Holley EFI-Powered "Bumblebee" Camaro Unofficially Becomes Just the 3rd Radial-Tire Car Into the 3.50s

By: Todd Veney | 09/04/2019 < Back to Motor Life Home

Jeff Miller's Holley EFI-powered "Bumblebee" '17 Camaro rocketed to an unbelievable 3.59 in testing at Darlington Dragway to become, unofficially, just the third radial-tire car ever to run in the 3.50s and the first to do it with a belt-driven supercharger. Jeff Sitton holds the official mark with a 3.62, but if the "Bumblebee" was at legal weight – and why test it any other way? – it's truly a landmark run.

"We did it," said Miller, who runs a complete Holley EFI system tuned by his 23-year-old son, Patrick. "We know what it ran, and it'll do it again." The handwriting had been on the wall for a while, but early this year it became obvious: the original "Bumblebee," built when 4.70s were competitive, wasn't going to cut it in the dog-eat-dog world of modern RvW competition, no matter what was done to it. It didn't mean the Millers had to get a new car – just a different one – and the new "Bumblebee" is actually the same Jerry Bickel-built machine that another Holley EFI diehard, "Stevie Fast" Jackson, plowed into both walls in the final round of the 2018 NHRA Four Wide Nationals.

After rebuilding the car, Miller hit the track earlier this season with power from a Honeycutt Racing Engines 521 cubic-inch Hemi with a C-rotor screw blower. Behind the firewall is a lock-up torque converter and, believe it or not, a 2-speed 400 transmission with factory gears. It didn't take long to determine that Miller's top-secret new coil-on-plug ignition is so much hotter than the old one that he wouldn't need to run a ton of timing timing to make big power.

One thing Miller knew before he started picking away at the new combination was that Holley EFI was going to be an integral part of it. "We worked with the fuel curve and moved some nozzles around in the blower, and it just kept getting faster," said Miller, who clocked a 3.76 at Capitol Raceway and got only faster at Darlington Dragway, dropping his all-time best from the 3.76 to successive runs of 3.74, 3.67, 3.63, and, finally, the 3.59. "Holley EFI is so easy to work with – the easiest system I've ever worked with. You open the software and start clicking on buttons, and it all just makes sense. We've run the same ECU for eight years. Even after all these updates, Holley keeps adding features and adding features and I'm still using the same box I started with."

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