Even if you are winning, change!
I am a dyed-in-the-wool drag racer and, at least for me, it means constantly changing my race combination. I enjoy learning and I have not found a better way to learn than experimentation. In a future column I may review the combinations I have built and successfully raced, but for now understand that it is many.
A cool thing about drag racing: when you tow up to the pit gate for today’s race, months, even years of work preceded today’s race attendance.
For the 2014 season I remain true to form. For the last four seasons my trusty “Wheels Up” Firebird has been great. It is one of the most consistent packages I have built. Once during this season I won a seven round race and did not change the dial-in one time. Yes, it is certainly a fine package.
So what does a true hot-rodder do with a package like that? CHANGE!
Yep, how else can we learn?
How else can we know if there is even a better combination?
The desire to be faster in Super Pro had been perking inside me for a while and I knew I would step up at the correct time. Lately, I learned of a nicely built Vega that was in storage. It only took a quick look to realize this was the step up package (change) for me. The Vega I found is a least 350 pounds lighter and much smaller than my Firebird. Quicker ET, here I come!
Overall the Vega looks good and is equipped with the expected equipment. But hold the phone, I gotta change it. We unloaded it at my shop in the morning, and within 3 hours we had unbolted most everything thing that could be unbolted. All the wiring, into the dumpster with it. Bolt on electronics, fuel system, shifter, steering, seat, etc sorted by what will be re-installed, sold, or traded.
The Vega had been stored for several years and only raced infrequently before that. The original Harwood fuel cell had crumbled into a thousand pieces. Tires, of course, were badly dry rotted. None the less, a diamond in the rough through my "eyes of change".
It was originally built by Todd and Thad Bevis when they had a shop in Tyler Texas. (Yes, the same Todd Bevis that now works at Cagnazzi Racing and builds the Pro-Stock cars for Erica Enders-Stevens.)
It can be considered a back half style build up with four link rear and big tubs allowing a 32 x 14 with room to spare. The front end lifts off, doors lift off, deck lid lifts off, and it is a real drag race car.
It retains the factory front suspension and that part of the car needs work. Never fear, I will change it.
The power train from my 6.10s ET Firebird should provide an ET range of 5.80s in a package 350 pounds lighter. In addition, this package is much easier to work on. Overall I expect it be just as good and maybe better than my Firebird.
What will I do if it is not better you ask? Easy answer. I will change it until it meets my expectations. Stand by for 2014 season performance news.
Never fear change, embrace it. It is a fact of life.
Be watching for my next column. There will be even more changes coming.... My Son, Jeff Woodfin, changes from our short wheelbase Land Shark dragster to an M & M Race Cars built '32 Bantam Roadster.
That is it for today. Thanks for reading ET Drag Racing and keep those “Wheels up”
(Editor's note: Sounds like Larry has a bad case of "drag racer" going on! :-) With two cars in the works, I bet we see a lot of great tech articles on these two cars in the upcoming months. Stay tuned to ETDragRacing.com as we will be updating tech articles continually from Larry, myself and our other tech editors. - Jok)