Friday Night Test-n-Tune
Paradise Garage

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© 1999 Brian F. Schreurs
Even we have a disclaimer.

Hot car good. Hot engine bad.

75&80 Drag-A-Way, Monrovia, Md.

Test Session: Friday, July 23, 1999

It's been a long, long time since Spacebears Racing went to 75&80 Dragway. It's going to be even longer before we go back.

We took the Paradise Garage 1998 Pontiac Firebird and met up with Josh and his 1995 Ford Mustang GT. We intended to track-test our recently installed airbox from Modern Street & Race. Too bad track conditions were so horrible it wasn't possible to draw any useful information from the results.

The Firebird and the Mustang prepare to launch.
Part of it was not their fault. They couldn't help it that it was nearly 100 degrees with humidity. Josh's car was pinging so badly, he quit racing until after dark, and the next day we designed and built a cold air induction system for his car. This alone may have been enough to cause us to toss our results.

Unfortunately that was not alone. To make conditions as bad as possible, 75/80 must not have done any prep work to the track. We were seeing some of our worst 60-foot times ever: as bad as 2.4 and no better than 2.2. And to top it off, the right lane had a very bad groove in it that caused the car to shimmy unexpectedly -- not something you want under full throttle.

What did this leave us with? Some very unimpressive times. Our best for the day was 14.16; Josh was similarly off with a best of 15.26. We beat everything we ran except the pro street cars, so we were not alone in having a bad day.

A 15-second Acura Integra, a 17-second third-gen Camaro, and a 15-second Plymouth Satellite fell to the heat and managed to go slower than our 14-second (normally 13-second) Firebird. Then a red 440 Dart smacked us around twice with high 12s. Later he offered to buy the Paradise Garage Charger -- haha, you wish!

Meanwhile Josh was plinking off the third-generation Camaros as well. They couldn't get out of the 16s. It's unlikely anyone went home happy that evening.

The Modern Street & Race airbox performed well in the sense that it didn't fall off. That's about the only measure we have for testing since we certainly can't consider this pitiful track session as reliable data for the mod itself. MS&R was there to do some testing of their own and fared somewhat better -- one of their drivers in a Corvette won the $100 prize for a perfect .500 light. But even their times were off, which reassures us that we're not just screwing up.

We really can't hold the weather against the track, but the unprepped surface is cause for concern -- especially since this is one of the more expensive tracks in the area -- and the right lane surface is pitiful. We will not go back until we hear it's been repaved.

There's plenty of season left this year, so we're hoping for better luck next time. Somewhere else.