2001 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - The Adventures Of Buckwheat

This Rascal Runs!

Chris Endres Jan 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
Vemp_0901_05_z 2001_chevrolet_corvette_z06 Fuel_cell 1/10

This auxiliary fuel cell was not a GM option.

As we have previously established, saying your car is the fastest in town is often a dubious claim at best. And Murillo was called out on it. In fact, when he posted news of his 9.94 at 143 pass in Sealy, Texas, and boldly anointed his car "the fastest Corvette in San Antonio," the peanut gallery quickly pointed out that it was actually the fastest in Sealy. Not pleased, Murillo jumped at the chance to run the rival shop owner's personal 427-cube, NOS-snorting Corvette (Friendo's '04 had already been written off as a lost cause). The big stroker had run a 10.27 at 141 just days earlier, so there seemed to be a very good race in the making.

Murillo tells the rest of the story, in his own inimitable way:

It had been raining on and off for a couple of days, so I wasn't sure if the track would even be open. But I knew that if I didn't show up and it was open, I would never hear the end of it.

Vemp_0901_06_z 2001_chevrolet_corvette_z06 Burnout 2/10

Buckwheat gets ready to blast off on another high-9-second pass. Dialing in the right launch rpm is critical.

My buddy, Big Rue, and I showed up at about 8:00 p.m. I was sick, and would have much rather been at home. I told my fiance, Lisa, to stay home with the kids and that if I decided to run, I would call her and let her know. Lisa and I have an agreement that I will never make runs without her being there, if she can be.

So, when we arrived, the track was indeed open, but nobody was there. Nine o'clock came and went, and I decided to just head home. As I said my goodbyes to a few of my friends and started walking to my car, lo and behold, in comes the 427 stroker guy with all his keyboard warriors in hot pursuit. My first response was, "[expletive deleted]!" My second response was, "[expletive deleted] it! Let's get this done! Big Rue, call Lisa and tell her we're ridin'.

I walked right up to 427 and said, "Hey, I'm not sure what condition the track is in, so I'll make a quick hit and see." He told me he was having clutch problems and didn't want to race. I still did, so I decided to make a quick little hit just to test the waters.

Vemp_0901_09_z 2001_chevrolet_corvette_z06 Wheel 3/10

To state the obvious, all eyes were on Wheat, and all the "warriors" were at the fence! As I pulled into the water box, my nerves were shot. The Vette is a pain in the ass leaving the starting line. If I didn't get some good wheel speed leaving, I could bog the motor and add four-tenths to my time.

I pulled it up to the 5,000-rpm two-step [rev limiter], dumped the clutch-and it bogged! But even with a dismal 1.69 60-foot time, the car still managed a 10.21 at 143. I wasn't happy, but the warriors were, let's say . . . surprised. Some of them straggled over and exclaimed, 'Wow!' But Big Rue and I told them, 'We aren't done yet.'

Vemp_0901_07_z 2001_chevrolet_corvette_z06 Interior 4/10

Inside, only the shift knob and pillar-mounted gauges hint that there may be more going on here than meets the eye.

Lisa missed the first pass, so she was mad when she got there. After calming her down, we went up for Round 2. This time I revved it to 6,000 and dumped the clutch. No bog, but it spun pretty bad. The car responded with a 1.56 60-foot and clicked off a 10.01 at 144. Not bad.

As we were cooling down for the last hit of the night, several more warriors were coming and going, some with less-than-pleasant comments. Then, as I pulled into the staging lanes, one of their fastest 408-inch NOS Z06 guys came over and wanted to "dance." This guy had been the fastest Vette in S.A. for two years or so. Having confidence after the last pass, and knowing that I'm even better under pressure, I was more than happy to accept the challenge.

We both did our burnouts and crept to the lights. Needless to say, you could hear a pin drop even over the rumbling of our exhaust. We both purged the nitrous, pulled in, and staged. I brought my stock short-block up to 5,500 rpm and proceeded to drop the bomb on him right at the lights and tree him out the gate.

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