ABOUT EDDIE KRAWIEC’S DRAG RADIAL 2000 CAMARO
2008 NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock Motorcycle Champion Eddie Krawiec and DMC Racing have teamed up to build a bad ass 2000 Camaro for Drag Radial class racing. When completed, the car will sport a 454ci LSX mill force fed by a 106mm single turbo. DMC’s expertise in the small tire drag car world will be put to the test, as this car will wear a pair of 275 radials to get all that power to the ground. The Camaro under the knife had only 4,500 original miles on it when DMC started filling it full of chrome-moly tube. As wild as his Pro Stock Harley is, this Camaro will be every bit its ragged edge equal. BangShift.com will be following every step of this kick ass build.
THE STORY OF KRAWIEC’S CAMARO
2/19/2010, PART 1: INTRODUCING THE PROJECT
We’ll start with both the backstory of the car and the guy who commissioned its construction, 2008 NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock Motorcycle Champion, Eddie Krawiec. Read on to find out how deep drag racing runs in Krawiec’s blood and what the plans are for this ultra-clean Camaro.
Eddie Krawiec is a drag racers’ drag racer. His history in the sport stems from his childhood, traveling to Englishtown each weekend to help his dad run a Super Pro Camaro. That legendary New Jersey drag plant served as Krawiec’s second home for many years. When his dad stepped away from racing, Krawiec didn’t. The kid pedaled his bike to the strip every weekend, he became a fixture at E-Town and a consumate rail-bird, which eventually led to part time work there. From 1992 to 1999 he worked everywhere from the water box to the starter’s stand, all the while studying the action around him. In 1999, he became the assistant manager of the track, which was a full time job. In 2001, that turned into the role of track manager. He manned that post through 2007, when he went NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock Motorcycle racing with the legendary Vance and Hines team. In 2008, his ability, combined with an awesome bike, took him to the highest peak of drag racing, an NHRA Championship. He won the Pro Stock Motorcycle crown, riding a Harley.
The reason for the Camaro that DMC Racing is building for Krawiec sort of goes back to his first car. At 15, Eddie scored a 1979 Camaro, and with the help of his dad, he rolled into the high school parking lot with a bonafide 12-second ride, definitely the baddest piece of iron at school. There’s the Camaro connection, so why the little tires?
When drag radial tires were invented in the early 1990s, and after they had been secretly tested by more than a couple big name “outlaw” racers, Krawiec saw the first public appearance of the tire on the back of Dwayne “Big Daddy” Gutridge’s car at E-Town. He then saw first hand how the whole “small tire revolution” swept through drag racing. Financial realities saw Krawiec switch from racing cars to bikes at that time, “It’s so much cheaper to go fast on a bike,” he admitted, but he knew that at some point he’d have a small tire car.
“You know, I kind of miss my roots on some level,” Krawiec said. “If you’re running a Pro Stock bike or a Top Fuel car, you can’t just show up at the track and run it. There’s so much work involved. I have never forgotten where I came from, that’s the stuff that makes you who you are. Racing is my career now. I have the best job in the world, but it is my job. I want to have a car I can take to the track and have fun with. This is a no-pressure escape car.”
About the car. Krawiec didn’t start with a wrecked hulk, but with 4,500-original-mile 2000 Camaro SS. The LS1 has been yanked out and will be replaced with a rompin’stompin’ 454ci LSx mill with a 106mm turbo hanging off the front, and it will be backed by an ATI Powerglide transmission. It almost goes without saying, but EFI will handle the fuel delivery duties.
Oddly, the focal point of the car is the most subtle aspect. The 275-series drag radials that have the seemingly impossible task of getting all that power to the ground will probably be the hardest working components on the car. Krawiec is having DMC Racing build the the Camaro so it can also accept 315 radials if he choses to go that route in the future.
Advances in suspension, EFI, turbocharging, and torque converter technology have made cars like this one capable of running deep into the 6-second zone. Just 15 years ago, Pro Mods were running in the same neighborhood of today’s flat-hooded, muffled, 3,000-pound cars on nearly stock-sized radial tires. It’s a mind warp.
So you think this car will be short on thrills compared to Eddie’s Harley Pro Stocker? You’d be way wrong. On great laps, these cars move, sway, and wander to the delight of fans. They need to be driven from one end of the track to the other. Ed’s up to the task. So is DMC Racing, the shop with the proven record of having built the yellow Drag Radial rocket of Alex Vettros. DMC is also knee deep in rebuilding Paul Major’s killer Corvette.
So why do a Drag Radial car, and not a 10.5W machine or something similar? Krawiec said the choice was easy. “There’s tons of radial races springing up all over the place,” he remarked. “The pure challenge of getting the car to perform its best on the fine line is appealing. It’s tough to be truly fast with these cars and that’s the fun, getting it all to work together. The other big thing is that the radial cars are still stock appearing, you can build a really nice, clean car.”
So that’s where Eddie Krawiec’s inspiration came from to build this car, now we’re going to start bringing you DMC Racing’s perspiration in constructing one hell of a bad ass Camaro. Stay tuned kids, this is just starting to get good.
Update: 3/29/2011 – Parts Come in and the Nose Comes Off
It has been far too long since we updated the progress that DMC Racing has made on Eddie Krawiec’s radial tire Camaro project. DMC has been working their collective butts off on several large project over the course of the last year. They rebuilt Paul Major’s Corvette, mended Janson Enos’s Mustang, and worked on a pile of high profile small tire cars to boot.
While all that was going on, they added some tubes to Eddie’s car, clipped the nose off, and have begun mounting the new front k-member and suspension. They’ve been gathering parts and pieces so that they’ll be able to really jam on the car when all the components are ready to go.
One major piece of eye candy that has arrived at DMC is the Billy Briggs built LSx engine for the car. Topped with a Marcella intake manifold, based on an RHS block, and set up for a turbo and EFI. Eddie has won a race or two on the NHRA tour already this year, so we’re sure he’s chomping at the bit to get this bad boy done so he can tear up some asphalt!
Here’s a photo update on the car, as it sits currently at DMC Racing in Halifax, MA.