At 14 Andy Warren Had to Explain to His Dad How He Won a Drag Racing Trophy….

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Andy Warren tells us how he got into drag racing:

Q: When did you start racing?
A: I started racing when I was fourteen years old

Q: What got you into racing?
A: I was influenced by my family. My dad raced in the late 70’s and early 80’s, and my brother was into racing. When I was fourteen I was at a local “Outlaw” track with my brother John who was racing his Nova, and a friend who was racing his late ’70’s G-body Pontiac.  The guy just couldn’t cut a light, so I gave it a try with the Pontiac. I ended up getting runner-up for first place in our bracket. I came home with a trophy and my dad was like; “Where did that come from?” He was pretty surprised and just shook his head. I think he was more upset that he wasn’t there to see it. Then they let me start racing my mom’s ’92 Ford Tempo – I went to races every week and got invited to run bracket finals.

Q: What was the first car you raced?
A: It was the Pontiac

Q: What were some of the other cars you have raced?
A: The other car I have raced is my ’71 Caprice – which I still race today. I saw an ad for it in the paper, and knew from experience in demolition derbies that it would be tough. It only had 94,000 miles, and the ad said it was a 400. I was hoping it was a 402 big block. I went to check the car out – it was owned by an old lady. It had been her husband’s car, but he passed away, and seeing the Caprice in the garage made her sad. So she decided to sell it. Upon inspecting it I found it wasn’t the 402 big block I was hoping for, but rather a 400 small block. It was in good condition, and the price was only $1,200. So, I bought it and used it as a daily driver until 2006. I used it to go to prom, it went with me to college, and I raced it on weekends. Now it runs a 427 small block with a Turbo Hydro 350 transmission, and has cut a 10.24 second quarter mile at 128 mph.

Q: What associations have you raced in?
A: Besides the Outlaw racing, I’ve raced in the NMCA. I had known about the association since 1994, but never had the time and money to get into it. In April 2004 I wanted somewhere different to race and I saw the “Edelbrock Pro Series – Muscle Car Nationals” was being run at my home track in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I did that event and lost in the first round. Then I did the event in Memphis, Tennessee. I didn’t do any of the other events that year – I didn’t have money to do the whole circuit. I did the same thing in 2005. I started a new job in 2006, and made a lot more money. I was finally able to do the whole tour, and finished runner-up in points. In October 2007, I won the Nostalgia Muscle Car class in Memphis, and overall finished fifth in the class for 2007. In 2008, I came in second in the class overall, and in 2009 I won the Points Championship and was the series champ.

Q: What have been your major racing successes over the past 5 years?
A: In the NMCA Nostalgia Muscle Car Class I was the Series Champion in 2010 and 2011, I came in third in 2012, second in 2013. In 2014 I was the runner-up and missed the Championship by fifteen points – I was so close! So far for 2015 I have won in Florida and in Atlanta, but Bowling Green was rained out. So far this season I am undefeated.

Q: What do you like most about racing?
A: I like the adrenaline rush of acceleration – feeling those 2 or 3 G’s. I also like seeing friends at events. It’s like a family reunion.

Q: Is your family involved in your racing efforts?
A: Yes. My girlfriend comes along too.

Q: How long have you used FUELAB?
A: I started using FUELAB in 2010

Q: Why did you start using FUELAB?
A: I was building the 427 and needed an improved fuel system. I spoke with Brian at FUELAB and he got me set up. They also started sponsoring me that year.

Q: Was there a particular problem you were having that FUELAB solved?
A: I had been running fuel pumps that used motors with brushes. They would burn out every two years or so.  With FUELAB’s brushless pump I don’t have to worry about replacing it. I’ve had the same pump for six seasons!

Q: How has FUELAB affected your racing success?
A: The variable speed control of the pump keeps fuel cooler. In bracket racing I’ll do ten to twelve runs, and I don’t have to worry about the pump overheating.  Which makes the car more reliable – and reliability is the key to racing success.

Q: What Fuelab parts do you use?
A: I have a Prodigy 41404 Fuel Pump, and a by-pass style regulator. The truck I use for towing also has a FUELAB set up!

Q: What do you see as the primary benefits of FUELAB products and company?
A: In addition to what I said before, I like how FUELAB really supports the racers at NMCA events. If it wasn’t for FUELAB I probably wouldn’t be running the series.

