Car of the Week: Brandon Rollins' 1976 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, we're featuring Brandon Rollins from Stamps, AR and his 1976 Vega.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
My dad took me to Prescott Raceway when I was 14. We met a lady that happened to be related to us, and she let me drive her car around the pits. The rest is history.
 
When and where was your first race?
My first race was at Prescott Raceway in Prescott, AR back in 2001.
 
What model/year do you race now?
I still race the same '76 Vega that my dad and I started with in 2001. It's changed a lot, but it's still the same car.
 
What's under the hood?
Currently it has a 406 ci Small Block Chevy with Brodix heads and a Ron's Flying Toilet, powerglide, and a 9" Ford out back.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
The glide has pretty much every part BTE makes, minus an aftermarket case and planetaries (which I am looking to purchase soon). Jimmy Post out of Texarkana, TX built it for us about five years ago.
 
Why do you use BTE?
We use BTE because y'all have great parts, stand behind them, and get them to us quickly when we need them.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
I look up to almost every racer that has made a career in the racing industry. That's what I wanted to do ever since I got my start, but life just happened.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
I would still drive my Vega. I love that car. It may get a new set of wheels and some extra safety gear, but I wouldn't change cars for anything.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
No real ritual. Just get in, strap in, shake my head around, and concentrate.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, September 18, 2017

BTE-Powered Racer Richie Crampton Takes His Wagon on the Road for Drag Week

The highly anticipated HOT ROD Drag Week, based in Cordova, IL, commenced last weekend to pit racers against each other in a battle of speed and endurance.
 
During this special event, street/strip cars are driven 1,000 plus miles on public roads during a trip that includes four dragstrips and five races in five days. The cars have to be street legal and able to go the distance—but they also need to be really fast.
 
BTE was proud to see Top Fuel driver Richie Crampton race his wagon with a BTE transmission and torque converter at Drag Week this year. Check out the video below to learn more about Drag Week and see Crampton's ride in action.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, September 14, 2017

Car of the Week: Garett Beaver's 1973 Jeep

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 Garett Beaver from Dalton, GA, and his 1973 Jeep.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
My dad got me into racing. He raced throughout his youth—everything from a '57 fuelie Chevy to a fuel-injected Anglia.
 
When and where was your first race?
My dad built the '73 Jeep in '76, and we started 300' dirt drags and traveled the eastern US. My first car was a big block El Camino.
 
What model/year do you race now?
We put the Jeep back on the street, AMC 304 and all.
 
What's under the hood?
After hearing it, I had to do something different to the Jeep. I went with SBC power. Scat bottom, decent aluminum heads with a carburetor on a single plate.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I currently have a BTE flexplate and a second hand converter in a TH350.
 
Why do you use BTE?
I have dozens of friends that are avid BTE users in their dragsters and bracket cars and are all wanting me to go to one of the Glides.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
Every time I snap the harness, I look up to my Dad in Heaven and say, "Let's go for a ride."
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
I was chosen in 2012 to buy a Central Office Production Order (COPO) Camaro #39. With 3 kids starting college, I was blessed with the opportunity to sell it and nearly cover their educations. If I could drive any car, no matter the money, I'd drive the 2012 COPO #39 I sold for the family.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Before each day at the track, do a full visual, all fluids, check steering and brakes on the return road and check every safety strap from bolt to buckle.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Heads Up: What's Happening at BTE

It's been a trying time for many in the wake of Harvey and now Irma—our thoughts are with all those suffering from the devastating effects of these storms, and we hope those affected in our racing communities will be back to normal and out on the track soon.
 
At BTE we're looking forward to some upcoming events and hoping they might serve as some things to look forward to coming out of a difficult couple of weeks.
 
UPCOMING EVENTS:
 
-This weekend, the Great American 50K Bracket Race is happening at Memphis International Raceway, and our own Bryan Robinson will be racing. Good luck, Bryan!
 
-At the end of the month, we're planning to send our own Chance Lykens in his new car with the BTE van to the Bristol Fall Fling. Come by and say hello.
 
