Welcome to the BTE Racing Car of the Week series, where we feature our customers and fans, and the cars (and trucks) they love to race. Let us introduce you to Justin Wanamaker of Kalamazoo, MI and his 1927 Suncoast Roadster.
How did you get into drag racing?
I got into racing because of my dad. I grew up at the racetrack, it was just what we did. My dad got a new car in 2003 and let me use his old car in 2004 after we found a motor for it. My dad's buddy had a truck he plowed snow with that had a healthy 360 in it, and through some horse trading we ended up with the "broken in" motor with probably 60,000 miles on it. It still ran good, so we put it in the Dart, 1975 Dodge Dart called Daddy's Dart.
When and where was your first race?
I ran my first race at the end of the 2004 season at US 131 Motorsports park in Martin, Michigan. I was a blind squirrel that stumbled on a few nuts that day and wound up losing at 4 cars to the guy who won.
What model/year do you race now?
A 1927 Suncoast Roadster
Does your car have a nickname?
It doesn't have a nick name yet. (Taking suggestions.)
What's under the hood?
Small block Mopar 360 cid, street motor. It's got a hydraulic flat tappet cam stock casting heads, and runs on E85.
Which BTE products do you use in your vehicle?
BTE valve body in the powerglide, a straight cut gear set and converter is on my wish list.
Why do you use BTE?
I really like BTE's customer service and tech help, as well as the fact BTE supports my favorite races and promoters. We always look forward to No Box Nationals, and anytime we get to go to either the WFC or SFC.
Someone you look up to in racing?
I really look up to Jared Pennington, the man has done it all, both as an accomplished racer and promoter.
If money were no object, what would you drive?
I think I would still take my current car, just with a few upgrades.
What is your pre-race ritual (if you have one)?
My pre-race ritual has a lot of checking tire pressure, it's the last thing I do before I leave the trailer and the last thing I do before I get in the car. I always put my belts on the same way, then helmet, neck collar, left arm restraint, right arm restraint, right glove, then left glove. I really like to be relaxed and having a good time, right up until I drop it in gear to stage.