Destination: Texas Mile 2014

texas_mile_logoOver the past weeks (possibly months, it’s easy to lose track this time of year) we’ve begun the process of converting the Camaro from 1/8th mile drag race mode to standing mile mode. The destination? Texas Mile in Beevile. March 21st, 2014.

This has been on our list of ‘Things to Do’ with the car from the start, it’s just taken a while to get back to it thanks to many diversions (bracket racing), distractions (other hobbies), and flirtations (the thoughts of returing to Drag Week).

Make the jump to see what we’ve got done at this point, and our plans and goals for the weekend.

A platform, not just a car.

Since very early on in the initial build, we’ve set out to be able to do a little of everything with this car. Ideally, it is a versatile platform that can be molded into as many shapes as we desired. Drag race? Sure. Standing mile? Absolutely. Autocross? Why not?



The first shape, drag racing, has worked well through Drag Week and the local bracket racing scene since 2009, sporting the traditional slicks, skinnies, and pretty straightforward stinkbug stance.

A Tremec TKO600 made street driving possible with 4.86 gears out back, and we left for Indiana with the lofty goal of merely surviving, and hopefully running a 10. Goal achieved.

The next step was a transmission swap to make bracket racing viable, and after a season the goal of making it to the bracket finals was quietly set. In the end, we squeaked into the top 50 at Northstar Dragway, at the time the toughest bracket program in the area. Goal achieved.


birdseyeview_beevilleBring on the Mile.

Next up, the darling of many magazine stories both car and bike-related for several years, the standing mile. What could be better than a 1/4 mile – 4 times that, of course!

The Goal

During Drag Week, we managed a best of 124 in the 1/4, so the (we’ve been told) attainable goal for this trip is 160 or better. What’s it going to take to get there (aside from some ‘huevos’ and confidence in our equipment)?

  • Gear – a whole lot less of it, more specifically.
    • To optimize for 1/8th mile racing, we’re currently running 5.83s on a spool
    • For the Mile, we’ll be taking both 3.25s and 3.55s and a limited slip
  • lexan_blockoff_platesAero – our car wasn’t blessed with the factory spoiler, and we like it that way most of the time.
    • A factory spoiler will be added onto another decklid we scored for cheap off Craigslist recently. According to Keith Turk (owner of the So-Al/Hot Rod Special second gen) this works pretty well until you start getting to extremes
    • Lexan blockoff plates for the massive headlight, parking light, and grill slots in the nose
    • Tape on the windshield moldings to seal them off
  • Suspension – chunky 3″ exhaust and truck arm packaging issues mean we can’t go as low as we’d like, but we’re still going to squeeze it down as much as possible.
    • The front is down an inch or so, and the front suspension limiters will be pulled in to prevent rise
  • Tires – out with the slicks and skinnies, as drag tires of any sort are explicitly prohibited.
    • Either W-rated Hankook RS-3s (good for 168 mph) or Y-rated Sumitomo HTR ZIIIs (186 mph) will be the link to the road
  • Exhaust – in the interest of lightness, we ditched the full system with Schoenfeld header mufflers at the beginning of last year.
    • The full Spintech and Pypes X-pipe system has been reinstalled
    • This is both in the interest of being able to hear what’s going on better during runs, and because it just sounds so damn cool
  • Safety – almost everything we need is in place from the initial build.
    • A basic fire bottle system will be added, as fire suppression reachable while strapped in is a requirement
    • Assorted fireproof clothing along with a HANS will also be on the menu
  • Powertrain – other than a few checks, status quo here.
    • The goal from the start has been to see what we can do with the trusty 377 from the initial build, though it is up nearly a point of compression from the original build
    • A switch back to E85 is a possibility, but somewhat scary given the months-long Hitchcock-caliber nightmare we experienced earlier this year with it
    • Transmission – for economic purposes, and since the Tremec has moved on, the TH350 will stay in place
  • Nut and Bolt – finally, after some street miles for the first time in a few years, we’ll give the car a complete once-over for loose bits (we’ve already found a few)

So, that’s the basic rundown of our next few months in the shop. Thankfully it’s wintertime, so all that snow on the ground makes it easy to go out in the shop and – oops, we’re in Texas and it was 70 degrees today, sorry about that. We’ll find time between the holidays and outdoor activities to get it ready – no backing out this time. Period.

Look for us on the streets around Sherman soon, and in Beeville this March.


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