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FEATURE

The Two Lane Blacktop

Natascha’s “Fire Chicken” is Running Wild

By Adam Riley, Oct. 2015

 

Before the underground street racing television show Street Outlaws appeared on national TV screens, most wouldn’t consider Oklahoma City as a breeding ground for drag racing.  At least not to anyone located beyond the city line.  But for years -- this area, like many others planted in the Midwest, are flooded with gear heads building monstrous streetcars, drag racing on the weekends, and sneakily avoiding the local authorities like a plague -- which brings us to this lovely lady.

 

Flaunting a charming mid-western smile and curvaceous hips, you wouldn’t expect this girl to be packing such traits of a gear head.  But the octane and tire smoke filling the air throughout the plains of Oklahoma City, is like a drug for Natascha.  It beckons her.  It pulls her in.

 

Growing up, she’s always had a love racing and mechanics.  So quickly after a graduating high school Natascha enrolled in Francis Tuttle Technical College and tuned up her skills of turning wrenches and mechanical systems.  Shortly after graduating, she landed a role as the shop advisor at a local dealership.  But managing technicians and hundreds of projects created a void within her -- a desire to have her own project car.

 

Starting with a Turbocharged Mazda 626, her lead foot and extreme drag racing habits sent the car to an early grave.  After a haul to the junkyard, Natascha realized that a more reasonable car to build as a drag machine was in need. “The 1980’s are definitely my Era!” She says.  So digging back to her love of television shows such as Night Rider, Natascha began her search.

 

“All of my friends were trying to convince me to buy a Mustang, but there are so many out there. I just couldn’t do it “ She said. Finally, Natascha opted for a 1991 Firebird, that she later attached a very familiar name of “Fire Chicken.”

 

At first the “Fire Chicken” had serious issues.  But of course, like most twenty-year old cars with a bit of neglecting, it’s a normal situation.  “When I first got it, I took it to the local drag strip despite the problems . . . I really embarrassed myself.  It was so slow.  As soon as I received my time slip, I looked at it – and I left the track.” She chuckled while saying.

 

After that embarrassing night, Natascha was on mission.  So during the next couple of years she gave some personal attention to the  “Fire Chicken.” Although sporting a 305ci V8, Natascha knew the tricks.  She first began with the basic upgrades such as a cold air intake, pulleys and exhaust and they seemed to help a bit, but not enough. That’s when things got serious and she took the wimpy chicken to the horsepower gym.

 

Staring with the upper end of the motor, the heads were pulled off for a rebuild. After a serious porting and polishing job, they were topped off with a set of Comp Cams valve springs. Then she then moved to the fuel and ignition system. Slapping in in a set of 24psi AFI injectors, 110 lp Jegs fuel pump, fuel rails, new fuel tank and finally igniting the fumes with an MSD ignition system -- the chicken was starting to breath a little fire.


Then it was onto the 700R4 transmission with upgraded servos, backed by a set of Jegs Racing 3.42 gears in the rear axle.  Lastly, she tweaked the suspension with a set of KYB coils and shocks.  Finally, the “Fire Chicken” was ready for some Oklahoma City action.

 

This time back at the track, the “Fire Chicken” wasn’t playing around.  “I ran a few test pulls and the car was pulling really well.  On the last holeshot during a race against a Trans Am, I pulled it to four grand and the car actually began to wheelie . . . it was such an amazing feeling!!” She said.

 

Now days, Natascha and the “Fire Chicken” are taking on a swarm of local challenges and being the scene there in Oklahoma has been blazing lately, Natascha’s schedule has been reasonably full. You can bet her drag racing days aren’t going to stop anytime soon, and but neither will the upgrades.  In fact, as this article is being written, she’s putting together a street strip 377ci “stroker” small block, topped off with a bit of nitrous. Although not sharing too much about the build – her love for the two lane black top is no secret.

 

Photography by www.theartofcar.net

 

 

 

<>5 - 9

 

 

Feature Girl

Name: Natascha Cryer

Location: Oklahoma City

Instagram:  @91firechicken

 

Car: 1991 Pontiac Firebird

Name: “Fire Chicken”

 

Build List

305ci V8

LT1 GM Camshaft

Ported and Polished Heads

1.84 Intake 1.5 Exhaust Valves

Three Angle Valve Job

Comp Cams Spring Kit

 

MSD Ignition System

AFI 24# Fuel Injections

Oversized Fuel Rails

110 lph Jegs Racing Fuel Pump

 

700 R4 Transmission

Jegs Racing 3.42 Ring and Pinion Set

KYB Racing Coil and Shock Kit

 

 

 

 

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