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Car of the Week: Dan Thacker's 1962 Chevy II Nova

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Dan Thacker from Ashland, KY, who owns and races a 1962 Chevy II Nova.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
My dad got me into hot rods when I was a kid, then I got competitive with it as I got a little older. Then came the nitrous and I was hooked.

When and where was your first drag race?
My first drag race besides the ones in high school (2003ish) was in 2014 at KD Raceway in South Webster, Ohio. KD is still my favorite track because the Shutdown Hill gives me a huge adrenaline rush.

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
I currently race a 1962 Chevy II Nova 1000+ horsepower street car I pick my son up from school in. 

Does your car have a nickname?
The “Shitbox Chevy II” on Facebook 

What's under the hood?
Forged Ls 6.0 using MS3 pro engine management to send fuel for all the air that’s forced down its throat via the billet 88mm turbo. The engine is mated to a BTE 1.80 ‘glide to transfer the power to the Mark Williams 12 bolt rear end. 


Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Everything related to the transmission or converter is BTE. Currently running a pro brake valve body with a 1.80 gear set. The Billet converter was a big deal as it was within 75 rpm of the target we talked about when I ordered it and it flat out works!

 

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
I use BTE because a few years ago they helped me figure out a converter charge pressure issue on a trans and converter that wasn’t even their product. BTE customer service is second to none. I’ve been with BTE ever since then and have no reason to look elsewhere for anything race trans related.

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Quality, service and PERFORMANCE.

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Don Garlits will always be at the top of my list. I consider him one of the pioneers of drag racing.

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
The ‘55 from the movie Two Lane Blacktop would make me happier than a Ferrari.

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Either winning no prep big tire class at KD or watching my 7-year-old’s face when I hit boost on the way home from school.

Why do you race?
Because I love the sport and the people involved. I wouldn’t trade my race car family for anything.

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
My biggest challenge as a driver is not turning up to moon boost every time I drive. It’s been a steep learning curve going from N/A to nitrous then turbo but it’s been worth it—although my wife disagrees.

 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Car of the Week: Robert Prough's 2004 Mazda RX8

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Robert Prough from Greencastle, Missouri, who owns and races a 2004 Mazda RX8.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
My older brother.

When was your first drag race?
When I was 16 years old.

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
2004 Mazda RX8

Does your car have a nickname?
Modzilla

What's under the hood?
SBC 409 all forged internals

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
BTE Heavy Duty Flex plate, 168 Tooth, Internally Balanced

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
Best flex plate I have ever found.

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Friendly and knowledgeable.  

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
I looked up to my brother.

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
1969 Z28 BBC Camaro

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Out running my youngest son's big tire Camaro.

Why do you race?
Makes an old man feel good.

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Yearly upgrades and keeping up with modern technology.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Stay-At-Home Projects: Tips on Building a Racing Transmission

Building your own racing transmission can be tricky, but luckily for you we’ve compiled some great advice from the pros here at BTE Racing. Check out their tips before you dive into your project head first. 

 

The basics

  • Use strong, reliable components that are designed for high performance applications. Choose manufacturers with history and experience in racing transmission design and manufacturing.

  • A great resource for step-by-step powerglide assembly is Carl Munroe's excellent guidebook.

  • Snap ring pliers, torque wrenches, sockets and a good hammer should always be in arm's reach at the building table.

 

We asked our veteran transmission builders for some insider tricks that make transmission builds or rebuilds more successful. Here’s what they had to say:

 
  1. Cleanliness counts! A clean work area and clean parts should be a priority. Any amount of dust, grime, metal shavings, or even hair can cause a moving valve to stick or drag. At BTE, we wash parts in a hot steam pressure washer and also use solvents and media blasters when required.  

 
  1. Design a workspace that is comfortable and accessible. A work table that requires you to bend over or reach too far can be a headache (or a backache). Good, clean lighting is also a must for seeing details on component parts and for making difficult part installations go more smoothly.

 
  1. The "right" tools for the job are critical, but having a few *extra* tools doesn't hurt either. A lathe for machining pistons, seal installers, ring compressors, an air compressor for testing seals, and a dyno testing machine for trouble shooting are used by our builders every day to ensure perfect assembly. 

 
  1. Don't forget the assembly lube! A small amount of grease is required for many seal and other component installs. We like Life Automotive's Trans Prep. 

 
  1. Think outside the "box." When troubleshooting, always consider the external forces at work on the automatic transmission. From the electronics to the differential and tires, the automatic gearbox is affected by any out-of-the-ordinary operation from its mated component systems. 

 

We encourage more racers to manage their own transmission building and service. It's a rewarding (and potentially money-saving) experience. Have any suggestions of your own? Please post a comment on our blog! 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, May 11, 2020

Car of the Week: Jim Blalock's 1994 Chevrolet S10

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Jim Blalock from Abbeville, AL, who owns and races a 1994 Chevrolet S10.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
I lived close to our local drag strip Big A Dragway where we used to stand in the yard and listen to the cars. When I became older we would go watch and I always liked anything fast and loud.

When and where was your first drag race?
Probably 1976 either street or at the Big A.

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1994 Chevrolet S10

Does your car have a nickname?
Not really, but I refer to it as my Money Pit. 

What's under the hood?
383 sbc

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Converter 

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
Great products. Great service.

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Very dependable products. 

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Jeg Coughlin, I always thought he was a class act.

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
Pro Stock S10

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
My first round win over a guy I’ve watched race and win since the 90s.

Why do you race?
For the rush, there’s nothing like it.

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Reaction time 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, May 11, 2020

Drag Racing Events: May Update

The 2020 drag racing season has been a bummer so far, but there’s still hope! Several drag strips are re-opening this month so we’ve gathered a couple of events to put on your calendar and look forward to this May. 

 

*Please be aware of, and abide by, any health and safety protocols implemented by the race tracks you visit. 

 

Bristol Dragway - Bristol, TN
Although Bristol Dragway's first event of the month is tentative, it’s still on for now. Check their website for event updates.  

  • May 9: Street Fights #1 (Tentatively scheduled)

  • May 30: Street Fights #2
     

Atmore Dragway - Atmore, AL
Atmore Dragway is back in business and has events lined up for this weekend you don’t want to miss. Health and safety requirements can be found here.

  • May 8: Open Test & Tune and Gamblers Race

  • May 9: Win MORE with Atmore NHRA SSS Series #3

  • May 10: Win MORE with Atmore NHRA Races
     

Jackson Dragway - Jackson, TN
Happening a litter later in the month is an event to earn you some extra cash prize money called Mayhem in May.

  • May 22-23: This event includes the following racing categories: 275 Shootout, Radical Street, Street Fighter, and 6.0/7.0 Index

 

Atlanta Dragway - Commerce, GA
The 40th Annual NHRA Southern Nationals may be cancelled, but there are still plenty of races to look forward to this month at Atlanta Dragway.

