I guess I left this thread hanging as usual.
After the shootout, continued to put miles on the car. It became harder and harder to start. I threw a new battery in it, ran a new battery wire, beefier ground, etc. It would start ok cold but once it was hot I was either push starting it or waiting for it to cool down.
Ignoring this I took it to a track rental and made a few passes. On low boost it hooked great (1.6-1.7s on DRs) but it was slower than it ever went FWD. 13.0+.
Last pass of the day motor finally told me to frig off. Lots of noises and had to push it on the trailer.
Couple months later I finally pulled the motor out and the pan off:
Fast forward ~6-8 months and here we are now. I had a spare block freshened up. Eagles/Weiscos, new bearings & rings, blah blah. My GTX appeared to be nuked after the track rental but after blasting it with piss 50 times and pumping it full of fresh oil it seems much less angry. Throwing caution to the wind on that one, will probably regret it.
Got the motor in a couple days ago and am buttoning everything up now, hopefully in time for the shootout. Planning on driving it to the car show, same as last year. Don't plan on racing.. same as last year.
Stop by and say hi. Will be there with this car and the rust rocket if all stars align (red 1g with a fender dump exhaust).