-In October, BTE friend Stig Olsson is coming to the USA from Sweden to begin putting together a new car for a 2018 "Swedish Invasion" of the US Compeition Eliminator class. Brandon and the BTE crew will be helping him, along with many other racers from Sweden.
 
IN OTHER NEWS:
 
-Jessica Bogacki won best appearing car at Indianapolis this past weekend.  BTE is proud to have supplied a custom painted powerglide transmission for the car.
 
-BTE customer Daniel Jedborn, whose car is equipped with a StigO Transmissions Powerglide and BTE bolt together torque converter, was winner of the Scandinavian International race at Tierp Arena! He also won the Swedish Championship series in Competition Eliminator. His Neil & Parks front engine dragster ran an elapsed time of 6.42 with a 298 cubic inch small-block Chevy.
 
 
 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, September 7, 2017

Car of the Week: Seth Lancaster's 1989 Chevy S-10

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, we're featuring Seth Lancaster from Baileyton, Alabama, and his 1989 Chevy S-10.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
My dad has been bracket racing for a long time, and he was the one that got me into racing.
 
When and where was your first race?
My first race was in 2006, when I got a four-wheeler and raced in the motorcycle class at the Baileyton "Good Time" Dragstrip.
 
What model/year do you race now?
I now race a 1989 S-10.
 
Does your car have a nickname?
Its nickname is Chigger and there's a too long of a story behind it to explain, but I usually just call it the S10.
 
What's under the hood?
It has a 355 small-block Chevy.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle and why?
I run a BTE converter because I know they are extremely reliable.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
I look up to my dad the most because he's taught me everything I know about racing. He's always been there to answer my questions and help me work on my truck when I don't know how.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
If money were no object, I'd have a tube chassis 1969 Camaro running low 5's with an awesome paint job.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I stop at the gas station and get a chocolate milk before every race.
 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Car of the Week: Cody Wiggins' 1979 Chevrolet 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 Cody Wiggins from Kevil, Kentucky, and his 1979 Chevy El Camino.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
Simply put, I was born into motorsports. My family has been heavily involved in drag racing, truck and tractor pulling, etc. since the early 1970s. At the age of six years old, I started driving a junior dragster at local outlaw 1/8th mile tracks. I have been racing various types of cars ever since.
 
When and where was your first race?
My first drag race was at Northwest Tennessee Motorsports Park (Gleason, TN) in the summer of 1997.
 
What model/year do you race now?
1979 Chevrolet El Camino
 
Does your car have a nickname?
I am currently still trying to come up with a nickname for the El Camino. (I’m open to suggestions!)
 
What's under the hood?
The heart of my El Camino is a 406 cubic inch Small Block Chevrolet power plant consisting of an Eagle rotating assembly, Brodix aluminum cylinder heads/intake manifold, Complete Comp Cams valve train assembly (Camshaft, Roller Lifters, Pushrods, Rocker Arms/poly locks), QuickFuel Technologies 850 cfm carburetor/fuel pump, and Renegade Race Fuels Pro-110+ race gas.  
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I utilize a BTE 3-speed transbrake TH400 transmission, along with a BTE flexplate and 8” converter combination to get my 3600lb steel bracket car moving consistently down the dragstrip. All of my Strange Engineering brake, suspension components, and a set of Mickey Thompson bias ply drag slicks/front runners where supplied by the team at BTE racing as well.
 
Why do you use BTE?
I rely on the friendly, knowledgeable, and professional staff at BTE Racing to provide my three-car racing operation with the industry leading performance transmission, converter, and power train parts I need to be successful.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
I look up to many very accomplished drivers/members of the racing industry. However, the one individual I have worked to emulate (on and off the racing surface) has to be fellow BTE Racing customer Luke Bogacki. As a world known accomplished racer on the track, Luke has a relentless competitive nature and approach to drag racing. Off the track, I feel he sets a very high standard as an industry professional, and works very hard to represent the sponsors/partner companies he is involved with.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
Given the opportunity, a top fuel dragster would be the ultimate ride in the sport of drag racing. Zero to 300+ mph in 1000 feet is absurd! I would love to get my hands on a 10,000 hp, nitro burning, fire breathing monster.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Heads Up: What's Happening at BTE

