convenient to re-trailer your car. One of those big, blue classic plastic tarps is a life saver to cover up your car, engine, or other sensitive stuff. (Just dry the thing out before re-folding it!)

5. Buy back money!

Mulligans, right?

 

 

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Thursday, April 12, 2018

Car of the Week: Terry Gilliland's 1967 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. Today, we're featuring a 1967 Chevy Camaro from owner/driver Terry Gilliland, hailing from Cullman, AL.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
My brother Ricky got me hooked when I was very young.
 
Where do you live?
Cullman, Alabama
 
When and where was your first race?
It was in 1990 at the Baileyton Good Time Dragstrip.
 
What model/year do you race now?
1967 Chevy Camaro
 
Does your car have a nickname?
The Lawman
 
What's under the hood?
434 cubic inch Chevy small block
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I have a BTE flywheel and all the internals of my powerglide transmission are BTE.
 
Why do you use BTE?
They are high quality, good, tough parts.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
I look up to my brother Ricky Gilliland. He taught me how to work on and drive drag cars.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
A top fuel dragster.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I shake my head right before I get to the starting line to focus.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Advice for First Time Racers From BTE Racing Fans

We recently asked our BTE Racing fans on Facebook to share some advice they’d give to first time racers. We got lots of solid tips, so below we share some of our favorite responses:
 
  • “Race at the level you can afford.” - Dustin Brenton
  • “Practice practice practice! Seat time is your best way to learn. Hit up some test and tunes where you get more than two or three rounds.” - Dave Heaton
  • “Leave on last yellow, do the best you can do, dial honest.” - Daron Creech
  • “Just hold it to the floor and make sure you shift.” - Doug Boulanger
  • “Relax, don't worry about the guy/girl in the other lane, their presence is not gonna make you any faster or slower, or make you cut a better or worse light. Run your own race as if you're on a solo hit.” - Greg Ryan
  • “Learn to listen.“ - Robert Anthony Lezzeni
  • “Have fun and be around friends that will support you, not use you for this hobby. Just be yourself.” - Rob Kruger
  • “Relax, concentrate, believe.” - Jake Howard
  • “Get the feel of the car and work your way into becoming a racer and safe at the same time.” - Willie Earl Mitchener, Jr.
  • “Have fun and don't take a loss or mistake to heart. Everyone makes them.” - Patrick Seely
  • “Ask the guys that are kicking butt questions! Buy the good parts! Have a plan.” - Joseph E. Johnson
  • “Focus, be alert, be safe.” - Andrew Faraci
  • “Don't do it, it's more addictive than any drug and you'll never be able to shake it!” - Neil Morley

Thanks to our wonderful BTE racing community. We appreciate you!

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, April 9, 2018

Five Tips for Dragstrip Etiquette

We all come to the drag strip to have fun, spend time with friends and family, and maybe take home some of the purse. And while it's often a challenge because of heat or the stress of the competition, we should always consider those around us to make it a good weekend for everyone.

1. Noise

Even in possibly the noisest of all pasttimes, race tracks need quiet time, too. Don't fire up and test your rev limiter at 11 PM, and make sure your generators are properly muffled—someone or their family is probably trying to sleep! Also, be respectful of pre-race religious ceremonies on Sundays and avoid cranking up before they are finished. 

2. Excessive finishline braking

In bracket racing, finish line driving is a careful ballet of judging your speed versus your opponent's, and manipulating the position of your car as you race to the end. Braking is part of that strategy, but excessive braking isn't safe. Don't slide or smoke your tires to finish line drive. It's not safe for you or the car in the other lane.

3. Driving in the pits

Keep the speed on the track. Drag strips are generally full of people walking, riding bikes or scooters, or kids playing. Speeding around the pits before or after a pass isn't safe and makes everyone uncomfortable.  

4. Ripping the throttle

Congratulations, you just won a round! Don't flaunt it to the racer in the other lane by ripping the throttle repeatedly after the finish line. 

5.  Respect facility and its staff

Keep the track clean, put your trash in the right places, be careful with spills, and most importantly: be cool to the staff. They make the races happen so we can all enjoy our passion. If you've made a mistake or lost the last round, don't take your frustration out at the ticket booth by peeling out. In the end, it's just a race!

 

 

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Thursday, April 5, 2018

Car of the Week: John Molyneux'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 a 1972 Chevy Nova from owner/driver John Molyneux, hailing from East Brunswick, NJ.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
My interest in drag racing stemmed from my first trip with my Dad to summer nationals at Raceway Park back in 1973 From that point I was a huge fan of Jungle Jim Liberman and Jungle Pam.
 
Where do you live?
East Brunswick, NJ
 
When and where was your first race?
1985 at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ
 
What model/year do you race now?
A 1972 Chevy Nova
 
Does your car have a nickname?
The Turd
 
What's under the hood?
A small block Chevy
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
BTE torque converter and BTE custom made low first gear sets
 
Why do you use BTE?
You can’t beat their products or their customer service.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
What I drive now, a 1972 Chevy Nova, just with more power.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I set the air pressure in the back tires, LOL.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Get Your Drag Racing Powerglide Transmission Ready For the Season.

