If it don't have wheel's, it ain't a sport.
-Episode #1

by Phil Veldheer

First a little background, I'm 49 years old and have been drag racing since a senior in High School. I am a NHRA and IHRA stocker and super stocker fan. I've raced at the NHRA U.S. Nationals from 1967 to 1980. I raced everything from n/s to ss/ma. However since 1986 I've raced bracket racing because I can race every week and I enjoy it. Besides today's major events have you racing as little as once a day. I like racing and not waiting.

Presently I'm racing three Oldsmobiles every Saturday night at Martin U.S. 131 Dragway in Martin, Michigan. My 78 Olds cutlass was purchased for $300.00 in 1985. It took two years to build. It has run a best of 10.39 at 128 mph.
My second car is a 87 442. It was number 5 in NHRA Competion a few years ago, driven by another racer from MINN. He also won the NHRA NorthStar Nationals with it and was a NHRA Record holder in many classes. I purchased it and completely rebuilt it and put a 455 Olds in it. It has nine miles on the odometer. I wax the bottom of this car. The best time so far with this heavyweight is 10.83. This car really hooks and the wheelie bars aren't for looks on this car.
My third race car is another 87 442 with a little less horsepower. It was also raced at the US Nationals by another friend and he was the number 1 qualifier at Indy with it in 94. I bought this car from him minus engine and trans. This is the car you will see a complete build up on. My first two cars race in NHRA Super/Pro which allows all the electronic stuff, like delay boxes, etc. I wanted my third car to be a foot-brake style car, with smaller (10.5") wide tires on it. So we didn't put in a huge camshaft and stuck with normal compression. We are building the third car to run in the 11's.

Photo 1A shows the car in my garage with a CHASSIS ENGINEERING rollbar leaning against it. It is an 8-point bar. This new car will race in PRO class. It runs from 11:00 et to 13.99 et. At Martin they have from 80 to 100 Pro Cars each week and pay $500.00 to win. In the NHRA Super/Pro class they have 65-85 each week and they pay $1,200.00 to win. We have a lot of sponsors "advertisers" on our cars as we race every week and show them over 40 times per year. This past year we were in 5 parades also.

It isn't easy keeping three race cars clean and three matching trailers spotless. Photo 1B shows my garage setup. The new car is on the right and my two Super/Pro cars are nose to nose in the front of my garage. If you look closely you can see carpet underneath the cars. Thats done for two reasons, one is because it is easier to work on the cars all winter long and second is to stop condensation from forming under the race car.
I remember a few years ago, we had a real cold night and it warmed up a lot during the day and looked under "old Red" and saw condensation dripping off my headers. The concrete floor causes most of that. Another storage idea, about once a week, turn the rear wheels a half a turn. Because one half of the ring gear in gear fluid. The other half is exposed to humidity and rust. I know, because I have seen the results.

For technical specs on Phil's cars, check out his page in the 442.com Virtual Car Show.

Questions, comments, ideas, please e-mail me at 455@i2k.com
Phil Veldheer Racing
Holland MI USA
78 Cutlass 10.39, 87 442 10.83, 87 442 11.86