Going fast is sexy. The smell of tire smoke, sounds of a chest-thumping V-8 roar, and the smile you get when you leave an inferior car at a stoplight-it's a beautiful thing. Power will, however, rarely save your life. Whereas we don't spend as much time talking about safety as we do adding more ponies, when it comes time for our own daily drivers and projects alike, we don't skimp on brakes. When researching brakes for our '04 GMC Sierra, dubbed Novakane, engineering, reliability, and street/track performance were key areas of concern. With our plans to autocross and road race this truck, the brake system upgrade had to bring our 4,300-pound truck to a neck-snapping halt.

NASCAR race cars create some of the most extreme conditions for braking systems, with insane temps, incredible heat cycles, and caliper clamping forces pushing components to their peak. Once we found out that 38 out of 43 NASCAR teams trust AP Racing for their cars, we figured they could easily stop our beat-up, old work truck Sierra.

Stillen is the exclusive distributor for AP Racing in the United States and after a phone call, we learned the brakes needed for our '04 GMC were in stock and ready to be bolted on. The AP kit included aluminum six-piston calipers and 14.25-inch drilled, slotted, and vented rotors up front and four-piston calipers with 14-inch rotors out back. The rear rotors incorporate the factory parking brake drum, and both front and rear calipers come with Goodridge stainless braided hoses for superior brake fluid pressure and zero swelling under load. A big perk about this kit, it literally bolts right on with front and rear caliper brackets, and with the factory rear disc-equipped trucks from '99-'05, you don't have to pull the rear axles to complete the install.

We went to Stillen for a test fitment and took these install photos there, thinking that we wouldn't run into any unforeseen problems while testing out at the track that we showed you last month. Unfortunately, we learned the hard way at the track that the new McGaughy's spindles required some modifying to fit the AP caliper bracket. After the brief delay, we went back to our test facility for extensive brake testing, where we may have briefly stopped the Earth's rotation. Follow along as we show you how we installed the brakes and how big of an improvement the new AP Racing big brakes from Stillen made on our project truck.