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LIGHTS OUT 10: Rivenbark Dishes On Record-Breaking 3.61 Blast In RvW

Kevin Rivenbark still only has a handful of runs on radial tires, which means record-breaking performance like the one he put together on Friday at Lights Out 10 continue to defy conventional wisdom.

But the ProCharger-boosted, Pro-Line powered ’69 Camaro has been nothing short of incredible in its short Radial vs. the World existence. The most recent proof of that came Friday night when Rivenbark set the RvW record with a mind-blowing 3.613 at 205.01 mph, the latest near-flawless run for a car that just made its first radial runs less than a month ago.

“When we left, I knew it was good,” Rivenbark said. “I was just hoping the back end was going to be there. When it left I was like, ‘Oh boy, here we go.’ We were shooting for a .62, .61. We didn’t know if it would go .61, but it’s been a wonderful track.”

This has all come together magnificently for Rivenbark, who was eager to try the ProCharger set-up in the Camaro.

Coupled with ProLine’s Hemi power and FuelTech’s top-notch electronic fuel injection, as well the expertise of tuner Steve Petty and ProLine’s Eric Dillard, and it’s already been a dream come true for Rivenbark.

“I can’t say enough about those ProCharger guys,” Rivenbark said. “They’ve worked their tails off. I think they’ve always had a great product, and between them and Eric and Steve and all the ProLine guys, they’ve put a hell of a package together.”

Still, not many could have imagined it could have worked this well, this quickly.

At the U.S. Street Nationals in Orlando in late January, Rivenbark went a stunning 3.613 at 207.37 for the quickest and fastest eighth-mile pass for a ProCharger-boosted car.

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But that was with his normal Pro Mod set-up, as the team outfitted the Camaro with radials shortly after.

Since then, every pass with radials has been a full pass, a staggering accomplishment no matter the final result at Lights Out 10.

The team eased into the setup, going from 4.08 to 3.88 and then 3.71 in just the third-ever pass on radials.

Every run has gotten steadily better and Rivenbark said that’s a tribute to the team working with him. Every aspect of the process, from the ProCharger to ProLine’s involvement to FuelTech’s EFI to the tutelage of Petty, has flowed together well and the immediate results have proven that.

“We’ve been creeping up on every pass, getting quicker and quicker,” Rivenbark said. “This car has been down every pass since we’ve put radials on. It’s been a dream come true.”

Rivenbark started RvW qualifying at Lights Out 10 with an impressive 3.669 at 207.80 to take the No. 1 spot in Wednesday’s opening qualifying session, a run even more noteworthy when the majority of the massive field failed to make a full pass.

But that was just the appetizer to Friday night’s blast. Tim Slavens broke the RvW record with his 3.621 at 217.74 pass on Thursday, but Rivenbark followed on Friday with the shot heard around the world.

He went .919 to the 60-foot and 2.41 to 330-foot mark before finishing off the record-breaking run with a 3.613 at 205.01. The celebration ensued and now puts Rivenbark in a good position heading into eliminations.

“It’s a different feeling,” Rivenbark said. “A roots car at .940 is a lot more violent than this .919. It’s so smooth. You can tell it’s on a hit, but it doesn’t jerk you like a roots car. This has always been a bad car by itself, but putting in a ProCharger and having Petty tune it, we’ll be a deadly force.”

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Photos by Chris Sears

This story was originally published on February 16, 2019. Drag Illustrated

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