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

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

April of 1996 at Mid America Raceway in Wentzville, MO

What model/year do you race now?

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

What's under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

20+ years old BTE converter and 1.80 straight cut planetaries

Why do you use BTE?

Reliability 

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

What I have now. 

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

What model/year do you race now?

I drive a 1974 Chevrolet Vega trunk car.

Does your car have a nickname?

“Born Ugly”

What's under the hood?

SBC 383

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

A stall converter and transmission

Why do you use BTE?

Because it is the best!

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

My ‘ole Vega!

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Saturday, March 11, 2017

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

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

BTE racing

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

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

What model/year do you race now?

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

Does your car have a nickname?

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

What's under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

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

Why do you use BTE?

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

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, March 8, 2017

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

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

How did you get into drag racing? 

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

When and where was your first race? 

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

What model/year do you race now?

A 1993 Fox body Ford Mustang 

Does your car have a nickname? 

“The black car”

What's under the hood? 

545 BBF

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

All transmission internals, torque converter and trans shield

Why do you use BTE? 

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

Someone you look up to in racing? 

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

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

The car I have now!

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, March 1, 2017

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

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

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

What model/year do you race now?

A 1927 Suncoast Roadster

Does your car have a nickname?

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

What's under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

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

Why do you use BTE?

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

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

Knoxville Dragway in August 2004

What model/year do you race now?

2006 DFS Undercover  245''

Does your car have a nickname?

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

Whats under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

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

Why do you use BTE?

Track support, Bryan has been great to deal with.

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, February 15, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

What's under the hood?
302 Ford

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

Someone you look up to in racing?
The older guys

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, February 8, 2017

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

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

Normal transbrake operation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Monday, February 6, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, February 2, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Someone you look up to in racing?
John Force

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, January 24, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Does your car have a nickname?
“Great White”

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, January 18, 2017

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

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

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

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

What model/year do you race now?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, January 4, 2017

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

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

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

When and where was your first race?
Lapeer Dragway

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

Does your car have a nickname?
Underdog

What's under the hood?
632 Big Chief motor

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

Someone you look up to in racing?
John Force

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, December 27, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Monday, December 19, 2016

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

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

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

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

Does your car have a nickname?
Gertrude

What's under the hood?
406 small block Chevy

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, December 13, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why do you use BTE?
Good products and good service

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, November 2, 2016

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

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

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

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

Does your car have a nickname?
“Money Maker”

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

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, October 26, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

What's under the hood?
434 small block Chevy

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

Why do you use BTE?
Quality, availability and price

Someone you look up to in racing?
Tim Wilkerson

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, October 18, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Tuesday, October 18, 2016

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

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

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

What model/year do you race now?

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

Does your car have a nickname?

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

What's under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

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

Why do you use BTE?

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

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Car of the Week: Cole Cousins' 1968 Camaro

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

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

What model/year do you race now?

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

Does your car have a nickname?

“Ole Blue”

What's under the hood?

355 SBC with Brodix Aluminum Heads

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

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

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, October 5, 2016

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

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

My first race was in 1969. 

What model/year do you race now?

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

Does your car have a nickname?

We call the Vega our “Little Hot Rod.”

What's under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

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

Why do you use BTE?

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

Someone you look up to in racing?

I have always followed Bill Jenkins, The Grump.

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

Before I race, I always use a practice tree.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

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

When and where was your first race?

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

What model/year do you race now?

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

Does your car have a nickname?

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

What's under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

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

Why do you use BTE?

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

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Car of the Week: Sean Thomas' 1978 Chevy Malibu

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

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

What model/year do you race now?

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

What's under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

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

Why do you use BTE?

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

Someone you look up to in racing?

Ron Capps is the man!

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, September 7, 2016

BTE Tech Tips: How to Adjust Your Powerglide Band

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

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

The powerglide band should be adjusted to the following specs:

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

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

See also:

BTE Kevlar Powerglide Band

BTE Wide Powerglide Band

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Car of the Week: Rob Thomas' 1969 Oldsmobile 442

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

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

What model/year do you race now?

1969 Oldsmobile 442. A street /strip car.

Does your car have a nickname?

