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Another 1/2 mile event in the books! This was one I have been looking forward to for awhile. The fall GA event is always huge and this year wannaGOFAST added an additional early summer GA event to lineup. The Georgia events are always a favorite because it is local and the venue at Heaven’s Landing in Clayton, GA is awesome. Vengeance Racing was expecting to see over 35 cars a day alone so you can imagine the atmosphere. We are racing with our closest car friends all weekend long. Leading up to the event…weather was a concern but we all loaded up and headed to the airstrip ready for some 1/2 mile racing. Since I had already attended the VA event and ran a 174+ pass, the car was dialed and ready for GA.

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We showed up Saturday morning to the strip to exactly what I was expecting. A TON of Vengeance Racing built cars all ready to make passes. This shot was taken by Gear Head Flicks from a drone showing the early part of Saturday morning. This was only a fraction of who showed up that day. It was truly awesome to see that many happy Vengeance customers all getting in passes on their cars. Mind blowing really…

For this event, Classic Cadillac in Roswell, GA was actually my sponsor (that awesome RV to the left was theirs) and they were setup right next to Vengeance. I started my usual pre race prep routine and made sure everything was good to go. The weather really cleared up for Saturday so it was looking good to race all day long. The DA was terrible as usual though. There were times throughout the day when we were almost touching the 6k foot mark but we are all racing in the same conditions/air so it was time to get at it.

Run #1 – Boost Only Shakedown – 150.4011 mph

I hate these runs. I do them because it is the right thing to do but I am not a fan of wasting a pass just making sure the car is running fine. It was completely uneventful and boring. It is amazing how slow 150mph can feel now. I pulled off the runway and back into the pits. It was time to start hosing the car down the runway.

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Run #2 – 200 Shot of Nitrous – 175.2337 mph

After I rechecked everything it was time to go big. The bottle pressures looked good and I rolled up to the line. Once the light went green, I rolled into 1st easily and shifted to 2nd. I let the tires spin some and got out of 2nd as fast as I could shift to 3rd in a high enough RPM range. 3rd grabbed with a little wheel spin and the car was running like a bat out of hell. It was incredibly smooth and moving out hard. The shift to 4th went great and the car was off to the finish line. About halfway through the pull in 4th gear I knew the car was doing really well and was going to put up a big trap. I blew through the traps without issue and rolled around to the ticket handoff. When the wannaGOFAST employee was smiling as I rolled up I knew it was good. 175.2337 mph!!! A new personal best and a lock for the fastest heavyweight of the day. It was just shy of the current CTS-V record of 176 so I was ready to get to work!

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Run# 3 – 200 Shot of Nitrous – 170.4545 mph

My next run came at 2pm after lunch. I was ready to hit it hard with a full shot and make an even better pass than before. Ron and I actually lined up with the Vengeance Racing C7Z06. I wanted this win bad as you can probably imagine! We lined up and I was asleep at the line. He treed me pretty good and then I proceeded to blow the tires off 1st and 2nd trying to run him down. It was a complete rookie mistake that we got a good laugh out of after the fact. I grabbed third and halfway through the run sometime started going wrong. The car was sputtering down the track horribly. What I should have done was lifted but my ego/right foot wouldn’t let off since I was racing Ron. He ran a 170 pass just like I did except I got him by a .1 mph while watching him cross the line pretty far ahead of me. We pulled the car around and took a look. One of the bottles I had brought to the event had run dry. The sputtering was the car running out of nitrous. Nothing was hurt and that is an easy fix! We filled up the bottles and got ready for the next pass.

Here is the video of pass #3. You can hear me completely ruin 1 and 2!

Run #4 – 200 Shot of Nitrous – 170.3255 mph

I lined up with full bottles after the last pass ready to make a clean one. As soon as I shifted into 3rd the sputtering came back. I kept my foot in it and crossed the line at almost an identical trap as the last pass. I pulled around to the pits and Vengeance started pulling the spark plugs. When I ran out of nitrous on the last pass I fouled one of them. That essentially means I was running two 170 mph passes on 7 cylinders. I am actually lucky I didn’t hurt the motor as I should have lifted every time the car started sputtering. Now that we knew what it was, the crew at Vengeance pulled all of the plugs on site and replaced them so I could make another pass on the day. The quality of the service from the VR guys is insane.

