One week ago, we posed the question “How Fast will Gotta Have It Race run at the ABM Nats?” and received a huge response from our followers on Facebook and Google Plus on what MPH Gotta Have It Race would hit during one of its last times out for the 2012 race season. Our last blog shared all of the work Gotta Have It Race has had done recently, and the entire team knew it would go faster than the previous best of 11.51@118 MPH.
Last Friday, the Gotta Have Builds team loaded up Gotta Have It Race and headed down to Cecil County Dragway in Maryland to take part in the 11th Annual ABM Nats, which is run by CJ's Product Specialist and the regular driver of Gotta Have It Race, Bill Tumas. The ABM Nats are a fun day at the track to remember Andrew “Krimpet” Bauer, a fellow racer who passed away in 2002. Krimpet’s beloved 96 Cobra is always at the event and is always the first car to go down the track.
Since Bill would be starting his day driving Krimpet’s Cobra, he threw the keys to Gotta Have It Race to CJ's forum/tuning guy, Steve Riss. Steve has attended most of the NMRA events this year as part of the Gotta Have Builds team, handling the photos and video, but never taking the car down the track. He earned his chance today to make a pass in the car he watched through a lens so many times. However, having zero experience in the car, Steve left pretty hard with a 1.77 60 foot time and tripped the clocks with an 11.98@121 MPH, a solid 2 MPH faster than the car had ever run before!
After letting the car cool for 45 minutes, Steve grudgingly returned the keys to Bill, who soon headed to the lanes with Gotta Have It Race. Bill returned the favor and tossed Steve the keys to Krimpet’s Cobra, which he raced the rest of the day. With a more experienced driver behind the wheel of Gotta Have It Race, Bill was expecting great things from the race car. For his first race, Bill was lined up against Bob Shaeffer’s wicked turbocharged 2005 V6 coupe, which runs in the mid 11s, so he knew it would be a good race. Unfortunately, Bob had troubles in the burnout box, so Bill lined up for a solo pass. With nobody to race, Bill made sure the RPMs were right in the sweet spot and dumped the clutch. He got a little wheel spin, then Gotta Have It Race was off with a 1.63 60 foot time. The car shifted beautifully and the slight hesitation on shifts was gone. The scoreboard lit up with an firstname.lastname@example.org MPH, the quickest and fastest pass ever for Gotta Have It Race--see the video above! The entire Gotta Have Builds team was thrilled with the pass, and knew the 1.63 short time left some ET on the table.
Bill tried a more aggressive launch and a few other things, which resulted in several passes in the 11.4-11.5 range. By then, it was getting late in the day and the air was starting to go away but Bill had a grudge to settle with our good friend and CJ's customer, Scott Lehr, and his 2011 GT500. Both racers have gone back and forth all year at the track and had been smack talking all day. Now it was time to get serious and line them up. Scott's GT500 had recorded a 11.35@122 MPH earlier so Bill knew we had our work cut out for him.
Bill got a good luck fist bump from Troy, the three year old son of CJ Pony Parts' Buyer/Product Development guy, Rick Moyer, then headed to the lanes. After side by side burnouts to put some heat in the tires, Bill and Scott pulled to the line. Both drivers were a little anxious and went red, so the race was on for the faster ET. Bill covered the first 60 feet in only 1.59 seconds, his quickest 60 foot ever, and finally got Gotta Have It Race into the 1.5s on the drag radials! Scott was right there with a 1.60 and both cars were door to door. The lighter weight and better gearing of CJ's 2013 had Bill out in front at the 1/8th mile 7.27 to Scott's 7.39.
Bill knew the GT500 would probably reel us in a little up top, but he was still out in front at the 1000 foot mark, with the nose of the GT500 right next to our driver door. At that point, Bill was pushing the gas pedal so hard there is probably a dent in the firewall as he watched the nose of the GT500 slowly making up ground as both drivers were heading for the traps. Right at the trap, the GT500 went past us but Bill held on for the win! Bill pulled around and picked up the time slip and, once again, had a new best! Against Scott, Gotta Have It Race recorded a 11.34@118 MPH! Bill's 1/8th mile ET and MPH were good, but he lost a couple MPH up top, probably due to the weather, as the GT500 ran a couple MPH off as well with an 11.46@119 MPH.
It was a GREAT race and a GREAT event to end our racing season…..maybe. Cecil County Dragway is open for a few more weeks and the Gotta Have Builds team still feels 11.20s are possible. Plus, Scott wants a rematch. As of now, Gotta Have It Race is the fastest naturally aspirated 2013 GT the team knows of, and isn't far off of the fastest Stock Longblock 6 speed Coyote ever. The Gotta Have Builds team definitely feels that it's time to work on some plans to take some weight out of Gotta Have It Race and shoot for 10s next year!