The weather's caused ups and downs this week (unfortunately, the race we had planned to attend this past weekend was rained out), but we're looking on the bright side. Lots of good stuff is happening at BTE and in our racing community, and we're looking forward to the rest of the month! In the meantime, here's a Heads Up from the past week:
 
-Lots of folks have been awaiting the arrival of our Two-Piece Powerglide Case and Bellhousing. We're thrilled to let you know we just finished a new batch.
-Our BTE-powered racer Bobbie from NCK Racing wheeled her Chevelle to the finals at Mid-South Dragway last weekend. We're thrilled she was able to bring some cash back home to Missouri.
-Our Car of the Week, Mark Woods' 1972 Chevy Vega, is a sight for sore eyes (and it's pretty fast, too).
-Always a good reminder: 3 essential questions you should ask yourself BEFORE you invest in a transmission.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, August 17, 2017

Car of the Week: Mark Woods' 1972 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, we're featuring Mark Woods from Cullman, Alabama, and his 1972 Chevy Vega. 
 
How did you get into drag racing?
As a youngster I always wanted to race, but it wasn't until I got out on my own that I ventured to the local drag strip.
 
When and where was your first race?
I ran my first race around 1987 at our local track, Baileyton "Goodtime" Dragstrip.
 
What model/year do you race now?
I currently race a 1972 Tube Chassis Vega.
 
Does your car have a nickname?
It actually has a few, but I just call it The Lil' Red Vega.

What's under the hood?
A mild 383 small block Chevy. A very basic engine, but it's been an excellent bracket motor.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I have a BTE torque converter as well as other transmission products in my Ed Green-built powerglide.
 
Why do you use BTE?
Great customer support and great performing products.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
That is a hard question. I've raced with a lot of very good racers over the years and learned from many of them. I guess I'd have to say David Rampy. He's a great racer I've had the opportunity to race with and meet on our local scene. He is a true ambassador for our sport and an all-around great guy.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
I'd stick with my trusty Vega. I might spruce it up a bit more, but I truly feel it is one of the best cars I've had.
 
What is your pre-race ritual?
I don't think I have one other than simply mentally trying to prepare for each round. I do feel diet and hydration are a big part of being successful, in addition to a well prepared car.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Heads Up: What's Happening at BTE

Lots of heat and rain this August, but we're powering through and hoping for clear skies for our racers this weekend. Here's the latest from our world this week:
 
-If you have plans to attend Outlaw Armageddon this weekend (August 11-12) at Thunder Valley Raceway, come see us! We'll be next to our racer support van.
-Customer and friend Jeff Ferguson and his 1965 Chevy II was recently profiled for Drag Racing Scene.
-Our Car of the Week, Justin Walker's 1989 Chevy S-10, comes from Sarcoxie, Missouri and has a pretty "disturbing" nickname.
-Finally, a friendly reminder to check your transmission line pressure on an ongoing basis. Varying pressure can make the car's performance inconsistent.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, August 10, 2017

Car of the Week: Justin Walker's 1989 Chevy S-10

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, we're featuring Justin Walker of Sarcoxie, Missouri and his 1989 Chevy S-10 PIckup. 
 
How did you get into drag racing?
My first time going to the track i was hooked!

When and where was your first race? 
Mokan Dragway in Joplin, MO.

What model/year do you race now?
1989 Chevy S-10 Pickup, owned 16 years now.

Does your car have a nickname?

Disturbed

What's under the hood?
383 Small Block Chevy; future build is a Procharged Chevy LS 408.

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Will soon be purchasing a Sportsman Powerglide.

Why do you use BTE?
Great customer service and reliability.

