Royal Pontiac Club

Track Rental Day

Milan Dragway



This brings the Gremlin back out of the barn since we had torque converter issues back in June.  Actually we didn’t have any issues, the manufacturers, who shall remain name less, didn’t set up the converter where we asked it to be, so we had to send it back to Coan (oops) to have them get it right.


At any rate, we now have the right converter in, and what we think is the right combination with a new roller cam, so we decide to accept the invitation from the Royal Pontiac Club, and come to their track rental on Saturday morning. 


Good news is that the price is only 15 bucks a person, the bad news is that it starts at 8am, so it is an early morning, which is not usually good for DND Racing.  Per our usual, we roll in about an hour late just after 9am.


Get the car out, check things out, and head to the staging lanes.  The crew chief states that he would like the first pass to be a shake down pass, you know, make sure everything shifts, rolls, stops, etc.  Now, we already had this out once and did our shake down pass then, and everything was fine…with the exception of the torque converter.  We took that out and put it back in.  Everything else is the same, and we checked the stall and shifted it in the garage, it has been shaken down, there will be no more shaking down.  I said nothing to the crew chief at the time (in fact when he reads this, that will be the first time he knows of it) but as I was nodding yes to him I was thinking, “yeah right, that pedal on the right is going to the floor on green!!!!”


Air is cool, 51 degrees, 62% humidity. Track temp checks in around  58 degrees.

Tire pressures set just where there were in June.

We had nothing else to go by.

So that is what I did, burn out was good, set the trans brake, brought the RPM’s up to 3500 RPM, and let the brake go on the third amber.  The next thing I saw was blue.


Car slammed me back in the seat and lifted the front end up in the air.  I then broke the cardinal rule, one of the six original drag racing sins, and I lifted.  I’ve been told a thousand times, if the front end comes up in the air don’t lift, shift into second.  This is easy for your brain to hear and comprehend, but the interpretation gets lost some where  in the depths of neurons they haven’t even discovered yet as your brain says to shift into second at the exact same time your right foot removes pressure from the gas pedal.  Surprisingly the car came back down rather gently, I got back on the throttle and ran a 10.81 at 121MPH!!!!!  I was so happy when I saw the time slip, DND Racing has been trying to get that car into the ten’s for the better part of 4 years, all of our racer friends would scratch their heads with us saying, “a car weighing only 2900lbs making 550hp should run 10 seconds.” Now we were there, now some of those same guys who were telling us what to do, that now have slower cars than the Gremlin X !!!!


I’m pretty sure the crew chief was doing back flips when the 10…number came up on the board, but there is no documented proof of this to date.  Kind of like big foot or the Lochness Monster, I’m sure it is out there, but nobody can seem to get pictures when the focus on their cameras is actually working.


So after we recover we decide to change the shift points, and lanes and try it again.  The left lane proves to not be as tacky as we loose a little sixty foot (1.468 this time) but still manage to pick up .01 as now we run a 10.81.


Now we have to start racing.  We miss the call, but thanks to the nice people with the Pontiac club, they make one more last, last call and let us run with some other guys who missed the call as well (hey, at least we weren’t the only ones).  I draw a lower 10 second Camaro who gets the right lane, and we are back in the left lane, so we lower the tire pressure a bit.  We still spin the tires but not as bad, and the front end stays down (now that I’m ready for it) when I notice my win light comes on thanks to an opponent red light.  Now I get to run it out the top end and get another test pass.  We dialed a 10.80, and somehow ran a 10.64!!!!!  A new record again, I guess it liked the tire pressure and shift point change.  Oh, if I may ad, in only my 6th pass with a trans brake, I manage to put a .0000 (or .5000 for you old timers) reaction up on the board.  We win by a foul start, which was a good thing, because we probably would’ve broke out.




Next pass and I’m running an 11 second silver GTO.  Now we are back in the right lane, and I’m prepared (at least I think) for another wheel stand.  I stage the car, set the brake, bring the RPM up, close to 4000RPM (my opponent leaves the light green) wait on the third amber, and release the button.  Once again, the horizon disappears, and once again I lift.  This wheelie is twice as high as the last one, I feel as if the rear bumper is going to drag at any moment (the video will later show this not to be the case, not even close) and this time the set down is far from gentle.


I feel gravity slam the front end back to earth, and hear a bunch of sh-t hit Milan drag strip and think, “not good”.  Quick check of the oil pressure (which we still have) and I ease back into the throttle and when the car again goes fairly straight, I put it to the floor, because after all I have a race to win.


This attempt is futile as my opponent obviously raced before and was way out of the throttle as I was no where to be found, giving him an easy win.  The car ran an 11 something and when I got to the ET booth, the car would not run, and had to be winched into the trailer.  Seems the landing rattled the brains of our MSD box that is mounted just in front of the front wheel on the driver side (it will be moved into the interior as soon as the Dakota X is finished) and our spark is intermittent at best.  Along with the ignition problem, there is a header tube bent, the oil pan lost some capacity as it is an inch shorter than before, with a lot of Milan asphalt embedded in it, oil pan drain plug is bent, and it needs an alignment.  It sounds worse than it really is as it really isn’t all that bad, nothing major to fix.  Did that last sentence make any sense?


So all in all it was a good day.  Having to winch your car into the trailer is never fun, but after running a 10.60 for the first time, it doesn’t sting quite as much.  That was the final pass for the Gremlin until next year, we will now focus our efforts back to the Dakota X in another attempt to make Orlando in March.


Division 3 Fall Classic

Indianapolis Raceway Park

Indianapolis, IN

10/14/05 – 10/16/05


Well I lumped this in with this report, because there was really nothing to report.  The truck was consistent as all hell, running 11.99 – 12.01 during qualifying.  And like all but one race this year, I managed to exit in the first round.  Not much I could do, light was there, but so was my opponents, and I broke out by .003 for the loss.


All in all a good season.


Special thanks again to the Sniesak family and McCormack Motorsports, PSI Motorsports, Total Flow Products, AMSOIL, Donato Engineering, Lazer Cams, Dyno Bob(Steve Young’s Engine Service), HLS racing ( free advise), our family & friends and all the others that helped us get to the track quite a bit this year.


Next year the Gremlin X will be equipped with a new fuel cell, and wheelie bars.

The Dakota X( 360 V-8, stick shift truck) will be on the track and competing in NHRA & IHRA Stock classes.

A busy winter .

Have a great off season.


Until next time,

Keep the Revs up!

DND Racing

Driver: Dan Perrine

Crew Chief: Dave Perrine