“It was a little bit scary.” Bryant Goldstone told us. He described his first run at Roadkill Nights on Woodward Avenue as “kind of jittery.” The lanes were narrow, the pavement was unprepared, the crown of the road intimidated the right-lane driver(s), the shutdown area faded to the left, and if he managed to get down the track, Goldstone would be turning it around to run again almost immediately with his six-gallon fuel tank probably almost empty after a few runs. Despite the anxiety, Goldstone’s 1973 AMC Javelin—which will be familiar to those who followed HOT ROD Drag Week™ in 2015—roared down the track on its way to the All-Run Fast Four.
There’s not much Kenosha left in Goldstone’s red and black Javelin, which he has owned and raced for 30 years in various arenas, including bracket racing and NMCA competition before rebuilding it for HOT ROD Drag Week competition. The current engine is a Dart-block 572 cubic-inch Big Block Chevy that his father-in-law built. Two massive 88-millimeter Precision turbos forcefeed that 572 and when it’s running a healthy 25-30 pounds of boost, the engine can make around 2,500 horsepower.
Because of the challenging track conditions—Hey, Roadkill wouldn’t want to make it easy for anybody—Goldstone ran an eight-pound wastegate spring to reduce the boost and let the tires hook up better. That let him to manage boost off the line through engine RPM, which was not as consistent as he’d have liked. However, Goldstone hardly stumbled at all in his stack of runs down the track and while he loves racing and new challenges, Bryant made no bones about why he was there: “All I wanted to do was beat [Tom] Bailey.”
Goldstone got two shots at taking down Bailey’s Sick Seconds ‘69 Camaro, which won Drag Week in 2013. Bailey beat him straight-up in the first run. However, Goldstone had Bailey on reaction time in the second run, but the Javelin just didn’t leave the line as well as it had in previous runs, which allowed Bailey to run Goldstone down.
The immediate turnaround after each run caused concern for both Goldstone and Bailey. “That was a lot of runs in a short period of time,” Goldstone said. “It’s a little bit much for both of our cars so I think we’re lucky to end up finishing where we did without breaking anything.” Ultimately, the Javelin made it down the track quick enough to come in second place to Bailey, earning him bragging rights, $500, and a gift certificate from Gear Vendors.
The Javelin is still steel-and-glass, which allows Goldstone to compete in Drag Week’s Ultimate Iron class for all-steel cars. He won the class last year, finishing second overall to Bailey who ran Unlimited. Some changes to the bumpers and the exhaust have shed 60 pounds from the car’s 2015 fighting weight, trimming it to a slim 3,350 pounds. With the weight loss, more power from the shortened exhaust, and better fuel management this year from a second fuel pump, Goldstone expects to have shaved a couple of tenths off the car’s best time so keep an eye out for the unmistakable thundering red Javelin at Drag Week in September.