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               Johnny Tate
  Vice President

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"Johnny was the 1st President of Bracket Masters Racing Team"

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Johnny & Marcus at FMDRS

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At State Capitol 

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 Racing.  

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 contractors. 

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 racing season.

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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! 

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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 warning:  
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:

  1. An Art Morrison Tube Chassis

  2. Pontiac 400 Block, Fully Machined

  3. N-Iron Crank, Fully

  4. 6.625 Stock Length Rods

  5. Forged Pistons

  6. Kenny Bringer Built Turbo 40 Trans with Reverse Valve Body

  7. TCI Full Competition 4500 Stall Converter

  8. Zimmer Gears 4.56:1 Nickel Gears 

  9. Moser Gears Axels and Spool

  10. Lunati Cams Cam with special lift and duration (secret specs)

  11. Heads No.#16 Fully Ported

  12. Mickey Thompson 14 X 32 X 15 Slicks

  13. Front Runners 25 X 4 1/2 

  14. Curb Weight 2250 lbs

  15. Best ET... (smile)  

10/9/03 - Johnny attended the 4th Annual Louisiana Drag Classic and worked at the gate and under the T-shirt tent.  
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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 affairs.

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.

February 18, 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. John & 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

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