Powerglide pre-season check list

Here's five important checks to make to your racing powerglide transmission before the start of season.

1. If the car has been sitting for a period of time, look for any obvious oil loss on the floor of your trailer or shop. Automatic transmission fluid may be leaking from a worn seal, bad gasket, or cracked housing. If you are using a stock case, they are more prone to crack and leak in the rear clutch section. If this is a problem, we recommend upgrading to a more reliable housing.

2. Change the automatic transmission fluid and filter. Inspect the used oil in the pan after removal. If more than normal amounts of clutch material or metallic flakes are found, it may be time to do a rebuild of the transmission to replace worn out bushings, washers, or the band. Also, when it is time to fill the transmission and converter again, we recommend using a quality full synthetic fluid or a semi-synthetic blend like this one.  

Also, don't forget to check the oil level with a quality dipstick - over- or under-filled transmissions won't perform properly.

3. To prevent the premature wearing or failure of the powerglide band, set the band adjustment to the specs as found in our band adjustment guide.  

4. Test the line pressure of the transmission in all modes of operation. Less than standard line pressures will cause clutch and band failure in high performance applications. BTE recommends low/high gears line pressures of 225-275 psi for most powerglide configurations, and we have pressure springs available for all pressures.

5. Remove the yoke from the rear of the transmission and inspect for wear. Improperly matched yokes can cause problems with transmissions using roller bearings in the tail housing. You'll need a nitrided yoke if using a roller tail housing. 

Follow those five points and your racing powerglide transmission will be ready to stage.

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Car of the Week: Newlywed Edition featuring Michelle and Jake

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. This week we are reaturing recent newlyweds Michelle and Jake from Lavon, Texas, who both got their love of racing from the fathers.
 
Racers names:
Michelle Riedel and Jake Howard
 
Location:
Lavon, Texas
 
Where did you first meet?
It all started with a Facebook friend request since we were both racers. Then we met in person at Texas Raceway in Kennedale in June of 2010 during a bracket race.
 
Who raced first?
I (Michelle) have been involved in the sport the longest. One of my dad's proudest moments was taking me to Texas Raceway the weekend after I was born due to him having a race. Being around racing since birth, it was natural that I went into junior dragsters and then onto big cars. Jake was 7 years old when he and his dad first came to the track to race, but had been to a couple of national events previously. From juniors, Jake moved onto big cars. We most definitely have our dads to thank for introducing us to this sport!
 
Which car(s) do you drive (make/model/year)?
I race my dad's 1969 Ford Mustang, and Jake races his 1976 Pontiac Trans Am.
 
What's under the hood?
My dad's Mustang is Ford-powered with a 460 engine (yes it fits!) while Jake's Trans Am is all Pontiac powered with a 440 engine.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
The Mustang has probably one of Mr. Wendell's first BTE powerglide transmissions and the Trans Am has a BTE powerglide transmission and BTE torque converter. That one took a lot of convincing but Jake will never turn back now!
 
Do you race your own individual cars, or share?
We race our individual cars, but we are always up for sharing if the need is ever there.
 
How do you race together?
I prefer electronics and Jake prefers footbraking, but we both consult each other throughout a race on what we could have done differently and how to handle different situations from start to finish.
 
How do you complement each other while racing?
We are a team and openly discuss our races with each other and allow feedback from one another to better ourselves for the next race. We both bring years of knowledge in racing to our relationship and with our different race styles, some outside opinions are sometimes helpful. It is not always losing if you're learning.
 
What does one partner do that enhances or works together with the other?
We are both pretty self-sufficient in managing our own operations at the track as we each have specific things we track and our own routines from round to round. We are also not a sit-back-and-watch-the-other-one-do-all-the-work kind of team. Whether it is helping each other with fuel and battery charger in later rounds, or thrashing on broken cars, we can be seen side by side helping one another out.
 
Do you ever race against each other?
We have raced a handful of times against each other, mostly when we were racing in the same class at the start of our relationship. We do have a few tricks up our sleeves to stay away from each other as best we can until later rounds.
 
Do you share the pot when one of you wins?
Most of the pot goes back into our operations, but we most definitely have celebratory dinners at some of our favorite restaurants!
 
What's your strategy for staying a team? How do you support each other, win or lose?
The biggest thing that you have to learn in this funny sport of ours is to give each other some space after a loss. This sport creates some of the hottest tempered individuals, and when you're paying the money that we do to race week in and week out and keep your car at the top, you don't like losing. Winning is the fun part so we make sure to share those fun times together, especially at some of the bigger events that we have attended. It is easy to keep the team aspect alive because both of our hearts are in drag racing. Win or lose, we're out there doing what we love together. We share this time with each other, our families and closest friends, and it can't get much better than that when you share your ultimate passion with the ones you love.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Car of the Week: Billy Fuller's 1972 Plymouth Duster

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 a 1972 Plymouth Duster from owner/driver Billy Fuller, Jr. hailing from Brandon, MS.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
I was born into drag racing.
 
