Surviving Sick Week: Brittney & her 10-Sec Turbo Truck
Every competitor of “Sick Week” brought their own goals to the table, but Brittney Sammartino’s goals were to make it through “Sick Week” with few issues, and to run as consistently as possible every single day. The same goal shared by each competitor is to enjoy the drag-and-drive event as much as possible without spending hours repairing a transmission, replacing a short-block, or running on little-to-no sleep fighting issues with their cars.The drag-and-drive event can be very testing of patience, physical labor, and parts-after-parts while diagnosing and repairing these street-cars, but it wasn't in the case of Brittney and her 10-second turbo truck.
Brittney brought to the event, a 1999 Chevy Silverado, that is by no means a slouch, even turned down. Her 10-second daily driven Silverado features a stock-bottom-end 6.0 LS engine, 799 heads, Brian Tooley Racing 235/245 camshaft, VS Racing S480 turbocharger, 4L80 transmission paired with a Circle D Specialties converter, an E-85 fuel system, and is all powered by a Holley Terminator X Max. Preparing the Silverado to meet the safety standards of NHRA rules was easy, as Brittney and her husband Cole spent some time leading up to “Sick Week” installing a roll bar. The only other preparation needed was repairing two 4L80 transmissions, the broken one in her truck and the spare they brought along, and looking over the truck one last time to ensure no issues could be prevented.
Coming to the event, Brittney held a little less experience in one subject than most other competitors- until the weekend leading up to the event, she had never raced the ¼ mile in her truck. She now had to prepare the truck and herself for ¼ mile drag racing instead of the 1/8 mile drag racing she was used to. “I was nervous because I’m used to 1/8 mile racing. It felt like forever because it was twice as long as what I’m used to racing in. It was an adjustment and I just had to remember to stay in it longer”, she said. Preparing for the ¼ mile racing her truck was something she had to get hands-on experience with, so she spent the Saturday prior to “Sick Week” competing in the Women & Wheels class at “Streetcar Takeover”, trying to find her consistency in this area of drag racing.
Day one of Sick Week, Brittney was packed and out of the gates of Bradenton Motorsports Park headed north by 3:30PM. Brittney found excitement in the fact that her truck ran a 10.491 @ 128MPH when her dial-in from the previous event where she first ran the ¼ mile was a 10.49. Onto Orlando, there was disappointment from every competitor when they found there was rain in the forecast for day 2, and that day 2 would now become a travel day instead of a competition day at Orlando Speed World. Disappointment aside, the travel day was a gorgeous day of driving along the coast of Florida in Daytona beach and gave the “Sick Weekers” something to enjoy knowing their next day would be full of drag racing again.
Day three began at Gainesville Raceway, where Brittney’s class was called first to the staging lanes, and she immediately knocked out at 10.58 pass. Although being less than a tenth off is very consistent for a daily-driven turbo- truck on the footbrake, Brittney was not happy with that pass and felt there was more consistency in it, so she decided to knock out a second pass. That second pass resulted in a 10.55 time slip and she was excited to turn that slip in knowing her truck was currently consistent within six-hundredths.
Day four was at South Georgia Motorsports Park and Brittney was more than ecstatic to be racing at the track that holds a lot of the major 1/8 mile drag racing events. Due to the fact that there was going to be a curfew at the track, she knew the first pass she ran was going to be what she stuck with because she did not want to get her hopes up of a second pass she might not have been able to run. She ran faster than she wanted with a 10.43, “Georgia is really what messed my average up, but we had to be one and done because of the hard close. We probably could've squeezed one more run in, but we knew we weren't in the top 5 competitors, so we kind-of just decided to stick with it”, she said. Although she was a little disappointed in it running too fast, she knew it was still something to be proud of that her truck was not a bracket-truck but had still ran within a little over one tenth of itself so far.
Day five began as the last 2 hours of the trip from Ocala to Bradenton Motorsports Park again. After reviewing the times of every other competitor in the DYO class, Brittney knew she would not win the class as other competitors were within two to three thousandths of themselves. She did though, want to continue in her personal quest for consistency and reliability, as her goals for the day were to keep the truck together without issues and stay within the .12 consistency she had all week. Her class was called to the lanes, where she then drove to the starting line, staged, got up on her 2-step, built boost, and left the line on green. The scoreboards lit up a 10.51 pass where she completed her goal for the week, to run her truck as consistently as possible, and to make it through without any major repairs, or really, any repairs at all. “I was pumped because that time slip was within what we had ran all week. It was in the middle, it wasn't too fast, it wasn't too slow I was happy with it!”, Brittney said.
The only thing Brittney and her husband had to do all week was swap wheels and tires, and replace the 93 pump gas with E-85. Brittney reflected on the overall experience and pride she had from the reliability of her truck, “This week was the most fun I ever had drag racing. The truck being already proven & reliable made the trip that much easier, and I feel we were able to enjoy it more because we didn't have to do anything to it. It was fun to be in the middle of winter knowing people have snow on the ground and here we are still drag racing!”. Brittney’s first drag-and-drive event was a major success and she hopes to see herself competing in more and returning to next year’s “Sick Week” alongside her husband with both of their vehicles.
You can keep up with Brittney through her Instagram: @Brittney.302
You can keep up with Payton through her Instagram: @PaytonBrown26