13th annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion® June 18-20

13th annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion® June 18-20

The 13th annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion® presented by AAA Insurance returns to historic Beech Bend Raceway Park, June 18–20 in Bowling Green, Kentucky! Enjoy 3-days of non-stop action on and off the track! And the Reunion is more than just a car show! In addition to thousands of Street Rods, Customs, Muscle and Hot Rods, the Reunion features Hot Heads Nostalgia Drag Racing with more than 400 drag racers competing side-by-side down the quarter-mile. The Saturday night show includes the famed nitro-burning Cacklefest® a unique version of fireworks! Enjoy the sights and sounds of nitro-burning cars all started and running simultaneously. Something you shouldn’t miss! Bring your ear plugs! For a preview of the last year’s Reunion click here. Or click here for the 2013 Reunion. In addition, many new and exciting events are planned for this year’s Hot Rod Reunion, including the Wednesday night Heacock Classic FANFEST in downtown Bowling Green, 5–8p.m. and discounted Touring Laps at the National Corvette Museum’s Motorsports Park on Thursday night. Three-and-a-half miles long and with 22 turns this new track, just opened last September, meets the first essential of any good road course: it’s challenging! Registration for touring laps is required. Go to: https://hotsrodsatmsp2015.eventbrite.com Join the enthusiasts on Friday night at the Sloan Convention center to celebrate the Grand Marshal, Gordon Collett and 2015 honorees: Ron Hope, Chase Knight, Ron Leek, Roy Steffey, Dale Moody and Sam Jones. Festivities start at 7 p.m.and it is FREE to all! Memo to history lovers: The NHRA Museum recently hosted Irwindale’s 50th Anniversary Reunion. Almost 500 people attended—standing room only! Two panels of drag racing heavyweights...
Swamp Rat 1: Dragster of competitive splendor

Swamp Rat 1: Dragster of competitive splendor

Titus Bloom: Floridian Don Garlit’s Swamp Rat 1 dragster began life in 1956 and thrived on the race tracks until 1961. It was the subject of constant change. Originally fuelled by four carburetors, then increased to six and later eight, it ended its illustrious career supercharged and sporting Enderle injectors, a high-gear only and recorded 204.54mph over the quarter mile. Some of its closest Top Fuel rivals came in the form of Art Chrisman, Setto Postoian, Speed Sport Roadster and Bobby Langley. The SR1’s motive force came from a trio of Chrysler Hemi engines, beginning with a 1954 unit that displaced 331 cubic inches. This was followed by a 354 upgrade of 1956 vintage and finally a 392. No one quite remembers if its last engine was from 1957 or ’58. From the beginning, Garlits’ technical virtuosity rarely dimmed. “We always angled the front of the engine down a few degrees,” recollects its 83 year-old-owner. “By putting a little mass under the rear axle centerline, we succeeded in damping the car’s enthusiasm for lofting its front end—simple High School physics.” The Swamp Rat had a further competitive advantage: a lanky 115in wheelbase compared to its California challengers of just 100 inches. “That definitely gave us an edge. Its traction, stability, ease of handling in all those areas the car was superior.” In 1959, the SR1 became the first dragster to deploy a parachute. “It was a cargo chute,” says Garlits, “and in the beginning they tore their mountings off the backs of the cars—not mine, though, for I had it wrapped around the frame. Jim Deist, its pioneer, showed...
Basic installation rules from TorqStorm