  • May 8: "Fast Friday" Street Legal Racing

  • May 9: Summit Series Bracket Race (Jr. Street)

  • May 14-16: Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Car of the Week: Ben Partlow's 2016 Mega Truck

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Ben Partlow from Askov, MN, who owns and races a 2016 Mega Truck.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
I saw it on tv as a kid. Got into drag racing as a kid which progressed into dirt track racing, and now mud drags/hill in a hole mega truck racing.

When and where was your first drag race?
1999 Rock Falls Raceway in Eau Claire, WI.

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
Custom rear engine tube chassis mega truck

Does your car have a nickname?
INFAMOUS

What's under the hood?
568” alky injected big block chevy

 

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
9” race converter, ring less PG input shaft, PG front pump

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
I use BTE parts because they flat-out work! Customer service is great also and they stand behind their products.

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Damn good company!

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Anyone and everyone.. it’s all a big happy family and everyone is willing to help one another—until the helmet goes on!

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
Probably ‘70 Chevelle SS big block 4 speed car

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Winning class championship after a rough yr of lots of broken parts.

Why do you race?
Because I enjoy the family and I love to see the expressions and smiles when a kid sees me doing what I love doing! That’s what it’s all about is the kids that look up to us!

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Being competitive every weekend on changing tracks.

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Car of the Week: Cody Spears' 2001 Pontiac Formula

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Cody Spears from Mount Carmel, TN, who owns and races a 2001 Pontiac Formula.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
Started going to the track as a kid with my grandparents. 

When and where was your first drag race?
Cherokee Dragway 2005

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
2001 Pontiac Formula 

Does your car have a nickname?
Bird

What's under the hood?
Stock LS1 with a few bolt ons 

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

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
BTE is hands down the best transmission/converter company there is. 

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Best there is! 

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Richard Newman.  He has been a great mentor since I started racing, he has shown me everything about the sport and how to win. 

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
I really enjoy racing my Firebird. I don’t really have a dream car. I would just keep doing what I’m doing. Currently building an S10 which we should have out soon. We built it from scratch. 

Thanks to Hicks Fabrication for all the hard work put in on this build. 

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Winning the 2019 Division 9 Team finals, followed by finishing 3rd in the world in 2019 with IHRA.

Why do you race?
I enjoy it. I mean what else is there to do?! 

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Competing with a street car in classes that the equipment is so good and the racing is so tight.

 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Car of the Week: Glenn Evans' 1977 Ford F150

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Glenn Evans  from McDonough, GA, who owns and races a 1977 Ford F150.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
Grandpa and family

When and where was your first drag race?
In the 80s on the streets

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1977 (Converted mudtruck) F150

Does your car have a nickname?
Caution Lap 

What's under the hood?
BBF with Kaase SR-71 heads and Mad Dog headers

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Top sportsman glide and BTE converter 

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
The people are amazing, the customer service is the best in the business. Had a converter issue and Brandon and team helped me way beyond what was expected to get me the right parts to fix my truck and go racing at the level needed. Amazing Company!!!

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Helps racers race!!!

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
The man the legend John Force 

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
Pro stock truck!!

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
The next win.

Why do you race?
Just cause it's fun. 

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Budget 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, April 22, 2020

We Love the BTE Team

Getting your car to peak condition means putting in the time under the hood to make sure everything is working together and efficiently. The same can be said about our team here at BTE. They’re the engine that keeps us running and the reason we have become a brand that our customers know and trust. Here are a couple of comments from our loyal fans and even former employees that attest to our team’s credibility and expertise. 

“Brandon is a great guy. All my customers leave here with BTE products in their units!!” —Kenny Keller (licensed BTE distributor) on Facebook

“I’ve had my BTE powerglide and Converter for 19 years and just sent the converter back to have it freshened up after 19yrs of consistent dependable performance. The powerglide was sent to a local performance transmission builder to be checked. Even with a transbrake all the clutches and internals were like new. I could not believe I didn’t have to buy at least new clutches after all this time. And I credit everyone who works at BTE. It takes an entire team to produce such good quality parts. As far as I'm concerned I am a BTE guy for life. Thank you to everyone for going the extra mile you guys are #1 in my book.” —Michael Lane on Facebook

 

“Brandon Barrentine thank you and all your employees for what you do for us racers! Even with the few bugs I’ve got left to workout the new powerglide performed flawlessly!”—Ethan Reed on Facebook

“I think we have the best crew ever! So thankful for our BTE family.” —Jane Taylor Barrentine (BTE matriarch) on Facebook

 

“As a former employee of BTE I can attest to this place being the best place to work and feel like everybody is family. Miss everyone there!”—Nick Tapp on Facebook (We miss you too, Nick!)

To speak with a member of our talented team, call 1-800-626-1828. We’re standing by to talk shop or help you find and order the right part. Thanks for your continued support and for letting us be Part Of YourRacing Team. 

 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, April 16, 2020

Car of the Week: Chris Kaarsberg's 1977 Holden Torana

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Chris Kaarsberg from Warwick, Queensland, Australia, who owns and races a 1977 Holden Torana.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
Always been into cars.

When and where was your first drag race?
Late 80s on the back roads around town. 

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1977 Holden Torana 

Does your car have a nickname?
Tori

What's under the hood?
Twin turbo 388ci ls

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Gearbox and converter, so far. 

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
Because they’re great products, and even better people. 

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Best products ever! 

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Everybody in the sport.

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
Still my Torana. 

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Winning super street at the winternation. 

Why do you race?
For fun.

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Tuning the car.


 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Stay-at-Home Projects: Upgrading Your TH400

Being at home can get old when you don’t have a project to work on. So, here’s something to keep you occupied, keep your hands busy and keep your car in racing condition. 

When building a high performance 3-speed transmission, the direct drum is one of the most important components to upgrade as it impacts reliability, safety, and performance of your transmission. As in the case of our TH400, the shafts and gear sets are very durable, and, if the drum is upgraded, the power rating of the transmission nearly doubles.

BTE offers three solutions for the direct drum replacement in a TH400 transmission:

34 Element Sprag Upgrade
In our experience, the original spring and roller isn't reliable above 500 ft-lbs in most scenarios. A modified original factory drum with this sprag is suitable for most cars making up to 750 ft-lbs of torque.

36 Element Sprag Upgrade
Heavier car? We offer an even stronger 36 element sprag on the factory drum. This modified drum has a much larger inner and outer race design, so as many as five intermediate racing clutches can be installed (and are included with the drum). We also include a billet pressure plate.

TH400 Aluminum Direct Drum with Pro Mod Sprag
Our best TH400 direct drum is a hybrid aluminum and steel design. It still has the 36 element sprag and the five clutch intermediate pack, but the clutch drum portion is constructed from 7075-T6 hard anodized aluminum. This lightweight and durable material reduces the weight by 50% compared to the original factory drum. Why does that matter? Weight reduction improves the safety of the drum, the life of the sprag, and the performance of the car—an all-around win.