Someone you look up to in racing?
John Force

If money were no object, what would you drive?
A '69 Chevy RS Camaro.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Praying with my family and friends, asking the Lord's protection for all racers.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Heads Up: What's Happening at BTE

The start of August means the summer is almost over, but the fun is just beginning. We're looking forward to lots of great racing this month and through the fall. In the meantime, here's what we've been up to at BTE:
 
-Be on the lookout for our awesome support van at Outlaw Armageddon August 11-12 at Thunder Valley Raceway in Noble, OK.
-Customer Billy Rains from Pinehurst, TX is doing great things with our torque converter and powerglide components.
-BTE-powered racer Bryan Walker logged another No Electronics class win at Ozark Raceway Park in July. We love seeing that Mustang with a BTE Top Sportsman transmission and torque converter in the winner's circle.
-Our Car of the Week, Mark Herring's 1980 Chevy Malibu, comes from Birmingham Alabama and sports our BTE powerglide with 1.80 straight cuts.
-Finally, a friendly reminder to mind your yokes. It's an overlooked part that can cause lots of problems if you skimp on quality.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, August 3, 2017

Car of the Week: Mark Herring'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. Today, we're featuring Mark Herring from Birmingham, Alabama, and his 1980 Chevy Malibu. 
 
How did you get into drag racing?
I had a love for drag racing at an early age. There was a popular street racing spot not far from our house, and you could hear them racing. My older brother would take me over there. Eventually it moved from there to the track.
 
When and where was your first race?
My first race was in a 1969 GTO at Lassiter Mountain Dragway in 1982.
 
What model/year do you race now?
I have a 1980 Chevrolet Malibu that we call “Old Yellow”
 
What's under the hood?
The car currently has a 355—I ran a 383 until recently when it expired in the water at Huntsville. So currently it's a 355 solid lift cam, APD 750 alcohol carb with a Victor Jr. intake.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
I use BTE because their products and customer service are second to none.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
I have always looked up to Danny Stone. He used to be my next door neighbor. He is probably one of the best bracket racers that I have ever seen. At times, he wasn’t in as good of equipment as some people were, but I can assure you, he has sent a lot of good racers to the trailer early and won more than his share of races. I am proud to call him a friend.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
If money were no object, I would drive my Malibu (I had one in high school), or I would get my old '69 Camaro back. The guy who has it now says it can’t be bought. We would just have to see.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I don’t really have a pre-race ritual other than I can’t sit down. Too much energy. After I am in the car, I just try to do everything the same way every time. I just want that “W” at the finish line.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Car of the Week: Wesley Lockhart's Pontiac 1980 Firebird/Trans-Am

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today, we're featuring Wesley Lockhart from Mayfield, Kentucky and his 1980 Pontiac Firebird/Trans-Am. 
 
How did you get into drag racing?
My dad bought my brother and me our first junior dragster. We each drove every other weekend. 
 
When and where was your first race?
April of 1996, at Northwest Tennessee Motor Sports in Gleason, TN. 
 
What model/year do you race now?
1980 Pontiac Firebird/Trans-Am. 
 
Does your car have a nickname?
Down with the Sickness. Racing is an addiction, and an addiction is a considered a sickness.
 
What's under the hood?
Dart SHP 400 block bored and strokes to a 440, with AFR heads on methanol.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
All transmission parts, plus the converter, and various engine parts. Basically anything I can get Bryan to hunt up that I need.
 
Why do you use BTE?
I saw the proven results from Lucas Walker and Charlie Lockhart's BTE products and decided to join the team. Customer service is flawless. I started using Ray Huffman and now using Bryan Robinson.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
Basically all the racers when I was in junior dragsters. It's a privilege to race with all the guys I look up to.
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
I have had this car 13 years, so I would just have to improve what I have, and make it street legal.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I'm very superstitious. I try to look over my car, tire pressure, check fuel, and charge the battery the same way every time.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Car of the Week: Fabian Goldbert's 1970 Chevrolet 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 Fabian Goldbert from Rotorua, New Zealand and his 1970 Chevrolet El Camino.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
It was a passion, deep within, that managed to surface with age and maturity (and money!).
 
When and where was your first race?
1981, at Meremere, South Auckland, New Zealand
 
What model/year do you race now?
1970 Chevrolet El Camino 
 
Does your car have a nickname?
The Elky
 
What's under the hood?
Steve Schmidt 632 Nitrous Engine 1800HP. Haven't used the bottle yet. 1330 HP on Q16 running 7.74 at 172.8.
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
BTE Powerglide
 
Why do you use BTE?
I've had my eye on BTE for a while, and just installed it to run this season.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
Force Racing Team
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
My El Camino with 3,500 HP.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Take a moment for myself.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, July 18, 2017

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Race Car For Under $250

The powerglide is the most popular drag racing transmission for many reasons: it’s lightweight, affordable, and reliable (as long as it has the correct components!).  A junkyard powerglide core with the factory 1.76 planetary gear set can be safe to almost 850 horsepower in lightweight cars with just a few upgrades.
 