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Pass #5 – 200 Shot of Nitrous – 172.2818 mph

After the plugs got changed out I had just enough time to make one more pass on the day. A buddy of mine, Jeff Hagaman, with his 190 mph ZR-1 wanted to line up and I was ready. The plan was to leave on the second yellow and drag his ass all the way down the runway. I already knew he was going to beat me as his car is faster…but it was going to be fun to finish across the line first. We lined up and I hit it. As soon as I got into second gear I had a pretty good amount of space on him and the car was running perfectly. I went to shift into 3rd and missed it!!! I clutched back in and got it into gear but I knew it was already too late. I could hear his ZR-1 coming for me and he freight trained me to the finish line. Despite my huge mistake, the car ran flawlessly to a 172 mph pass. It would have been a great one if I hadn’t messed up!

Sunday – In Comes the Rain

The day came to a close and I won the heavyweight class with a new personal best of 175+ ready to hit it hard again on Sunday…or so I thought. We woke up Sunday to rain and a lot of it. I needed it to hold off in the morning as we were going to have to leave around 2 or earlier. As per usual, the weatherman was wrong and it did the complete opposite. It rained all morning long and didn’t clear up long enough to make runs until the late afternoon. They did get up and running for about 3 hours but we were already long gone by then. Disappointing but still an awesome weekend.

Vengeance Racing

Vengeance Racing did an awesome job of support and I can’t believe how well they were able to manage as many cars as they had there. I really can’t say thank you enough to the guys for building me an awesome race car that I get to daily drive. I turned 89k miles on my stock short block on the 175mph pass. If that doesn’t say enough about the reliability and quality of the build on my CTS-V then I don’t know what does. 2nd fastest CTS-V in the world in the 1/2 mile (3rd highest trap speed in the 1/4 mile) and I still drove it home and to daycare on Monday. The event was great…my car ran great and everyone had an awesome time. I can’t wait to see what my car ends up doing in the fall with better air and a couple more tweaks.

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Last Friday, in my typical fashion…I got up early and rolled out with a friend of mine Mark and headed up for the wannaGOFAST VA event in Hot Springs, VA. I decided to once again travel to and from the event in my V and ended up going over 87k miles on the odometer in the process! It was a 484 mile/8 hour trip so we headed out about 5 so we would be able to enjoy some of our Friday up there. About 3 hours into the trip, Mark calls me with some bad news. He forgot his key fob. We then spent some time calling around in the cars looking for a Cadillac dealership on the way that would be able to program the car and have one in stock. Luckily, Valley Cadillac in Roanoke, VA had one in stock and they were going to help out.

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When we rolled into Valley Cadillac, I swear they had never seen a V before much less two that were modified to hell and back. We were treated like rockstars! I think everyone within a 1/4 mile came to the dealership and had to look/hear/stare at the cars. It was hilarious and Valley Cadillac was very accommodating. After having to cut the key offsite and do the 30 minute learn procedure, we had a running car and headed the addition 1.5 hours north on twisty roads to the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs.

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The Omni resort was awesome. Multiple bars…spa…car wash bays in the parking lot. You name it…they had it. As we pulled up, I ran into some other racecar friends and all of the golfers were just starring at car after car pulling up front. It was obvious the crowds were very different but it seemed a lot of the golfing crowd was truly interested. We went out to dinner with the rest of the Vengeance Racing crew that night and got some sleep to get ready for the morning.

First thing, I woke up and met a couple of my GT-R buddies downstairs to go get the cars washed up…at 6:30am. We cranked up my car, an Alpha 16 and an Alpha 12 in front of the building. I am pretty sure that is not the wake up call that the golfers wanted and I think they actually got some complaints. It was definitely race car guys meet quiet golfing world. We packed up and headed the 30 minutes to the airstrip that was at the top of the mountain.

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The views up there were insane!!!! We were at 4,000 feet of elevation with nothing around us. I went to go make my first boost only run and the views to the start looked like you could see to 4 different states. It was breathtaking and a nice calm down before you rolled up to the line. It also looked like you were going to take flight off the back end if you didn’t slow down in time. While we were going to be fighting terrible air (5,000+ DA the entire event), the views more than made up for it. The venue was incredible and we were racing on a grated cement runway. It wouldn’t be a record breaking event but it was going to be an awesome time.

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Day #1 Runs

1st Pass – Boost Only – 159.147 mph

The first boost only pass went without any issues at all. I ran a 159 driving like a grandma just to get a feel for the track. People ask a lot of times what my best is on just boost and I honestly don’t have one. I use those runs to make one clean pass before I hose her down. Time to turn the nitrous on.

2nd Pass – 150 Hit – 166.5433 mph

The first hit on nitrous went pretty well. I rolled into it a little bit too soft and the nitrous ramp was not as aggressive as it needed to be. Nice progress but the car has a ton more in it.

