Drag racing has become popular over the last 20 years for more than just big tire, track-only cars. People enjoy pushing the limits of what a real street-driven car can do, not only at the dragstrip but on the ½-mile, as well. A few years ago, I was hired to shoot a 1/2-mile event for Drue’s Speed Addicts, and I can honestly say it was a blast! As I walked through the pits drooling over all the impressive builds, Chuck Greer’s immaculate blue 2006 Chevrolet Z06 caught my eye. At the time, Chuck was just getting started with his racing career in the street car world. Although impressive, his beauty wasn’t near the beast that it is today. Fast forward to the present, I finally had the chance to take a dive deep with this car at A Street Car Takeover event in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Greer, a 57-year-old body shop manager from Georgia, didn’t come from drag racing, but he does have a competitive background: back in the day he raced go-karts and legends cars, so you can still say the thirst for speed is there. His love for cars came from his day job at the body shop. He was tired of seeing menacing vehicles come and go, so he set out to find one for himself. His son had also been eagerly looking to find a street car, so they ended up buying the gorgeous blue Corvette together in 2016.
Although the Z06 comes with a 505 horsepower, 7.0-liter LS7 powerplant from the factory — more than enough to scare the average car enthusiast– Chuck and his son had big goals in mind. They wanted to become the fastest supercharged manual rear wheel drive car, and go over 200 mph while doing it. Vengeance Racing was right there to help guide the build to achieve those goals. The whole drivetrain came out, and the mega street car build began.
The aforementioned factory LS7 is quite impressive for a naturally-aspirated powerplant. However, it comes with consequences, meaning the aluminum block doesn’t like to withstand the extreme pressure the team needed to put it under to break 200 mph in a 1/2-mile under boost. So out came the 20,000-mile factory engine in favor of something able to withstand such a task.
Late Model Engines (LME) handled the engine build and started out with the robust iron LSX block. A factory-stroke billet Callies Magnum center counter-weight (CCW) crankshaft found its home in the new block, laying the foundation for the rotating assembly. Attached to the new crank is a set of factory-length Callies Enforcer I-beam rods with 10:1 compression Diamond Racing pistons on top. Snuggled inside the heart of the 427 cubic-inch short block rests a low-lash solid roller cam spec’d in-house from Vengeance. The oiling system went mostly untouched save for a Katech LS9 pump for reliability.
After building a bulletproof bottom end, no expense was spared on the top end, either. A set of Mast Motorsports billet heads replaced the factory aluminum castings. Enlarged 2.200-inch titanium valves handle intake duties while Inconel 1.600-inch units take care of the exhaust side. Crower 1:8 ratio shaft mount rockers make way for the larger cam profile. To top this package off, Late Model Engines CNC ported them for maximum efficiency. LME also topped off the long block with one of its beautifully engineered billet intake manifolds. A Nick Williams fully ported 102mm throttle body, feeds this monster the air it needs.
Corvettes are notorious for having little room in the engine bay, making it very difficult to run boost by way of turbocharging while not cutting the car up in the process. So for this application, a ProCharger F-1X is nestled nicely into place like it was meant to be there. ProCharger’s race air-to-air intercooler provides the heat extraction needed to keep the aircharge at bay.
This thirsty powerplant deserves a fuel system able to support its needs, and as one might expect, the fuel system for the Corvette is all custom, as well. A set of 2000cc injectors, a custom Magnafuel external fuel pump, and an Aeromotive regulator were used in place of the factory stuff. These components make sure the 427 cubic-inches of pure blown power never runs out of fuel at wide-open throttle.
When you force-feed an engine, you need an exhaust that can move the spent gasses. A set of 2-inch American Racing Headers feeds into a 3-inch X-pipe and out through a pair of Corsa mufflers for a throaty roar. And while this system is pretty rowdy at wide open throttle, it’s still quiet enough for conversation in the cockpit while cruising around town.
With the engine back from LME, Vengeance performed the heart transplant. The 427 was bolted up to a stage-4 built RPM TR6060 transmission complete with an RPS BC3 triple-disc clutch and a flywheel to match it. RPM also replaced the factory rear end with its burly stage-4 center section. The Driveshaft shop (DSS) then supplied its top-of-the-line prop shaft half-shaft axles to complete the drivetrain strengthening.
With everything buttoned up, VR threw in a base tune to awake the sleeping giant and started tuning away to maximize the new combination. With 32-pounds of boost bellowing into Chuck’s new beefed-up LS7, the F-1X-boosted beast laid down 1,400 horsepower and 1100 lb-ft of torque at the wheels — impressive numbers for something Chuck and his son can drive across the country or through the drive-thru window.
While the C6 Z06 begs for attention in stock form, adding aftermarket wheels makes all the difference. And with 1,400 horsepower on tap, things are likely to get wild, so Chuck needed a tire to calm this rowdy street machine down. He chose a set of Weld Racing S71 18-inch front wheels along with a pair of 15-inch rear wheels wrapped with 325mm Mickey Thompson ET Street R radials. This setup works perfectly for Z06 on the street and in the 1/2-mile races where there’s a rolling start. Carlyle Racing supplied the brakes, making sure slowing down from 200 mph is as safe as possible. Much to our surprise, the factory suspension remains in place — which will continue until Chuck is ready to get the car to work running 1/4-mile.
Looking over the factory bodylines of the wide fender Z06, GM did a fantastic job, so Chuck didn’t change much other than some carbon-fiber ground effects and spoiler, which goes superbly with the enticing factory blue paint. You’ll find a Simpson parachute hanging off the back, as well — a standard for a car of this caliber.
While peering into the interior, much of it is unchanged….fterall, it is a street car. Of course, Chuck is not a beginner when it comes to safety, and once into the Kirkey seat, he’s strapped in with a Schroth harness system. Rounding out the interior and safety modifications, a six-point RPM roll bar is there for extra protection.
Chuck and his son set their sight on the goal of being the fastest supercharged manual RWD car running the 1/2-mile. Not only did they accomplish that, but they also achieved their goal of reaching 200 mph in that distance. With his Vengeance Racing family there for support, Chuck went 202 mph at a WannaGoFast event in Immokalee Florida. Chuck’s next goal is to drive his way into the eights in the ¼-mile, and Vengeance Racing will be there to make sure he meets this new goal.
Chuck would like to thank his son for the memories they’ve shared with the car thus far and, of course, the Vengeance Racing team, which has been there every step of the way.