Basic installation rules from TorqStorm

By Alfie Bilk: Basic forced-induction guidelines (6-10psi boost range) for carbureted systems Forged pistons preferred for all boosted applications Cast or Hypereutectic pistons may be used below 500hp and low-boost applications Compression ratios of 9:1 to 9:5.1 ideal for boost levels of 6-8 psi on 91-93 octane pump gas Lobe separation of 112 to 116 degrees, split pattern works best Fuel pump requirements for carbureted systems must be capable of supplying proper amount of fuel at maximum operating pressure. To obtain maximum fuel pressure required under boost, add idle fuel pressure to maximum boost pressure. (If your idle setting is 8psi and your maximum boost is 8psi your maximum fuel pressure required is 16psi) Use a blow-through carburetor. TorqStorm offers Holley Mighty Demon carburetors specifically prepared by the factory for blow-through purposes. Available in the following cfm ratings: 650 CFM Part number 5282020BT 750 CFM Part number 5402020BT 850 CFM Part number 5563020BT Must use carbureted boost-reference fuel pressure regulator with a 1:1 rise ratio Headers recommended for maximum performance Will work with single or dual-plane intake manifolds, (more torque generated by dual-plane designs) Ignition control recommended with adjustable boost-timing retard to prevent detonation. (MSD BTM part number 6462)   Information furnished by Torqstorm® Billet Superchargers 3001 Madison Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49548 (616) 246-8088...
First big Historics event at Barber

First big Historics event at Barber

By Freddie Heaney: Birmingham, Alabama: Barber Motorsports Park hosted their first annual Historic motorsports three-day event May 15-17, 2015. And if they do for Historic road racing cars what they did for vintage motorcycles, they’ll have 80,000 attendees in 10 years’ time. To view these rare Historics click here. Though the premiere event weekend, which was organized by the Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA), attracted modest numbers of vintage racecars, around 70, it was an excellent first step. The sights, sounds and speeds, particularly of rare Formula One cars from the nineteen-sixties, -seventies and -eighties were glorious. Like Barber’s annual motorcycle Vintage Festival, held each October, a treasure trove of nostalgia was spread before us, all very accessible, informal and agreeable. Located in Leeds to the east of Birmingham and a short distance off I-20, which is the main thoroughfare from Atlanta to Birmingham, Barber Motorsports Park is situated in a unique 740-acre parkland setting. Surrounding the race track a two-lane asphalt ring-road accommodates a tram service that transports visitors to all areas of interest. The centerpiece of the weekend was the 16-race program and the featured marque was Lotus—well-known to George Barber with over fifty vintage machines of his own residing in the museum, adjacent to the track at Turn Nine. Eddie Lawson, a former 4-time 500cc World motorcycle champion and now driving the 1977 Wolf WR4 of Canadian, Maurice McCaig, set the standard. Fastest in qualifying, he won both of the weekend’s F1 races. On Friday’s qualifying sessions Lawson was followed by James Hagan in a 1983 Tyrrell 001 (in full Benetton livery) and Doc Bundy in...
Opening the car from afar: a neat trick

Opening the car from afar: a neat trick

By Martha Maglone: The wave length of the electronic car key is limited to a certain distance. But here is a remarkable trick if you wanted to expand its range significantly—particularly handy when your car is parked among hundreds of others in a field at a race meet and you cannot find it! Watch the...
Ovality and other guarded racing piston shapes

Ovality and other guarded racing piston shapes

By Titus Bloom: Gibtec, makers of custom billet competition pistons reveals… Below their ring lands, pistons are neither round nor do they have parallel sides. Instead they have a larger diameter towards the bottom, between the base of the piston and the piston pin hole. They become progressively smaller toward the top of the piston, which is round because, to achieve proper sealing, round rings operate in round cylinders . The smaller diameter piston crown allows for greater expansion in a region closest to the heat source. Ovality, which means out of roundness, is necessary in all pistons to allow for thermal expansion. It also compensates for deflection of the piston skirt caused by side loads. Pistons are manufactured with single, double or triple ovality and the ovality is best measured by a precision roundness form measuring machine. Ovality in simple terms means the piston is narrower along the piston pin axis (the minor axis) than the thrust axis (the major axis). Because ovality is a function of heat, and therefore the growth the piston is likely to encounter, it is the amount of ovality assigned to a piston that’s the clever part. Ovality values differ, depending upon whether the engine is naturally aspirated, supercharged, turbocharged, or charged with nitrous oxide. Obviously, heat, cylinder pressures and side loadings are much less in the naturally aspirated engine and hence less piston ovality is required. Correct ovality usually manifests itself in the form of a bearing area. This is the area in the middle of the piston skirts that rides in the cylinder and it’s surrounded by a boundary of piston...