Southern California Street Car Racer Combines Work and Play

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“I remember watching racing on television and going to the races at Ontario and Riverside Speedway, along with the drags at Pomona,” said K&N Engineering Performance Kit Manager Bert Heck. “But the first time I went to a street race in 1983, I was hooked on drag racing.”

Bert Heck competes in the Pacific Street Car Series Bert Heck competes in the Pacific Street Car Series

Bert Heck's 1982 Chevrolet Camaro
Bert Heck's 1982 Chevrolet Camaro
The Pacific Street Car Association is open to all makes and models of cars, from full street cars to full blown race cars. The classes include Pro Street, Cheap Street, Xtreme Street and Real Street among others.
Bert Heck uses K&N productsBert Heck uses K&N products
Bert Heck works for K&N Engineering
Bert Heck works for K&N Engineering

On the West Coast there are six heads-up style classes in the PSCA. “Real Street is the 4th fastest class,” said Heck. “You can run nitrous oxide, turbos and super chargers. My top speed was 176 mph at 8.03 seconds.

Heck built his own drag car, a 1982 Chevrolet Camaro Big Block Chevy with two carburetors and two nitrous oxide systems. He races in the Pacific Street Car Association (PSCA) in the Real Street Class.

Heck has raced in Real Street since 2003. “I won my first race in this class on Labor Day at Las Vegas in 2005,” he said. “I also won the last race of the year in November 2006 at Fontana, California. That was my first home track victory and it was great.”

In 2006, Heck had a lot of problems burning pistons. “I never had a problem with bearings because of our K&N Oil Filter,” he said. “It filtered out all the debris in the oil system before it hurt the bearings and crank.”

K&N makes aftermarket parts for the automotive industry. “It’s a good fit at K&N for me, since most racing is built around the aftermarket,” said Heck. “I use K&N’s Oil Filter, our Crank Case Vent and am also in the process of building a custom K&N Air Filter to fit into my air scoop.”

Heck applies his work at K&N to his racing career. “When you have a chance to improve performance it makes you feel good, whether it’s a stock vehicle or a race car,” he said. “There are times that I’ve been able to make improvements on my race car by the things I’ve learned by testing vehicles on K&N’s dyno. I also learn from co-workers that are involved in other types of racing.”

In racing tow vehicles are an essential part of the program. “We need to be able to get our cars to the tracks and back home,“ said Heck. “I use a K&N 57 Series Fuel Injection Performance System and a K&N Oil Filter on my 2005 Chevrolet Dually. The last time I went up the Baker Grade on the way to a Las Vegas race, I was able to maintain speeds of 55 mph without any problems. I was also able to tow 10,000 pounds up a 4.2 percent grade without any problems. With K&N products I gain horsepower and fuel economy.”

Heck has worked in the K&N’s Research and Development Department in Riverside, California for almost ten years. “With the help of K&N I’m able to pursue my racing career,” he said. “It works.”

Follow Bert Heck's progress throughout the racing season at the K&N news site. Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail, or visit