News

Car of the Week: Jeff Ferguson's Chevrolet Chevy II 1965

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Jeff Ferguson from Olive Branch, Mississippi, who owns and races a Chevrolet Chevy II 1965.

How did you get into drag racing?
I discovered Lakeland Dragstrip as a teenager—the last 3 years they were open ‘77-’79. I’ve been hooked ever since.

When and where was your first race?
Around 1980 in Blue Mountain, MS

What model/year do you race now?
Chevrolet Chevy II 1965

Does your car have a nickname?
No.

What's under the hood?
434 with single carb

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Transmission, torque convertor, tires, parts, fluid and more.

Why do you use BTE?
Great products, great service, great people from the front door to the back.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
Tons—too many to choose from. They are very helpful and knowledgeable. Much appreciation to Mr. Bill and Paul for help back in the day. Thanks to Brandon for letting me walk about, Shaun for great trans builds and special deliveries, and everybody else for their help and info. I truly appreciate y'all.

Someone you look up to in racing?
Warren Johnson, Bob Glidden, Don Garlits, John Force and Caffey Broadus… Never give up!

If money were no object, what would you drive?
I’d get another of my same car… twice as nice! Also lots/stacks of spare parts with a nice motorhome and stacker.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Clear your head of all distractions and focus as much as possible.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, November 30, 2018

Message from BTE President Brandon Barrentine: "Thank you for your loyalty"

BTE fans and followers,

Now that the dust has settled and the numbers are in, we’d like to thank you for our most successful Black Friday & Cyber Monday sale in company history.

In our opinion, it’s a win-win. We’re able to keep our production shop busy throughout the typically slow season, and racers score major discounts on the parts and equipment they need for the next season. Thank you for your loyalty, and for your patience when the phone lines were ringing off the hook.

If you made a purchase during our seasonal sale over the phone or online, we hope you had an excellent experience. We’ve planned well for this year’s sale, and most of you have your orders already. We anticipate to have almost all of our orders in your hands before Christmas.  As always we appreciate your feedback on how we can continue to improve our service and ordering process.

Thanks for your business and support. We look forward to racing with you in 2019.

Brandon Barrentine
President, BTE Racing

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, November 30, 2018

Car of the Week: John Molyneux's 1972 Chevy Nova

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring John Molyneux from East Brunswick, New Jersey, who owns and races a 1972 Chevy Nova.

How did you get into drag racing?
My dad would always bring me to the Summer Nationals at Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey.

When was your first race?
Some time around 1985.

What model/year do you race now?
1972 Chevy Nova. I had to put racing to the side for a while until my current Nova found me in 2011—we’ve been running hard ever since then.

Does your car have a nickname?
The Turd

What's under the hood?
423 sbc

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Custom low gear sets and converter

Why do you use BTE?
Incredible customer service.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
Chad took the time to gather information and custom build a converter for me, then set me up with some low gear sets for the TH350 to help us get out of the hole we were in.

Someone you look up to in racing?
Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins

If money were no object, what would you drive?
My same car, just max effort and no expense spared!

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Drink some water, strap in early, and see the win light!

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, November 29, 2018

Car of the Week: Brad Eglian's 1994 Chevy Lumina Z34

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Brad Eglian from Alexandria, Kentucky, who owns and races a 1994 Chevrolet Lumina Z34.

How did you get into drag racing?
Both sides in my family raced so I was born into racing—it's in my blood.

When and where was your first race?
First time I went down a track was in 1996 and in my 1985 Cadillac Coupe de Ville.

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

Does your car have a nickname?
Luminasty

What's under the hood?
632 single carb and 2 kits

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

Why do you use BTE?
BTE makes great products.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
BTE makes a very durable and efficient transmission.

Someone you look up to in racing?
Mike Murillo

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Wouldn’t change a thing, I love what I am driving now!

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I am pretty superstitious—I always have to grab the driver side of my hood to take it off/on. And before I stage, I get all pumped up by smacking my helmet and getting in the zone.


 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, November 19, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving from BTE Racing

A Message from BTE President, Brandon Barrentine

Friends—we appreciate you. As a small, family-owned company, your loyalty and support not only propel our business but provide meaning to the work we do. We are so grateful to the drivers and fans who continue to help spread the word about BTE Racing at the track and on social media. Thank you for trusting us and growing with us.

Since its inception, BTE has focused on manufacturing products here in the U.S. and innovating to make existing products function more efficiently, and make your cars even faster. We’re proud to carry on the legacy of my grandfather, Bill Taylor, and influence a new generation of racers to keep the sport fun, family-oriented and inventive.

We wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving with loved ones and look forward to serving you this offseason.

Yours in Racing,

Brandon Barrentine
President, BTE

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, November 19, 2018

Car of the Week: Mike Tali's 2001 Chevy 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 we're featuring Mike Tali from Zephyrhills, Florida, who owns and races a 2001 Chevy S10.

How did you get into drag racing?
I grew up in the Detroit-area in the 60s and 70s. It was a must to be into drag racing and muscle cars.

Where was your first race?
I first raced at Lakeland Dragstrip in Lakeland, Florida.

What model/year do you race now?
2001 Chevy S10

Does your car have a nickname?
No.

What's under the hood?
4.3 V6 with 500 Edelbrock carb and manifold-comp, camshaft-comp, roller rockers, headers, MSD, and Richmond 4.10 locker.

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

Why do you use BTE?
All my footbrake friends love BTE.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
My 60 ft improved from 1.95-2.00 to 1.87-92.

Someone you look up to in racing?
Della Woods (hometown girl), lots more but too many to list.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Hard to say but I used to have a ‘66 Chevelle and that was nice.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
None.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, November 19, 2018

Car of the Week: Tommy Barbero'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 Tommy Barbero from Wentzville, Missouri, who owns and races a 1978 Chevy Malibu.

How did you get into drag racing?
Friends and family.

When and where was your first race?
Gateway International Raceway at Madison, IL in 1992. Ran 17.50 second in a ‘78 Malibu—but not the same one I have now.

What model/year do you race now?
1978 Chevy Malibu

Does your car have a nickname?
No.

What's under the hood?
355 Chevy

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
8” Converter, 1.80 planetary, valve body and input shaft

Why do you use BTE?
Great products and value.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
The 8” converter was installed in September 2016 and has been flawless ever since. The 1st weekend in the car, it went to two $5,000 to win finals on the same weekend, with 1 win and 1 runner up. It carried the car to 10 finals in 2017 at 3 different tracks. It’s going to get freshened this winter, but really shows no signs of needing it.

Someone you look up to in racing?
Jeremy McKague, he’s the man—just ask him, he’ll tell you.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Probably Top Dragster and Top Sportsman

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Too many superstitions to list.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Car of the Week: Eric Baysinger's 1970 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 Eric Baysinger from Gillete, Wyoming, who owns and races a 1970 Chevy Nova.

How did you get into drag racing?
My dad.

Where was your first race?
Sturgis Dragway

What model/year do you race now?
1970 Chevy Nova

Does your car have a nickname?
No.

What's under the hood?
565 Reher Morrison nitrous motor

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

Why do you use BTE?
Awesome tech team, awesome products.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
BTE’s transmission has held up year after year, while others have not.

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

If money were no object, what would you drive?
I’d be driving the same car.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Team gives me fist pounds.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, October 25, 2018

Car of the Week: Mark Blake's 1994 Camaro

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Mark Blake from Prichard, West Virginia, who owns and races a 1994 Camaro.

How did you get into drag racing?
My dad took the whole family to the tracks. A family friend of ours raced and we helped him with his car. I got my first car and made my first pass at age 16, thanks to my dad. Bought the car from Chuck Felty.

When and where was your first race?
Tri River Dragway in Fort Gay, West Virginia

What model/year do you race now?
1994 Camaro

Does your car have a nickname?
Moody Blue

What's under the hood?
2006 L33 5.3 with a vsracing 77mm turbo and wiring harness, tuned by my son Austin Blake.

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
The internal trans and converter

Why do you use BTE?
Years of quality and never had a problem. I’ll always continue to use BTE parts.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
With my new BTE 8-inch 83400 converter, no other changes made, I picked up .20 on the ET and 4 mph faster.

Someone you look up to in racing?
As a proud dad, my son. He is building a great reputation in the racing industry with us custom wiring harnesses for the LS guys and his impeccable tuning ability. I also have had great friends that helped along the way—Ben Mosley, a great machinist and engine builder, and Bob Potter for building us a great transmission that works great.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Probably a X275 or a really fast door car small tire. Street car would be a ZR1R—never been a corvette guy but I like the new ones!

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Double check all my stuff and look over last pass data.

Anything else you’d like to share?
Biggest thanks to BTE for having quality parts over the years to keep us going. I am thankful for my mentor Chuck Felty, my dad, my family, my wife and her endless support.


 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, October 18, 2018

Cooling Strategies For Racing Transmissions And Why It's So Important For Your Car

Excessive heat kills transmission and torque converter components. Racing heavily stresses the transmission and causes it to heat very rapidly. It has been proven that for every 20°F your transmission increases, it cuts the lifespan of your transmission and transmission fluid in half. While this is well established and widely understood, we are often asked about the best ways to manage this problem.

