Restoration, Rebuilding, Racing: Car Culture at Avon High School

By Jashanpreet Singh | Reporter

As the sun began to set on the drag strip, 16-year-old Seth Abercrombie felt a mix of nerves and excitement as he prepared for his race. The smell of burning rubber and gasoline filled the air as he strapped on his helmet and climbed into his car. He could feel the heat radiating off the asphalt as he revved his engine . His heart raced as he waited for the signal to start. The light turned green and Seth launched off the starting line, the force pressing him back into his seat. He could hear the roar of the engine and the cheers of the crowd as he hurtled down the strip. As he approached the finish line, he could see his opponent’s car just inches ahead of him. He pushed his car to the limit, and with a final burst of speed, he crossed the finish line a mere 2 thousandths of a second before his opponent. The crowd erupted in cheers as Seth emerged from his car, victorious. He could feel the adrenaline pumping through his veins, the elation of his hard-fought win. It was a moment he would never forget.

A combustion engine converts fuel into mechanical energy through a series of controlled explosions. These are the most common types of engines found in sports car and racing leagues. The basic operation of a combustion engine begins with the intake of air into an engine bay. This air is then mixed with fuel, typically gasoline or diesel through a fuel injector. The mixture is then compressed by a piston within a cylinder, which causes the temperature and pressure to increase. Next, a spark is added to the compressed mixture causing the mixture to explode. The force of this explosion pushes the piston downward, turning the crankshaft and generating turning force. The energy is then used to turn the vehicle’s wheels or other equipment. Combustion engines are also classified according to the number of cylinders they have. The efficiency of a combustion engine can be improved by using technologies such as turbocharging and supercharging. Both forms can increase the air intake into the pistons and as a result the piston can receive more fuel and a more powerful explosion when the mixture is created. Turning force of the engine can be calculated by torque and horsepower.

Marshall Carmack gives a real world insight into the vast land known as the car community.
Why build your own car rather than buying a prebuilt one?
“You have more sentimental value to something you created yourself. It allows you to add better performance parts than the stock car.”

What color scheme are you thinking for the car.
“I am painting the exterior Satin Black, the engine block is Ford Blue.”

How much has this project cost you so far?
“It has cost me 5k so far, but it will continue to cost more.”

What is your favorite part of the car?
“The stance of the car is aggressive compared to other classic mustangs.”

What are the car specs going to be?
“It has around 450 horsepower, and it has a quarter mile time of 11-12 seconds”

What is the engine going to look like?
“It is a custom engine, that is a mix between a 351 windsor block with 351 clevelend heads on it. It is otherwise known as a clever engine, producing around 450 horsepower capable of much more when turbocharged.”

How long has this project taken?
“I started it in October and expect it to finish by the summer.”

What’s next after you build the car?
“I’m going to race it and then buy another car”

What are the downsides of building your own car?
“I cant take it out during the winter or the rain or the snow because it doesn’t have traction control.”

Drag racing is a popular motorsport that involves two vehicles racing down a straight, quarter-mile track to determine the fastest car. As the competition heats up, racers are always looking for ways to improve their performance and gain an edge over the competition. One of the key factors that can impact a car’s performance is engine modifications.

Engine modifications are changes made to the engine of a car to increase its power and performance. Some common engine modifications include installing high-performance camshafts, upgrading to a high-performance exhaust system, and adding a turbocharger or supercharger. These modifications can help increase the car’s horsepower and torque, allowing it to perform better on the track.

Another factor that can impact a car’s performance in drag racing is the type of fuel used. Octane rating is the measure of a fuel’s ability to resist “knocking” or “pinging” during combustion, caused by the air/fuel mixture detonating prematurely in the engine. High-performance engines typically require high-octane fuel to run effectively. A higher octane fuel can provide more power and performance compared to a lower octane fuel, making it a popular choice for racers.

To learn more about the perspective of a regular drag racer, we spoke with Seth Abercrombie, a local drag racer and car enthusiast.
What is drag racing
“Drag racing is the competitive sport of pushing your vehicle as hard as you can.”

How did you find drag racing and where do you race?
“I found drag racing through my entire family tree and and we race at IRP”

What are some tricky parts about drag racing
“The tricky thing about drag racing is keeping the car in control when it wants to get away from you at high speeds”

What was the closest photo finish you’ve had
“The closest finish I’ve had was 2 thousands of a seconds between the two cars.”

What is the fastest you’ve ever went?
“The fastest I’ve ever gone is 187.”

What are your car specs?
“The car is a 2018 zl1 that makes 1050 to the rear wheel it has a 10-speed automatic transmission.”

What is your dream car?
“My dream car is a Porsche GT3 RS.”

In conclusion, engine modifications and the type of fuel used can both play a significant role in determining a car’s performance in drag racing. By making these modifications and using high-octane fuel, racers can improve their performance on the track and enjoy a more competitive and exciting experience.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s