BTE's aluminum direct drum is superior to other designs because of its steel center. The splines are less prone to damage than the full aluminum drums, and the steel reduces wear from sealing rings (another problem with full aluminum drums). When utilizing a "clean neutral" valve body, an aluminum direct drum must be used.

We’re proud to be Part of Your Racing Team and are here to help with any rebuild projects and offer any parts recommendations you may need. Get in touch at 1-800-626-1828 or visit our website bteracing.com to place an order.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, April 9, 2020

Car of the Week: Bill Mccarty's 1984 Dodge D150

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Bill Mccarty from Bloomington, Indiana, who owns and races a 1984 Dodge D150.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
My brother took me back in 1989 and I have been hooked ever since.

When and where was your first drag race?
1989 in Terre Haute, Indiana at the Terre Haute Action Dragstrip.

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1984 Dodge D150, bench seat, column shift best e.t. 7.03@97.

Does your car have a nickname?
"Clifford" the Big Red Dodge.

What's under the hood?
Junkyard 360 magnum with 230k miles

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Flexplate, converter

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
Haven't broken any parts yet and it has allowed my truck to remain consistent. 

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Unbeatable quality guaranteed. 

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
I have sooo many I get inspiration from...Luke Bogacki is one.

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
One that's low maintenance and consistent, winning is all I wanna do.

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Winning super pro, pro and sportsman in the same night, same truck footbraking and not buying back...28 total passes on 10 gallons of 87 pump gas

Why do you race?
To hang with great friends, enjoy the challenge, and to introduce my kids to a great sport.

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Staying consistent as a driver.

 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Car of the Week: Brent Lancaster's 1970 Chevy Nova

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Brent Lancaster from Fort Worth, Texas, who owns and races a 1970 Chevy Nova.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
My grandpa and dad.

When and where was your first drag race?
Kennedale, TX in 2009

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1970 Nova bracket car 

Does your car have a nickname?
Bug Eyes 

What's under the hood?
601 Rudd racing engines BBC 

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

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
I use BTE because Mr Wendell’s Motorsports got us connected. They’ve turned my program completely around and made it such a good working car. 

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Friendly, Loyal, Dedicated

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Every single one of them. They all give so much and spend so much time to make this sport better! 

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
1955 Chevy completely stock

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Winning two championships the year after my dad passed away was magical. 

Why do you race?
Because it’s my passion and because I carry on the legacy of my dad and grandfather. 

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Driving the stripe. 



 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Powerglide Transmission Checklist

While some of you have some extra time to get your rides ready for the season, here's five important checks to make to ensure your racing powerglide transmission is ready to hit the track.

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 Amber Ambrose at Friday, March 27, 2020

Car of the Week: Bill Mszyco's 1984 Monte Carlo SS

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Bill Mszyco from Pittsburgh, PA , who owns and races a 1984 Monte Carlo SS.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
My uncle

When and where was your first drag race?
I was 10 years old at the South Mountain Raceway.

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1984 Monte Carlo SS 

Does your car have a nickname?
Money Pit 

What's under the hood?
468 Chevy big block 

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
None as of now.

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
The best parts 

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
John Force

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
Funny car 

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Winning at the Ghost, Goblins and Gearheads Race. 

Why do you race?
I enjoy it. 

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Reaction times

 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Car of the Week: Mark Blake's 1994 Camaro

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

How did you get interested in drag racing?
My dad and family friends. 

When and where was your first drag race?
Tri-River Dragway 

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
Camaro 1994

Does your car have a nickname?
Moody blue 

What's under the hood?
L33 5.3, vsracing turbo. 

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Complete trans build with brake and custom BTE converter. Built by Bob Potter.

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
BTE always has good quality products, quick response, and shipping. 

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Responsible. Respectable. Quality. 

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Benji Mosley and Chuck Felty 

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
69 camaro, small tire. Turbo car. 

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Being with my son as he tunes cars at the track. Seeing the local guys respect him and seeing him get a following in the racing and hot rod community. 

Why do you race?
To see how fast we can go on our own custom builds.  

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Time. 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, March 18, 2020

An Update from BTE President, Brandon Barrentine

To all of our BTE community, 

In this rapidly changing world, we at BTE are working hard to adapt as best we can to this current crisis.  As schools, businesses, and public events (drag races!) are delayed or temporarily closed, we will continue to serve your needs to the best of our ability while keeping our team members safe and healthy as possible.  Currently, we are open and running at full speed, but as we have all seen in the last week, things change by the hour. If we are directed by our state or federal government to close our business at any time in the future, be assured that we will still be available through our regular communication channels - phone, live chat, FB email, and FB messenger - to provide support.  

 

We thank you for your continued support, and we appreciate your shared passion for motorsports.  For those of us at home, this is a great time to spend with your race car and your immediate family.  But we are all in this same boat together and please don’t forget those vulnerable in our communities - the elderly, children, the hungry, and working people that will be most affected.


Regards,

 

Brandon Barrentine

President

BTE 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Car of the Week: Kenny Propst's 2015 American Dragster

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series! 

This is where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Kenny Propst from Houston, Texas, who owns and races a 2015 American Dragster.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
My stepdad drove Top Fuel Funny Car.

When and where was your first drag race?
First competitive race was 2016 at Northstar Dragway in Sanger, TX. 

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
2015 American Dragster and 2011 TNT Dragster 

Does your car have a nickname?
American is named Roxy; TNT is yet to be determined 

What's under the hood?
American aluminum bbc 582 , TNT bbc 632 18° big duke

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Everything but the case is BTE in American, including a billet valve body. Also have a complete spare that was built identical (except for case).

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
Proven products that have been around for a long time. BTE customer service helped us at a race in Rockingham.  

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Great racing company 

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Too many of them to list, the really good ones all have different qualities to their driving. 

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
Top Fuel dragster 

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Couple finals

Why do you race?
Because I love it! Definitely not to pay my bills. Lol.

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Staying consistent. 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, March 9, 2020

Car of the Week: Ryan Taggart's 1967 Chevy II Wagon

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Ryan Taggart from Brandon, MS, who owns and races a 1967 Chevy II Wagon.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
It’s in my blood. My dad and brother also drag race.

When and where was your first drag race?
Jackson International Dragway Pearl MS in 1984

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1967 Chevy II Wagon w/ big block

Does your car have a nickname?
SwampThing

What's under the hood?
762 Teheran Morrison w/ 3 stages of Nitrous

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Transmissions and converters

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
Y'all are local and have good products.

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Good products and people

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Buddy Hillard

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
1967 Camaro convertible

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Beating Key Kelley on my first street race.

