ICK BRAITENBACH, AN AMSOIL customer in Grand Prairie, Alberta, bought himself a
drag racing car last year - fulfilling a life-long dream. It's a powerful car, a 1974
Firebird with a 387ci small block Chevy engine, 600 horsepower and 528 pound-feet of
"It was my first season running Super Pro and I had never been past the second round
of eliminations," Braitnebach said. Shortly into the race day, he faced the possibility
of losing not only the competition, but the car when the transmission heated up.
"I started going rounds and found my powerglide transmission temperature above the
normal readings of 140° between rounds," Braitnebach said. I have never had to hot
lap because I've always had lots of time between rounds. This concerned me as my car
is not equipped with a transmission cooler, only a line to the transmission sender and
He went to the finals extremely worried, Braitnebach said. "I thought, 'I might toast
a transmission,' as it was still at 200° after cool down."
While he was trying to stall the proceedings as long as possible, the car's previous
owner approached him and asked what was wrong. Braitnebach told him about his concern
over the transmission temperature. The car's previous owner said,"The car is running
AMSOIL synthetic. Go kick some butt; you have nothing to worry about."
Although he was still uncertain, Braitnebach decided to take the man's word because
he had drag raced the car for years. "I did my usual burnout and prestaged, trying to
buy some more time," Braitenbach said. "I took my time staging because the temperature
was at 220° by now."
The car is equipped with a trans-brake, a device that locks the car in reverse and
holds it stationary, allowing the driver to bring the rpm up without moving the car.
"I brought the rpm up on the second amber rather than the first, as I usually do,"
Drag racing is a race against an opponent and the clock. Drivers predict, or "dial-in",
the amount of time it will take them to run the quarter mile. The winner is the closest
one to his predicted time. "I banged my dial-in dead on at 10.75, something to which
I was never close in previous rounds," Braitenbach said. "My 60-foot time was the best
I ever obtained (1.48), with a reaction time of .513, and the transmission temperature
was 280° at the top end.
"My wife and crew chief, Claudette, tackled the starter with a flying scissor hug
when she saw the win light. I know I could not have accomplished this without the superior
AMSOIL Automatic Transmission Fluid.
"You have a customer for life. I have since installed a transmission cooler and
topped it off with AMSOIL ATF."