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What an awesome weekend of ½ mile racing. I really don’t even know where to start so let’s just jump into it.

The September ½ mile event in GA is one of the best. It is a long standing event with wannaGOFAST and it is 2 hours away from my house. Leading up to the event, the weather looked like it was going to be near perfect with an even cooler day on Sunday. We did the normal prep on the car with an oil change and a general look over, but…other than that…the car remained unchanged from last event outside of having even more miles on the stock short block. It is now over 94,500 miles on the clock!

We arrived Friday night and I dropped the car off at the airstrip with the rest of the Vengeance customers ready for a Saturday full of racing.

Day #1 – Saturday

We arrived at Heaven’s Landing early Saturday morning ready to prep the car. I filled up the tank with 10 gallons of MS109 race fuel, filled the meth, topped off the C16 standalone and loaded up 2 full nitrous tanks into the trunk. After letting it idle a bit we were ready to go. A friend of mine and Vengeance Racing customer offered me a sponsor slot for this race so I would be able to run at the top of every hour without waiting in the long regular line. It does make staging for the passes much easier.

Run #1 – 154mph

This event I was going to do something different. Since I already make multiple boost only passes on this car a day, I thought it would be fun to go out on kill for the first run to set the bar. Common sense settled in right before the run and I decided to do a boost only pass just to get the fuel really running through the car. I had run the car down so far on fuel on Friday that I was actually worried about getting it up to the strip but it was still a good idea to get a good WOT pass in to really get it flowing. My car is not geared at all for boost passes with the 3.23 auto gear in it. I pass the traps no where near peak power. It’s really kind of boring but it has a purpose.

Run #2 – 150 mph

For this run we tried something new…and it didn’t work. We set up the nitrous progressive controller to skip 1st gear and come on strong in second. In theory, this was going to work perfectly as I get to 65 mph in 1st. 2nd gear traction was going to be there and ready for the 200 hit. One big problem. The syncros in my TR6060 trans are starting to let go on 2nd gear thanks to all of the abuse I give this car. When I went to shift into 2nd…I couldn’t get in. By the time I did, too much time had elapsed and I had double clutched so the progressive controller thought I was done. Another boost pass it was with a ton of lost time so I just drove to the Sunday grocery store run to the line.

Run #3 – 172mph

I came back in and we took off the 1st gear lockout. Now I just had to short shift and pedal first to get into second and hope that wheel spin could be kept at a minimum. Overall the car did great but I could feel that it was pulling timing up top. We put a data logger in the car and got ready for the next run. I also was in the left lane that had a bump in it close to my 2nd gear hit. The rear tires left the ground…pegged the limiter and the car took off with some wheel spin before I hit 3rd.

Run #4 – 174 mph

Run number 4 of the day went a lot like #3 except I got in the right lane. We pulled the data log and the car was getting too hot on the back end of the pull. I knew exactly why. In staging we were spending a ton of time at the end of the strip waiting for all of the sponsor cars to get in and the car was just heat soaking. I really needed to get IAT2’s down to keep the car pulling at the end of the run.

Day #2 – Sunday

We woke up to a really cool Sunday morning .The morning passes were going to be FAST. I got the car ready with full bottles looking to make a monster pass in the morning.

Run #1 – 0 mph

I took the first run and the car shot out of the hole like a bat out of hell. The cooler air was really working well. I was in the left lane that was known to have a big hump towards the beginning of the run like I had already experienced the day before. In all reality, it probably wasn’t as much of an issue for other cars as it was mine. It just happened that the hump in the runway was timed perfectly with where I needed the full boat of nitrous to hit. The car was squatting and taking off the hardest right where that point was. The nitrous hit hard thanks to a little over pressurized bottle right in the hump and sent the car air born (also pegged my 7500rpm rev limiter again!) While just trying to keep the car straight it also popped out of 2nd in the process. Cussing inside the car I just pulled it off the strip and went straight to the pits. I had just wasted probably the best pass I was going to have that day.

Run #2 – 173 mph

The air was still cool and the car was already ready to go so I pulled back around to go for another pass the next hour. The next sponsor run was full so I had to wait until 11am and the air was starting to get hotter. When the time came to make the run, I took the right lane and went first. The pass was clean and the car was fast but it was still pulling out timing up top. I pulled back in and went over options.