Where do you live?
Brandon, MS
 
When and where was your first race?
My first race was in 1992 at the Hub City Dragway.
 
What model/year do you race now?
1972 Plymouth Duster
 
Does your car have a nickname?
Killer Instinct
 
What's under the hood?
A blown 580ci  Mopar.
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I have a BTE transmission and torque converter.
 
Why do you use BTE?
They have great people and great parts.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
My dad.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
A pro stock car.
Learn More
 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Car of the Week: Couples Edition featuring Steve and Nanette Place

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. This week we are featuring another one of our racing couples, Steve and Nanette Place, a husband and wife team from Springdale, Arkansas who race a 1992 Corvette.
 
Racers names:
Steve and Nanette Place
 
Location:
Springdale, Arkansas
 
Where did you first meet?
We met in a martial arts class.
 
Who raced first?
Steve raced first.
 
Which car(s) do you drive (make/model/year)?
A 1992 Jerry Bickel Pro/Mod Corvette
 
What's under the hood?
A blown & injected 548 BBC engine.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
We have a BTE Transmission and Torque Converter.
 
Do you race your own individual cars, or share?
We just race the Corvette - I drive on the track while Nanette drives down the return road.
 
How do you race together?
I am the driver while Nanette is the Co-Crew Chief and handles all the non-driving support activities including computer, parachutes, strapping Steve in and guiding him back after the burn-out. We just like to have fun and make a LOT of noise.
 
How do you complement each other while racing?
It’s all in the eye contact.  We each know what has to be done to get down the track.  Nanette knows when I need to chill and when I need to get pumped up.   She knows that I trust her with my life by her packing the parachutes.   Nanette developed two distinct ways of packing the parachutes; one method results in a nice soft opening.  The other, opens so hard it bruises my collar bones, usually after a disagreement in the pits...
 
What does one partner do that enhances or works together with the other?
I work on timing and power management issues for the track conditions while Nanette reads the plugs and appraises me of any changes that might alter the set-up.  Nanette also keeps an eye out for loose  bolts, fittings, etc.  She once heard an injector line spraying over the sound of the engine running!     
 
Do you ever race against each other?
Only to the snack bar!
 
Do you share the pot when one of you wins?
Of course.
 
What's your strategy for staying a team? How do you support each other, win or lose?
Without each other, there is no team.  We both know the car takes more than one person to run at the track.   Between her and Shinook Auto Machine Shop, we've got a pretty good thing going. We all support each other.  Win or lose, there's really no bad days at the drag strip.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Racing Movies to Enjoy Over Spring Break

Spring break is here, and whether you've got a week full of activities ahead or plan to just stay closer to home, movies are a great way to wind down and take a break with the family. So grab your popcorn and consider checking out some of these classic racing movies. At the very least, you'll hear some pretty groovy music.
 
Fast Company (1979)
 
This action-packed Canadian film tells the story of promising car racer Billy "The Kid" Brocker and his mentor Lonnie "Lucky Man" Johnson. The problem is, their corrupt team boss Phil Adamson is making plans that don't include them. Mayhem ensues as Lonnie and Billy clash with Adamson. Watch the trailer below, then head to YouTube to watch the entire movie.
 
Born To Race (2011)
Danny Krueger is sent to live with his estranged father after getting into trouble during an illegal street race that results in an accident. When he decides to race in the NHRA High School Drags, his dad, a former NASCAR racer, works with him so he can find a way to take the title away from a tough rival. Watch the trailer below then watch the full movie online here.
 

Drag Racer (1971)
A flashback to the drag racing days of the 1960's and 70's with racers Bill Schultz, John Lombardo, Norm Wilcox, and Larry Dixon making an appearance, Drag Racer was filmed on location on various West Coast racetracks. It follows the story of Mark Slade as he tries to make a name for himself in Top Fuel. Watch some scenes from the movie below, or watch the entire film over on YouTube.

For more racing movies, check out our post here.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, March 12, 2018

Car of the Week: Greg Pharr’s 1969 Mustang Fastback

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 a 1969 Mustang Fastback from owner/driver Greg Parr, hailing from New Orleans, LA.
 
When and where was your first race?
I first raced my Mustang in September of 1990.
 
What model/year do you race now?
My Mustang is a 1969 fastback that first ran 12.70's way back when at Gulfport Dragway, and over the years it has become a low 8 second beast using BTE’s Top Sportsman Powerglide transmission!
 
What's under the hood?
A 514 CID Big Block Ford.
 