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

What's under the hood?

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

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, August 31, 2016

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

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

A street race, and the rest is history.

What model/year do you race now?

1955 Chevy Bel Air Pro Street

Does your car have a nickname?

"Killer"

What's under the hood?

Chevy 502 (Gen 6)

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

Flexplate

Someone you look up to in racing?

John Force

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

Pray I win and stay safe.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, August 23, 2016

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

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

Old Time Drags in Ashcroft, British Columbia in 2000

What model/year do you race now?

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

Does your car have a nickname?

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

What's under the hood?

SBF 347w 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

I run a BTE 10" street / strip torque converter

Why do you use BTE?

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

Someone you look up to in racing?

F1 Racer Niki Lauda was pretty admirable.

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, August 15, 2016

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

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

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

What model/year do you race now?

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

What’s under the hood?

455 Buick motor

Does your car have a nickname?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

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

Why do you use BTE?

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

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

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

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Car of the Week: Darrell Holstion's 1965 Chevy II

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Darrell Holstion of  West Virginia and his 1965 Chevy II.

How did you get into drag racing?

My dad and grandfather did it, so it was in my blood to drive a race car.

When and where was your first race?

2007 at Kanawha Valley Dragway

What model/year do you race now?

1965 Chevy II

What's under the hood?

406 SBC backed with a powerglide

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

Torque converter

Why do you use BTE?

Because they're the best!

Someone you look up to in racing?

My dad

If money were no object, what would you drive?

Prostock

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

I put my right shoulder belt on first, then my lap belts, then my crotch belt. After that, I put my left shoulder belt on. I put my right glove on before my left as well.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Car of the Week: Jerry Spearn's 1962 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Jerry Spearn of Misbehavin Motorsports and his 1962 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia from Phoenix, AZ.

How did you get into drag racing?

I was exposed to hot rods at a very early age. (My uncle built a ’57 Chevy street rod when I was 10.) During high school, I took auto shop and built a very fast VW. 

When and where was your first race?

I started street racing in 1981.

What model/year do you race now?

1962 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

Does your car have a nickname?

GhiaMonster

What's under the hood?

2332cc turbo charged type 1 VW motor (142 CI making 612 crankshaft HP), best ET to date is 9.20 @ 152mph

Someone you look up to in racing?

Cory McClenathan

If money were no object, what would you drive?

A ProMod VW, or an X275 car

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

I always kiss my wife before rolling out of the staging lanes.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Car of the Week: Thomas Grover's 1965 Hillman Husky

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Thomas Grover and his 1967 Hillman Husky from Terre Haute, IN.

How did you get into drag racing?

Started hanging out with my dad at the track when he raced. He let me make a couple of passes in his truck. Then he asked me if I'd like to get a car going for me to race. 

When and where was your first race?

June 4th, 2016 - it was the Bernie Mann Memorial Race. The car we built used to belong to him.

What model/year do you race now?

1965 Hillman Husky 

Does your car have a nickname?

The Husky Hauler 

What's under the hood?

A 327 SBC with a lot of stuff we had laying around the shop. 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

10-inch street/strip converter 

Why do you use BTE?

This is the third car in the family with a BTE converter, we know they work very well and will hold up.

Someone you look up to in racing?

My dad, Tom Grover. 

If money were no object, what would you drive?

1967 Shelby GT 500

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

After only a few weeks of racing, I don't have any yet.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Car of the Week: Niquez Albritton's 1968 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, it’s all about Niquez Albritton and his 1968 Chevy Nova from Snow Hill, NC.

How did you get into drag racing?

My grandfather has been racing since the late 70s, and it’s in my blood.

When and where was your first race?

Carolina Powerfest at Fayetteville Motorsports Park, a 3 day event

What model/year do you race now?

1968 Chevrolet Nova

Does your car have a nickname?

FrankeNova

What's under the hood?

454 Big Block Chevy, Cast Iron Oval Port Heads, Venolia Pistons, Edlebrock Intake System, Comp Cams Internals

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

Currently using a BTE 9" race converter

Someone you look up to in racing?

