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The Way Back WS6 – GM High Tech

Now what? It was time to start making some serious changes. John took to GMHTP, web forums, and even Google to figure out what he could do to build a faster car. A plan came together and a budget was constructed to keep the family man on the level. The 370-inch motor was traded for a 408 using a Callies rotating assembly and Diamond slugs. The Patriot heads were cleaned up, refreshed, milled, and opened up by Greg McKiney at Eagle Machine. Cam Motion ground a custom cam to match the high compression nitrous motor with a healthy 242/252 duration and nearly .650-inch lift. The next call was placed to Frank at Performabuilt to replace the 4L60E with a more race-friendly Turbo 400 trans equipped with a transbrake. Throw in a Neal Chance 5200-stall converter and it sounded like a recipe for 9s, or did it?

“I heard so much about Nitrous Outlet and had talked to Dave in the past on some nitrous questions. I asked Dave to help me get to my goal of hitting 9s, so he suggested his direct port kit and dedicated fuel cell with two 10-pound bottles to keep the bottle pressure stable during the passes. So I sent my FAST intake off to him and it came back a piece of art, all the lines bent perfect. It looked fast sitting in the shipping box.” His old nitrous kit was traded for a set of Kooks stepped race headers, and suddenly it sounded like 9s would be no problem. The stock seats were ditched for Kirkeys and a 417 Motorsports custom roll cage with a G-Force harness was added while keeping the rest of the interior intact, including the stereo and heater. QA1 front coilovers with 315-pound springs and rear shocks with V-6 springs along with a Wolfe drag bar rounded out the chassis. A combination of UMI and BMR suspension parts already adorned the under side of the WS6, connected to a Moser 12-bolt.

With the TA being up to snuff with the SFI, John frequently races at several local Missouri events (including a recent Third place finish in King of the Street) and has been to the LSX Shootout for the last three years in the LSX Rumble class. Using a set of Hoosier 28×10.5 slicks and skinnies mounted on Bogart wheels John has been a best of 10.62 on motor and 9.36 at 142 mph on the jug. His famous wheels-up launches trip the 60-foot beam in 1.31-seconds despite being on the heavy side (over 3,700 pounds!). His next goal will be to drop some weight and try to go 8s, at which time he will be contemplating entering LSX Real Street.

“My brother Josh, Dad, and wife always go to the track with me, that’s the only pit crew I have and that’s all I need. We just go to have fun. I know I will never have the money to build a fast 7-second car, I’m just an average car enthusiast that works a regular job and enjoys drag racing and the sport [of it]. I have met so many awesome LS people that are willing to help you with your car or answer questions—you don’t find that in today’s world.”

No matter what place John finishes, he has already won. He has turned his interest and passion into a lifestyle, a way of connecting with others, and a way of extracting the marrow from life. Things certainly have evolved since he was a 23-year-old racing from stoplights. Who says getting older sucks?

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