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3rd Pass – 150 Hit – 169.1729 mph

There we go! Almost to 170mph. Car feels awesome but I really want to give it more. I really felt like that was the best pass we were going to get out of the 150 shot so I’m ready to go for the 200. I actually end up borrowing the jets from Jeff Hagaman and Jeff Heintz. They didn’t bring the V this event but they will in GA. The car is running perfect so it is time to jet up!

4th Pass – 200 Shot – 169.5554 mph

Wait?! What?! I add another 50 on the nitrous and I don’t run any faster?! That has to be my fault. The day is winding down and there was no line so I just said screw it and basically hot lapped the car (not usually a good idea with a V).

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5th Pass – 200 Shot – 173.0769 mph

I go back down the track and try something a little bit different. I essentially used wheel spin to get out of 1st and 2nd as fast as I could and into 3rd at a high RPM. I feel like this could be the one. I shifted into 4th and the car started hauling ass. I had never seen the speedo move that fast at those speeds. Across the line and I know that was fast.

I pulled around and parked the car. As I got out, Ron came up and said “how the hell do you run 169’s back to back like that?” My response…”Wait? You have to be kidding me! I was fucking milking that thing!!” He started laughing and then let me know what really happened…I just drove the car to 173 mph in the 1/2! What an awesome way to end the first day! 4 nitrous passes and one boost pass and the car was running perfectly. I took the overall heavyweight class for the day and was ready for day #2.

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Day #2 Runs

It was a calm next morning. Most of us were pretty tired and pissed we stayed up so late to watch such a lame fight. The team at Vengeance helped me prep the car and I got ready for my first run.

Run #1 – 200 shot – 173.4772 mph

Well it doesn’t get any more consistent than that! First run out and I match my 173 from the evening prior. It was going to be a good day.

Run #2 – 200 shot – 172.9439 mph

For this run I wanted to try something a little bit different…and it worked…too well! I shifted a little quicker and came a little bit harder off the launch. As I came down the runway I could tell this was going to be a glory pass and I was ready for a HUGE number. Just one problem. The run was so good that I ran out of RPM’s. The 3.23 gearing I put in the car would get the car to 176mph at 7,000 rpms and I hit the limiter before I passed the line. That obviously had a huge impact on my trap and I ended up at only 172 thanks to that quick jolt. I pulled back into the pits and told Mike and Ron what happened. They decided it was best to up my limiter to 7,500 rpms to get me across the line.

Run #3 – 200 shot – 174.5539 mph

For this run I did the exact same thing as the last and the car was screaming. I had that same feeling as before…this is the pass that is going to do it! I got into forth and watched for the line and all of the sudden…the car just felt stuck. I looked down and it was waving between 6,800 and 7,000 rpms. It wouldn’t go above 7k! What is happening?! I crossed the line and thanks to not hitting a limiter the car hit 174 for my fastest pass all weekend. I got back into the pits and we figured out exactly what happened and it was my fault. I didn’t change the nitrous cutoff to 7,200rpms from 6,800 rpms when we upped the limiter. The car didn’t have the balls to get past 7k up there because the nitrous was cutting off then back on again! That was a 176 pass easily and might have even been a 177 in 5,000+ DA! The car was moving out! I decided at this point that I was just racing myself so I called it a day. 174 is a big number as it sits and the GA 1/2 mile is in a couple of weeks.

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I swapped wheels and packed everything up taking home the heavyweight champ for both days (sponsor class but also fastest overall) and I also was the fastest 4 door on Sunday which was pretty cool. We headed down the hill and I closed the cutouts. What the hell is that noise?! We pulled over and put the car on the race ramps. Apparently…the used 3.23 rear diff I bought was pretty warn out after the weekend. It was howling and making some awful noises but it wasn’t effecting the car at all. We decided, while annoying, everything was fine and I made the 8 hour trip home with a screaming diff. I also ordered another one right away for GA.

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7 nitrous passes and 1 boost pass with traveling over 1,000 miles on a stock short block and my trusty Vengeance tune and build. I can honestly not say enough awesome things about the car and the experience I have with the team there. It is getting so much so that I am starting to sound like a cheerleader more than a customer but I think it is pretty obvious at this point that the car is performing at the top of its class and I am having a hell of a lot of fun with it. It is ready for the GA 1/2 mile and with the better air and dialed in setup…it should be insanely fast. I can’t wait.

Here are some more pictures as well. Eddie in the red C5 ended up taking fastest NA both days as well.