Run #3 – 176.74 mph

Getting ready for the next run, we didn’t want to change anything with the car. Other than the heat issue it was running incredibly well so jetting up or getting more aggressive really didn’t make any sense on the high mileage stock short block. We made the decision that we were just going to ice down the car as much as possible to try to keep IAT2’s stable. The next run was supposed to be at 1pm so I spent the next hour putting ice in the HX tank and cycling it through the system. I have the pump hardwired to the accessory switch so I could turn on the pump without starting the car. I sat in the car at 5 until 1pm calming myself down ready to go…then they told us they weren’t going to do the sponsor cars until 2! I brought the cooler back and iced her down for another hour.

At 2pm we rolled out and started staging. I was about 12 cars back in line but my IAT2’s were 67 degrees!! By the time I pulled up to the line, they were sitting at 83 degrees but stable. I did my short burnout , turned on Rage Against the Machine on the sound system, took a deep breath and got ready to launch. 1st gear rollout was perfect. I short shifted 1st at 4,500 rpms and just flat out stabbed 2nd gear. Wheel spin!!!! Grabbed! I then shifted hard into third and the car was ROLLING. I shifted 3rd at 7k and slammed my right foot to the floor. I literally thought I might push the gas pedal straight through the floor. Come on baby! GOOOO! Top end of 4th was pulling like a damn freight train! Holy shit this is much faster than before! Crossed through the traps, clutched in, took a deep breath and looked down at my gauge. IAT2’s at 115 degrees and falling. The car didn’t pull anything…other than some massive g-forces.

I rolled around to the timing tent hoping for the best. I kept my helmet on and everything…I just wanted to see the slip. It felt freaking fast but you never really know until you get the slip. I pulled up and took a look…176.74mph!!!! Holy shit! I pulled down the ramp, revved the car up and purged the nitrous! We had done it. After giving Ron (the owner of Vengeance) a huge thanks I made my way up to my wife and gave her a huge hug. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tearing up a little bit when I hugged her. She is as much a part of this process as I am and she is a mechanical engineer so she really gets it. I don’t know why she married me but I am glad she did (in all fairness…I did warn her to what she was getting into!!).

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Another personal best and I reset the LSA record. At the time, I actually thought it was the world CTS-V overall record until I came home and found out that Brett had run a 176.77 in his Maggie powered built 427. .03 mph off some of the best built motor cars out there…I ‘ll take that for sure. It is probably a good thing I didn’t know that at the track as I had to leave after the run and I probably would have hurt something with one of those infamous “one last run” moves.

On a side note. My son was also at the event and he will be 4 next month. Apparently, he thought I could hear him cheering me on in the car so he was screaming “spray it! Spray it Daddy!” on my last pass. He really does think that he helped me on that last run which melts my heart. He also ran up and gave me a huge hug when he saw me yelling “Daddy you won!”. It doesn’t get much better than that. It was awesome to have him there to share the experience with.

So broken record time but it needs to be said…

It is unbelievable to me what Vengeance and myself have been able to accomplish with this car. A 94,500+ mile stock short block that is competing with the best of the best in the CTS-V world. Even better…we have not touched the tune at all during or in between these events. I just keeps running, winning and daily driving like a champ. The customer experience at Vengeance Racing is unlike anything else I have ever experienced in my long history of modifying cars and being a part of the tuning industry. It is simply insane what they are able to accomplish and I am glad to call them close friends and family. I might be starting to sound like an obsessed cheerleader but that really is the experience that this shop creates and I got to hang out with 30+ customers this weekend that feel the exact same way. It was an awesome weekend.

Once again, I drove my car to the event…raced it…drove it home…then work up the next day and drove it to daycare and the airport.

Next up is TX to take on the TX CTS-V Club boys. We will be bringing the heat for sure! It has been a bucket list item for me to make this trip and I can’t think of a cooler group of guys/cars to race against. It is going to be an incredible trip. It is also incredibly cool that the group of people on the CTSVOwners.com forum and the guys at the top of the respective ¼ and ½ mile lists are so close and fun to race with. It’s not everywhere that I can be racing with guys from TX and Canada that I also get to stay in close touch with over the year.

Until the next event…N0P0WER CTS-V will keep tearing up the streets of north Atlanta racking up even more miles all while rocking a Recaro baby seat. Damn I love this car.

It’s early in the week so I’ll add pictures and videos to this thread as I get them complete and get them in from friends that were taking shots there. I never even got my camera out of the car but I did get one of the 170+ runs from two GoPros.  I left them off for my last shot at a glory pass that was the 176 run. Maybe I should have taped up the fog lights too to get that .03 extra!

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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.

Example

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