Why do you race?
Because I love it.

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
I always want to go faster.



 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, March 3, 2020

2020 Spring Racing Events Roundup

With winter out the door, it’s time to get back into the swing of things for the spring season. We’ve made a list of upcoming drag races around the country to keep on your radar. Check out our round up below and let us know which races you’re planning to compete in or spectate.

BTE King of the Coast Bracket Racing Series | Feb. 28- Mar. 1
We’re always excited to get together with the racing community, so we can’t wait to see everyone make their way to the Gulfport Dragway in Mississippi for our season opener. Up for grabs in this three-day event are cash prizes and a BTE Top Sportsman transmission.

DENSO Auto Parts NHRA Four-Wide Nationals | Apr. 5-7
Visit the only strip that matters in Vegas— the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This four-wide event is set to be an entertaining event for both fans and racers, so mark your calendars.

Midnight Madness Fueled By Monster Energy  | Apr. 10
For those who like to socialize and race, the Midnight Madness at Gateway Motorsports Park (located at 700 Raceway Blvd., Madison, IL 62060) is the event for you and your family. The event is open for all licensed drivers and any street-legal car or motorcycle, and features attractions and activities for everyone to enjoy.

Sonoma Dragway Bracket Racing | March 7-8
This Bracket Racing series includes something for all types of racers including categories for High School, Trophy, Motorcycle, Sportsman, Pro and Super Pro. Overnight camping is available for Friday and Saturday night—convenient for those itching to get on the track as soon as the gates open. 

Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series | May 30-Jun. 2
Head to Route 66 Raceway and enjoy the event that showcases racers of all ages on the famed track where many pro racers began their careers. Categories in this event include Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car, Competition Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Top Dragster, Top Sportsman and Pro Stock Snowmobile complete the LODRS classes. Winners will be announced on the last day. 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Car of the Week: Tony Tafelski's 1978 Oldsmobile Omega

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Tony Tafelski from Toledo, Ohio, who owns and races a 1978 Oldsmobile Omega.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
Grew up drag racing. 

When and where was your first drag race?
25 years ago at Sand Drags Milan Dragway.

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1978 Oldsmobile Omega

Does your car have a nickname?
Melwood 

What's under the hood?
Big block Chevy 

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
BTE sponsors my 1938 Fiat, and we buy rebuild kits from BTE.

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
Helps me save money which equals more track time.

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Most helpful business.

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Randy Sharere

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
1969 Cutlass w30

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
5K Winner Ubly Dragway, Oct. 2019.

Why do you race?
I’m addicted! I love it. 

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
MONEY.

 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Car of the Week: John Schaeffer's 1999 Camaro

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring John Schaeffer from Springfield, Missouri, who owns and races a 1999 Camaro.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
Watching NHRA growing up.

When and where was your first drag race?
Ozark raceway Park Rogersville Mo.

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1999 Camaro 

Does your car have a nickname?
The Juice 

What's under the hood?
Dart LS 427 W F1X Procharger

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
BTE clutches and 1.69 gears

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
I can count on American made products to last

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Dependability, craftsmanship, and American.

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Tim Slavens

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
C8 twin turboed by me

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Getting to race with my family.

Why do you race?
I have a competitive nature in me and to race with my friends.

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Tuning to the track at different times of the day if it's a weekend race.

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, February 14, 2020

Race to these Dates... in History

It’s time to hit the history books–drag racing history, that is. We’ve compiled a few significant moments in drag racing’s story in the U.S. from historic firsts to key institutional developments. Come along for the ride to learn more about the sport we know and love.

Speed vs Acceleration
The Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) hosted their first speed week in Bonneville Salt Flats in 1949. The race gave racers the opportunity to run “against the clock” (essentially a stopwatch). This caused racers to shift their focus from obtaining the highest speeds possible to getting a quicker acceleration instead, paving the way for modern drag racing. 

Santa Ana Drags
The very first official drag strip was built on an auxiliary runway at Texas’ Orange County Airport back on June 19, 1950. The drag strip, named Santa Ana Drags, included a pit area, restrooms, grandstands and computerized timing clock, which appealed to many racers as it gave them the opportunity to accurately time their runs. Unfortunately, the historic strip closed down on June 21, 1959. Reunions still take place there two times per year.

Words become reality
As co-founder and writer for Hot Rod Magazine, Wallace “Wally” Parks used the platform as a way to promote safety practices among racers. In May 1951, his efforts grew to create an organized government among the racing community which is known as the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). 

1955
This year marks the first time the NHRA hosted their Nationals event. The event took place in  Great Bend, Kansas. The event is now known as the “Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals” and has settled at the Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis (formerly known as Indianapolis Raceway Park), after a verbal agreement between Wally Parks and the former owners of the track. 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, February 7, 2020

Car of the Week: Gene Sweatt's 1976 Vega

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Gene Sweatt from Brighton, Tennessee, who owns and races a 1976 Vega.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
I’ve been around cars most of my adult life. 

When and where was your first drag race?
Lakeland in 1973

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
23 Altered NDRl circuit also a 76 Vega with 871 blown Ls 

Does your car have a nickname?
Vega Bat 2.0

What's under the hood?
Injected small block, 871 blown injected 5.3. 

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Convertor

Why do you use BTE? 
Local 

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Friendly. Local. Experienced.

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
All of the pros.

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
Pro Mod

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
2nd place in points Dixie Door Slammers

Why do you race?
Thrill and Excitement

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Keep having fun.

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, February 7, 2020

Drag Strip Series - AL

Welcome to our new series where we highlight drag strips all over the country. Our next stop is Alabama, where we find the home of the Tater Hauler as well as the NHRA-sanctioned track in Atmore. There are quite a number of tracks in Alabama, so just like in our first blog in the series, we narrowed it down to the four top-rated tracks, listed below.

Baileyton Good Time Drag Strip - Baileyton, AL
The title of the oldest drag strip on this list goes to Baileyton “Goodtime” Dragstrip which was built back in 1966 by Jack Walker and is home to the Tater Hauler (a longtime trademark of the drag strip). The 1/8th mile dragstrip has raving reviews from racers as being family-friendly and an overall great environment to race in. As it goes into its 54th year of business, the dragstrip continues to be family-operated by Jack Walker’s grandson Russ and daughter-in-law Sasha. Be sure to pay them a visit this coming racing season.

Cottonwood Dragway - Cottonwood, AL
This friendly track strives to provide a great time racing while making new friends in the process (per racers’ praise). The 1/8th mile drag strip is located just 15 minutes South of Dothan, AL. The best news is that the track is already back in business after the off season, having hosted their first event of the year this past weekend (Feb. 1) and another event coming up February 27.  

