Johnny was the 1st President of Bracket
Masters Racing Team. As he loves to say, "I got the original
nine members together. I helped hand pick the original group. We
were all Christian men who got along well with each other, and we
had a common interest in cars. We started out with Prayer and putting God
first". Johnny served two years as President. He is
the current Vice President, team Chaplin and a member of the Board of Directors.
Our first club meeting was in January 1996,
after attending a New Years Eve Party at J. C. Floyd's home. The
party ended early so everyone could go to Watch Night Services. We
met in a little garage owned by George Patin. Johnny led the group
in prayer. Johnny was President for the first two years, and helped
establish a team that is growing and becoming a force in the world of Drag
Johnny is a Pontiac man from the bottom of his feet to the
top of his head. One of these days, Johnny will own a very fast,
first class Pontiac. Until then, Dream on Johnny!
Johnny is currently building a new race car
to replace his current Firebird. The new car is a 1977 Pontiac Astre
that should be
ready at the end of this racing season. Until then, Johnny will
continue to help the club members with their cars. Johnny works in a
business partnership with his twin brother John. They are painting
12/05/01 - The first stage of construction
on the Pontiac Astre is
finished and the car is at Johnny's home. The chassis has been
inspected by NHRA and it has the blue sticker, indicating it has
passed. Now the hard work of installing all the wiring and plumbing will
began. The car will go out for body work after the plumbing and
wiring are done. While the body work is being completed, the
motor and the transmission will be assembled.
4/8/02 - With any luck, a lot of
blessings (and money), Johnny should be ready by the start of the 2003
See Page 2 for latest updates
6/23/02 - Johnny attended the
Annual BMRT Picnic and race at State Capitol Dragway.
12/14/02 - Johnny took the Astre
to No Problem Raceway Park and passed the Chassis Certification!
3/1/03 - Johnny visited the
Maringouin Mardi Gras Parade along with 9 other team members and cars as
the parade rolled through the record crowd.
8/26/03 - Johnny sends this
It is finally here, so get ready to rumble all you Chevy guys! A few
years ago, Johnny ran a 1967 Firebird at the local track, but with minor
success. He ran the Footbrake Class for Non-electronics, taking home
the runner-up trophy the last time he ran. But he knew another club
member who had the Astre. Now, after some years of building it, it's
here! Let's race sometime Chevy guys! Johnny's
Astre now sports:
An Art Morrison Tube Chassis
Pontiac 400 Block, Fully
N-Iron Crank, Fully
6.625 Stock Length Rods
Kenny Bringer Built Turbo 40
Trans with Reverse Valve Body
TCI Full Competition 4500
Zimmer Gears 4.56:1 Nickel
Moser Gears Axels and Spool
Lunati Cams Cam with special
lift and duration (secret specs)
Heads No.#16 Fully Ported
Mickey Thompson 14 X 32 X 15
Front Runners 25 X 4
Curb Weight 2250 lbs
10/9/03 - Johnny attended the 4th
Annual Louisiana Drag Classic and worked at the gate and under the T-shirt
August 7, 2004 -
Johnny Debuts the Astre!!! The time has finally arrived.
The Astre was at the track and actually made a pass. Times are not
available, but it was an easy pass to check things out. Johnny and
his twin brother John were on hand at the BMRT annual Picnic. They
chose this day to have the great unveiling. There was some
overheating problems, attributed to faulty water pump wiring and the
radiator not being completely full. They also suffered from a gasket
leak on the cooling system. All in all, the debut was a success.
The engine sounded very strong. All Johnny needs now is a little
paint and a few bolts tightened. Congratulations Johnny!
Sept. 10, 2004 - Johnny took the Astre to State
Capitol Dragway for a shakedown. He has had work on the chassis and
needed to do some carb. testing. The car ran very well, turning in
some 10.20 sec. times.
October 24, 2004 - Johnny was selected to be a
member of the Board of Directors. He is also in charge of the Winter
Dinner/Dance, which will be held in early 2005. Johnny will coordinate
obtaining Blazers for the team to wear for photo shoots and semi-formal
December 26, 2004 - The team has decided not to have a
dinner/dance in early 2005. We have decided to look at hosting another
race at a local track in March. Details will be coming soon.
January 1, 2005 - Johnny took the
Astre over to
Gulfport Dragway for a little testing. Houston had worked on setting
the timing and Skip had help Johnny set up the new MSD distributor with a
good curve and selecting the correct range for the advance to come in.
