Bill and Steve headed to chilly Cecil County Dragway on Saturday morning, November 24th. The air temperature was right around 40 degrees when they arrived and did not get much warmer throughout the day. Cold is fast, as long as the track would cooperate and have enough bite. To get the car ready, Bill removed the passenger seat, back seat, and a few other things to take about 75 lbs. out of Gotta Have It Race. The trusty Mickey Thompson ET Street Radials were put on the shelf and Bill mounted a set of Hoosier 28x10 slicks off of his personal car. With the added bite of a full slick, combined with the slight weight reduction, the team was hopeful that Gotta Have It Race might even skip the 11.20s and run in the teens.
For his first pass, Bill lowered the slicks to 12 PSI, did his usual 2nd gear burnout, and pulled to the line. He had been leaving the line at about 4500-5000 RPMs on the drag radials, but since he had full slicks on, he revved to 6200 RPMs and dumped the clutch. The tires bit and then shook as they tried to grab. The shake was so bad that Bill had to lift and practically abort the run, but 12.4 seconds later Gotta Have It Race went across the line at 114 MPH. Bill got the car back to the pits and checked the suspension to make sure the tire shake didn’t hurt anything. Everything looked good, so he let the car cool down for around 20 minutes to prepare for the next pass. After putting in so much time getting the car to work on radials, the team was starting to think the slicks may not have been a good idea.
For the next pass, Bill and Steve raised the tire pressure to 18 PSI to force the tires to spin and planned on a softer 4500 RPM launch, just to get the car down the track and get a time that was similar to what the team was getting on radials. This did the trick, as the car left much smoother with a 1.63 60 foot time. Three clean shifts later, Bill went through the traps in 11.31 seconds at 122 MPH! While it was a new best for Gotta Have It Race, Bill knew there was much more to be had. He had run a 1.59 60 foot on the radials and felt that mid to low 1.5s should be possible with the slicks. The car moved around a bit as well, so it was far from a clean pass.
Bill lowered the air pressure to 15 PSI and lined up next to the Gotta Have Builds team's friend, Ronnie Reynolds, who was in his fast 2001 GT with a powerful 5.0 coyote under the hood. Bill pulled up, decided to take the leave (meaning the slower car leaves first, with the faster one chasing), dumped the clutch at 6000 RPMs on the first yellow, and took off. Ronnie left 3 tenths of a second later and the race was on.
Bill held off Ronnie's hard charging 2001 GT for about 1000 feet, but Ronnie caught him in the end. Bill knew Ronnie's car was capable of hitting 10.80, so he knew he had had a good pass. The time slip gave him the news he wanted to hear: 11.16@123 MPH! As the team had hoped, Gotta Have it Race skipped the 11.20s and went right into the 11.10s! See the video of this pass above!
For his next attempt, Bill tried launching at 6000 RPMs, this time with 13 PSI in the tires, and backed up his last pass with an 11.15@123 MPH with a 1.55 60 foot! The 1.55 was what Bill was looking for, but the car moved around on the shifts, which hurt the ET a bit. The Gotta Have Builds team had met their goals but were still not satisfied, knowing there was a little more to be had. They had started the day hoping for 11.20s and dreaming of 11.10s and now had started thinking “can a basic bolt on 2013 GT run 10s?” It was time for an all or nothing pass.
The team lowered the tire pressure to 13.5 PSI and headed to the lines against good friend and CJ Pony Parts customer, Bob Schaeffer, and his turbo 2005 V6, which had run 11.40 on his last pass. Bill did a big second gear burnout and pulled to the line. Bill stepped on the gas and brought Gotta Have It Race up to 6500 RPMs, with the engine screaming when the light dropped. Gotta Have It Race left with both wheels off the ground, covering the first 60 feet in only 1.53 seconds, the best ever! The 1/8th mile went by in 7.07 seconds and Bill was doing almost 98 MPH. Gotta Have It Race was on the best pass ever as Bill closed in on the stripe. He went through the traps right at 7000 and knew he had run a new best. Bill ignored the return road speed limit and got to the timing shack as fast as possible to grab his slip: firstname.lastname@example.org mph!!!! While it was painfully close to the 10’s, it was still a killer pass for a 3650 lb. bolt-on car.
The Gotta Have Builds team had a great year with their 2013 GT. The best pass when the car was completely stock, having only the Race Stars and drag radials installed, was a 12.05@111 MPH, so it picked up a full second and over 12 mph with just bolt-ons, which is a true testament to how good these new 5.0 motors are. Now it’s time to put Gotta Have It Race away for the winter and get a roll bar installed, so it is 100% legal for whatever next season brings!