Atmore Dragway - Atmore, AL
Opening in 2013 the NHRA-sanctioned Atmore Dragway has recently undergone a  $1.2+ million transformation to their track as a way to attract more diverse events. Their racing events include pro mods, top dragsters, bracket racing, junior dragsters, heads up, gassers, motorcycles, and others. The 1/8th mile drag strip has an upcoming test and tune event on February 9. 

I-22 Motorsports Park - Elridge, AL
The I-22 Motorsports Park is a family-owned and operated track, founded by longtime friends Scott Tucker, former drag racer Gregg Burgess and Bill Haley. The park just celebrated their 10 year anniversary this past year, reflecting on their opening back in spring 2009 with the help of friends and family. The track is closed for the off season for now, but will reopen this Spring. 

 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, January 31, 2020

Car of the Week : Scott White's 1969 Chevelle

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Scott White from Grand Junction, CO, who owns and races a 1969 Chevelle.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
It’s been so long I can’t remember...

Where was your first drag race?
Mexico.

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1969 Chevelle. 100% street car, 100% track legal. All motor, 3700 lbs. Runs 9.40’s in 7500+ DA air.

Does your car have a nickname?
Mean Green

What's under the hood?
600ci BBC single carb. 

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

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
Great products, service, reliability, and better parts. 

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Fantastic customer service

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Larry Larson

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
Pro Mod

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Winning Street Car shootout 9.50 index class with my true street car against all the other race “street” cars. LOL. 

Why do you race?
It’s in my blood. Love the adrenaline rush. 

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Cutting a consistent light.

 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, January 31, 2020

Car of the Week: Donald Gertz II's 1974 Chevy Nova

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Donald Gertz II from Crownsville, MD, who owns and races a 1974 Chevy Nova.
 
How did you get interested in drag racing?
When my Dad started racing around 1966.

When and where was your first drag race?
In the summer of 1996, when I got my license.

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1974 Chevy Nova, tagged streetcar, Drag Week 2019 survivor 

Does your car have a nickname?
The Christie Lee 

What's under the hood?
Used 406 with a used cam and my dad's old heads, I call it sketchy mouse.

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Not yet. Honestly, I didn't discover you guys ‘till I started racing WFC in 2015. But, I certainly see myself supporting y'all in the future. Your support to the sport is greatly appreciated. 

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
Great racing supporters. 

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
My dad

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
‘65 Chevelle

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Surviving Drag Week 2019, and the RU and MMTV interview with Jared Pennington at WFC 2016

Why do you race?
The drive to always improve and succeed. 

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Finish line driving and to not tinker lol.
 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, January 27, 2020

Racing Biopics

You know you made it big as a drag racer when Hollywood comes knocking on your door. It’s exciting to see racing greats get their own full feature film or documentary to inspire upcoming racers—and also to indulge a bit of nostalgia for experienced racers who grew up watching these legends. Check out our list of biopics (including one kid-friendly one by Disney!) perfect to watch with the whole family. 

Heart Like A Wheel 
It’s crazy to think that Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney was ever an underdog considering her permanent status as racing royalty. This movie depicts her journey to becoming a household name in drag racing—a predominantly male sport, especially back then. Unfortunately, this movie is not available online, but you can rent the DVD from Netflix on a selected plan. 

LEGENDS: THE SERIES - DON GARLITS
Much to our dismay, the great Don “Big Daddy” Garlits has yet to have his own motion picture, but CompetitionPlus TV did feature him on their Legends series. In it, Don speaks about his humble upbringing and his time as a racer back in the day. The great thing about the series is that it can be viewed on YouTube.

Ford vs. Ferrari
The full-length film focuses on car designer Carroll Shelby and legendary driver Ken Miles as they build the ultimate sports car for Ford Motor Company to beat Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. It’s a movie that depicts a bit of the rivalry between both car brands and everything it took to build one of the best racing cars Ford ever offered. The movie is still available to watch in selected theatres. 

Right on Track
This Disney movie follows the life of infamous Ender sisters, but primarily focuses on Erica Enders as she sets to prove her talents in what was dubbed “a man's sport” to become a champion racer. Great movie to enjoy with the family and inspire the future generation of drag racers. You can watch it now on Disney + with a subscription.

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Thursday, January 23, 2020

Car of the Week: John Upchurch's 1966 Chevy Malibu

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Jon Upchurch from Amarillo, Texas, who owns and races a 1966 Chevy Malibu.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
Racing has been in my family for years!

When and where was your first drag race?
In 2013 at Amarillo Dragway 

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1966 Chevy Malibu 

Does your car have a nickname?
Ol’ Blue 

What's under the hood?
461

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
A converter and a TH400

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
BTE has helped by getting the car more consistent with the trans and converter. 

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
A1 quality products!

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Carroll Caudle 

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
Tube chassis 1969 camaro

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
2019 IHRA World Finals qualifier 

Why do you race?
Just to get out and have fun with great friends and family!

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
To be the best I can! 

 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, January 21, 2020

How to Use BTE’s Transmission & Torque Converter Tune Up Services

It’s tune-up time! While BTE is in the business of manufacturing and distributing new high-performance parts for your racing vehicles, we also service your current parts for the absolutely best performance so you and your car are ready to roll when the season heats up. 

 

Now is the best time to get your powerglides, torque converters and other racing transmissions tuned up. Just FYI: They don't have to be from BTE, we service all types of equipment from all manufacturers.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

BTE is proud to be a full-service transmission shop and manufacturer. Thank you for trusting us with your parts and for letting us be a part of your racing team.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Car of the Week: Nic Gaines' 1972 Mach One

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Nic Gaines from Hayward, MN, who owns and races a 1972 Mach One.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
My stepdad, he got the whole family interested in it.

When and where was your first drag race?
Around 2003 at Cedar Falls Raceway. I was racing a ‘67 Mustang—I still have it. 

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
‘72 Mach One. My stepdad started racing it over 20 years ago and I’ve been racing it for a while now. Its most special feature is that it hasn’t been cut up.  

Does your car have a nickname?
The Mach

What's under the hood?
412 SBF

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
None, currently.

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
Although I’m not currently using BTE, I know they’ve helped many racers. 

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Committed, Consistent, Competitive 

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Jack Beckman 

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
Top Sportsman or Pro Stock

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
I was the runner-up of the 100k at the Firecracker Nationals.

Why do you race?
It’s a great time with the family. 

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Consistent reaction times 


 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Drag Strip Series - TN Part I

Welcome to our new series highlighting drag racing tracks, where we explore the places you like to race across the country. We begin with Tennessee, which has quite a few tracks (so there’ll be a Part II to this state’s roundup). 

Bristol Dragway
Opening in 1965, the Bristol Dragway is more famously known as “Thunder Valley.” After several upgrades throughout the years, the drag strip’s elevation at the top end is 72 feet higher than the start, the professional pit area can fit 100 cars and transporters, and the sportsman area can hold up to 500 cars.

