Christmas Tree

Internet F-body Gathering - Memphis '97


1760 miles from home, Memphis '97 was an awesome adventure. I even managed to come away with a plaque for longest distance trailered. A special thanks to Dynojet Research for providing my tow vehicle.


My first experience with drag racing this car at Memphis was tons of fun. The car was such a different animal down there. Sea level really made a huge difference. About 60hp difference. Tire spin was a big problem off the line, and most of the time also when I hit second.

Oddly enough, my best run Friday was a 13.93@102.22, while running one of the fastest cars there. Brad Brand ran an 11.24@123.40 that pass. Outstanding!

Mike Heffner consistently ran at least 7/10ths quicker than me due to his automatic and drag radials. Our speeds were not that much different though.


The best 60' time I could manage all weekend was a 2.199.

During the second round of eliminations, I broke out of my 14.00 dial-in with a 13.90@102.04 pass. The car had been consistent all day in the low 14.0x's, but letting it cool down a long time between runs made a big difference.

Here I am lined up with Chris Frezza's Z28 Camaro.

Good shot of me leaving the line.

Here I am lined up with Mike Heffner's LT-4 Ram Air Formula.

Darren Erutti and I leave the line together.

Here I am lined up with a 3rd Gen Firebird.

Here's Brad Brand and I lined up. He ran a 11.24 that pass!

Lined up and ready to go, just waiting on the competition.

AVI's of me drag racing.

Here's a shot of all the people lined up in the staging lanes during Saturday test 'n tune. (5.39Mb)
A drag race between me and Valerie Harrisons' blue 3rd Gen Trans Am. (6.85Mb)
A drag race between me and Joe Creecys' black 4th Gen Formula. (5.10Mb)
Drag Racing. Round 1 Eliminations vs. ??? white 4th Gen Firebird WS6. (7.25Mb)
Drag Racing. Round 2 Eliminations vs. Michael Halls' black 4th Gen Trans Am. (11.3Mb)

Here are two shots of me coming through turn 8 of the road race course.

Here I am chasing Wynand Depuy down the back straight.

The road racing is what I really wanted to go to Memphis for. And I got what I wanted. While it rained all Friday night and Saturday morning, we road raced in the wet. The car never got overly loose, so I kept getting faster and faster.

During the second session, I went out first, took a very slow sighting lap, then hammered it down the front straight. I managed to pass everybody but second place. I ran out of gas with a few laps to go, and spectators said I would have passed second place (Jeff Creech) within another lap or two.

After that, they bumped me from the intermediate to expert class, where almost everyone was on autocross tires or in some cases had big brake mods. I still did well, but it was hard to catch those guys on race tires with my stock street GS-C's. After my last session, I pyrometered my front brake rotors. They pegged my infrared gun which has a limit of 992 degrees fahrenheit! The next highest temperature I saw from anyone else was 770 degrees. Next year, I'll be back with 13" front brakes and GS-CS's.

Here is a collection of AVI's my dad shot during the Memphis event. They are rather large, but cover a wide range of areas from Memphis. The inside view of the road race course gives you a good idea of what I did from the cockpit.

AVI's of me Road Racing also available.

Road Racing. Resident fast guy John Kelchen takes his white Firebird through turns 5 & 6 (2.22Mb)
Road Racing. ??? red Camaro SS sliding through turn 5. (3.97Mb)
Road Racing. From the carosel to the back straight, I try to catch Ken Rahaims' blue Formula. (9.24Mb)
Road Racing. Trying to catch Ken Rahaims' blue Firebird from the carosel to the back straight. (9.63Mb)
Road Racing. From the carosel, through the back section, and onto the front straight, passing Ken Rahaims' blue Firebird. (13.1Mb)
Road Racing. From the carosel to the back straight, this time I'm leading Ken Rahaims' blue Formula. (7.52Mb)
Road Racing. Following Steve VanNattans' Maroon Trans Am from the cork screw and passing on the back straight. (5.88Mb)
Road Racing. From the cork screw to the back straight, getting sideways in turn 5. (3.56Mb)
Road Racing. From the carosel through turn 8, with ??? going off course exiting the carosel. (10.1Mb)
Road Racing. From turn 8 down the front straight, through the back section. Randy Browns' green Firebird closes quickly on the straight, then falls back in the turns. (18.9Mb)
Road Racing. To get an idea of the speeds we were seeing, here is a shot of me going by on the front straight at about 100mph. Termainal speed for me was about 127mph at the end of the straight.(2.43Mb)
Road Racing. Here is another shot of the front straight stretch. (1.64Mb)
Road Racing. See one lap as I did; video from the passenger seat! (More to come) (9.61Mb)
The unfortuante meeting of Jeff Mosings' WS6 Firebird and the track wall. (11.7Mb)
Jeff Mosings' Firebird after the crash. (5.89Mb)
The end of the day, coming down pit lane at the end of my session. (4.29Mb)