How did you first learn about BTE Racing components?
I was at a race at No Problem Raceway in 2008 and I blew 2 of my home-built transmissions in one day. Well, y’all had your trailer there selling transmissions and other parts. I asked the salesman there if y’all could build a transmission that can handle the power of my Big Block Ford. Your guy said "NO PROBLEM!' so I bought two of them.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I use BTE transmissions in both my 1969 Mustang and in my 618 CID Big Block Ford powered Top Dragster with no problems at all. Our team at The Shop at Deckbar also runs your parts in all of our cars.
 
Why do you use BTE?
Since then all I have had to do is freshen up my transmissions every 250-300 runs.Ya'll make a GREAT transmission. Thanks for building a great transmission for both of my racecars!
 
Tell us about your recent race wins.
I have won three Ford Performance Association Championships (2008, 2016, and 2017), and The $10,000 Southern Big Bucks Nationals at No Problem Raceway February of 2017 and many more bracket races the last few years! Just last week I was awarded "The Most Improved Driver of the Year" for 2017.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Car of the Week: Couples Edition featuring Larry and Anne Whitty

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. We are continuing with our couples edition this month and today we are featuring Larry and Anne Whitty, a husband and wife team from Ottawa, Canada that drive a 1964 Chevy Nova II.
 
Racers' names:
Larry and Anne Whitty
 
Location:
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
 
Where did you first meet?
At a friend’s house.
 
Who raced first?
Larry raced first as a crew chief on a boat race team.
 
Which car(s) do you drive (make/model/year)?
The Whittys drive a 1964 Chevy Nova II.
 
What's under the hood?
A 355 SBC engine with a 671 TBS Blower.
 
How did you find out about BTE?
We were made aware of BTE through a lot of racers at Luskville Dragway.
 
How do you race together?
Larry drives, while Anne is the crew chief.
 
How do you complement each other while racing?
Anne keeps me in line while I’m racing and and helps dial-in the car.
 
Do you share the pot when one of you wins?
Most of the prize money goes to the race team, but Anne is part of that team, so she gets some as well.
 
What's your strategy for staying a team? How do you support each other, win or lose?
Anne has been with me 40 years and she just does so much.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, February 27, 2018

What to Expect When We Service Your Torque Converter

At BTE Racing, we use the best materials and craftsmanship available when we build our components, but the intense heat and power produced by today's race engines merit a careful check up on a regular basis. That's why we recommend  torque converter servicing on an annual basis.
 
So what can you expect when you send in your torque convertor for servicing to us?
 
Upon arrival to our facility, we drain and then cut open the torque converter to inspect for wear or damage.  With forged covers, spragless steel stators, full furnace-brazed impellers and turbines, a modern race converter is very durable. However, we take great care to inspect and replace bearings and bushings that may have worn due to excessive heat. This is also when we will consult with you about your current combination and performance expections. 
 
At this stage, we can modify or replace internal components to adjust the stall, slippage, or torque multiplication to improve your on-track performance and consistency. For example, a new stator or primary pump adjustment can bring a lazy car to life! We will use our experience and compare your vehicle to the thousands of others we've optimized, but if we have more detail and quality data, we can more accurately configure your torque converter.
 
After you approve the changes we re-check all tolerances, then re-assemble, weld, balance, and leak-test your newly freshened torque converter. Most torque converters can be quickly turned around within a few days, so we will get you back on the track as soon possible.
 
You can find out more about our facilty or reach out to us with any questions or to start the process of servicing your torque converter.

 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Car of the Week: Couples Edition featuring Greg and Dana Dillman

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. In honor of Valentine’s and the month of love, we're featuring couples who loves to race together. Meet Greg and Dana Dillman, a husband and wife team from Greenwood, Indiana.
 
Racers names:
Greg and Dana Dillman
 
Location:
Greenwood, Indiana
 
Where did you first meet?
We met in high school when I was 15 and Greg was 16. We have been together ever since!
 
Who raced first?
Greg began racing the first year that they had Junior Dragsters.
 
Which car(s) do you drive (make/model/year)?
Greg has a 1967 Chevy Nova II, and I race a 1964 Ford Fairlane.
 
What's under the hood?
Greg’s Chevy II has a 400 cubic-inch small block engine, while my Fairlane has a 302.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
We have a BTE Transmission and Torque Converter.
 
How do you race together?
Greg is the driver most often and I mostly crew chief these days.
 
How do you complement each other while racing?
We do everything together and always race. Our daughter, Layla Dillman, is even in her sixth season of Junior Dragsters.
 
What does one partner do that enhances or works together with the other?
We have always helped each other do everything and we have always worked well together. From engine maintenance to assisting each other each and every run, we make it happen!
 
Do you ever race against each other?
No, we have never raced against each other.
 
Do you share the pot when one of you wins?
Yep, all goes to the same spot!
 