Crossville Dragway
Crossville Dragway is a 1/8 mile dragstrip located in Crossville, TN, which was recently rebuilt from the ground up. The all-new Crossville Dragway has actually been around for more than 40 years, but recently upgraded to a new concrete track, concession stands, stands, and updated equipment. 

Memphis International Drag Strip
Opened in 1987, the drag strip at Memphis International Raceway is ¼ mile, with concrete guard walls through the shutdown area, and trans lux LED scoreboards with 48” digits. The track is also one of only 23 NHRA member tracks to host a national event.

Music City Raceway
The oldest track on this list, Music City Raceway was established back in 1958 as Union Hill Raceway or “The Hill.” The drag strip is ⅛ mile, and also the longest-running drag racing facility in the NHRA Division 2. Time trials, testing, and tune-up start in February with runs beginning in March.



 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, January 10, 2020

Car of the Week: Jeremy Lyons 1982 Chevrolet Camaro

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Jeremy Lyons from Brandenburg, KY, who owns and races a 1982 Chevrolet Camaro.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
Watching my uncles with their ‘69 Camaros 

When and where was your first drag race?
A long time ago at US60 Raceway in Hardinsburg, KY.

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1982 Chevrolet Camaro

Does your car have a nickname?
Looking for a nickname lol

What's under the hood?
Knieriem Racing Engines 565 w/single-stage fogger 

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
BTE Transmission 

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
BTE has one tough transmission, no way we could put the power to the track without it. And, the affordability, service and customer interaction is AWESOME. 

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Best Torque Engineering 

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Bo Butner 

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
Pro Stock Camaro 

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
2x NMCA Nitrous Pro Street Top Ten

Why do you race?
Because there is nothing like letting go of the button & I love it!

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Going from local racing to the NMCA Racing series 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Car of the Week: Gary Whitford Jr's 1969 Camaro Z/28

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Gary Whitford Jr. from Hurst, TX, who owns and races a 1969 Camaro Z/28.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
My Father

When and where was your first drag race?
Age 15 at Texas Raceway 

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1969 Camaro Z/28

Does your car have a nickname?
The Show

What's under the hood?
Blown 540 BBC

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

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
Quality, performance and continued reliability. 

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Best Transmission Ever

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Steve Fast

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
'69 Camaro pro mod

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Racing in Outlaw Armageddon 

Why do you race?
Love Racing

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Trying to control this monster

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Car of the Week: Ron Flood's 1972 Chevelle

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Ron Flood from North Branch, MN, who owns and races a 1972 Chevelle.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
I always loved cars and I started racing as a kid.

When and where was your first drag race?
1988 at Rock Falls Raceway. 

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1972 Chevelle

Does your car have a nickname?
The Klarkowski Chevelle

What's under the hood?
383 Small block. 

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

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
Reliability and quality. Parts that work, round after round. 

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
One and only.

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Terry Haddock

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
Alcohol funny car

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
Won the Garfield Street drags with the help of all my friends. 

Why do you race?
The rush. G forces.

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Getting everything ready and actually making it to the track.

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, December 25, 2019

BTE Top Sellers

What are other BTE customers buying? We’ve made a shortlist of BTE’s best selling online items just in time for Christmas. Take a look and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask one of our experts through our online chat option.

BTE POWERGLIDE MASTER OVERHAUL KIT
$170.00 USD

Need to overhaul your powerglide transmission? This kit has everything you’ll need, including a new band, 6 high gear steels, 6 high gear frictions, gaskets, seals, all new bushings, filter, o-rings, and reverse steel and friction clutches.

BTE POWERGLIDE PUMP - HIGH VOLUME
$465.00 USD

Ready to solve that pesky problem with transbrake rolling at the starting line? This re-designed pump has a new flanged and bolted-in 4340 steel stator support tube, with a 7 clamping bolt design to increase strength, a black oxide coating to prevent rusting, and a coated main gear to increase gear life. 

BILLET POWERGLIDE TRANSBRAKE VALVE BODY - PRO
$475.00 USD

Our newly designed valve body weighs less than 8 lbs and is manufactured with our CNC machine. With our billet powerglide transbrake valve body you get an ultrafast transbrake release, pro brake operation (safety neutral design), forward shift pattern, and more listed on our website. 

BTE 1.80 STRAIGHT CUT 9310 POWERGLIDE GEAR SET
$850.00 USD

If you’re working on your transmission then you’ll need a strong backbone like our 1.80 straight cut gear set. With our computer-balanced gear set, you’ll get 9310 vacumelt steel gears (made in our own facility), 4340 steel forged output shaft, all new steel gear carrier, and don’t forget about our 2-year warranty against failure or breakage.

BTE 1.98 STRAIGHT CUT 9310 POWERGLIDE GEAR SET
$850.00 USD

Don’t forget our gear sets can be used for racing cars as well as racing trucks and boats. This 1.98 gear set includes everything mentioned in the 1.80 as well as precision ground steel pins, billet steel sun gear flange plate, and a 2-year warranty against failure or breakage.



 
Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, December 20, 2019

Car of the Week: Darrell Cramer's 1966 C10

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Darrell Cramer from Winnemucca, Nevada, who owns and races a 1966 C10.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
I always liked the speed and HP. 

When and where was your first drag race?
25 years ago at our local airport.

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
1966 C10 

Does your car have a nickname?
Not yet, I was thinking about calling it Bisquick.

What's under the hood?
BBC 496

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Turbo 350 and transbrake

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
Upgrade the transbrake, which helped with consistency.

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Great warranty and support.

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
Anyone who built their own car

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
What I’m building. Love working on it and driving it.

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
The respect my truck gets from other racers.

Why do you race?
Love the HP.

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Consistency.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, December 18, 2019

BTE 2019 Gift Guide

Wondering what to get the racer who ‘has it all?’ Check out our list of the top gifts for drag racers below. 

1. Drag Racing Gloves
These gloves are great for grip, control and have an SFI rating of 3.3/15. The leather pads on the palm area are great to prevent hands from slipping on the wheel in case of sweaty palms. 

2. Phone car holder
It’s likely that they spend a lot of time in their car traveling from one race to another. A car phone mount makes it easy to look at their phone when they’re using GPS or listening to music. 

3. Dash Camera
The perfect gadget to use for on or off the racetrack. The dash camera gives them the chance to document, review and critique each race.

4. BTE Gear
BTE gear never goes out of style and it’s the perfect way for the racer in your life to represent their favorite racing brand. Hats and shirts are available to order—just add to cart.  

5. Bluetooth Adapter
For any racers still listening to tunes on a cassette or CD player, this Bluetooth adapter allows you to stream music from your phone through your car speakers.

6. Car Toys
Get them the toy-sized car of their dreams. It’s an affordable way to make their dreams come true makes a piece of decoration for their desk, room, or garage. 