Last month, our friend and 2014 NHRA Super Gas world champion Luke Bogacki did a great writeup on his experience with transmission temperatures in throttle stop racing scenario. You can see that on his public Facebook post here. In his testing, he found that elapsed times would vary greatly as transmission temperatures rose above normal operating temperatures. We have found this to be the case as well in our testing and feedback from other customers. 

Here are our recommendations for various types of drag racing:

  • If your car is driven on the street or driven back to your pit area after making a pass, always run a cooler and if possible electric fan. We see too many customers with looped cooler lines.  In a powerglide transmission, a looped cooler line dumps the automatic transmission fluid at its highest temperatures (directly from the torque converter) into the gear set and clutch packs.  This causes early failure of all components. 
  • In a high powered setups where a ringless input shaft is required, use a pump that is designed to maintain cooler flow. Our high volume pumps all maintain good cooler flow and pressure when used with our ringless input shaft. A ringless input shaft installed in an OEM style pump will have no cooler flow or pressure, which results in all of the super heated transmission fluid dumping directly into the gears and clutch packs.  
  • If your car is towed to the starting line and towed back to your pit area after making a pass, there is little time for a cooler circuit to have any effect on the transmission temperature.  Therefore, it is OK to run a looped cooler line or use an input shaft setup that has no provision for the cooler circuit. In this scenario, the transmission and torque converter will still be extremely hot after making the pass. We recommend using an external cooler such as this one from Sharp Stuff. We have also seen reasonable success using a high velocity fan or leaf blower directly aimed under the car for some cooling effect. 
  • Use a quality ATF. Our choice is a blended fluid made specially by Lucas Oil. Synthetic and semi synthetic fluids mange heat better than conventional fluids and also maintain better lubrication than alternative oils.   

Heat kills. In the middle of the steamy summer, it is even worse. But if you are having trouble in your drag racing car with failed parts or inconsistent performance, a few adjustments to your setup can make the difference between a broken car and a winning car.

Posted by Allison West at Friday, October 12, 2018

Top Drag Racing YouTube Channels You Should Be Following

Not at the track, but wishing you were? Whether you’re bored and searching for entertainment or an ambitious driver looking to brush up on technique tips, we’ve got a roundup of some of our favorite YouTube channels to check out. (PS—we’re assuming you already follow the BTE Racing channel, but in case you don’t, subscribe now! Fresh content dropping soon.)

DragTimes
This channel is all about ultimate matchups. In most episodes, two current model cars are pitted against one another with accompanying commentary and analysis. Nearly all of the cars featured are high-end and heavily modified. There are also a few how-to, livestream and performance review videos in the DragTimes library. New videos are posted weekly, and sometimes multiple times per week.

Mighty Car Mods
As its name suggests, this channel is dedicated to car modifications. Rather than races at the track, here you’ll find mostly shop footage of builds, conversions and testing, and D.I.Y. demos. The cool thing about this channel is that they post ongoing updates on their projects so that you can follow the progress of each build. New posts weekly.

Drag Strip Riot
Drag Strip Riot is a great all-around channel. Featuring race compilations and live race coverage, it has a nice mix of gassers, nitro, funny cars, altered, top fuel and classics—something for everyone. They’ve also got great mashups of burnouts, wheelies and crashes. They post less frequently but have a large library uploaded for you to browse.

MotorManiaTV
This channel is a go-to for live streaming races (last year they covered the BTE World Footbrake Challenge!). Posting frequency is high; they normally upload multiple new videos per day. Great coverage and entertainment for weekends when you can’t make it down to the track.

That Racing Channel
That Racing Channel posts a minimum of one weekly video, but often more. It’s dedicated to ride-alongs and driver interviews that discuss parts and performance. First-person footage and hearing from drivers directly gives these videos lots of character.

We hope you enjoy these channels! Keep an eye out for a new video from BTE this winter.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, October 8, 2018

Car of the Week: Brody Quick's 1967 Camaro

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Brody Quick from Hanceville, Alabama, who owns and races a 1967 Camaro.

How did you get into drag racing?
My dad has bracket raced for years. I was always at the track growing up and knew I wanted to be making laps. Got my first junior dragster and it just grew from there.

When and where was your first race?
Sometime in 2006 at Baileyton “Good Time” Dragstrip.

What model/year do you race now?
1967 Camaro

Does your car have a nickname?
Squash

What's under the hood?
415 SBC

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
BTE Top Sportsman powerglide and converter

Why do you use BTE?
Good quality and reliability are important to having consistent car performance and BTE provides that.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
The products I use from BTE have made our cars better and have gotten us more win lights.