Everything worked very well at the track. Johnny came off the trailer
with a 7.42 sec. 1/8 mile time, his next run was a 7.40. In
eliminations Johnny dialed in 7.40 and broke out with a 7.34 time! We
expect the car to run quicker when we finish sorting out all the new parts
that have been added since last year. Johnny was real pleased with the car as he
headed back to Baton Rouge with nothing broken.
January 25, 2005 - Brothers Johnny and John Tate,
along with Skip, worked on upgrading the carb on the Pontiac 400 engine.
We removed the old Holley 750, complete with air horn and replaced it with a
tricked out, smooth top, Divenchi 825 CFM carb with all the good stuff in
it. Notched floats, jet extensions, four corner idle and plugs.
We put 85/86 jets in to start out. We will fine tune at the track.
The engine started right up and idled perfect. The engine was crisp
and revved up like a SBC (sorry about that)! State Capitol Dragway,
here we come!
February 11, 2005 -
Johnny Tate and brother John were at State Capitol Dragway Friday night with
the Pontiac Astre. He made several runs and is analyzing his
data to see where changes are needed.
His best run was during eliminations where he broke out with an 11.43 on a
11.50 dial-in. The 60' time was the best of the night, but not as good
as he had on any run at No Problem Raceway Park.
Johnny is having trouble getting consistent 60' times because he has not
settled on one method of doing his burn-out. He is trying to stage at
idle and hit the throttle when the lights come down. Before tonight he
had been holding the brake and bringing the RPM up as high as the converter
would allow. He has tried shifting to high gear during the B. O.
and he has tried doing the B. O. without shifting. He must also find a
way to determine the correct shift point with his three-speed transmission,
4.56:1 gear ratio and 32" tall tires. He has been making the first
shift at 5700 RPM. Engine timing must also be decided. Right now
he is running at 34 degrees. The advance curve inside the distributor
must be determined, right now he has the two med. range springs in the MSD
dist. which is not allowing full advance as quickly as might be needed.
Spark Plug heat range is also in question. Right now he has AC-32
plugs in the 406 CID engine. The Divenchi 825 Carb. jetting is also in
question, although the car sounds very good when leaving the line, and down
the track. At the moment he is running 85/86 jets.
Right now, no changes are planned and Johnny will take the car to NPRP
during the daytime and get some more baseline data. He will determine
what changes he needs to make after a couple of runs at NPRP. Making
one change at a time, we have a long way to go.
2005 - Johnny Tate was at State Capitol Dragway Friday night Feb. 18, 2005 with
the Pontiac Astre again. Johnny is still experiencing a bog
problem out of the hole, but not on every pass. He has changed jets
several times to try to correct the problem. The little car really
moves after it gets started down the track. We may have to experiment
with a different squirter size to correct the problem. Johnny won in
the first round and lost in the second round when the car experienced some
overheating problems and did not run the number.
March 19, 2005 - After years of talk, the big grudge
race between Johnny Tate and "Papa Jack" took place at State Capitol Dragway
Friday night. The Papa Jack Camaro had a great hole shot on Johnny's Pontiac
Astre, but the Pontiac power was too much and Johnny drove around Joe for
the win. The race was run heads-up, no handicap, and Johnny crossed
the line first with an 11.23 sec. E.T., the best time the Astre has turned
this year. John, Johnny's twin brother, was the crew chief and John
was talking and laughing before Johnny could get back to the pits. The
brothers Tate had a lot to be happy about! I don't think Johnny
has been to sleep since the win!
April 15, 2005 - Johnny Tate
runs 10's! Johnny made a tire change and adjusted the timing and the
little Astre dipped into the 10's on the first pass of the night at 10.98.
Johnny were happy as can be. Before the night was over they had run
10.80 in the first round of eliminations. During elim's, on a bye run,
to get into the semi-finals, Johnny laid down a 10.78 pass! The power
was lost to one side of the track and eliminations could not be completed.
There were only three cars left running when the power went out.
May 14, 2005 - Brothers, John and Johnny, attended
the Battle on the Bayou at Louisiana Raceway to support the teams race.
They made a few time trials in the little Astre.
August 12, 2005 -
Johnny won his 5th trophy of the year at State Capitol Dragway Friday night
in the little Astre. Brother John Tate was acting as the pit crew and
Johnny was right on time on the lights and the car was running quicker every
round. Congratulations to Johnny and John.
PHOTOS from SCD Friday night.
October 21, 2005 -
Johnny's engine expired in the first round of competition in the Friday
night Trophy racing at State Capitol Dragway. The destruction was
total. Heads, cam and block were all destroyed. Johnny has a 455
Pontiac block that he will build in the future. Everyone was very
sorry to see this happen. The little engine ran so well and was a
consistent trophy winner at SCD.
Construction of Pontiac Astre