Here's our list of the five best upgrades under $250:
 
 
This is a must have, since you'll need this to bolt up an aftermarket shifter. Customizing is easy, since our shift arm has holes drilled for the most popular shifter configurations. In addition, our two-piece design allows the arm to be placed in upper or lower position for rear or front entry shifters.
 
 
The band adjustment screw—or pin—in the OEM powerglide wasn't designed to take the power race engines produce today. Under heavy pressure, it can bend or break, causing a band failure. Our upgraded design is made from heat-treated 4340 steel, so it won't break or distort under any pressure levels.
 
 
The powerglide clutch hub is a critical upgrade in any application above 450 horsepower. The factory piece is a weak cast hub, but our forged hub is extremely durable and can accommodate up to eight friction and steel clutches when used with the correct piston in most powerglide drums.
 
 
Powerglide band failures are often attributed to problems in the servo, because a leak between circuits can cause application problems in the band. This two-ring servo drastically improves the seal, and it’s made from high-quality 6061-T6 aluminum, so it’s more durable than the factory cast piece. While there are more exotic servo options available, most racers don't need those features, and it’s why this type remains the most popular.
 
 
In a racing powerglide, the soft parts are just as important as the hard ones! New technology in seals, clutches, and bushings have really improved the powerglide's reliability. This kit contains a quality band, friction and steel clutches, seals, gaskets, and a new filter.
 
Bonus: OK, we couldn’t resist…we had to add one more to the list:  
 
 
The factory powerglide input shaft can be tremendously upgraded by using a hardened version made from high quality steel. Our 4340 steel input shaft is upgraded to the turbo (30) spline and is commonly used behind engines making as much as 900 horsepower. This is a base-level performance upgrade, and if your power level exceeds this, we have more options.
 
With this list of five parts (+1) for less than $250 each, you're ready to build a powerglide that may be reliable up to 850 horsepower.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What's Happening at BTE This Week

The heat is on this summer, and so are our racers!
 
-Last weekend was a big one for us at the BTE World Footbrake Challenge at Bristol Dragway. In addition to meeting with lots of racers and enjoying the weekend atmosphere, we were happy to see BTE-powered racer "Nasty Nick" Hastings take home the biggest prize, winning $20,000 in Saturday's Yukon Gear and Axle main event. Read more about it here.
-Meanwhile, at Mo Kan dragway at on July 8, Bryan Walker racked up another win in No Electronics class. While some racers had consistency issues, his BTE-sponsored Mustang with Top Sportsman transmission and torque converter led him to the winner's circle. Nice job, Bryan.
 
-Luke Bogacki won both Super Gas and Super Comp classes at this past weekend's NHRA Route 66 Nationals in Joliet, IL. We're proud to have BTE powerglide transmissions and torque converters in all of Luke's cars.
 
-Finally, if you haven't already, check out our Car of the Week, Paul Sisco's 1963 Chevy II SS.
 
Thanks to all our loyal customers and race-loving fans. Much more to come this summer!
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Car of the Week: Paul Sisco's 1963 Chevy II SS

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 Sisco from Clarksville, Tennessee, and his 1963 Chevy II SS.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
I have raced as far back as I can remember.
 
When and where was your first race?
1988, at Windy Hollow Dragway.
 
What model/year do you race now?
1963 Chevy II SS
 
Does your car have a nickname?
Lucky
 
What's under the hood?
540 BBC with Enderle Bird Catcher Fuel Injection
 
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
 
Why do you use BTE?
Ability to help and wealth of knowledge.
 
Someone you look up to in racing?
Jerry Tackwell very good friend who has raced for over 35 years
 
If money were no object, what would you drive?
A Radial vs the World Class Car
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Wash the truck and trailer. Jerry Tackwell, a good friend that used to come with me to race  always wanted to be sure it was clean, so although I've moved away, I still continue that tradition .
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, July 12, 2017

"Nasty Nick" Hastings Wins World Footbrake Challenge's Biggest Race

With well over 300 cars making elimination runs this past weekend at Bristol Dragway, the 11th annual BTE World Footbrake Challenge concluded in a busy and successful event for the books on Sunday.  