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Example

Ever since we laid down that massive dyno number, there had been a number of people (myself included) wondering how the car would perform on the track. To our knowledge there hadn’t been a stock block, stock blower CTS-V that had shown a number that high on a dyno before, so there was some speculation and some doubt from some people about how powerful the car really was. The only way to really tell was to get it down a 1/4 mile track and see what the trap speed was. That would tell the whole story. While the car was finished in January…timing, weather and everything else under the sun was playing against us until we were finally able to make it to South Georgia Motorsports Park last week for some testing on the car. Continue reading My Day at SGMP – New Cadillac CTS-V 6MT Record

Example

Let me start off by saying that I have a pathetic showing of how great the weekend was. While I had all my camera gear, GoPro’s and all sorts of stuff to capture the event and come back with something spectacular…I was having too much fun hanging out with friends and driving my car to care. So…we are going to step down to iPhone pictures and video of only one run. I did have a friend of mine down there that is a photographer so when he gets his shots done I’ll post some of those.

First, I decided to drive my car down instead of trailering it. My wife and I packed it full of all of our stuff along with a jack, everything to wash the car with and tools to work on the car. I had dropped off my drag radials at Vengeance to put in the trailer so that was the only thing that wasn’t in the car that we needed for the weekend. It was packed in the backseat and trunk! Road trip time! We actually left Alpharetta, GA on Thursday night around 6pm. I had a really important business meeting in Pensacola, FL that following morning so we were going there first. Any of you guys that have been watching the weather leading up to the event already knew there was rain in the area. This wasn’t just rain…it was monsoon downpour. We spent most of the 354 miles to Pensacola in it. We got there late Thursday, I had my meeting in the morning and we headed off to Ocala which was another 376 miles. We caught up with the rain again which was even worse this time and I spent hours white knuckling the steering wheel just trying to make sure the idiot drivers around me didn’t hit my car before the event. We made it there around 4pm and I headed straight to the bar for a beer. I was tired.

Side note: All of the nitrous runs are being done on a 150 shot…not the 200 the car made 1,215whp/1,077wtq on.

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Day One – Saturday January 24th

The next morning rolled around and it was time for the event. The forecast called for the rain to stop around 9am which it did but the strip was still pretty wet. We prepped the cars and waited Around noon or so they started running cars so we were ready to go. Saturday really ended up being a bust for me for the most part. 1/2 of the day was because of the rain and the other half was me. I only made two passes on the car. This was my first 1/2 mile event ever…much less on the car so this was a break-in for me as much as it was the car.

Saturday Pass #1 – Blower only – 153.7936mph

The first pass was made to figure out how we should time the nitrous in. I lined up and hit it. The car felt great. It was pulling through the gears and doing exactly what it was supposed to. Traction was terrible and there was a crazy cross wind on the top end thanks to that front moving through that made the car want to skate all over the place. Everyone was talking about it and it made it for a pretty wild ride towards the finish line. 1st and 2nd gear were worthless at the line as well. My car topped out 4th and popped off the rev limiter about 100 feet or so before the finish line so the pass was faster but it made no sense to shift. We were going to time the nitrous so it came in at 3rd with a ramp to try to keep the tires hooked to the ground.

After that pass…there were several cars that ran into issues. Some blew up…others took a wild ride all over the track. That started to get in my head and I already knew what the traction and the wind felt like at the end of the track. Finally I put my big boy pants on and hit the line for a second run.

Saturday Pass #2 – Blower and Nitrous – 164.7145mph

The car moved out. The nitrous was hitting well but seemed a little delayed. I wasn’t sure why yet as I had only made one pass on it but it still felt smooth and really strong. At the end of the day, I had Brian in GA by one mile an hour and I was the fastest 4 door all day long until the last 30 minutes when a friend of ours on a 250 shot nailed down a 170mph. That will just give you an idea of the conditions and how much slower the trap speeds were in comparison to usual numbers. I think everyone in the RWD category was saying they were off by at least 7 mph due to traction. Even the AWD cars were sliding all over the place but at least they had the added advantage of getting more power to the ground. So at the end of the day, I got a clean pass in on the nitrous and I was competing with the guys that have consistent track records of making power and great traps. I was happy…but there was something every obvious about my setup that was going to hold me back…having to shift into my 0.80 ratio 5th due to the 3.73 gear in the manual was really making the car fall on its face at the end of the run.

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Day Two – Sunday January 25th

I woke up Sunday morning ready to hit it hard. First day jitters were gone. The nasty cross wind at the end of the track was gone. Traction was still the same but at least the other conditions improved and we were going to get a full day in.

