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Greg Schmidt Chases The Door Car Blow-Through Carb Record With Holley EFI On Board

Author: Jason Reiss | 04/06/2021 < Back to Motor Life Home
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If this article's title doesn't pique your interest, the information that racer Greg Schmidt has shared with us about his racing combination is sure to intrigue you, as Greg is one of those savvy racers who doesn't take the common path. Instead, he relies on his talent and ingenuity to pursue a racing strategy that would leave lesser racers curled up in the corner with sweaty palms and their eyes pinned shut — racing a boosted combination with a blow-through carburetor. Currently, they are chasing the record for a door car with a blow-through carb setup and are only .04-second away. Lamar Swindoll Jr. currently holds the record with a 4.13 in the eighth-mile, while Schmidt has been a 4.17 so far on the first real outing with the car in its current configuration.


Greg and his father/racing partner/main crewmember Al Schmidt own Paradigm Automotive Performance in Brainerd, Minnesota. The duo spent several years racing a tube-chassis third-gen nitrous-injected Camaro, which was nicknamed "Bad Influence" because of its effect on his customers spending money on performance parts. They debuted a brand-new third-gen Camaro in 2019, but on its sixth outing, a broken suspension part led to a 180-mph barrel-roll excursion. The chassis was salvaged and repaired with a new front clip and several other bars to make it better than before. Once complete, they finished off the Innovative Metal Works 25.2 chassis with this fifth-gen 2010 Camaro body and a new twist under the hood.


Schmidt Camaro burnout

After a nasty rollover crash, Greg Schmidt saved the chassis, repaired it, then reskinned it with this slick 5th-gen Camaro body.


"I got rid of all of the nitrous and said 'If we're going to go boosted, let's just do it right,' so we went to a Hemi and a turbo. I debuted the car last year, but we didn't get to do too much racing. Over the winter, I redid everything. We upgraded the turbo from the 114mm to the 118mm and upgraded from the MSD Grid system to the Holley Dominator and Pro 600 CDI. During the entire upgrade process, we showcased everything weekly on our YouTube channel, Bad Influence Garage. The YouTube series is called 'The Road To Radials,' and showed everything we did to get ready to go to South Georgia for Lights Out 12," says Schmidt.


The video series offers viewers a unique look into what it takes to design and assemble a car of this caliber, which takes a severe left turn from the norm of a car trying to make massive horsepower on a radial tire. The basics of the combination include the 528 cubic-inch Hemi, the 118mm turbo, a three-speed close-ratio transmission from BTE Racing, and a torque converter from Cameron's Torque Converter Services.


Going against the grain, he didn't develop an engine combination to use a pair of 102mm turbochargers feeding a billet manifold controlled by an electronic engine management system. Instead, he chose the blow-through carburetor from APD, which puts him into a tiny group of racers willing to work with a carbed, big-boost combination. He used a completely different strategy than most, incorporating the Holley Dominator engine management system to perform several functions that EFI junkies will recognize.


Schmidt Camaro engine

A Keith Black solid cast block, Ken Veney Hemi heads, and one wild induction system come together to be one of the quickest blow-through carb combinations on the planet. Schmidt uses Holley’s Dominator EFI system to assist with auxiliary fueling and other fail-safe protections.


"Before, we had the MSD Power Grid [ignition] system on it. The Hemi we have is older — it's a Keith Black cast solid block with billet Veney heads on there. The Veney heads have a slightly different bolt pattern than a Brad Anderson or Alan Johnson head. I'm very limited on what I have for intake manifolds for this. Right now, the intake manifold is a magnesium blower manifold that I machined, cut up, and made my own top hat for it to accept the carburetor. Between the intake manifold and fuel injectors, each is $3,000; I don't have a throttle body or anything else yet. I'm already $6,000 into it, whereas I got the carburetor, fuel pump, regulator, and all that from APD for $3,200. It was primarily a cost deal. But then, over this winter, we decided to go to the Holley Dominator for two reasons: one, in preparation to go EFI in the future, and two, it's giving us a bunch of safeties. If an EGT is getting hot, it can shut the car off. If the oil pressure is getting low, it can shut the car off. If the fuel pressure and boost pressure get too close to each other, it'll shut the car off. We now have safeties built into this to help the Hemi and expensive parts we have to live without hurting it. The MSD Grid didn't have those options. And it lets us upgrade easily to EFI in the future," he says.


With the blow-through system, he has a custom fuel pressure regulator from APD that maintains a 10 psi fuel pressure differential; once the engine enters into boost, it adds 1 psi for every pound of boost; the engine also idles with about 1 pound of boost.


Schmidt Camaro hub dyno

With such a unique engine combination, the Paradigm Auto team thought it would be wise to dial in the car on the hub dyno before leaving for Georgia and was rewarded for its efforts.


"We went up to SRD Auto in Glyndon, Minnesota, to use their hub dyno. On 30 pounds of boost, we made 2,661 horsepower to the hubs, and when we got to the track, we were able to turn it up a little bit more, and it wanted more fuel. When we went 4.187 at 181 in Georgia, we were at 33 pounds of boost, and we were using almost all of the fuel capability we had. I would say we were close to 2,900 horsepower at that point. I think there's more there with the setup we have. We're looking at some different jetting on the carb, and we have some fuel pressure stuff we can alter," he says.


There is more to making this combination work, though — it's not just the blow-through carburetor. The carburetor is maxed out around 27 pounds of boost pressure. Schmidt uses a pair of nitrous solenoids and a fogger nozzle plumbed into each cylinder through the manifold — in the positions that would typically be used by mechanical injectors — to augment the fuel from the carburetor.


Schmidt Camaro rear shot

Schmidt's first appearance on radials came at Lights Out 12. While he was not on the pace in Radial vs. The World, he did lay down a personal best of 4.17. For the first time out on radial tires with an untested combination, Greg Schmidt sure did figure it out quickly. While he readily admits that there is more to come, his efforts have him chasing down the record for a blow-through-powered door car.


"We're able to turn on the auxiliary fuel system through the Dominator. We're using 1/8-inch fogger nozzles from Nitrous Outlet and are using it as two kits of auxiliary fuel. We have stainless steel solenoids that handle the methanol and use the nylon line on the intake manifold. We are now starting to tune that using the EGTs. We can find the hottest cylinder, which has always been number 7 because of the manifold distribution. I set up a Holley output triggered by the number 7 EGT; when it gets to 1,100 degrees, it turns on the first fuel system, then when it gets hotter again down track to 1,200 degrees, I have auxiliary fuel system number two come on to cool it down," says Schmidt.


It's a unique way to provide the necessary fuel that the semi-unorthodox combination requires and a glimpse into the Dominator engine management system's capabilities.


"It's a different way of looking at things. We have a slogan: 'Work hard and use ingenuity, and fast cars are the result,'" he says.


No serious racing program comes to life without help; in this case, Al, Greg's wife Crystal, his mother Joelle, and crewmember/fueling expert Mike Kritzky get the nod. He also is grateful for fellow RvW racer Brad Edwards, who provided much-needed assistance and has played a large part in dialing in the combination. His goal is to become the first door car racer using the blow-through combination into the 3-second zone, and we have to believe that if the team's hard work and ingenuity continue on the same path, it's only a matter of time.


The challenge of facing off against the world’s best racers for the first time didn’t deter the team from running their own race, picking away at the car’s performance until they were thrilled with the result.


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