Chris Gonier and his silent, but deadly 1969 Pontiac Firebird

Chris Gonier and his silent, but deadly 1969 Pontiac Firebird. His father acquired the 1969 Firebird in the early 2000’s and he grew up watching his dad race the car, waiting for his time to step into the driver’s seat. As soon as he was old enough, he jumped into the seat. The Firebird has been a father and son project for many years, undergoing updates and new parts either to make the car faster or slower. The Firebird has always been running off a Chevy power plant, either with a small block or a big block. The current setup on the car is a 454 BBC with a powerglide transmission. The car is quite quick, running a strong 9.56 on alcohol, and 9.88 on gas.

Once he was old enough Chris hopped into the driver’s seat, earning his way, by helping his dad with that car all throughout the years. He is now 20 years old and a Machinist for Major Incorporated. Racing for about three years, he has a very good start to his racing career. Grabbing five wins and even a little gold man, know as a Wally. He runs the Pro class in Old Bridge Township Raceway Park’s points series. Where you will also see him there on Wednesday nights running the lanes of the test and tune. Another prime example young racers have a passion for this sport and cannot get enough of it! Being a drag racer, we all love to gamble, and a race with a big Happy Gilmore check is very enticing. With that being said, Chris really likes getting to travel to some of the big money bracket races. His favorite races are the ones put on by Loose Rocker Promotions. Their motto “Racers promoting crazy good races,” Chris is another testament to their great work. He has been foot braking the car for the past three years of his racing career, but recently he just wired up a delay box. Still waiting for a free week to be able to test the box, but for next season looking forward to running with electronics. Opening up a whole new world of bracket racing for him.

There seems to be a very certain theme with the young drivers. A lot of us picking up on different ways of driving by simply just watching. Chris telling me that, “I learned a lot about racing by watching my Dad.” When in the driver’s seat is where the challenge beings, he says that “just putting in laps I learn new ways to lose.” More than we would all like, you will find yourself on the trailer. The importance is what you take away from that loss, a big point that Chris was getting across. This upcoming weekend he will be representing E-Town in the bracket finals at Numidia Dragway in the Pro E/T class, Good Luck Chris!

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