The Fuel Curve Funny Car – A Closer Look
Our Fuel Curve Funny Car is for real. Driven by Goodguys President Marc Meadors, the 1970 Camaro bodied nitro funny car made its debut in 2015 after Meadors and the Goodguys Racing Team won the 2014 West Coast Outlaw Pro Mod championship with a 1969 Camaro Pro Mod painted in honor of Rich Guasco’s legendary Pure Hell Fuel Altered.
With the Pro Mod championship wrapped up, Marc and crew chief Jason Bunker wanted to hunt bigger game, opting for the nitro funny car ranks of the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series as well as the country’s premier independent funny car shows. The transition was NOT easy!
For starters, nitromethane is a volatile mixture. The famed elements of CH3NO2 have humbled many a drag racer. This evil sauce literally melts forged and billet aluminum parts. “Windowed” cylinder blocks, scorched pistons and rings, snapped crankshafts and exploding superchargers are all part of the fun of running a fuel car. But Meadors took comfort in crew chief Jason Bunker and an eight member crew. With quality mechanics from other high profile race teams, Meadors was at ease mashing the funny car’s loud pedal knowing these guys had every fitting clamped and every nut turned tight. The hard part was up to Bunker to find the magical combination of clutch and fuel. This too was a humbling experience. Many pistons were sacrificed and at the 2015 California Hot Rod Reunion. Then, the car took a hard right into the opposite lane guardrail more or less making it yard art. With bent pipe and a seriously scarred body, the team started from scratch.
In March 2017, the team took delivery of a brand new car featuring a Bob Rosetty body and PRC Fabrication chassis with all the bells and whistles. Progress was slow and steady. They started out at the Smoker’s March Meet at Famoso Raceway. It was a typical first outing on a brand new car with a brand new engine combination. They overcame the odds to run a respectable lap before packing up and heading home. Next up was the Ignitor in Boise Idaho at Firebird Raceway in May. For whatever reason, Marc, Jason and the team have always run well at altitude. They improved on their March Meet outing with a 5.91/236mph run to qualify in the 7th spot in the 8-car field. Progress! Then, they went out an improved yet again, posting up a 5.87/241mph blast. The guy in the other lane (Dan Horan Jr) was quicker though and beat Meadors to the stripe. The team came home from Boise with heads held high.
Two races remained on the 2017 calendar – a return trip to Boise for the historic Nightfire Nationals then the season finale – the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion back at Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield. At the Nightfire’s, the team qualified again in the 7th spot with a 5.86/231 MPH blast under the lights in our freshly wrapped Fuel Curve car. An even better 5.84/241 MPH was netted in the opening round of eliminations but we lost to eventual event winner Ryan Hodgson’s 5.77/251 MPH. A silver lining is that Marc left on Hodgson making the finish line photo nearly a dead heat.
The final frontier was the California Hot Rod Reunion in October – a fiberglass forest that saw 30 funny cars roll through the front gate to attempt to qualify for a 16-car field. Right off the trailer, the Fuel Curve Camaro ran a career-best 5.78/238mph charge which held up for the qualified field. Subsequent runs were full of minor complications so the .78 landed the team in the 13th position heading into eliminations. More complications resulted in a losing 5.90/227mph in round one due to a fuel system gremlin meaning there is a lot more left once the brand new system, test-flowed by nitro legend Dale Emery gets installed over the winter. With incremental improvements at each 2017 event, the team is beyond excited for the 2018 season. Offseason testing will commence sometime in January or February before the 2018 March Meet slotted for March 1-4, 2018.
So what’s it take to run a car like this? It’s pretty much equal parts talent and cash. No expense has ever been spared on any race car Meadors has strapped into and that goes way back to the 1990s when him and his brother Marty ran a ’69 Camaro in Hot Rod Magazine’s Fastest Street Car wars.
The new funny car has all the latest and greatest technology. The 413ci billet aluminum NRE engine block is a first class bullet sitting underneath AJPE billet cylinder heads. A Sonny Bryant 3.750 stroke crankshaft spins the CP-Carrillo rods and pistons lubricated with Red Line Oil. ARP studs, Jesel lifters, Trend Performance wrist pins and other goodies keep the engine happy. Down below is a Barnes oil pump inside the Shorty’s Fabrication pan. But it’s what sits on top of all that where the magic happens. The SSI 6-71 supercharger sucks in as much oxygen as possible given the 18% overdrive limit. A brand new-for-2018 Aeromotive fuel pump flowed by Emery will be a game-changer. A Racepak data management system keeps everything in check.
As for the rolling stock, the Fuel Curve funny car only rolls on the best! Weld Racing’s newest Delta 1 Top Fuel double bead lock wheels are downright beautiful inside all that sticky Goodyear rubber while the Strange Engineering brakes and rear-end insure rapid acceleration and deceleration. A Boninfante bellhousing and Molinari clutch assembly are the final pieces to the hi-powered puzzle.
The entire package is a 3,500 horsepower ’70 Camaro that is a contender wherever it shows up. With the talented crew of Jason Bunker, Billy Fereira, Jeff Accacian, Steven Bunker, Chris Balance, Kyle Worthington and Gordon Berreth, 2018 will be explosive in a good way. That we can guarantee!