Rod Pearce Sets Three Records in Sacramento
Sacramento, CA Rod Pearce, a lone nitrous contender in an all blown field, set three new track records this past weekend in Sacramento, September 19th 2009. Pearce and crew attended the West Coast Outlaw Pro Mod Association’s (WCOPMA) 40th Annual Governors Cup event with plans of simply testing their new Sonny’s 5.3 Bore Space 864 Wedge Engine. Conditions were tough in Sacramento with track temperatures reaching a sizzling 140 degrees. Pearce managed to qualify his 63 Nitrous Corvette in the 7th position with a promising 6.35 @ 228 mph on the first full run with his new Sonny’s engine. Competition was fierce with one of the quickest fields to compete at a WCOPMA event with 15 blown entries and Pearce standing as the lone wolf of nitrous.
In first round, Pearce drew WCOPMA Champion and #2 qualifier Rod Burbage in his Spec Rite Converters 58 Corvette for a Nitrous versus Blown challenge. No one ever would have expected what happened next. Pearce and Burbage staged up leaving the line together instantaneously with only a very narrow .047 to .053 advantage to Pearce. It was so close that no one could tell who was winning as both cars seemed glued together making a flawless pass down the quarter mile. In what turned out to be a real upset, it was Pearce at the finish by a .003 margin win. For just a moment there was dead silence as spectators and crew members looked at the clock in disbelief. Pearce had just taken both the Nitrous ET and MPH record in what was the quickest recorded side by side pass in history at the Sacramento Raceway. Crowds erupted in cheers in what was a huge moment for Nitrous fans. Three records in one pass and a hole shot win taking the Champion out first round with a 6.237 @ 231.44 to a losing but quicker 6.234 @ 226.60 mph. Pearce said, I could not believe it. We knew that our Sonny’s 864 would put down some power, but we never expected to take records in the very first round of competition with the new set up.
Excited to examine the data, Pearce and crew headed for the pit full of anticipation. Pearce said, with this much initial success, we feel we can easily put the car down into the teens. The crew hurried to make necessary adjustments to meet Lee Smith in the Semi’s for another Nitrous versus Blown showdown. Pearce stated that the car left hard leaving Smith nearly 4 car lengths behind. Unfortunately Pearce’s 63 Corvette lost traction nearing the big end pitching the car sideways giving Smith an easy run to the finish with a 6.788 @ 200.19 mph over Pearce who had to cut the run short with a 6.871 @ 183.40 mph. Upon evaluation and unbeknownst to anyone, in the pair before Pearce’s run, the car in the left lane put some oil down at about 900 feet. Pearce said it was disappointing because our new Sonny’s engine combination had its best early incremental of the day just getting past the half track. At the same time, we are anxiously looking forward to the next race knowing we left a lot on the table in Sacramento. Three track records is a great way to start.
Kudos to the WCOPMA for putting on a great race and to Randy Kay for the win. In addition, Pearce would like to thank his crew, Ronda Pearce, Mark Copple, Josh Willis and Bob Sandgathe for all their hard work. He would also like to thank Sonny Leonard for the new found power. The new Sonny’s 5.3 bore space wedge motor is going to be all around tough to beat. For more information on Sonny’s Engines; Call Todd Hoerner at Sonny’s (434)239-6972. And finally, a big Thank You to Dennis Radford.