The weekend's big winner was "Nasty Nick" Hastings, who took home $20,000 in the Yukon Gear and Axle on Saturday. Driving his Pontiac T-1000—complete with BTE powerglide transmission and torque converter—Nick got by Chad Dotson in the final after Chad broke out by 12 thousandths. Dotson left first based on his dial-in with an .033 light, with Hastings at an .051. But at the finish line, Hastings backed off to let Dotson take the stripe, running out in the process to send the $20K back home to Ohio.
 
Though Hastings took home the biggest prize, all seven racers in the finals earned their spots, following seven and a half hours of eliminations prior to reaching the ladder round.
 
“The amazing talent that’s here at this race, and to come out like this is a blessing,” said Hastings. “And to do it with my whole family here is a dream come true.”

Other big weekend winners included Roger Bridges, who took home $10,000 for the Yukon Gear & Axle race on Friday with a reaction time advantage over John Rollins. After making it to the semifinals in previous years, Bridges took the win and $10,000 back home to Beaverdam, Virginia. The last big race of the weekend, Day Last, gave Brandon Waller a $10,000 check and time in the winner's circle after beating out Billy Janousek with a handicap lead and reaction time advantage.
 
Though only a few experience the thrill of winning top prize money, the weekend offers plenty of camaraderie among racers, fans and families, and opportunities to give back to the community. Saturday night’s barbecue hosted a 50/50 drawing to donate money to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, organized by Lexi Pollard. Because the winner went unclaimed, all the donated money went directly to St. Jude’s.

“We’ve had a great week here with a great staff at our host track, Bristol Dragway, and we hope we have given our racers everything they have hoped for,” said co-promotor Jared Pennington. “We can’t thank everyone enough for the confidence they had in our ability to put on a great race. The racers, the sponsors and both our Coalburg Promotions and the Bristol Dragway staff, thank you. It’s been an amazing week and we can’t wait to get back here next year for the 12th version of our event."
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, July 10, 2017

What's Happening at BTE?

We're staying busy over at BTE this summer. Check out what's happening behind the scenes.

Come see us at the World Footbrake Challenge this weekend.
We'll be at Bristol Dragway for the #BTERacing World Footbrake Challenge (July 6-9). Be on the lookout for our on-site support van and come say hi to Chance and Winslow—they'll be there to offer technical and product support, and yes, the van will be stocked with many of our most popular components. Another added bonus—we can save shipping costs to customers needing products (torque converters, transmissions, etc) serviced by bringing the items back to our facility on Monday.
 
In racing news, congratulations to our BTE-sponsored racers, racking up wins at tracks all over the place.
-Bryan Walker won the Friday night combo race on June 23, then backed it up with another win on Saturday, June 24 at Ozark Raceway Park in the Bottom Bulb class.
-At our home track in Holly Springs on June 25, this race happened. Our guys blew the doors off of Street Outlaw: New Orleans' Kai Kelly and it was pretty awesome. 
 
 
-The 10th Annual Ohio Crankshaft No Box Nationals at I-57 had three days of hot and beautiful weather that culminated in lots of great racing. We were proud to sponsor a "Racer Appreciation Dinner" Saturday evening and give some love to participants.
 
If you haven't yet, check out our Car of the Week series. We love featuring our amazing customers and their racing cars (and trucks).
 
Finally, our own Brandon Barrentine recently returned from a trip to Sweden, where he represented BTE in collaboration with StigO Transmission. Read about it here.
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Car of the Week: Steve Thurman's 1969 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 Steve Thurman from Gallatin, TN and his 1969 Ford Mustang.
 
How did you get into drag racing?
I got into racing because my dad raced back in the early years with a 65 mustang.
 
When and where was your first race?
My first actual race at a race track was around 1986 at Music City Raceway. I raced the car my dad gave me in high school, which is the 1969 Mustang still race today. I also delivered pizzas in this car back in high school.
 
