What started as a benefit for a friend recently turned into a race to remember for Stuttgart, Arkansas’ Shawn Gilbert, as well as a shining example of the power and versatility of the FAST™ EZ-EFI 2.0.
Shawn recently made a 320-mile round trip from his home in Stuttgart to race in the Hot Street exhibition class at Prescott Raceway, a 1/8-mile drag strip in the southwestern portion of The Natural State.
Ten percent of the event’s overall proceeds and all of the money made from the Hot Street class on May 16-17 went to Scott “CUZ” Timmerman, an inspirational racer with a 440 Charger in Shawn’s hometown who was recently diagnosed with cancer. During the trip Shawn’s EZ-EFI 2.0-equipped ’67 Camaro averaged 15.4 mpg, while exhibiting the excellent street manners the revolutionary electronic fuel injection system has become known for.
Shawn, an IT specialist and photographer by trade, runs a home-built 496c.i. power plant in his Camaro, which is a true street/strip machine. He even races on 275/60/R15 Cooper street tires with full tread.
The story of the weekend, however, was how well the EZ-EFI 2.0 performed on the racetrack, even if Shawn’s first pass nearly resulted in disaster.
“I’ve had my car since I was 19 and the first pass was the closest I’ve ever come to losing it, but FAST™ powertrain management came to the rescue,” says Shawn, who is now 42.
After his troublesome initial trip down the asphalt aisle, Shawn’s night just kept improving. He turned down timing, launch timing, the air/fuel ratio and trans-shift points after the first pass and incrementally adjusted them for the rest of the event.
Shawn saw an E.T. improvement during his next five passes, battling a supercharged and nitrous-equipped 2010 Cadillac CTS-V throughout the event. The night ended with Shawn’s best run of 7.15 seconds at 101 mph, which was enough for him to take the win.
“I kept tweaking back up, improving my burnout, acclimating to the traction threshold and incrementally putting power back in a way very similar to what the guy with the CTS-V was doing,” he explains. “But there was a certain caveat that did not go unnoticed.
“One of the attention getters was him and tweaking and tuning, and a lot of people were surprised when I was doing the same thing but without a laptop.”
Shawn says that a lot of people at the track were interested in running EFI and a 4L80E transmission like his, but worried about their ability to tune with what they deemed to be a necessary laptop computer. In turn, Shawn explained to them that he didn’t need any laptop to race with the self tuning EZ-EFI 2.0, and that the retrofitted system on his Camaro provided all of the capabilities of the rival CTS-V.
He also explains that he often tells serious racers that while EZ-EFI 2.0 is self tuning and perfectly suited for street and highway driving, it is also features eight 76 lb./hr. injectors and a throttle body capable of 1200 horsepower.
“Many gearheads are scared of the laptop and a lot of the more serious 5.50 and 6.0 index racers didn’t think there was a self tuning system capable of high horsepower,” Shawn says. “But I made a 320-mile round trip, got 15.4 mpg, ran low 7s on very suspect tires, won an exhibition class to benefit my muscle car hero and most importantly kept my car off the wall. It was all made possible by my FAST™ setup and I made sure everyone knew it.”