What's your strategy for staying a team? How do you support each other, win or lose?
We try to stay positive and make sure that we are always having fun and enjoying our time while at the track.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Car of the Week: Valentine's Edition Featuring Afton and Joe Swanson

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, in honor of Valentine’s, we're featuring a couple who loves to race together. Meet Afton and Joe Swanson, a husband and wife drag racing team from Denver, Iowa.
 
Racers names:
Afton and Joe Swanson
 
Location:
Denver, Iowa
 
Where did you first meet?
We both started racing at Humboldt County Dragway in Humboldt, Iowa but had never raced there at the same time. We had a mutual racing friend who introduced us. We met in person for the first time in November 2010.
 
Who raced first?
Afton started racing Junior Dragsters in 2000, and Joe started racing his street motorcycle in 2009.
 
Which car(s) do you drive?
Afton’s car is a 2015 Spitzer Top Dragster.  Joe is building a 1997 Chevy S10 drag truck, which we hope to have on track this season.
 
What's under the hood?
Afton’s dragster has a 540 cubic inch Big Block Chevy with 14-71 supercharger while Joe’s truck has a 434 cubic inch Small Block Chevy.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
We use BTE torque converter and BTE internal transmission parts. We are also a dealer of BTE products through our new business venture, Swanson Performance.
 
Do you race your own individual cars, or share?
Afton races the Top Dragster. When Joe’s truck is done he will race in Super Street and we will both race the truck in Super Pro and Pro at the local bracket races.
 
How do you race together?
We follow the same process every time we make a pass, whether it’s a qualifying run or a final round. By doing everything the same, we develop a routine and can maintain the same level of performance throughout the event.
 
How do you complement each other while racing?
Joe has developed a talent for tuning. He likes to try new methods and over the past few years he has fine-tuned Afton’s Top Dragster to be one of the fastest in the country. We work well as a team (in racing and business) because we have complementary talents.
 
What does one partner do that enhances or works together with the other?
After every run, Joe pulls the Race Pak and determines if any changes to our tune up are needed. Afton records the weather, packs the parachutes, charges the car, and refuels. Most of the time, no major changes need to be done, but if there are we have our tools organized and ready. Afton pulls the spark plugs and valve covers while Joe investigates and diagnoses any issues in the motor.
 
Do you ever race against each other?
Since we have both raced very different vehicles, we have never made an elimination pass together, but we have made three test and tune passes and dialed in like a bracket race. Afton drove her dragster and Joe drove his motorcycle. Afton won twice and Joe won once.
 
Do you share the pot when one of you wins?
We put all the winnings back into racing; it pays for our fuel to keep us going to the races throughout the season. Last year when we won the Topeka Nationals, we put the winnings into a new shop for our business, Swanson Performance.
 
What's your strategy for staying a team? How do you support each other, win or lose?
We can’t do this without each other, so everything we do is a team effort. When we win, we look at what went well and add that to our routine every week. If we lose, we look at what we didn’t do right and take that out of our routine.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Bryan Robinson Transitions to Technical Consultant for BTE

When it is time for one of our team members to move to new opportunities, we wish them greater success but we will also miss them, and that’s especially true for salesman Bryan Robinson, who’s been with us since January 2004. After more than a decade helping customers create truly fast racing machines, Bryan’s trading in his sales and racing specialist title for a well-deserved new moniker: outside Racing and Technical Consultant. In honor of this new change and his many years of service to BTE and our customers, we knew it was necessary to give Bryan his own post.
 
President Brandon Barrentine on a trip to California with Bryan and his family for the final race of his 2003 NHRA Super Gas world championship season.
 
Before he started at BTE, Bryan was a prolific young race driver. His father was a customer and friend of the company for many years, and Bryan bonded with our President Brandon Barrentine on a trip to California together for the final race of his 2003 NHRA Super Gas world championship season. (He and Brandon also competed locally in bracket racing, where Brandon was 0-7 against Bryan when they lined up!)
 
Bryan was a prolific young race driver even before he started at BTE. Bryan has raced NHRA Super Gas, Super Comp, Stock, and Top Dragster in addition to two decades of bracket racing.
 
Over the years, Bryan has raced NHRA Super Gas, Super Comp, Stock, and Top Dragster in addition to two decades of bracket racing. He remains one of the top minds in sportsman racing in the world, and has used his knowledge and skills to help many customers win their own championships over the years. In addition to his 2003 national championship, he's won a huge list of "big money" bracket races, winning some purses as high as $50,000. Bryan designed and planned configuration of our 18-wheeler that we toured across the country from 2004-2006, building product displays, organizing schedules, and attending the events in competition and as a representative of BTE.
 
Bryan was instrumental in developing BTE’s wide catalog of torque converter configurations, and more importantly, developing our close relationship with the best drag racers in the world.
 
He helped us stay steady through the recession, and built relationships with some of our most important customers. We also commend him for making his daily commute from Iuka, MS to BTE each day for 14 years (~90 miles each way). That comes out to about 380 DAYS of driving!
 