Sunday Pass #1 – Blower and Nitrous – 168.0358mph

Awesome! First pass and we are getting at that 170mph mark! That was a great way to start the morning. We hadn’t changed anything on the car and we picked up almost 4mph on the top end. I was feeling great about the way the day was going to head. The car felt awesome and I prepped for the second run.

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Sunday Pass #2 – Blower Only – 148.1238mph

The time had come. Brian Landfried and I were lining up head to head. I had been looking forward to this moment ever since we signed up for the event. I had this all planned out in my head. He was going to get the jump on me and cross the line first but I was going to trap higher. I just knew it. We lined up, did our burnouts, purged the nitrous…and we were off! He got the jump like I expected but then I hit third gear and something just wasn’t right. We was pulling away like a freight train and my car felt slow! Shit!!!!! I forgot to arm the nitrous!!! Once I figured that out I just got pissed and let it coast over the finish line. Not only did I not get my run with Brian that I wanted…but now he has video of completely dragging my ass all the way down the track so bad that I disappear!! I am not ever going to live that one down! Pissed off…I didn’t even take my helmet off and hot lapped the car.

Sunday Pass #3 – Blower and Nitrous – 163.6364mph

Well…the pissed off run didn’t go so well either. I completely ripped off the tires and didn’t check bottle pressure before running. Nitrous fell on its face at the end of the run because I had basically purged the pressure out of it prepping for two runs. Slow time and frustration. It was time to go calm down and get something to eat. I was just making things worse!

Sunday Pass #4 – Blower and Nitrous – 165.4412mph

It was a clean pass but the air had gotten warmer. I also was still feeling like the nitrous wasn’t hitting as hard as it should. We got back to the trailer and started messing with the programing. We then realized what was happening. The delay and ramp we built in was happening in every gear. We had put in the pause feature so it wouldn’t reset with every shift but since we were having traction issues…I wasn’t able to power shift the car so the shifting delay was too long. We stripped that out and the ramp and decided to just let the car eat. We set everything up and headed back out.

Sunday Pass #5 – Blower and Nitrous – 168.9189mph

The fastest pass I had made yet. The car felt much faster. This same setup in the morning would have been awesome but we were making serious progress. No more delay…tons of power. We were good to go. I still felt like the car had a little bit more in her so we came back…messed with the tune a little bit and I got back in the car.

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Saturday Pass #6 – Blower and Nitrous – 131.5020mph

Last pass of the day…car is feeling good. Let’s hit it and make a clean run. I could tell as soon as I got off the line that the small change in the tune we made had really woken the car up. 3rd gear felt incredible. The car was hauling ass. This was the run. I could already feel it. 170+ hear we come. Shift to 4th was perfect. The car was even wiggling a little sideways in 4th! I was putting a hole through the floor of the car with the gas pedal. Time for 5th! Shift! Miss! Fuck! I completely missed the shift to 5th on my best run and last one of the event. I left off the gas and roll across the finish line at idle. The guy I was running with ran a 150mph+ pass and he was no where to be found as I cross at 131 coasting. That was the run. The car felt perfect and driver error messed it up. That’s racing a manual car for you.

At the end of the day, I had the 3rd fastest CTS-V at the event (Brian was second with a 172 on a 200 shot and the other friend of ours in his 4 door pulled off a 173 on a 250 shot) and 2nd fastest 4 door and heavy weight competing against cars running bigger shots and that have been to multiple of these events before. I was incredibly happy even though I completely messed up my last run that was going to be perfect. The car has a ton in her and we learned a lot about the setup to make it a monster at the next event. The biggest thing is that we are going to change the rear end to a an auto setup that gives me a 3.23 gear that will carry the car to 180mph in 4th. That combined with a 200 shot will get me to the end of that gear in the 1/2 in GA for sure.

My wife and I packed up the car and headed back home driving an additional 390 miles back home and the car was still running great.

The weekend was awesome and the crew at Vengeance showed up in force. We had 34 cars there and it was a blast. They took home a good amount of trophies for the weekend even if I wasn’t able to grab one this round. The support, friends, family and everything else that surrounded the experience that Vengeance Racing brought was unreal. They also built me a car that was able to travel over 1,120 miles and made 8 1/2 mile race passes which 5 had a 150 hit of nitrous! I don’t know about you guys…but that impresses the hell out of me. The tune, build, everything is just spot on.

At the end of the day, I walked away with a car that traveled more than just to and from the event and it competed with the top of its class. The knowledge I walked away with will bring this car to the win at the next event. I can’t wait. And yes…the Recaro baby seat was in the car for every pass with two of my son’s stuffed animals strapped in and ready to rock.