Someone you look up to in racing?
Gotta be Danny Weaver—I hope to be as good as him one day.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
East Texas Racecraft Cobalt

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Don’t really have one, I’m pretty sporadic in the moment.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, October 4, 2018

Car of the Week: Roy Santosky's 2006 Mustang GT

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 Roy Santosky from Copperas Cove, Texas, who owns and races a 2006 Mustang GT.

How did you get into drag racing?
I started out dirt track racing and then changed over to drag racing.

When and where was your first race?
February 2018 at Little River Dragway in Holland, TX.

What model/year do you race now?
2006 Mustang GT

Does your car have a nickname?
Leonora

What's under the hood?
4.6 V8 3-valve

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
Cold air intake

Why do you use BTE?
It's a good product at an affordable price.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
Not yet, but I look forward to increasing my power. I’m now in the IHRA and looking to keep moving up.

Someone you look up to in racing?
Big Daddy Garland

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Top fuel dragster

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I have boots I only wear when racing and I don’t shave on race day.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Car of the Week: Dolores Hoffart's 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 we're featuring Dolores Hoffart from Bienfait, Saskatchewan, who owns and races a 1968 Camaro.

How did you get into drag racing?
I drove a streetcar at a drag race and was immediately hooked.

Where was your first race?
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

What model/year do you race now?
1968 Camaro

Does your car have a nickname?
No.

What's under the hood?
377 sbc

Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
1.80 straight cut planetary, transmission pan

Why do you use BTE?
They’ve got great quality and service.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
They installed gear and consistency is back, helping with great lights.

Someone you look up to in racing?
Shirley Muldowney

If money were no object, what would you drive?
2018 Corvette

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Check air pressure, engine temperature and concentrate on the light.


 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, September 24, 2018

Testimonial: BTE Sends Bad Influence to Winner’s Circle With TH400

BTE loves hearing success stories from satisfied racers. Today we feature a testimonial from Greg Schmidt, a driver for Paradigm Racing whose 1989 Camaro, Bad Influence, saw significantly improved performance using BTE’s custom-built TH400 transmission.

Greg Schmidt, Driver for Paradigm Racing writes:

For those who may not follow our racing, we are Paradigm Racing and our car, Bad Influence, is a 1989 Camaro sporting a Big Tire, a healthy 632CI engine with a nice sniff of nitrous from Nitrous Outlet. We have had a BTE Bolt Together Converter and Top Sportsman Powerglide in our car from 2015 thru 2017 and this setup brought us a lot of win lights, five event wins, numerous semi-final and final round appearances, and a championship in 2016.

Building Bad Influence
In 2017 at PRI we talked to Brandon and his crew from BTE about what we could do to not only speed up our car, but to help showcase BTE Racing and their products. Brandon's crew said, "Let's go to a 3-speed."

Our Crew Chief Al was excited but I was skeptical—I fear change and tend to think, "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it." BTE Racing put together a Reid-cased TH400 with a close ratio 1.66/1.34/1:1 gear set, a reverse manual valve body with a clean neutral, and a pro brake with 1st AND 2nd gear transbrake. This was great since our Top Sportsman Powerglide was a 1.69 1st gear. We topped off this setup with an air operated Precision Performance Products Shifter.

Our Setup
We knew we wanted to keep our comparison "apples to apples," and the TH400 is slightly heavier than the Powerglide (50-70 lbs depending on how you have them setup), so we put the car and driver on a diet over the winter of 2017/18. When making the switch from a PG to a TH400 the transmission mount will change, and the driveshaft will need to be shortened 1-1.5 inches depending on your suspension setup and travel.

We hit the track May of 2018 and we were 5 lbs lighter than the previous season, even with the exact same engine, nitrous, rear gears, converter, tires, etc. We put a known good tune in the car that we had data on to go 4.77 in the 1/8th mile.

Pleasantly Surprised
When we let off the brake and held on for the ride the time slip put a smile on my face. A 4.67 Elapsed Time made it easy to let go of my fear of change! A swap from a 2-speed to a 3-speed gave us a full tenth of a second on a light tune in the 1/8th mile, plus the car was better to drive, kept the G meter up longer and pulled better throughout the pass. Our transmission temperatures have stayed cool all season, and we've been able to play with gear timing curves much closer than we could before.

BTE Racing changed our racing program with the change of a transmission, adding one more tuning trick to our toolbox. If you are a heads up racer or FAST Bracket racer wanting that extra little edge, this is a product you need to look into to help your program out!

