Holley EFI Takes Mark Payne to the Top in Top Sportsman

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

Getting up to speed with Holley EFI took no time at all for NHRA and PDRA Top Sportsman racer Mark Payne, who drove his "House of Payne" Chevy Cavalier to victory at the Southeast Division National Open at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga. Running consistent 4.40s on the eighth-mile course, Payne took down a 16-car field with power from Johnathan Adkins, who set up the Holley EFI system and dynoed the engine at Tick Performance in Mt. Airy, N.C. He also qualified for the quickest field in Top Sportsman history at the U.S. Nationals, reached the final at the Cecil County divisional, and made the Top 10 in the Northeast Division standings despite running just three events, going rounds at all three.

"With this setup, my E.T.s don't vary two-hundredths through an entire weekend," said Payne, who used to run a massive all-aluminum 765 cubic-inch big-block with two systems of nitrous. Now he's making more than 1500 horsepower with 400 cubic-inch twin-turbo LS with cathedral-port cylinder heads and Holley Dominator EFI. "It's about halfway between an LS1 and an LS3."

Payne, who also runs a Holley Hi Ram intake manifold, Holley EFI sensors and Holley EFI solenoids for boost control, adapted quickly to the new setup, which he installed in the Cavalier last year. "The fuel curve we haven't hardly touched at all," said Payne, who made the Top 5 in NHRA's brutal Northeast Division last season. "It ran great right away and is very consistent the way it is. I only had to get used to staging with the same amount of boost every time – there was never a problem with the EFI. It's hard to believe the thing will run in the 6.60s at about 215 mph [in the quarter-mile]. I always used to want to run Pro Stock car, and that's about what those cars [which all run Holley EFI] are running today."

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