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TALKING POWER WITH AMERICA?S TOP ENGINE PROS

Q: Tony, I?m about to attend my first NHRA event. What advice would you give a first-timer? Richard Kinslow, Deltona, FL Be prepared for the experience of a lifetime. The thing that really makes the NHRA so special is the access fans have to the drivers and cars. We have 65 min. between runs and during that stretch, teams strip their still-hot 8,000-HP engines down to the short blocks and put ?em all back together. It?s almost as exciting as the on-track action, and fans can literally get within a few feet of the cars and drivers as it?s happening. So plan on spending a good amount of time in the pit area. And bring ear protection! Funny Cars are L-O-U-D. Q: Tony, what type and weight oil do you use in a Funny Car engine? Tony Kaczmarski, Merrillville, IN We use a custom 70-weight version of Q Racing TM oil specially formulated for our Funny Car. And it?s worked out well for us. It?s one of the things that helped us set the all-time Funny Car ET record earlier this year. Q: In a previous column, you wrote changing your exhaust could yield a 10?20 HP increase for about $500. Did you mean just the exhaust system or porting the heads as well? We?re especially concerned about this issue in Mass., because we?re fighting a bill that?d ban the sale of louder-than-stock aftermarket exhausts. John Buchanan, Attleboro, MA I just meant the exhaust system, John. Porting the heads is going to give you a bigger increase in HP, but the cost will also be greater, probably in the $750?$1500 range before labor. And good luck fighting that bill. I think we?d all agree that we shouldn?t exceed a certain decibel limit, but banning all aftermarket exhausts is ridiculous. On my way to the office this morning I heard a Harley alongside me that was louder than any street car I?ve ever heard. Q: Tony, I have a ?97 Z-28 with factory 3.42 gears and a 6-speed manual. It has a K&N cold-air kit and Hi-Po clutch, but is otherwise stock. Is there enough of a performance increase to justify changing to 3.73 gears? John Haigler, Corpus Christi Going with the 3.73s will probably buy you at least a couple of tenths at the strip?you?ll definitely feel the difference. Just know there are going to be some driveability tradeoffs. I had a ?68 Camaro and went to 4.11 gears and they worked great at the track, but it wasn?t real comfortable driving around town and I lost a fair amount of fuel economy. Q: If you were starting a Funny Car Hall ofFame,who would be yourfirstthree inductees and why? Kyle Glaab, Kalamazoo, MI First, the late ?Jungle Jim? Liberman, one of the original pioneers who not only won races, but was a true showman who introduced a lot of entertainment value. Next, Don Prudhomme, another great racer who mainstreamed the popularity of Funny Cars to every kid with a Hot Wheels set. The Richard Petty of our sport. And then Kenny Bernstein, who took the sport to yet another level by attracting major corporate sponsors and helping corporations understand the value and demographics of drag racing while winning championship after championship. Submit it now at Qpower.com. Selected letters win a FREE case of Q ® TorquePower? Got a question for the Q motor oil. ® POWER PROS?

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TONY SETS QUICKEST ALL-TIME FUNNY CAR ET AT PHOENIX. Answers are the opinions of Tony Pedregon and are not endorsed by SOPUS Products. Check out Tony?s site at pedregonracing.com

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