Next appearance—South Georgia Motorsports Park for No Mercy 9. You can see this transmission in action in the OUTLAW 632 class this week at SGMP or tune into the live feed! Thank you Brandon and the ENTIRE crew at BTE Racing for the amazing products and service over the years.


 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, September 24, 2018

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

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Jeff Clark from Mt. Washington, Kentucky, who owns and races a 1994 Chevy Lumina Z34.

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

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

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

Does your car have a nickname?
Brutus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Car of the Week: Steven Ronneberg's 1985 Camaro

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Steven Ronneberg from Dobbins, California, who owns and races a 1985 Camaro.

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

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

What model/year do you race now?
1985 Camaro

Does your car have a nickname?
No

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, September 6, 2018

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

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring AJ Casini from Hunker, PA, who owns and races a 1969 Plymouth Barracuda.

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

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

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

Does your car have a nickname?
The ‘Cuda

What's under the hood?
572” BGR HEMI

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

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

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

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

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

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


 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, September 4, 2018

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

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Brett Vanstory from Braden, TN, who owns and races a 2012 Cadillac CTS V.

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

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

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

Does your car have a nickname?
Nope.

What's under the hood?
388” LSX

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, August 24, 2018

Car of the Week: Todd Stone's 1979 Camaro

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Todd Stone from Port Clinton, OH, who owns and races a 1979 Camaro.

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

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

What model/year do you race now?
1979 Camaro

Does your car have a nickname?
Stepping Stone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, August 16, 2018

Car of the Week: Harrell Coulter's 1993 Mustang

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Harrell Coulter from Prentiss, MS, who owns and races a 1993 Mustang.

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

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

What model/year do you race now?
1993 Mustang

Does your car have a nickname?
Black Magic

What's under the hood?
427 LSX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, August 14, 2018

2018 Fall Race Round Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Car of the Week: Lee Sawyer's 1971 Chevy Nova

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

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

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Don Nelson from Greensboro, NC, who owns and races a 1967 Ford Dyno.

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

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

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

Does your car have a nickname?
Dyno Don

What's under the hood?
351

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

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

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

Someone you look up to in racing?
Glenn Ferguson

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Differences Between Your Race Car and Daily Driver Torque Converter

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

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

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

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

Drag racing converters are designed and modified to:

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

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

Torque converter front (or cover)

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

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

Stator assembly

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

plastic, HAHA

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

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

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Car of the Week: Glenn McCary's 1971 Chevy Nova

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Glenn McCary from Rossville, Georgia, who owns and races a 1971 Chevy Nova.

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

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

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

Does your car have a nickname?
No.

What's under the hood?
496 BBC

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, July 20, 2018

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

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Ricky Gay from Joelton, Tennessee, who owns and races a 1975 Chevy El Camino.

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

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

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

Does your car have a nickname?
Black Betty

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

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

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

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

Someone you look up to in racing?
My Uncle Eddie

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Dannie Stacy from Rogers, Arkansas, who owns and races a 1997 Chevy Cavalier. 

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

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

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

Does your car have a nickname?
No.

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

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

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

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

Someone you look up to in racing?
Grumpy Jenkins

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

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

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, July 10, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, July 9, 2018

Car of the Week: Lance White's 1989 Ford Mustang

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

Car of the Week: Kevin Grider's 1971 Chevy Nova

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

Car of the Week: Brian Stockinger's 1979 z28

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

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

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

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

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

Car of the Week: Brian Spear's 1937 Ford Roadster

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

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

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

BTE Fans Share What Motivates Them to Race

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

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

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

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

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

Car of the Week: Michael Braddock's 1979 Chevy Camaro

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

Five Things to Bring to the Track Every Time

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

1.  Torque wrench

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

2. Fluids

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

3. Spares

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

4. Plastic tarp

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

5. Buy back money!

Mulligans, right?

 

 

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Thursday, April 12, 2018

Car of the Week: Terry Gilliland's 1967 Chevy Camaro

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

Advice for First Time Racers From BTE Racing Fans

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

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

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, April 9, 2018

Five Tips for Dragstrip Etiquette

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

1. Noise

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

2. Excessive finishline braking

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

3. Driving in the pits

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

4. Ripping the throttle

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

5.  Respect facility and its staff

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

 

 

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Thursday, April 5, 2018

Car of the Week: John Molyneux's 1972 Chevy Nova

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

Get Your Drag Racing Powerglide Transmission Ready For the Season.

Powerglide pre-season check list

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Brandon Barrentine at Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Car of the Week: Newlywed Edition featuring Michelle and Jake

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

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

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

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

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

Racing Movies to Enjoy Over Spring Break

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

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

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