We love to hit the local 1/8-mile drag strip. It’s exciting and a nice escape from everyday life. Besides, we dig the smell of good fuel as opposed to the ethanol-enriched stuff we’ve regretfully grown accustomed to. On top of that, we run across some really nice folks with awesome cars. One instance is Duane Cubberley and this ’94 Camaro. In most cases the car runs in the 6-second index class. It’s a fast ride with not much getting in the way of its occasional street use, but Duane prefers to spend most of his time at the track. And while most drag cars have contingency decals plastered all over the place with a somewhat lack-luster paint job, Duane’s car is certainly different in that regard—it’s clean and simple with enough flash to catch your attention in a hurry, especially while it motors down the track.
Duane bought the car a few years back with intentions of racing, but like many enthusiasts, he wanted more. He continued to modify the car until it suited his tastes, as well as his need for speed, but we’re sure his satisfaction will decrease as time goes by. That’s simply the car guy way of life.
At this point, the car is perfect for heads-up index-class racing as it consistently runs low 6’s in the eight-mile. Residing in Knoxville, Tennessee, Duane usually runs at the Bounty Race held at I-40 Dragway in nearby Crossville, Tennessee, but he’s competed at several other events, including “Pinks: All Out,” at Rockingham, North Carolina. At The Rock, Duane ran the car without nitrous, and made the 16-car field with runs in the 10.5-second range. No matter where he competes, his car performs well. Most of the credit can be given to the excellent group of components that make up this late-model racer.
You can make tons of power, but it’s wasted if it’s not all transferred to the rear tires in an efficient manner, so Duane paid close attention to the suspension setup. Starting with the front end, he installed a BMR tubular K-member and a set of BMR tubular control arms to lighten things up a bit. For maximum adjustability, he went with a pair of QA1 coilovers. Lightweight Aerospace Components brakes roll up front, consisting of drilled rotors and aluminum, four-piston calipers, while the rear binders are of the Wilwood variety and easily reduce rotating mass.
Bolted to the drilled rotors is a pair of 15x4 Weld Pro Magnum rollers wrapped in Mickey Thompson racing rubber. Out back, the original suspension setup still takes up residence with the exception of a BMR torque arm replacing the stock unit. Getting off the line quick-like is a necessity in the drag world, so Duane went with a pair of QA1 shocks to dial in the launch. To keep the stout F-body level, a BMR anti-roll bar attaches to the Moser 9-inch rearend, which is setup with a spool and 5.13 gears. Narrowed to fit, the housing is located with 1320 Fabrication’s 1 3/8-inch adjustable chrome moly control arms. A pair of 15x10 Weld Magnums mount just outside of the Wilwood brakes and sport 28x10.5 M/T slicks.
When Duane began racing the Camaro, he ran without wheelie bars. That was until a few bumper-dragging wheel stands became motivation to save the killer paint job. And as a by-product, he began to run more consistent times as well. If not for the wheelie bars, this gorgeous Camaro would look more like a custom build rather than the go-fast machine it is today. Part of the bumper-dragging recipe comes from the wicked small-block Chevy built by Eagle Racing Engines located in Loudon, Tennessee. Starting with a Dart Little M block, the crew balanced and assembled the rotating assembly consisting of a Crower crankshaft, Lunati connecting rods and Ross pistons. The forged bottom end creates a total displacement of 421ci, and the substantial knot on the pistons creates a 15:1 compression ratio.