I look up to a great bracket racer by the name of Johnny Albritton (my grandfather).

If money were no object, what would you drive?

Larry Larson 66" Nova Drag Week Car

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

Sit in my car, just close my eyes and read my God speed prayer sticker.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Car of the Week: Dale Burrow's 1975 Chevrolet Monza

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Dale Burrow and his 1975 Chevrolet Monza from Forney, TX

How did you get into drag racing?

My dad gave me the bug. Back in the day he had a ’55 Chevy he'd drive to the track and race. My wife had a lot to do with it as well. She’s supportive of both myself and my son on the racetrack.

When and where was your first race?

I started in 1993 at Texas Raceway in a street/strip ’71 Camaro.

What model/year do you race now?

I just traded my dragster for a ’75 Chevrolet Monza (love my doors).

Does your car have a nickname?

It really depends on what kind of night I had at the track. 

What's under the hood?

Small block 427 making 805 HP

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

An 8" torque converter and transmission assembled by Wendell Dunaway with nothing but BTE components.

Why do you use BTE?

Because you guys are awesome! Excellent customer service, high quality pieces, competitive pricing. I have never had a BTE part failure in over 20 years.

Someone you look up to in racing?

Pros: Would have to be Bob Glidden and Eddie Hill. Amateur: If my dad were still racing, it’d be him but I’d have to say Ray Dunaway. He's not as young as he used to be, but you can’t tell it watching him at the track. He loves being out there racing, and you don’t have to watch him long to figure that out. 

If money were no object, what would you drive?

All I know is bracket racing, but I’d certainly jump at the chance to race in Pro Stock.

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

After I’m pre-staged, I'll take a deep breath and hold it for just a second and exhale, then I stage.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, June 20, 2016

Car of the Week: Mike Lourash's 1966 Ford Falcon

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Mike Lourash and his 1966 Ford Falcon from Crawfordsville, IN

How did you get into drag racing?

My friend in high school was going to a local track, and I went to watch and got hooked.  

When and where was your first race?

1978, Motion Raceway in Assumption, Illinois  

What model/year do you race now?

1966 Ford Falcon  

Does your car have a nickname?

Not really, I call it a lot of things.

What's under the hood?

408ci Ford Stroker 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

Bracket brake, all seals, clutches and band. Most recently I installed a 1.80 straight cut planetary

Why do you use BTE?

Great parts, affordable prices and great technical support.  

Someone you look up to in racing?

No one person, there are a lot of good role models out there in bracket racing.  

If money were no object, what would you drive?

Probably the same car as now, I would just race a lot more places.

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

Get to the track early and hang out with good people.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, June 13, 2016

Car of the Week: Rickie Sampey's 1974 Chevy Vega

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Rickie Sampey and his '74 Chevy Vega from Luling, Louisiana

How did you get into drag racing?

Drag racing has been in my family for as long as I can remember. My dad was drag racing motorcycles when I was born. My sister is a three-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle World champion. I had been down the 1/4 mile a few times on a motorcycle and have been crew chiefing my two sons in Jr Dragsters for the past 5 years. The Vega is my first race car.  

When and where was your first race?

My first race was 32 years ago, I was 18 and ran my Uncle Chris Dufrene's drag bike at Gulfport Dragway. I was runner up that day. My first race in the Vega was just a few weeks ago, also at Gulfport Dragway.  

What model/year do you race now?

I race a 1974 tube chassis, steel body Chevy Vega.  

Does your car have a nickname?

My Vega does not have a nickname, yet, although Monte Caldarelli calls it the "Lil Red Vega." 

What's under the hood?

Phil’s Performance 383 SBC 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

Torque converter  

Why do you use BTE?

Reliability, consistency  

Someone you look up to in racing?

I have so many: Angelle Sampey Drago, David Sampey, Phil Guidry, Antron Brown, George Bryce, Chris Dufrene, Stevie Ray Brightville  

If money were no object, what would you drive?

A funny car tuned by Allen Johnson

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

I haven't developed a pre-race ritual yet, but I do concentrate on keeping my heat beat at a resting rate throughout my run.  #fitbit

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Car of the Week: Allen Wood's 1980 Chevy Malibu Wagon

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Allen Wood from Clarksville, TN and his 1980 Chevy Malibu Wagon. 