7. Driving shoes
Who says you can’t wear driving shoes every day? Piloti has an impressive selection of good-looking shoes for both men and women. They’ve even collaborated with Chevy’s Corvette and Camaro for a special line.

8. Lego Mustang
Let your racer build a classic with this intricate Lego Mustang. The Lego Mustang isn’t just a model either—the doors open, the wheels turn, and you can even customize parts. A perfect side project while waiting for the spring drag racing season to start.  

9. Key Organizer
Get rid of that extra clutter in their keys with a key organizer. It even comes with a couple of extra accessories like a little compartment to hide your cash, a bottle opener, and a carabiner. 

10. Drag Illustration subscription
Help them catch up on the latest news in drag racing. Subscribe on their website to receive a monthly magazine of the latest news in the drag racing world. 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, December 13, 2019

Car of the Week: Bob Kruger 2007 Ford Crown Victoria

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Bob Kruger from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, who owns and races a 2007 Ford Crown Victoria.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
My brother at age 13 and his friend Erik Johnson. 

When and where was your first drag race?
My first race was in my ‘84 Hurst Olds, my brother drove and won.

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
2007 Ford Crown Victoria, mercury swap, converted to quick fuel carb e85, custom made. Competition products and custom ground cams from Howards cams and I’m trying to convert to 4150 bolt-on fuel injection carb with handheld tuner.

Does your car have a nickname?
Black Sunshine. Music and drag racing have helped me get through significant health problems.

What's under the hood?
4.6 2v Ford 

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Hoping to get a trans and converter.

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
I don't know how to tune on a laptop that has an MSD modular box, and due to some health problems, I have issues with wiring. Regardless, I continue to drive to help out charities.

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
I would keep building this 2007 Police Interceptor and add a single turbo and not run nitrous. Kids love it!

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
I overcame a huge fear of mine and got to run 3 times this year.

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
I look up to the older guys that are nice and appreciate something different. It's been great to hear all the people with positive things to say. 

Why do you race? 
I can't race like I used to, but I still do it because it feels good to show kids and doubters that I still can. I face my fears of being around people and I advise kids to build what you want, not what others want. Love seeing old and new builds. I appreciate all the little details in racing, seeing people smile nowadays—could use more of that.

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Racing Tips

There’s a steep learning curve for the first time drag racer and sometimes it can feel like information overload. But you can always count on drag racers look out for one another, sharing tips gained through years of experience. We asked the BTE drag racing community for tips they wish they had known when they first started racing. Check out what they had to say.

Tread Carefully
Take care of your tires and they’ll take care of you. This is one of the tips racers said they wish they’d known more about. Read what Barry McLarty and Steve VanPatten said.

“Stay out of the water with street tires. Water can hide in the treads and send you home early.”  –Barry McLarty

“Don't try doing a smokey burnout with street tires. Because it won't hook up whatsoever when you launch it.”  –Steve VanPatten

Dude, where do I put my car?
You’re next on the track when it hits you: “How far deep do I need to place my car?” Mark Akullian and Bart Hoiles both say the placement in staging and syncing with the sensors is a bit tricky. 

“How to stage deep or shallow. Some start out in reverse from in and out lack of knowledge”    –Mark Akullian

“Probably where to park the car in the beams the exact same every time and learning the 3 stages of each bulb action.”  –Bart Hoiles 

$$$
You’ll notice quickly drag racing is not a cheap hobby and based on what Rob Krueger and Shannon Brown said, it’s probably one of the most challenging things about racing. From repairing and upgrading parts to paying race registrations and travel costs, racers can run up a hefty tab participating in this great sport.  

“Trying too keep up with technology and affording it.”  –Rob Krueger 

“How to make enough money to afford anything racing related and to just buy the good stuff the first time. And there's no such thing as finished.”  –Shannon Brown 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, December 6, 2019

Car of the Week: Ryan Otenberger's 1968 Chevy Nova

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Ryan Otenberger from Orlando, FL, who owns and races a 1968 Chevy Nova.

How did you get interested in drag racing?
Born into it. 

When and where was your first drag race?
National Trail Raceway, Ohio. I started going at 4 years old as a spectator, made my first pass at age 16 in 2002. 

What model/year do you race now? Any special features?
‘68 Nova, 275 et Street pro drag radial 

Does your car have a nickname?
The Freedom Nova

What's under the hood?
BBC, single-stage nitrous plate. 

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

What is your biggest challenge as a driver?
Finding time to do it!

Why do you use BTE? How has BTE helped you improve your racing?
Great products and great customer support 

Describe BTE Racing in 3 words.
Reliable. Fast. Consistent. 

If money were no object, what would your dream car be?
Nitrous Radial vs World Car 

What is your proudest drag racing moment?
First time I went .9xx 60’ in a car 

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
John Force 

Why do you race? 
It’s my life. 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Car of the Week: Wendell Kenney's 1979 El Camino

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Wendell Kenney from Midlothian, VA who owns and races a  1979 El Camino.

How did you get into drag racing?
A Friend

Where was your first drag race?
1967 Biloxi, MS. I won my first race and I still have trophy.

What model/year do you race now?
1979 El Camino

Does your car have a nickname?
Farm Truck

What's under the hood?
377ci

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Converter and TH350

Why do you use BTE?
Heard good things before buying and am really satisfied with the service and products.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
I would like to give you an update on the converter you freshen up/loosen up for me. I picked almost 3mph in the eight. The only other change I made was putting my 28x10.5 Hossier slicks on 8" rims from 10". Converter is working great. Thank you.

A drag racer you look up to?
Bill Grumpy Jenkins

If money were no object, what would you drive?
‘67 Camaro

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

 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, November 25, 2019

Car of the Week: Hoyt Cartwright's 1967 Camaro

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Hoyt Cartwright from Rossville, TN who owns and races a ‘67 Camaro.

How did you get into drag racing?
Been addicted since childhood. 

Where was your first drag race?
Lakeland International Raceway

What model/year do you race now?
‘67 Camaro 

Does your car have a nickname?
O Blue

What's under the hood?
632 ci 

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Converter and transmission 

Why do you use BTE?
Great products 

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
Knowing a lifetime of family through Bill Taylor. Just knowing I could call him at any time and get great information or advice. 

A drag racer you look up to?
Clay Millican

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Same as now. I’m happy where I’m at.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Rev on the red line   

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Monday, November 18, 2019

Car of the Week: Vert Wallace's 1979 Chevy Malibu

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Vert Wallace from Minneapolis, Minnesota who owns and races a 1979 Chevy Malibu.

How did you get into drag racing?
I started with street racing and it evolved into drag racing.

Where and when was your first drag race?
My first race was on the street in the late ‘90s in a 1970 Cutlass on West Broadway in Minneapolis.