Bryan was instrumental in developing BTE’s wide catalog of torque converter configurations, and more importantly, developing our close relationship with the best drag racers in the world. His reputation for prescribing the correct torque converter is among the best in the entire industry.
 
Most importantly, Bryan was a force of consistency and reliability in our daily lives. His punctuality, professionalism, and kindness set the standard for what BTE is known for today. Bryan embodies our maxim, “Built by racers in Mississippi.” He represented the character of BTE at racetracks, trade shows, and over the phone for the entirety of his 14 years with us.
 
 
We’re thrilled to see how Bryan will thrive in his new career in the RV business and his continued connection to BTE as our outside Racing and Technical Consultant.
 
Thank you, Bryan!
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, February 9, 2018

Car of the Week: Scott Compton's 1967 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. Today, we're featuring Indiana's Scott Compton from 1967 Camaro.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
I've always been into performance cars and luckily decided to take it to the track.
 
Where do you live?
Indiana
 
When and where was your first race?
My first on-track race was at the Bunker Hill Dragstrip in the late 80s early 90s on a motorcycle.
 
What model/year do you race now?
I raced a lot on the streets in the mid- to late 80s in everything from Camaros to Chevelles, Trans Ams to Chevy II Novas and even a Buick Regal. I now race a '67 Camaro full tube chassis car.
 
What's under the hood?
A 615 c.i. BBC with a BTE Top Sportsman Powerglide.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I decided to use a BTE transmission.
 
Why do you use BTE?
I chose BTE because of the great reputation and good prices.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
I would love to drive a Pro Mod or Top Sportsman car.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
My pre-race ritual is a deep breath and a silent prayer.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Car of the Week: Paul Hodge's 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 Paul Hodge's 1970 Chevy Nova.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
Joel Moore was my neighbor when I was young and he raced. I was hooked by him.
 
Where do you live?
I currently live on Lake Bonham, in Bonham, Texas.
 
When and where was your first race?
My first race was at Green Valley Raceway.
 
What model/year do you race now?
My car is a 1970 Chevrolet Nova.
 
Does your car have a nickname?
Shouldawouldacoulda.
 
What's under the hood?
Sunset 615 ci engine.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
 
Why do you use BTE?
BTE had the most competitive price.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
My friend Keith Hall.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
If money weren't an object, I would keep what I have and make it nicer.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
My pre-race ritual is a deep breath and silent prayer.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Car of the Week: Eric Carnes' 32 Bantum Altered 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. Today, we're featuring a 32 Bantum Altered roadster from owner Eric Carnes of Eastpointe, MI.

How did you get into drag racing?
I got into drag racing when my dad took me to my first race in the 1970s at Detroit Dragway. I was hooked!
 
When and where was your first race?
My first car was a '69 GTO. I raced it the first time at Detroit Dragway in 1980, and that's when I was really hooked, because I won my first trophy.
 
What model/year do you race now?
I currently have a 32 Bantum Altered roadster.
 
Does your car have a nickname?
SMOKIN!  
 
What's under the hood?
It has a 572 BBC single four barrel carb.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Two-speed powerglide, with a 9-inch BTE converter, 6200 stall. Also runs with a trans-brake.
 
Why do you use BTE?
I have been using the BTE converter since I built the car in 2008. Reliability and consistency are important to me, and this converter rocks! The car runs 7.70's 168 MPH.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
John Force would probably be the person I look up to. That's why I would like to make a pass in a Top Fuel Funny Car!

 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, January 24, 2018

News From the BTE Family: Eddie Stacks Moves From Manufacturing To Sales

Even during the coldest months of the year (and some downtime due to inclement weather), growth and change are in full effect at our BTE office. 
It’s the perfect time to honor longtime employee Eddie Stacks, who celebrates a 20-year work anniversary with us in May 2018 and moves from manufacturing to sales this week.
 
As a longtime advocate and racing enthusiast, Eddie was destined to thrive in the industry. He grew up building race cars and show cars with his father, and the racing bug stayed with him ever since. Today, he continues to build race and show cars (like the beauty in the cover photo and the car below), and organizes car shows in North Mississippi. 
 
 
At 16 years old, he started working for another performance transmission company where he learned the ropes. Since starting at BTE in 1998, he's built every valve body, solenoid, and many of the planetary gear sets and clutch drums we’ve sold. Eddie’s built a career working on his passion, and we know BTE and our customers are better for it. 
 
He brings a lifetime of experience in product manufacturing, racing, car building, and troubleshooting to our sales/tech team. Starting this week,you’ll have the privilege of speaking to Eddie and benefiting from his expertise when you call us on the phone.
 
Whether you're calling to ask about servicing a part, or you're in the market for a new transmission, we know Eddie will treat you right. Give us a call, say hi to Eddie, and let us optimize your car's performance with over 20 years of experience.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, January 22, 2018

Car of the Week: Dan Simmerly and Ricky Richardson's 1962 Pontiac Catalina Chassis

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 a 1962 Pontiac Catalina Chassis car from owner/driver Dan Simmerly and co-owner Ricky Richardson, hailing from Bourbon, MO.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
I started drag racing on the street when I was 14, in 1972. I’m 59 years old now.
 