When and where was your first race?

I started racing in the early 90s.

What model/year do you race now?

A 1980 Chevy Malibu wagon

Does your car have a nickname?

It’s been called many names. “Tha Creeper,” “Slugo,” and “Murder Wagon.” 

What's under the hood?

The factory drive train. It’s a 305 cubic inch Chevy, Turbo 350 Transmission. It runs 10.40's at 68 mph in 1/8th. I have to deep stage it's so slow off the line. I’m sure a BTE converter would fix that problem!

Someone you look up to in racing?

I look up to a lot of different racers and try to gain knowledge from them.

If money were no object, what would you drive?

I would love to drive super gas if money was no object.

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

I never eat during the races.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Car of the Week: Weston Titsworth's 2000 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, it’s all about Weston Titsworth from Benton, KY and his 2000 Chevy Camaro.


How did you get into drag racing? 

I got into drag racing when my father bought a car and we started going as a family.

When and where was your first race? 

My first race was at Beacon Dragway in Paducah, KY. 

What model/year do you race now? 

2000 Chevy Camaro 

What's under the hood? 

It has a 430 cubic inch LS engine on alky. 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

I have converter and glide

Why do you use BTE? 

Great customer service and products 

Someone you look up to in racing? 

Lucas Walker and Ronnie and Jake Overstreet 

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

I'd stick with the car I have now, because what I have with my dad is worth everything.

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

My pre-race ritual is giving “knucks” to my dad and wife and telling them I love them, then thanking God for our troops, because without them I might not be doing what I love.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Car of the Week: Erek Hallmark's 1990 Chevrolet S10

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Erek Hallmark from Baileyton, AL and his 1990 Chevrolet S10.

How did you get into drag racing? 

My family has been into racing all my life. I got my start in an 11-second pick-up truck and the addiction started from there. 

When and where was your first race? 

Baileyton Good Time Dragstrip in Baileyton, AL 

What model/year do you race now? 

1990 S10 

Does your car have a nickname? 

Orange Crush 

What's under the hood? 

400 SBC 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

BTE shifter 

Why do you use BTE? 

Consistency and a great product 

Someone you look up to in racing? 

The one and only Adam Davis 

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

1969 Camaro 

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

Sit and listen to some pump-up music and practice on the practice tree.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Car of the Week: Steve Hart's 1988 Ford Ranger

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Steve Hart from Topeka, KS and his 1988 Ford Ranger.


How did you get into drag racing? 

I started racing with my family. Dad used to race in the 70s and early 80s. It’s been in my blood from then on. 

When and where was your first race? 

My first race was in 2010. I had just bought my truck and ran the trophy class to get started and finished second in points that year. 

What model/year do you race now? 

A 1988 Ford Ranger. I love this body style, you don’t see a bunch of them. 

Does your car have a nickname? 

I call it the Danger Ranger. 

What's under the hood? 

I just bought a BTE C4 trans with brake. I’m getting ready to run super street for my first time. 

Why do you use BTE? 

I chose BTE because I see many super comp guys use them and they get ran pretty hard all year. I wanted to have confidence in my equipment when I need it. 

Someone you look up to in racing? 

I look up to a group and not just one person: the sportsman racer. Whether you have an open trailer or a million dollar one, it’s the passion for the sport that keeps it alive and fun. The heart and soul of drag racing is the sportsman racer. 

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

If I had deep pockets, I’d build a doorslammer super comp car.  

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

I don’t have a pre-race ritual other than trying to stop giggling before the green light hits.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Car of the Week: Robert Anderson's 1963 Corvette

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Robert Anderson from Cassatt, SC and his 1963 Corvette.       

How did you get into drag racing? 

My dad raced in the late 60s, early 70s so racing is in my blood. I started in 1995 after going with some friends and got hooked. 

When and where was your first race? 

My first race was at a little track called little Darlington and I was racing a '75 Monza. A lot has changed since then. 

What model/year do you race now? 

I now have a '63 Corvette.  

What's under the hood? 