What model/year do you race now?
1979 Chevy Malibu 

Does your car have a nickname?
Blue Cheese 

What's under the hood?
BBC Chev

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Converter

Why do you use BTE?
I went with BTE because of the nice price, good service and quality products.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
I changed to a BTE converter and my ET and MPH improved drastically. 

A drag racer you look up to?
All the great racers.

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Still my 1979 Chevy Malibu 

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I clap my hands before I pull in the beams.

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Car of the Week: Calvin Reynolds' 2006 TNT Dragster

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Calvin Reynolds from Lancaster, KY who owns and races a 2006 TNT Dragster.

How did you get into drag racing?
I started in Jr. Dragsters when I was 11 years old.

Where was your first drag race?
Mountain Parkway Motorplex in Clay City, KY in the late 90s.

What model/year do you race now?
2006 TNT Dragster

Does your car have a nickname?
No

What's under the hood?
565 cubic inch by Huntsville Engine

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

Why do you use BTE?
I have had EXCELLENT customer service with BTE, and my car is very consistent with the BTE converter.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
The consistency and performance I get from BTE is amazing. 

A drag racer you look up to?
My parents, they don't race but they have always been there for support. 

If money were no object, what would you drive?
If money were no object, I would have a late 90s body style Cutlass to run Top Sportsman or 4.70 class and a TNT dragster to bracket race. 

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
I don't really have a ritual, but I try to keep the same routine as far as maintenance and race preparation.

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Time Slip Spotlight

How can you see if your hard work paid off this season? Well, it’s all in the timeslips. They not only show speed, but you can also see what adjustments you need to make on your car for improvements to get a better Elapsed Time (ET). Some of these racers’ hard work definitely paid off and set some personal and national records. Check them out below.

Wes Littrel
Packing a twin-engine and a new BTE converter Wes took three tenths off the best pass with the previous converter!
Vehicle: Twin Engine Dragster (Two pump gas 429 Ford)
ET: 5.648 
Distance: ⅛ mile 

Scott Mills
Congratulations to Scott Mills on making his first pass.
Vehicle: Dragster with an SBC 
Location: Jackson Dragway
ET: 5.42
Distance: N/A

Bob Alberty Jr.
“First pass with a new Hemi combination in a blown alcohol top dragster, equipped with a BTE trans and converter, prepared by Rick Haselton at RRR Racing Transmissions.”
Vehicle: Blown alcohol top dragster
Location: Mid-west Pro Mod Series in T-Town
ET: 3.794
Distance: N/A

Stig Olsson 
We’re happy to see a BTE-sponsored racer succeed, especially when he set a national record last spring. 
Vehicle: Top Fuel Dragster
ET: 6.54  
Distance: ¼ mile

Michael Collete
With “3200lbs still on stock leaf spring suspension”  Michael managed to set a personal record at Beacon Dragway.
Vehicle: 1976 Camaro
ET: 6.33
Distance: N/A

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Car of the Week: Rickey Greer's 1967 Chevelle

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our loyal customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Rickey Greer from Advance, NC, who owns and races a 1967 Chevelle .

How did you get interested in drag racing?
David Spaugh and my dad

When and where was your first drag race?
Farmington Dragway, 10 years ago

What model/year do you race now? 
1967 Chevelle 

Does your car have a nickname?
No

What's under the hood?
355

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
None at the moment, but I hope to be sponsored soon. 

If money were no object, what would you drive?
What I have now 

Who is a drag racer you look up to?
My dad 

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

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Top BTE Product Picks from COTW Alumni

Are you looking to make some improvements to your car to fix an ongoing performance problem? Just shopping around for new parts and don’t know where to start? Hear from your fellow racers (our Car of the Week alumni) as they share their personal experience using BTE products in their own words. Some have picked up more speed and others just enjoyed the durability and reliability of BTE products. We’ve made sure to include their car make and model, which part they purchased, and their comments on the product. Click the driver’s name to read their full COTW blog, and click the product name to view. Ready, set, add to cart!

Harrell Coulter (Mississippi)
Pro Tree Brake and BTE Custom Nitrous Converter
1993 Mustang
“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.” 

Jared ‘Big Jed’ Pennington  (Alabama)
BTE 1.80 Powerglide and BTE torque converter 
1972 Chevy Nova 
“I was struggling with inconsistency in my race car. I sent the transmission to BTE, for them to make sure my issues weren’t being caused by the trans. They found my valve body, to have an issue with a sticking valve. I upgraded to their billet pro transbrake and it solved the problem.” 

Mark Blake (West Virginia) 
Converter
1994 Camaro 
“With the new 8inch 83400 converter, no other changes made, it picked-up .20 on the et and 4mph faster. The biggest thanks to BTE for having quality parts over the years to keep us going.”

Gary Devito (New York)
Top Sportsman Powerglide
1968 Chevy Camaro
“My car is mainly a streetcar that I race from time to time against friends and local fastest street car events. My previous combo was a 750hp big block Chevy with another brand TH400. I was constantly having issues breaking the TH400 and I was wasting a lot of the season down fixing issues. I switched to the BTE glide when I went to the twin-turbo LS engine making almost twice that and have raced it 3 seasons now just checking band adjustment and not a single issue!”

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Friday, October 25, 2019

Car of the Week: Phil Combs, Jr.'s 1988 Chevy S10

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Phil Combs, Jr. from Demossville, Kentucky, who owns and races a 1988 Chevy S10.

How did you get into drag racing?
It’s family time for us.

When and where was your first drag race?
Thornhill Dragstrip 2016

What model/year do you race now?
1988 Chevy S10

Does your car have a nickname?
Ronald

What's under the hood?
DJ’s performance 383

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

Why do you use BTE?
They’re always here for us sportsman racers.

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
Not really, but hopefully in the future. 

A drag racer you look up to?
My dad

If money were no object, what would you drive?
Still an S10.

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

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Car of the Week: Dewayne May's 1985 Chevy S-10

Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and drag racing fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Today we're featuring Dewayne May from Heinrich, KY, who owns and races a 1985 Chevy S-10.

How did you get into drag racing?
Going with my dad

Where was your first drag race?
Knoxville Dragway 

What model/year do you race now?
1985 S-10 

Does your car have a nickname?
Not really 

What's under the hood?
Hinkel performance 383 

Which BTE Racing products do you use in your vehicle?
Converter

Why do you use BTE?
Good service and tech advice. I won on my second time out with my new torque converter! My car gets a more consistent 60’ and better E.T. 

Do you have any stories about how BTE helped you improve your racing?
Called into the shop and got great information and parts suggestions

A drag racer you look up to?
Too many to list, but a lot of thanks to my brother (who is also a BTE customer) 

If money were no object, what would you drive?
I would probably keep my little truck but make it a little faster lol.

What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
Taking time to calm down. 

 

 

Posted by Amber Ambrose at Wednesday, October 16, 2019