When and where was your first race?
My first race on a drag strip was Sullivan Raceway in Sullivan, MO in 1974.
 
What model/year do you race now?
We now have a 1962 Pontiac Catalina Chassis car, steel top and rear quarters.
 
Does your car have a nickname?
“Fast Cat”
 
What's under the hood?
This year we upgraded to a BBC 632 Alcohol Injected 12-1300 HP NA + fogger system. Last year we ran an All Alum BBC 580 ci on pump gas with Nitrous.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
We run a BTE Sportsman Powerglide with a 10” BTE converter.
 
Why do you use BTE?
I did the research on transmissions and converters and talked with several other racing friends who run BTE products. We decided BTE was the toughest and best choice for our car.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
Ron Capps
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
Outlaw Pro Mod
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I always walk the first 100 feet of the track and check both lanes first thing, no matter what track or how many times I’ve been there.
 
New plans for this year?
This year we are concentrating on mostly No Prep, Grudge/Heads up racing rather than bracket racing.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2018 Race Series: BTE Title Sponsored King of the Coast

Now in its 13th year, the King of the Coast bracket racing series at Gulfport Dragway kicks off again in February for another exciting year. BTE is a proud title sponsor of the series, and we'll be rooting on racers in Gulfport, Mississippi throughout the year.
 
We'll also be supporting the series with our "BTE Bonus," which gives racers that elect to participate a chance to win our Top Sportsman Transmission in the Electronics and Footbrake classes for the 2018 Race Season. The participating racer that finishes the highest in the 2018 KOC Points Championship will earn the BTE Bonus and the BTE Top Sportsman Transmission. 

The BTE Bonus is an addition to the current KOC Series Awards Program. The 2018 season will now have three components, listed below.

Component 1
Electronics and Footbrake Points Champion: 2019 KOC Gold Card to include Buy Backs + $1000 + BTE KOC Points Champion Jacket + BTE KOC Series Trophy Check 
Electronics and Footbrake Points Runner Up: FREE Buybacks to ALL 2019 KOC Races
 
Component 2
BTE Tournament of Champions 
Winner: BTE Top Sportsman Transmission + KOC Commemorative Tournament of Champions Trophy from Ezell Custom Painting
Runner Up: BTE $1,000 Shopping Spree towards BTE Manufactured Products
Semi1: BTE Torque Converter + Drum of Renegade Methanol
Semi 2: 2018 KOC Weekend Entry + Moser Engineering Gift Certificate for set of axles
 
Component 3
BTE Bonus-BTE Top Sportsman Transmission + Bonus Cash.
Racers that elect to participate in the BTE Bonus must participate in the BTE KOC Series Event decal and display decal on their car once purchased. Decal must be purchased no later than the third event.
 
The cost of the KOC Series Event decal will be as follows:
$10 if decal is purchased prior to 1st Rd of Event 1.
$15 if decal is purchased at Event 1 during 1st Rd or after.
$20 if decal is purchased after Event 1.
$25 if decal is purchased after Event 2.
 
The cost to produce the BTE KOC Series Event Decal is $5. All monies collected over the cost to the manufacturer for the decal will be awarded to the winner of the BTE Bonus Winner in “Bonus Cash” in Electronics and Footbrake. The KOC will publish a list of participating racers and the amount of monies collected for the BTE Bonus Program.
 
Mark your calendars with these dates!
 
February 16-18: Season opener
May 4-6: King of the Coast banquet
June 1-3: BTE Tournament of Champions
September 21-23: Battle for the Golden Check
November 2-4: Junior Dragster trophy Nationals
November 30-December 2: BTE Championship Weeked and Battle for the Golden Check (
 
For more information, follow the King of the Coast Facebook page, and check out the Gulfport Dragway website for scheduling.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Car of the Week: Tim Richard's 2010 Joe Monden Monoshock Top 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. Today, we're featuring Tim Richard and his 2010 Joe Monden Monoshock Top Dragster. Tim hails from from Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada.

How did you get into drag racing?
I started racing in 1989. A friend took me to drag race and after that, I was hooked. 
 
Where was your first race?
I started at my home track, the Gimli Motorsports Park in Manitoba, Canada.
 
What model/year do you race now?
My car is a 2010 Joe Monden Monoshock Top Dragster.
 