461 ci SBC, 12-degree Alan Johnson heads, Hogan intake that runs 5.20's (all motor)  

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

BTE converter and powerglide 

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

A pro stock. That would be fun.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Car of the Week: Layne Robertson's 1962 Mercury Meteor

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Layne Robertson from Litchfield, MN and his 1962 Mercury Meteor.       


How did you get into drag racing? 

I got into racing through a friend, Mike and his son, Justin.  They showed me the ropes, I went through tech, raced and was hooked! 

When and where was your first race? 

My first race was at Grove Creek Raceway, Grove City, Minnesota in 1998. 

What model/year do you race now? 

I race a 1962 Mercury Meteor. 

What's under the hood? 

347 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

BTE converter and transmission 

Why do you use BTE? 

BTE was recommended by other racers. 

Someone you look up to in racing? 

I look up to Roger Meyer, my friend who always bails me out when I'm having trouble. 

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

I would drive the same car, even if money was no object. 

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

My pre-race ritual is to make a few laps at the end of the track and do a first to second shift.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Car of the Week: Greg Coats' 1969 Chevelle Malibu

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Greg Coats from Petal, MS and his 1969 Chevelle Malibu.   

How did you get into drag racing?  

I grew up around uncles, cousins, and friends that would race anything, so I guess it's in my blood. 

When and where was your first race?  

Hub City Dragway, sometime around 1991 in a bone stock '89 Camaro. 

What model/year do you race now? 

1969 Chevelle Malibu 

Does your car have a nickname? 

Every time we win a race, I pat it on the dash right before turning off the track onto the return road, and tell the "Ol' Girl" she did good. So, I guess "Ol' Girl" is the car's nickname. 

What's under the hood? 

10:1 496 with Dart Heads machined by Russ Miley Racing Engines, assembled in Greasy's Garage by me and Russ Ford. Engine has pushed this 3900 pound car to a 6.63 @ 102, 1.42 60' time. 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

Loads of BTE parts in my powerglide- pro transbrake, pan, clutches, input shaft, etc. 

Why do you use BTE? 

Fast shipping and the great parts- the results speak for themselves! 

Someone you look up to in racing? 

The late, great Curtis Moffett. Curtis never had the best (far from it) cars- probably never even owned a new set of slicks. But Curtis was one of the best racers I've ever met, very competitive, and a super nice guy whether he won or lost. He proved that you don't need the latest trick of week part to win races, and did everything on his cars himself. He was one of the last of a dying breed. 

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

The same car I'm driving! We've owned this car since the early '90s, and my Dad did a lot of work on this car. There's better cars out there, without a doubt, but this car has too much sentimental value for me to drive anything else. 

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

Relax, prayer for safety of me and the racer in the other lane, check delay box, fire it up and do work!

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, March 31, 2016

Car of the Week: Jerald Hicks' 1992 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, it’s all about Jerald Hicks from Flatwoods, KY and his 1992 Chevy Camaro RS.     

How did you get into drag racing? 

 I used to weigh 800 pounds and loved racing. I lost 450 pounds and I was able race and build my first car.  

 When and where was your first race? 

 At I-64 Motorplex in Owingsville, KY around five years ago  

What model/year do you race now? 

1992 Camaro RS 

Does your car have a nickname? 

“Money for Nothing” 

What's under the hood? 

406 SBC, PBM aluminum heads, 14.5 compression, 682 roller, Lunati shaft, single plain intake with Bigs 950 carburetor 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

 8” spragless converter  

Why do you use BTE? 

Because BTE builds quality products and sponsors racers  

Someone you look up to in racing? 

John Force  

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

'69 Camaro pro street twin turbo car

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Car of the Week: Ed DeUel's 1970 Pontiac GTO

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Ed DeUel from Jerseyville, IL and his 1970 Pontiac GTO.        

How did you get into drag racing?  

I was 16 years old in 1961 and was hooked after visiting a drag strip.  

When and where was your first race?  

I started racing at Whitehall Drag Strip in Whitehall, IL. Had to stop racing in 2005 after a heart attack. 

What model/year did you race?  

1970 Pontiac GTO 

What's under the hood?  