What model/year do you race now?
1969 Mustang
 
Does your car have a nickname?
My daughter calls my car Fred. I don't know the reason, but she is 11 years old and has called it that since she could talk.
 
What's under the hood?
The power comes from a 351 Windsor stroked out to 416 cubic inch. It's fuel injected with Enderle on alcohol. The motor is flat top roller cam and aluminum heads with a stock 1972 block. The transmission is all BTE internals with stock case and bellhousing that I built since I own a transmission shop.
 
Why do you use BTE?
I purchase all my racing trans parts from BTE.
If money were no object, what would you drive?
If I had all the money, I would drive a Pro Stock car and hopefully see the one I keep up with which is Erica Enders.
 
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
My pre-race prep is to check the car over, get a massage, and see my chiropractor.
 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, July 5, 2017

BTE's Brandon Visits Sweden In Collaboration with StigO Transmissions

For the second year, I had the special privilege of representing BTE while visiting Sweden's Tierp Arena. From June 15-18, the best drag racing cars and teams of Europe assembled for a great weekend of racing. During my visit in 2016, I was extremely impressed by the quality and variety of car builds in competition, and 2017 was no different. The biggest change from year to year was the quickly growing group of cars with BTE products!
 
The growth of our presence in Sweden is largely due to two things: BTE's close proximity and relationship with FedEx, and our cooperation with Stig Olsson, the long-time competition eliminator driver and automatic racing transmission specialist. Based in western Sweden, StigO Transmissions has serviced racer's needs for decades, and they are now the official BTE distributor for all of Europe.
 
In my collaboration with Stig, we've learned and shared technical experience in addition to improving new and upcoming products, like our very popular bolt together torque converters and powerglide race pumps. Stig is a strong advocate for the bolt together design, as the lack of choices in Europe for high performance torque converter building and repair is compounded by long duration or expensive shipping options back to the United States. A bolt together unit allows the racer to open, inspect, clean, and adjust without the need of a welder, lathe, and balancing machine.
 
 
This year, I was fortunate to have my family with me for the visit. We had the opportunity to drive across Sweden's beautiful countryside to the west coast, where we spent some days in both Sweden and Norway. In Halden, Norway, we visited the weekly night cruise-in, which features some of the cleanest American classic cars I've ever seen. I saw some awesome '59 Cadillacs, '64 Impalas, and an extremely rare '50s Chrysler 300 in unbelievable condition. As an American abroad, I couldn't help but feel some pride that our classic car culture was celebrated so well and passionately on another continent—Australia, we will be checking you out next!
 
My work trip/vacation was a great experience for my family, and it was largely due to the great people and friends we've made there. We will surely visit again in the future.
 
As we move forward for the remainder of 2017, look for the BTE race van to attend more and more events. Chance and Winslow have been hitting heads up and bracket races this summer, and they are excited to attend more. We will also be releasing several new updates to our transmission component products that will be featured here and on Facebook. We're also about to begin a migration to a new ERP and CRM system that will give us better tools to serve you faster and with more information about your shipments; more on that in the fall.

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Thursday, June 29, 2017

BTE-Powered Car SHAWTY Smokes Street Outlaw at Holly Springs

Kye Kelley may be the star of Street Outlaws: New Orleans, but he was outshined on Sunday, June 25 at Holly Springs in Memphis. Pitted against Memphis Grudge Racer group 901 Bad Boyz’ BTE-powered car SHAWTY, Kelley didn’t stand a chance. 
 
Great driving from Kenny Badboy, combined with a BTE torque converter and transmission, meant SHAWTY reigned supreme with a full house in attendance.
 
We’re happy to have Holly Springs Motor Sports right down the street from the BTE facility, and fun was had by (almost) everyone—better luck next time, Kye. 
 
Check out the race for yourself in the video below:
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, June 26, 2017

What's Happening at BTE: June 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 3 Reasons For Switching To A Billet Aluminum Valve Body

1. Weight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Car of the Week: Michael Hollis' 1970 Chevrolet Nova

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

Welcome to the New and Improved BTEracing.com

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

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

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

Welcome to the updated BTERacing.com!