Q: Where do you see yourself in racing in 5 years?
A: I’ve got my eye on getting into the NMCA Chevrolet Performance Stock class. It uses a sealed Chevrolet Performance crate engine. I hope to get into it within the next year or so. I’m also looking at maybe getting into the Drag Radial class.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: I’m a diehard racer, and that’s where I spend most of my spare time. I’m also a musician and like to play drums. I also just got into metal detecting – you’d be amazed at what you can find underground!

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Race Car Build Series – Building a COPO Camaro Clone – Part 2

This is a progress report on the COPO Camaro Clone being built by Jesse Pierce Wilson. In case you missed it, here is the intro to the build: http://fuelab.com/building-a-copo-camaro-clone/ . The vehicle started as a white 2014 Camaro V6. It’s a theft recovery, parts were missing, but the needed basics were still there. After the humiliation of being stolen and violated this Phoenix will rise from the ashes as a drag strip hero. Kudos to you Camaro!

Below are progress shots of the car stripped down and being repainted to red. The reason for the color change? Jesse says it’s just because he has a thing for red Camaros. We aren’t going to cover this part of the build in detail, however, in upcoming posts we will be covering three project segments in depth. The first project will include:

  • Roll cage install
  • Removal of the factory IRS differential and factory rear cradle/ from the car
  • Weld in control arm mounts and install new solid axle assembly
  • Fill in rear deck with sheet metal (or aluminum) to seal off the trunk area (required by NHRA when a fuel cell is being used)

So stay tuned for future segments of the COPO Camaro Clone Build!  

JPW1

Stripped down and almost ready for paint

JPW3

Some un-needed components removed. Less weight = faster!

JPW4

Doesn’t get much lighter than this…

JPW5

Red paint makes the car go faster

JPW7

Starting to look like a COPO Camaro!

NMCA Racer Steve Cox Talks About Drag Racing and Fuelab

Steve CoxSteve Cox Launch

NMCA drag racer and Fuelab user Steve Cox tells us his story.

Q: When did you start racing?
A: Well, I started racing go-karts at 8, and started drag racing motorcycles in 1965.

Q: What got you into racing?
A: My parents raced in the 1950’s, and my dad worked with Mickey Thompson and Pontiac Motor Division on their joint racing effort. That gave me the bug to start racing myself.

Q: What was the first car you raced?
A: In 1966 I ran motorcycles and also a 1955 Chevy street car with a 265. I’d put my motorcycle on the rear bumper of the Chevy and drive to the track and race both. I continued to race until 1968 when I went in the service. In 1977 I started drag racing motorcycles again, as well as drag racing street cars. In 1980 a friend and I built 1966 Chevy II and I drove it. At one point I was a track champ at Los Angeles County Raceway. I continued to race other cars and motorcycles. In 1986 I had a bad accident on a motorcycle, and decided that I needed to reduce the danger level as I was raising my daughter. So, I bought a ’64 Nova and raced that, and then also began racing the ’68 Camaro during the late ’90’s. I got rid of the Nova in 2000 and have raced the Camaro since.

Q: What associations have you raced in?
A: I’ve raced in the NHRA, AHRA, IHRA, NMCA, SCEDA, and the NMRA (motorcycles)

Q: Is your family involved in your racing efforts?
A: My daughter and her two children go to races and help out, and my wife does too

Q: How long have you used Fuelab?
A: For the last three years

Q: Why did you start using Fuelab?
A: I started using Fuelab because of its state of the art technology – other manufacturers’ parts seem antiquated

Q: Was there a particular problem you were having that Fuelab solved?
A: There wasn’t a specific problem. I run the car on alcohol, and I felt it was time to update the fuel system, and Fuelab is a much better product than that of other manufacturers

Q: How has Fuelab affected your racing success?
A: With Fuelab the car runs more consistently

Q: What Fuelab parts do you use?
A: I use a Fuelab fuel pump, a Fuelab fuel pressure regulator, and Fuelab fuel filters

Q: What do you see as the primary benefits of Fuelab products and company?
A: Fuelab has excellent customer service, and they are very knowledgeable. These days some companies are just missing the boat when it comes to good service. To me customer service is the most important aspect of a business.

Q: Where do you see yourself in racing in 5 years?
A: I see myself still driving. My grandson is 11 now, and I hope to get him in the car in the coming years.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: I’m retired now. So, I stay busy with racing and family