My engine is a 462 CI Pontiac with round port heads, solid roller cam and 671 supercharger 7.3:1 compression ratio runs good on 89 octane. I've always built my engines and transmissions. 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

I have used a BTE converter

Someone you look up to in racing? 

Favorite drivers are Don Garlits and Arnie Beswick.                                            

 If money were no object, what would you drive? 

 I would still drive my GTO. 

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

My pre-race ritual was always a prayer.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Car of the Week: Al Mullins' 1978 Chevrolet Malibu

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Al Mullins from Louisville, KY and his 1978 Chevy Malibu. 

How did you get into drag racing? 

Ever since I could walk I’ve had the need for speed and drag racing is my fix for that.  

When and where was your first race? 

My first real race was 2005 at Ohio Valley Dragway in West Point, Kentucky. I started bracket racing and it just wasn't for me. Now I'm all about heads up index racing. We run a 6.50 Index Outlaw class and I LOVE IT. 

What model/year do you race now? 

My car is a 1978 Chevy Malibu. It has all factory glass with a couple modifications. 

Does your car have a nickname? 

I’ve been kicking a nickname around, and kind of liking “GOLD DIGGER.” 

What's under the hood? 

B&R Speed Small Block 400, Profiler Cylinder heads, Scat crankshaft, Alcohol fuel system 

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

Trans is a Powerglide with a BTE pro transbrake, BTE clutches and BTE 1.80 planetary and BTE tail housing

Why do you use BTE? 

The person that built the transmission for me (Chris Gootee) turned me onto BTE. The customer service and tech support is the best. 

Someone you look up to in racing? 

I owe everything to my grandfather “PaPaw” who always pointed me in the right direction. Back in the day he ran midget cars and was a winner. I would also like to thank my wife, Sinda Mullins for putting up with all the late nights and my daughter, Kaitlyn Bisacky Mullins for all the help at the track. A big thanks to Steve Oller for all the help on building and keeping everything going with me on and off the track.

If money were no object, what would you drive?

I’d drive what I have now. We love the heads up 6.50 Index class. There's no reason to quit what you love.   

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

Find out who I have that round and get in their head.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Car of the Week: John Thomas Kimbrell's 1980 Chevrolet Monza

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about John Thomas Kimbrell and his 1980 Chevrolet Monza

How did you get into drag racing?

My entire family has always raced, so it kinda runs in the family!

When and where was your first race? 

My first race was at US-43 in Ethridge, TN. I had a ’64 Falcon tube chassis car and ran 6.46. 

What model/year do you race now? 

I currently have several cars, but my main car is a ’80 Monza full round tube extended wheelbase chassis car. It's an ex-Top Sportsman car out of North Carolina. 

Does your car have a nickname?

It’s been called “Tunechi.”

What's under the hood? 

598 cubic inch big block Chevrolet, Pro Systems Carburetor, Doug Herbert Cam, Brodix Cylinder heads, Magnafuel fuel system

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

I have a BTE 5500 stall converter 

Why do you use BTE? 

Honestly, because I haven't ever had an issue with anything BTE I've ever owned.

Someone you look up to in racing? 

Bob Glidden (even though he likes Fords). 

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

Toss up between a Vega Chrome Moly and a 7/8 scale ’55 Belair

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, February 29, 2016

Car of the Week: Nicholas Giovingo's 1982 Malibu Wagon

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, it’s all about Nicholas Giovingo from Gretna, Louisiana and his ’82 Malibu Wagon.  

How did you get into drag racing? 

After watching my step father drag race. 

When and where was your first race? 

No Problem Raceway in 1999 

What model/year do you race now? 

1982 Malibu wagon 

Does your car have a nickname? 

“Da Family Guy” 

What's under the hood? 

Small block Chevy  

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

Everything you offer for TH350, including a trans cooler.  

Why do you use BTE? 

Great customer service and great products  

Someone you look up to in racing? 

Kye Kelley and Bobby Ducote 

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

My car, but I would make it a pro mod.  

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

Wash and wax the car and check everything, including all fluids, then load it on the trailer and roll out.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, February 23, 2016