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Showcasing Top and Unique Drivers and Cars From the Drag Racing World

Straight Line Spotlight

Bruce Biegler Aug 31, 2015
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Atlanta Award Winner

The “beat” in popularity and innovation for the fifth-gen COPO Camaro in drag racing continues. During the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals last spring, some special recognition was given to the 2012 machine raced by Louisiana’s Stephen Bell. Bell’s car was selected for that event’s coveted Aerospace Components NHRA Excellence in Engineering Award over a massive field of contenders. This car features an apparent first for the COPO breed – it is a five-speed car that has been back-halved (by Vic Custer at East Texas Race Cars). Depending on his intended class destination, Bell chooses between either a 327ci (500hp) or a Roush-supplied 350ci (548hp) engine combination. While the car’s primary destination is NHRA’s now-thriving FSS (Factory Stock Showdown) class, he can also race the machine legally as a Super Stocker. The beautiful red car is as fast as it looks, too – capable of low 8-second e.t.’s. At the track and at the shop, Bell receives great support from dedicated right-hand man and crew chief Mike Stanfield.

A Jewell of a Corvette


The husband and wife team of Jerry and Shirley Jewell have certainly stood the test of time racing their always-impressive 1967 Corvette. Incredibly, the Ulysses, Pennsylvania-based machine has been in the Super Stock class mix for many seasons, and its winning record in both NHRA and IHRA is rather remarkable. Since his initial win at the 2002 IHRA nationals held at Empire Dragway in western New York, Jerry’s collection of trophies has increased exponentially. That now includes some seven NHRA national open titles, 17 NHRA Division One class wins, as well as some national record-setting performances. The car is usually run in SS/DA class trim and presently races with a 427ci engine, which is refactored to 419 hp. Jerry and Shirley fund their meticulous Corvette’s racing program independently from their self-run Jewell Computing Services company.

Can-Am Camaro Collaboration


The beautiful Pacific Northwest has produced a very interesting new Pro Mod racing alliance this season featuring Washington state’s Shane Molinari and British Columbia’s Ryan Hinrichsen. That duo, in conjunction with crew members Tyson Carr (crew chief), Justin Bond, Cole Welch, Mike Micelli, and Tom Gaynor, have focused their attention within NHRA’s 10-race RPM (Real Pro Mod) scene with a slick twin-turbo 1970 Camaro. Powered by a Generation III Pro-Line Racing built 481X engine, the car and the team have shown steady progress and improvement in their first season on the tour. This car features a chassis built at Hinrichsen’s RH Race Cars (Kelowna, British Columbia), but Ryan admits that it is a bit of a rolling testbed while he hones his skills for an even more concentrated and higher-tech approach for his company going forward. Shane has dipped the car well into the 5-second zone with terminal speeds topping 250 mph – both indicators of a bright future to come for the aspiring new team.

Lingenfelter Legacy Car


Indiana’s Jeff Myers helped to carry forward the iconic name of drag racing great John Lingenfelter (who passed away on Christmas Day, 2003) during 2015. Myers, who works at the company John founded (Lingenfelter Performance Engineering), races a 2013 COPO Camaro, which is painted to resemble the classic Meyer & Lingenfelter 1969 Camaro Super Stocker campaigned so successfully in the 1970s. Jeff can run his car in Stock and Super Stock configurations using either a 427ci LS7 (430hp with LS7 heads) or 427ci (450hp with LSX DR heads) engine programs – both built in house at the Lingenfelter facility. Myers’ car was first obtained from Chevrolet through the Jim Crivelli Chevrolet dealership (McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania). He reported that shortly after that there was a family decision to use it to commemorate and honor John Lingenfelter for all the contributions he made to both the performance industry and within NHRA drag racing. We say Bravo for that!



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