We finally test DRO's Comp Eliminator
By Jeff Burk
Photos by Ian Tocher and Jeff Burk
Okay, okay, we planned to run DRO's Comp Eliminator
B/EA at Gainesville. The key word is planned
and we'll call a spade a spade and admit that
our plan failed. It looked good on paper, but
we found that reality really bites when you're
trying to screw together a professional class
car in just three weeks. It wasn't because of
The guys at Tim McAmis Race Cars did jump through
some major hoops trying to convert a bracket
style car to a B/EA car -- even Tim himself
was elbow deep in the work.
The folks at TCI, Barry Grant, Nicholson and
Sons, MSD, and Scott McClay Engineering (TH-200
transmission) all busted their humps to get
us the necessary parts on time. Still, we didn't
make the first race. Kenny and I found out the
hard way that preparing and racing a Competition
Eliminator car just isn't as easy in real life
as it sounds like when you're talking about
it over a couple of adult beverages. In short,
to quote my favorite baseball manager, Tommy
Lasorda, "This ?&#! job ain't that
while driver Kenny Nowling has been attending
points races all over the country, driving a
variety of borrowed cars, getting rained on
and out, gathering those treasured grade points
mandated by the High Sheriffs of Glendora so
that we can enter the National Events and race
as part of the Mike Ashley's InfiNet Pro Mod
team, we leaned on a couple of Mike Ashley's
crew, Allen Adkins and his brother Mark Adkins,
to get the newly painted Firebird ready to take
to the track.
The first outing for the car came at the IHRA
race at Rockingham where once again the best-laid
plans went askew. New car wiring gremlins kept
the car from making any kind of lap at the Rock.
It took a major effort by MSD tech Brandon Uhde
to find and fix the problem. Thanks, Brandon.
As a result, the best we could do there was
a couple of launches. We knew that act wouldn't
cut it at Houston, so we went back to basics.
More testing was called for. Last weekend Kenny
and I, thanks to Dave Koch and his wheelstanding
'79 Nova S/ST car, were at the NHRA Sportsman
Open at Gateway International getting yet one
more valuable grade point by entering the S/ST
As you can see from the photo, Kenny put her
on the bumper and ran a 10.20 on a 10.90 index.
We were .70 under the index!
Mike Ashley crewman Allen Adkins and his brother
Mark took the car to Bristol, Tenn. for testing.
They only made eighth-mile hits for this test
The first lap on the car Allen, who drove,
left at with the Patterson small block at 6800
rpm. The 'bird had a 1.21 sixty-footer and ran
a 5.37, which was just under the eighth-mile
index for the class of 5.42. The next lap, Mark
made a 4-link bar change, took a pound of air
pressure out of the tires, and put a 7000-launch
chip in. The car made two consecutive 5.33 passes
and improved the sixty-foot time to 1.12.
On the final run he took off the carb that
Patterson had on the engine when we bought it,
and replaced it with the prototype Barry Grant
750cfm Comp Eliminator carb they built for this
project. They changed nothing else and improved
the sixty-footer to 1.09 and the elapsed time
to a 5.27 with a speed of 131.27. It's not world
beating, but it looks like we can be competitive.
Allen and Mark serviced the car, shoved it
into the box, and headed for Houston, Texas.
Next installment we'll show you some photos
of the engine and components and give you more
information on the converter, transmissions,
and our trick Barry Grant carb. Stay tuned --
we're going to have some fun this year and you're
along for the ride.
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