In completely stock trim, the truck could cover a quartermile in about 22 seconds, but Curtis has lowered that figure to about 16.2 seconds through a number of improvements over the years, including a new ignition system, improved suspension, and a rebuild of the motor. Though he doesn't drive it anymore now that his son no longer races, Hill still owns the 262-cid, V-6-powered '86 Chevy pickup that he drove to victory in Atlanta in 1995, becoming the first and only driver to win Stock at an NHRA national event with a pickup.
like the slower cars better. When I’m chasing someone if I’m bracket racing my Mustang, it’s hard for me to wait and watch them go down the track.” Curtis bought the Ranger off a dealership lot in 1997 and began turning it into a racer right away. In completely stock trim, the truck could cover a quarter- mile in about 22 seconds, but Curtis has lowered that figure to about 16.2 seconds through a number of improvements over the years, including a new Bill Curtis ignition system, improved suspension, and a rebuild Ann Arbor, Mich. of the motor. The truck is slotted into NHRA’s W/S Stock category, which has a 16.7-second index. “It’s never had anything hauled in it; it’s always ’97 Ranger been a racer,” Curtis said. “It’s a pretty smooth W hen it comes time to race, Michigan-based Bill Curtis drive. Other than the work we’ve done, everything can choose between a 10-second Mustang and a late- else is pretty much stock. The plan for the winter is ’90s truck that isn’t nearly as quick. In what might come as to do away with the factory transmission and get an aftermarket trans in a surprise to many, it’s the truck that’s lately been getting there, but that’s about it. The rest is just stock.” out to the track more often. Curtis says he enjoys the ups Although he’s certainly not out chasing points on a national scale, and downs of trying to win Stock races with a 16-second ’97 Ranger. Curtis says he hopes to race at possibly two more national events this “I like the challenge of it; you always have to leave first on the Tree, season, including the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals and its annual so it comes down more to the driver and driving the finish line,” Curtis Stock class competition. Additionally, with help from his family — wife said. “It’s something different. I’ve had fast cars before, and I’ve got my Sarah, daughters Kaytlan and Morgan, and parents Tom and Jenny — Mustang for Super Street, but the truck is just more fun. I’ve been drag and T.S.S Hobbies of Belleville, M
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