1969 Chevrolet Corvettes - Clash Of The Titans

At This Past Year's Pure Stock Drags, Records Fell As A Trio Of Power-Lifting L88s Gathered To Take A Shot At The Mountaintop

Tom Shaw Jun 15, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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The Penningtons' L88 had the Turbo 400 automatic, which is usually a bit easier to handle at the line.

Round Three. It was all coming down to the wire. It's the final winner-take-all run of the Pure Stock Drags, and nobody was leaving the stands. You would guess that after Julie's Round Two redlight, she's probably going to be conservative on the launch, so Jimmy had the momentum here.

Jimmy had his engine idled up to 1,800 rpm to get a consistent load for the clutch. In the near lane, that was the same rpm Julie was powerbraking to. The lights come down and at the last yellow, they pulled the trigger. Sure enough, Julie started late, but Jimmy redlighted! Julie doesn't want the handout. Instead she puts the spurs to the L88 and lets it fly. It all comes together on this run as Julie rockets through the big end, setting one more record with a red hot 11.54 at 120.75.

"I knew I had to cut a good light because the car was a tenth faster," Jimmy said afterwards. "She redlighted the time before, so I knew she would be timid on pushing the tree. My redlight didn't really matter anyway because it lost traction in second gear, and I just about hit the wall. All is good. I'll get her next year."

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Jimmy Johnston's rival Corvette had the four-speed, and he's a very tough customer at the line.

Tech Teardown
Meanwhile, there was still one last objective. When the Corvette coasted to a stop back in the pits, Terry and a team of mechanics popped the hood and began disassembling the engine. All weekend Terry was getting wind of comments that his car was a cheat. He intended to put a stop to that. Out came the radiator and off came the intake and heads. Out came the cam.

Standing by with micrometers in hand was Scott Tiemann, Pure Stock Drags chief tech inspector. Scott had also been getting an earful from other racers who found the L88's e.t.'s very suspect. He measured everything in sight and went so far as to cc the heads. All checked out. Exhaust manifolds were untouched, Thermactor bosses and all. Not the first grinder mark in the heads or intake. Compression was within spec. Terry didn't even gasket match the ports. Scott took the cam home and checked it against a N.O.S. L88 cam. It was completely legit. Looks like the Brand-Xers just had a bad case of L88 envy. It happens.

The Clash of the Titans was now complete. And who would be a more unlikely prospect for conquering the fastest field ever at the Pure Stock Drags than a rookie girl? Never underestimate the power of a long shot, especially when it's powered by an L88.

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Julie stayed focused though, and with a couple of 1.8-second 60-foot times, she had the edge.

More Info: Pure Stock Drags '07
Pure Stock Musclecar Drag Race

September 14-15, 2007

Mid-Michigan Motorplex
2589 N. Wyman Rd.
Stanton, Michigan 48858-9428

Pure Stock Musclecar Drag Race
P. O. Box 341
Tecumseh, MI 49286-0341
Evenings: Dan Jensen (517) 647-2474
Days: Bob Boden (517) 423-8133

Comfort Inn (Host hotel)
Alma, Michigan (989) 463-4400
Days Inn, (989) 463-6131
Super 8, (989) 427-8888


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