I think that running the oil lower than where the level would be if using a standard depth pan helps reduce windage, as you said. This is of greater benefit than running additional oil in the pan, IMO.
Thanks for the tip...I think I will try to run 5 qts in my 7 qt pan; still 1 qt more than a stock 4qt SBC pan.
Will I be able to trim my dipstick tube to register from 3-7 qts ? 3 being 1 qt low (add) on a 4 qt pan and 7 being full on the 7 qt pan running full capacity (plan on running 5 qt with 4 qt being 1 qt low or "add"). The oil pan depth is 8.25 inches (stock it is 7.5") . Thanks.