“Oldsmobil-ology” III, on the track.

(For those just tuning in, check out Part One of our Oldsmobile-ology series here, and Part Two here.)

Some of you guys that read these tech stories know that I have been a Mopar racer for decades. That all changed this year. We decided to focus on helping out good friend and Oldsmobile racer, Nick Jeffrey. He is a certified “Olds Nut” and his small-block powered Olds Cutlass is proving they can make power. The question, after we left the dyno in the last DRO tech article, was can we put that power to the track and have it result in quicker ETs? Well, the results speak for themselves.

We got the engine installed in the car and after a few warm-ups and the normal “little things” that had to be done we were off to the local track, Cedar Falls Raceway. They had a Saturday test and tune and we wanted to see if everything was working before the next regular race that following weekend. We are now running the car “Electronics-free”. No delay box, no two-step. Just mash the gas, grab the shifter and see what you get. I love this change by the way. After 20 years of top-bulb racing it's a nice change but I can tell you this up front: it is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. On to the performance of the 425” Olds Rocket!

This is the new TCI Outlaw shifter. It was a very straight forward installation and not one modification was required to install it. We decided to get the line-lock button option on the shifter handle and I must admit, it is the most comfortable location I have ever had for a line-lock button. We used a Weather-tite connector for the neutral safety switch and line-lock wires so if we need to take the shifter out we aren't stuck cutting and splicing wires.

The first couple passes were just check out runs to make sure the brakes were OK, the new TCI Outlaw Shifter was working OK and everything was feeling right. We took the old air-shifter out and replaced the old shifter with a new TCI Outlaw shifter. Installation was easy and it is the best “feeling” shifter I have ever had. Now all I have to do is remember to pull it back on time and after 20+ years of air or electric shifters it could be interesting. Nick’s Cutlass has a tendency to stand it up pretty good and that was a concern with this extra torque. We started out with the rear tires at 12 lbs and the front shocks in the tightest extension adjustment. Leaving the line on the footbrake at only 2400 RPM we ran an early-lifting 10.22 at only 108 mph. The fastest the car had ever run before this was 10.60s. It spun pretty hard and only had 1.406 - 60’ time.