Though the header issues were the biggest problem that needed solving on Bill Lutz' '69 Camaro, they weren't the only thing keeping him from the winner's circle. A race car is a complicated thing and getting this one back up to speed involved a lot of smaller tweaks that wound up making a big difference. At Atlanta, Lutz dropped a valve in qualifying and soon found that he had three more ready to do the same thing. With the valve problem solved and the headers repaired (including some work by Jeff Lutz before the two met in the final), the car was obviously running well. But there were also some less-obvious factors at work.
"Hank Hill scaled it and moved some things around on the chassis," Lutz said. "We added NACA ducts for the turbo and we also moved the wastegates to where they exit outside the car. I think it's a lot of little things that made the car run the way it did."
Under Pressure: Lutz Roars Back with MIR Victory
B&M Top Qualifier: Bill Lutz 5.978 @ 247.43
Two races into the 2012 Kooks Pro Street season, Bill Lutz was nowhere near where he'd expected to be. After a promising charge to close out 2011, Lutz had high hopes for 2012, but mechanical issues affected the health of the car during the first two races. At Maryland International Raceway, however, both were back to full health.
"I'd noticed that I'd been getting more fumes in the car than normal, then it got to the point that I actually thought I had carbon monoxide poisoning," Lutz explained. "I sent the headers up to George Rumore at Stainless Works and they found that the headers were broken in places you just couldn't see. That was where the performance went."
The performance was back in full fore at MIR. Lutz got off to a dominant start in qualifying, resetting both ends of the class record with a 5.978/247.43 mph blast Saturday night. Points leader Chris Rini was next up with a 6.025/234.49, followed by Jeff Lutz with a 6.216/236.17. Josh Green, finally over his early-season transmission issues, took fourth with a 6.70/204.98. Chassis builder Steve Drummond showed up on Saturday and put his turbo Mustang into the show with a conservative 6.819 at 204.98. Local legend Tommy Gray rounded out the field with his familiar "Undertaker" GTO despite a rough time in qualifying.
Sunday's eliminations began with Jeff Lutz and Green squaring off in what turned out to be the best race of the round. J. Lutz took the win with a 6.344/239.78 in his turbo machine, while Green ran a 6.777/202.48 that, considering the team's struggles to date, had to be somewhat encouraging. The next pair saw Drummond score the upset o fthe weekend when Rini's '69 Camaro broke a rear end, then Bill Lutz closed it out with a bye run when Gray didn't make the call to the starting line.
In round two, Jeff Lutz got an easy win when Drummond didn't make it to the line, while Bill Lutz got an even easier win with a competition bye. Jeff got lane choice with a 6.361/237.93, while Bill made a hit, shut it off and saved it for the final round.
In the final round battle of guys named Lutz driving turbocharged '69 Camaros, the guy from Ohio in the blue car equipped with Garrett turbos drove around the guy from Pennsylvania in the orange car equipped with Precision turbos and took the win with a 6.095/241.37.
"We had it set up to go somewhere between and .05 and a .00, because Jeff's car had been getting steadily faster each round," B. Lutz explained. "It shook a little bit around 500 feet, so I did a quick pedal job and it ended up going an .09. We were extremely happy to get our first Pro Street win. We'd won many in Super Street, but Pro Street's been a little tougher with the competitors we have out there."Written by: Jon Paulette. Behind the Lens: The FSC Staff. Emphasis ours.
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