The American Drag Racing Leagueâ€™s (ADRL) 2012 season is at its halfway point and it has already been a successful year for ADRL sponsor Jerry Bickel Race Cars.
That should come as no surprise considering the time and commitment paid to each car by one of the premier chassis builders in the nation.
From ADRL winners like Robert Patrick Jr. in Pro Nitrous to Todd Hoerner in Extreme Pro Stock, Bickel and JBRC has produced cars for some of the most successful ADRL drivers in 2012 heading into the upcoming Summer Drags VIII, which takes place July 13-14 at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Mich.
One of JBRCâ€™s big undertakings heading into this season was his new 2012 ZL1 Camaro, which Hoerner drove to become the first 2012 Pro Stock Camaro to reach the winnerâ€™s circle.
It took three trips to the General Motors (GM) wind tunnel and plenty of hard work to end up with a finished product that has drawn rave reviews.
â€œWe built the car to look as much as a Camaro as we could and be as aerodynamic as we thought. When we took it to the wind tunnel the shape of the Camaro was a real challenge,â€ Bickel said.
â€œYou want to keep the overall look of the Camaro, which I think we did a pretty good jobof, but you have to keep the car balanced. It was a pretty big challenge and it took three sessions in the wind tunnel to get it right.â€
Hoernerâ€™s 2012 Camaro has been impressive, as he won the Gateway Drags IV in St. Louis in just his third ADRL race.
That it came close to Bickelâ€™s St. Louis-area based shop made it all the more meaningful for JBRC.
â€œI think we accomplished what we were trying to do. That Camaro is the best car that has ever been in GMâ€™s wind tunnel,â€ Bickel said. â€œI think we did a good job keeping the Camaro look with it as well.
â€œIâ€™m so glad he won in St. Louis and that was a pretty neat thing to see.â€
Bickel and the employees at his massive, state-of-the-art 20,000 square-foot facility have also embraced the electronic fuel injection (EFI) technology that has become popular in the ADRL in 2012.
â€œThe EFI is a cool deal, too, and I think itâ€™s going to make an impact in drag racing. I think youâ€™re going to see more and more going to EFI and hopefully more going to my Camaro body, whether I build the car or someone else does,â€ Bickel said. â€œThis body is available to anybody.â€
In addition to Hoerner, others using the EFI set-up driving a JBRC include Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman driver Chuck Mohn, who has been the No. 1 qualifier in the class at every ADRL race in 2012, and Aeromotive Fuel Systems standout Rickie Smith.
The list of successful clients includes several more ADRL standouts, including Pro Nitrous driver Burton Auxier and Bob Rahaim, who have each went to two ADRL finals in 2012, Pro Extreme driver Dan Millen and Lizzy Musi, who recently debuted her new JBRC Camaro in Summit Racing Top Sportsman.
â€œShe was really great to work with,â€ Bickel said. â€œShe did a great job. It took a little bit to get the set-up right, but when she ran that 4.15, we were so proud of her. Sheâ€™s got a great combination now and I think sheâ€™s going to do a great job.â€
The Summer Drags VIII at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park is the sixth stop on the 10-race 2012 ADRL Tour. Tickets can be purchased at www.adrl.us/tickets and discount tickets are available at any area Oâ€™Reilly Auto Parts store.
For more information on Jerry Bickel Race Cars, visit www.jerrybickel.com or call (636) 356-4727.
(Photos by ADRL/Richards)