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

Bogacki Reflects On The "Biggest Win" Of His Career

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, May 5, 2017

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

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

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

What model/year do you race now?

I currently race a 1978 Malibu.

Does your car have a nickname?

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

What's under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

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

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

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, May 3, 2017

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

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

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

How did you get into drag racing? 

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

When and where was your first race?

Ozark Raceway Park in Rogersville, MO in October 2007 

1970 Chevelle and Camaro

What model/year do you race now?

1970 Chevelle

Does your car have a nickname?

The Chevelle 

What's under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

Converter and Top Sportsman Powerglide transmission 

Why do you use BTE? 

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

BTE Racing NCK Racing

Someone you look up to in racing? 

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

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, April 26, 2017

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

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

How did you get into drag racing?        

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

When and where was your first race?

Twin City Dragway in Monroe, LA

What model/year do you race now?

I drive a 1988 Chevy S-10

Does your car have a nickname?

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

What's under the hood?

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

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

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

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

Why do you use BTE?

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

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

I think I would have a 1969 pro mod Camaro.                      

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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

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

Drag Strip

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

Legal? Bandimere Speedway, 1995

What model/year do you race now?

1997 Honda Civic

Does your car have a nickname?

Gunmetal, the RWD Civic

Engine view Josh Scott engine drag car

What's under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

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

Why do you use BTE?

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

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, April 12, 2017

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

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

1. Change your automatic transmission fluid.

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

2. Service your torque converter. 

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

3. Adjust your low gear band.

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

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

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

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, April 10, 2017

Car of the Week: Adam Boulia's 1984 Camaro

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

How did you get into drag racing?

My dad

Where was your first race?

Coastal Plains Dragway

What model/year do you race now?

1984 Chevy Camaro

What's under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

Input shaft, transbrake solenoid, shifter arm 

Why do you use BTE?

Why not?

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Car of the Week: Jeff Barnes' 1965 Chevy Nova

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

How did you get into drag racing? 

My dad

When and where was your first race? 

Mission B.C. in 1993 

What model/year do you race now? 

1965 Nova

Does your car have a nickname? 

“The Mistress”

What's under the hood? 

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

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

Why do you use BTE? 

Great reputation and preferred by my tranny builder

Someone you look up to in racing? 

Any guy in the opposite lane

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

Pro Mod

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

April of 1996 at Mid America Raceway in Wentzville, MO

What model/year do you race now?

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

What's under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

20+ years old BTE converter and 1.80 straight cut planetaries

Why do you use BTE?

Reliability 

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

What I have now. 

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

What model/year do you race now?

I drive a 1974 Chevrolet Vega trunk car.

Does your car have a nickname?

“Born Ugly”

What's under the hood?

SBC 383

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

A stall converter and transmission

Why do you use BTE?

Because it is the best!

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

My ‘ole Vega!

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Saturday, March 11, 2017

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

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

BTE racing

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

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

What model/year do you race now?

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

Does your car have a nickname?

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

What's under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

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

Why do you use BTE?

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

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, March 8, 2017

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

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

How did you get into drag racing? 

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

When and where was your first race? 

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

What model/year do you race now?

A 1993 Fox body Ford Mustang 

Does your car have a nickname? 

“The black car”

What's under the hood? 

545 BBF

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle? 

All transmission internals, torque converter and trans shield

Why do you use BTE? 

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

Someone you look up to in racing? 

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

If money were no object, what would you drive? 

The car I have now!

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, March 1, 2017

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

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

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

What model/year do you race now?

A 1927 Suncoast Roadster

Does your car have a nickname?

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

What's under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

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

Why do you use BTE?

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

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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

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

How did you get into drag racing?

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

When and where was your first race?

Knoxville Dragway in August 2004

What model/year do you race now?

2006 DFS Undercover  245''

Does your car have a nickname?

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

Whats under the hood?

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

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?

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

Why do you use BTE?

Track support, Bryan has been great to deal with.

Someone you look up to in racing?

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, February 15, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

What's under the hood?
302 Ford

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

Someone you look up to in racing?
The older guys

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, February 8, 2017

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

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

Normal transbrake operation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Monday, February 6, 2017