Mike Finnegan Runs Best E.T. Ever in Blasphemi Before Racing Hoonigan!
https://www.hotrod.com/articles/mike-fi ... lie-video/
Get past the 1955 Chevy and realize it's got a 1070-rwhp blown aluminum 528 HEMI!Back in May of 2018 Hoonigan’s own Jon Chase called out Roadkill’s Mike Finnegan for a Tri-Five gasser shootout. That meant he was picking a fight with one of the baddest Tri-Fives around, Blasphemi, a Hemi-swapped 1955 Chevy done up Two-Lane Blacktop style as a straight-axle gasser that just so happens to have a 528ci, blown, all-aluminum Hemi under the front nose. At this point in time Jon’s car was simply a running and driving 1955 Chevy with a simple straight-axle setup and a tired, old small block Chevy under the hood—so he certainly had his work cut out for him if he was going to be competitive, but there’s nothing like a strict deadline to make you finish (or in this case start) a long awaited project.
The website servers nearly caught on fire as fans from both sides begged for the shootout to take place, and much to everyone’s elation Finnegan answered the call and plans began to set up this grudge race of epic proportions. Working with the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association), the two decided to run the race at the NHRA season-opener called the Winter Nationals in Pomona, California. So Jon got to work on his car, swapping in a Magnuson supercharged LSX with a shot of nitrous just for good measure, as well as getting the car up to snuff for NHRA tech. Meanwhile Mike went and ran HOT ROD Drag Week, nearly winning his class and laying down a blistering 8.97 second run on the final day before blowing up his engine for the third time on the following run.
Mike and his crew went through the engine and got the car back together with some pretty serious changes including a host of fuel system modifications and some pretty serious chassis improvements before loading the car up and heading West in his newly acquired, 38-foot-long ramp truck with no real testing on either it or the car tucked safely inside. After what was supposed to be a quick dyno session at Horsepower Connection with tuner Brian Macy in Lake Havasu City, Arizona turned into a four day ordeal when the coolant refused to stop getting friendly with the oil, they decided to run the car with no water in it at all to prevent making milkshakes in the oil pan and laid down a whopping 1,070 horsepower at the rear tire running on ethanol, which luckily helped keep the engine cool.
All the while, Jon Chase and the crew at Hoonigan were thrashing to get his car finished in time after they ran into a host of issues with their LSX racing engine. They ended up swapping in a junkyard fresh 5.3L engine with a hope and a prayer that it wouldn’t oil down the NHRA’s track right before the Top Fuelers were slated to head down the very same strip. Somehow Finnegan’s crew beat them to Pomona despite having to come all the way from Georgia and actually managed to get some test hits in on Thursday before the first round of the contest was to take place the following day. On the first pass the rear tires hooked up hard causing the nose of the car to go sky high as Mike rode a wheelie down the track before the nose came down and bounced right back up again. Luckily the car went dead straight and despite the chute being jostled loose when the car came down from the second wheelie the car was otherwise unharmed and the team got Blasphemi ready for another pass.
Somehow Mike, accompanied by crew members David Newbern, Mike Cotton, Merlon Johnson, and Brian Macy, ended up being the last car to roll through the staging lanes and onto the historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona as the sun was setting over the end of the track. They had pulled some timing out of the car on the launch in hopes of keeping the front wheels down and getting a solid run down the strip. As Mike staged the car the first bulb lit, then the second, the lights dropped, the tree went green, and he dumped the clutch. Blasphemi lurched forward, shaking the tires for just a fraction of a second, but then taking off like a rocket towards the end of the strip belching fire on every shift as Mike rowed through the gears. Nobody in the place knew it because the boards had been turned off to keep his time a secret, but Mike had just run his fastest pass yet, laying down a 8.689 second run at a whopping 160.48 miles per hour shattering his previous best time by almost a full three-tenths!
The guys kept that number to themselves so as to not demoralize the Hoonigan team who were busy working on Jon’s car in the pits, but knew they were in a good position going into the following day’s first round of competition with Blasphemi set on kill. You’ll just have to wait and read all about that in the next installment of the Hoonigan vs. Roadkill, Jon Chase vs. Mike Finnegan showdown!
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