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

Andy Warren 1Andy Warren 2

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!


David Hearn Tells Us His Drag Racing Effort is a Family Affair

David Hearn 1David Hearn 2

We spent some time with NMCA Open Comp racer David Hearn discussing  drag racing and Fuelab

Q: When did you start racing?
A: In 1998 when I was sixteen. I had a fast car and started street racing when I got my drives license.

Q: What got you into racing?
A: My girlfriend, her dad and brothers all drag raced. So that got me into it.

Q: What was the first car you raced?
A: The first car I raced at a track was my 1980 Camaro Z28. When I started I was running the quarter mile in 12 seconds flat. I eventually got it to 10.9. From 2000 to 2010 I traveled around doing many bracket races with that car.

Q: What were some of the other cars you have raced and when?
A: Early on – before I got the Camaro, I had a ’69 Impala SS 396 convertible, a ’71 Chevy C10 pickup with a 402, and ’74 GMC pickup with a 454. In the mid 2000’s I drove a ’69 Camaro Sport Coupe for another guy. I had been racing the car for 3 or 4 years and then in 2010 he called and said he was selling it. Twenty four hours later I bought it, and I still race this car. It has a 355 small block Chevy that runs methanol. The transmission is a Powerglide. It’s a basic combination that makes a lot of power. Most people assume it’s a big block because of how fast it runs – my best ET is 10.29.

Q: What associations have you raced in?
A: Well, I do a lot of big money bracket races, which are put on by different groups. I also do NHRA bracket racing in Division 3, and I race in NMCA Open Comp.

Q: What have been your major racing successes over the past five years?
A: In 2012 I won the NMCA Open Comp at the Indy World Finals. In 2014 I was the #1 Qualifier and won five consecutive races with NMCA Open Comp. Also in 2014, I won both the Pro ET Class and Super ET Class in one day at I-57 Dragway.

Q: What do you like most about racing?
A: I like the competitiveness. I also like traveling. We have a good time traveling as a family. You go to places you wouldn’t normally go. Our vacation time is devoted to racing, and we make as much of it as we can.

Q: Is your family involved in your racing efforts?
A: Absolutely. Since about 1999 or 2000 we have gone racing probably 20-30 weekends a year. In all that time my wife has only missed one race! Our six year old and one year old also travel with us. A funny story; When our youngest was born, within his first six weeks, he had already been to five different race tracks.

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

Q: Why did you start using Fuelab?
A: I had heard about Fuelab, but didn’t know much about them. Then I saw one of their ads and that they had a local phone number. I called them out of curiosity and found they were only three miles from my house. I stopped by and struck a friendship with Brian (Paitz – the President of Fuelab). I liked their technology so I started using their parts.

Q: Was there a particular problem you were having that Fuelab solved?
A: I had been running a competitors fuel pump, and didn’t know it wasn’t big enough. I was running out of fuel toward the end of the quarter mile. So, I put on bowl extensions on the carburetor. When I changed to the Fuelab fuel pump I never took off the bowl extensions. I didn’t realize the old pump was causing the fuel starvation problem. Then one day I put on another carb that didn’t have bowl extensions and tested it on the track. It didn’t run out of fuel during the run. I didn’t need the bowl extension “band aids” after all. Not only that, it picked up a couple mph and the fuel supply was more consistent with the Fuelab pump.

Q: How has Fuelab affected your racing success?
A: I had never really looked into the NMCA before I met Brian. Fuelab was very involved with the NMCA and so I learned more about it through them and joined. If it wasn’t for Fuelab I wouldn’t have started racing in the NMCA, and I would never have won NMCA Open Comp in 2012. As for the product itself – with the Fuelab set up I can count on the car running more consistently.

Q: What Fuelab parts do you use?
A: I run their Prodigy Fuel Pump #41404, a Fuelab pre-filter and post-filter, and their blocking style regulator.

Q: What do you see as the primary benefits of Fuelab products and company? A: Fuelab is one-on-one with people. With other companies you sometimes get passed around to different people before you finally get one who wants to answer your question. Then it seems like they just give you some scripted answer and don’t really know what they are talking about. With Fuelab, you speak to the same person every time – Josh. He knows the products and he knows what he is talking about.

Q: Where do you see yourself in racing in five years?
A: I see myself doing the same thing. We enjoy what we do. I have a hectic work schedule, and my current race schedule works with it.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: Right now I’m building my six year old a Junior Dragster. Also, we have an old truck that we like to work on.

Race Car Build Series – Building a COPO Camaro Clone

Jenna Pierce Wilson

Last week we introduced our Race Car Build Series, as well as introduced the first race vehicle that will featured; Rob Farley’s NMCA Mustang. This week we are introducing the second car that will be covered, and that is the COPO Camaro clone being built by the Pierce-Wilson family of Muncie, Indiana.

The Wilson’s are no strangers to COPO Camaro clones. Last year Jenna Pierce-Wilson raced a Fuelab sponsored 2010 replica COPO Camaro built by her husband Jesse Pierce-Wilson. She was quite successful we might add. Competing in the NMCA Chevrolet Performance LSX Challenge Series, Jenna ended up ranking 3rd in the 5th Generation Camaro Class for the 2014 season. Shameless Fuelab plug: The Camaro’s fuel delivery system featured Fuelab’s Prodigy High Pressure EFI In-Line fuel pump, a 515 series fuel pressure regulator, and a pair of 282 Series In-Line filters.

“Building a 5th Gen COPO clone isn’t a common thing, and only a handful of race teams are doing it” Jesse told us. “We wanted to show that it was possible for a small time race team with a limited budget to build a car that would be competitive in the 5th Generation Camaro class. We started with a 2010 base V6 Camaro and built a tribute COPO using notes from a GM COPO build book. The car turned out so well built that GM took notice. A high level manager from Chevrolet Performance saw it at race and thought it was the real thing. He had to check the VIN to be sure it wasn’t! Even a competing COPO owner couldn’t tell the difference. Then we saw our car posted on GM’s Instagram and Facebook pages. That was a big compliment. After a couple of races we were invited to the COPO build center in Michigan by Kurt Collins and Dr. Jamie Meyer – the Performance Marketing Manager at GM. They gave us a tour and discussed the COPO program. We were like kids in a candy store! It was really neat to be there talking to them. We never thought in a million years that something we built ourselves would get so much notice. It’s hard to believe it snowballed into this”.

“We decided to build a second COPO replica so Jenna’s dad can race it in the new NMCA Chevy Performance Stock Class” Jesse continues. “Of course I want to do some racing in it too, but the car is being built primarily with Jenna’s dad in mind. As with our previous build, we are going to rely on our basic tools, craftsmanship and ingenuity to get the job done”.

Fuelab will be covering the build of the Pierce-Wilson’s second COPO Camaro, including the installation of a Fuelab In-Tank Power Module fuel pump. So, stay tuned to the Fuelab Vehicle Builds website page ( for regular updates.