What's under the hood?
My car is powered by a 565 Big Block Chevy with a F-2 Procharger. All are maintained by Dragmart Performance in Winnipeg.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I have a 10-inch converter and a Top Dragster Shorty Powerglide from BTE.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
One of my favorite racers is Jeg Coughlin.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
If money were no object, I think Top Sportsman and Top Dragster would be my wish.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Car of the Week: Afton Swanson's 2015 Spitzer Top 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. Today, we're featuring Afton Swanson from Denver, Iowa's 2015 Spitzer Top Dragster.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
My dad took me to a race track when I was 8 years old and we rented a junior dragster for me to drive. I enjoyed it so much that I got my own juinor dragster for Christmas that year. I raced juniors until I was 16, then moved into a full-sized dragster and raced in our local Super Pro weekend bracket races. In 2013 my dad retired, so I continued on my own into the Top Dragster category. I met my husband, Joe, through drag racing. He raced drag bikes at the same drag strip where I first got my start (Humboldt County Dragway). We became a team in 2014 and began traveling throughout the Midwest for my Top Dragster races. One of the things that makes us unique is that we are the youngest team in drag racing competing at this level. I am 26 and Joe is 28; this is our 4th season in the Top Dragster category. In 2018, Joe will also be racing a car of his own that he built from the ground up, a Chevy S10 drag truck that he will be driving in the Super Street category.
 
When and where was your first race?
My first race ever was in June 2000 at Humboldt County Dragway in Humboldt, Iowa. I raced my junior dragster. 
 
What model/year do you race now?
2015 Spitzer Top Dragster
 
What's under the hood?
540 cubic inch Big Block Chevy with 14-71 supercharger
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I bought my first BTE torque converter this spring, and at my first race out with the converter I won the Topeka nationals! I am buying a second converter this winter to have as a spare, and will also buy a converter and transmission for Joe’s Super Street S10. (The transmission I currently have is an old Transmission Specialties, which I am going to replace with a new BTE Top Dragster transmission as soon as my budget allows.)
 
Why do you use BTE?
I was planning to step up my racing program this year to be able to run at the class maximum, 6.00. I knew I needed to make some changes in my setup to be able to put that kind of power to the ground. We did a lot of research into different brands before we made the decision to switch to BTE. We were extremely impressed with our results; right out of the box we found that my reaction times became much more consistent, and the converter slip was drastically reduced. We were able to tune the car up and run consistent 6.00s and dipped into the 5.90s on several occasions. The converter has been reliable all season and has handled all the power we have thrown at it, which is exactly what you need in a class like Top Dragster.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
Definitely Shirley Muldowney. If she had not been bold and stood up for her right to drive a race car, there’s a good chance that myself and other women would never have had the opportunity to pursue drag racing.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
I can’t decide between a Top Alcohol Dragster or a Pro Mod, so if money were no object I would have both. I’m a bracket racer at heart though, so I will always keep my Top Dragster, no matter how far my racing career takes me. My long term racing goal is to have a Top Dragster and a Top Sportsman car. Then Joe and I will be able to trade cars at different events so we can each run the cars in both classes.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
At the trailer, I usually clean the car and wipe down the motor and wheels. I think it is my way of keeping my mind occupied between rounds so I don’t get nervous. In the lanes, I go around and make sure fasteners and nuts are tight. If I know my car is in good, working order it keeps me calm and I feel more confident against my opponent.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Racing Movies to Enjoy During Holiday Downtime

The holidays are a great time to spend with friends and family, but sometimes you just need to veg out on the couch, eat leftovers, and watch a good film (or two). For the winter doldrums and holiday post-ham stomach settling, we've rounded up some great racing movies that span decades (some serious, some funny, all entertaining).
 
Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
Though it wasn't a commercial success when it came out, this movie about two drag racers—James Taylor and Dennis WIlson play a driver and mechanic, respectively—taking their 1955 Chevrolet 150 two-door sedan across the country later became a cult favorite. A portion of the movie was filmed at the Lakeland International Raceway in Lakeland, TN, and you can even spot Bill Taylor in a few scenes! Watch the trailer below, and view the full movie on Vimeo (in two parts).

Funny Car Summer (1973)
Like most amateur drag racers, the movie's protagonist Jim Dunn doesn't get to spend all of his time racing; his day job as an Orange County, California firefighter keeps him and his family afloat. But summertime gives Dunn and his family the opportunity to travel around the Western U.S. for months, competing in various races with a trailer and funny-looking dragster in tow. Watch the preview here, and the full movie on YouTube.

 
Heart Like a Wheel (1983)
Based on the true story of driver Shirley Muldowney (played by Bonnie Bedelia), the movie chronicles her success from housewife to NHRA champion, with all of the drama you'd expect in a biographical film about the first professional racecar driver. See the trailer below, and watch the full movie on CartoonHD.

Snake and Mongoose (2013)
The movie based on the rivalry between racing legends Don "The Snake" Prudhomme and Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen traces their relationship from the early days of their friendship to their partnership with Hot Wheels and up to McEwen's 1978 Indy win. The film includes actual NHRA archival footage from their races in the '60s and '70s, and cameos from the real Don and Tom, too. Watch it on Google Play, YouTube, or Vudu.

 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, December 21, 2017