For the 13th season the Bradenton Motorsports Park in sunny Florida will serve as the kickoff to heads-up drag racing season with the annual running of the U.S. Street Nationals. With a host of heavy hitters from around the country on hand, some of whom are already flirting with the record books in testing, the 2017 edition may just stand as the best one yet.
Barry Mitchell scored a 3.74 in testing yesterday running under the Pro Drag Radial record. Barry says the car is starting to come together after s0me testing and a couple of race events. The incrementals were a .980 60′ and 2.50 33′ 3.748 @ 197.45 MPH. “This wouldn’t be possible without my crew, Robbie Kaziah (Crew Chief), Nick, Jason and David and tuners Todd Tutterow and Billy Stocklin. Jeff Miller and the track staff did a great job with the track surface. We are excited about it and were just waiting for the weather and track conditions to line up to make a good run.” The car was originally built by Tim McCamis and run in Pro Mod on the West Coast with some updates by Tommy Mauney to assist with the radial tires.
Marc “The Rodfather” Caruso is driving this car formerly campaigned by Mike Janis in NHRA Pro Mod with Janis placing second for the 2015 season and Marc running PDRA in 2016 where he finished in sixth on the year. Sponsors for the team include JAN-CEN Racing Engines, Mickey Thompson Tires, Lucas Oil Products and DRE Engine Diapers.
Chad Opaleski put up new personal best this weekend with a 4.06. Changes for 2017 include a new intake to match the port of the Newnan heads, and new transmission and rear gear ratios which have paid off already on the first day out for the year. The Hemi is built and maintained by Fast Forward Racing Engiens in New Port Richey, Florida with chassis work from Dan Neuman in Ocala and Rob Zark on the key board.
Outlaw Pro Mod racer Robert Abbot also ran well yesterday scoring a new best 3.84 and backed it up with a .83 running a fresh engine from Todd Tutterow. From left to right keyboard manager, Guy Carlton, Crew Chief Scott Halstead and Robett Abbott car owner and driver.
Ryan Martin put up a 3.95 in his Pro Drag Radial Camaro and will be looking for some 3.80s in qualifying today.
David Reese is driving a new car for 2017 built in house at Reese Bros Race Cars and owned by his brother Kelsey. They built the car for Adam Flamholc and circumstances wound up with Kelsey buying the car back from Adam and running a 526 BAE combo built by Flamholc and topped by a blower from Chuck Fuller. David made some clean passes yesterday with a best of a 3.92 on the day. Adam Flamholc shown with David Reese on the right
Shawn Pevlor made the switch to a Haltech engine management system for this year and did some testing in Orlando before coming here this weekend where he bent up the front end coming down hard from a wheelstand. The crew managed to patch it up for this weekend and will make proper repairs thanks to UPR who helped Pevlor out with the necessary parts. He ran a 4.78 yesterday so he is on track already and looking to run quicker today in qualifying. Sponsors include TRZ Motorsports, BES, Nitrous Express, Mickey Thompson, Wilson Manifolds, NLR, RPM Transmissions and Trick Flow Specialties. Jason Waterman punches the keys on the Haltech.
Ken Cruz ran afoul of the driveshaft gods yesterday after some new shocks changed the ride height of the car enough for the driveshaft to contact one of the safety looks in the tunnel. It showered some sparks but caused no real damage and the team was able to find a replacement to continue their weekend in Outlaw Pro Mod.
Final Qualifying Results
Today’s third round of qualifying was canceled after one of the Munster cars put some oil on the track. The cleanup would have taken about forty-five minutes allowing the track temp to fall to unsafe levels with the cold front rolling through and temps continuing to drop towards fifty degrees.
Open Outlaw, X-Treme Pro Mod, Pro Nitrous, Outlaw 632.
Heavy Street, Ultra Street, Limited Drag Radial, Pro Drag Radial.
5.50 Index, 5.90 Bike, 6.50 Index, 7.50 Index.
7.90 Jr. Dragster, 8.90 Jr. Dragster.
Hamptonville, North Carolina based racer Barry Mitchell put the Keziah/Mitchell 69 Camaro on top the pro Drag Radial field today with a 3.803 at 197.45 MPH. Barry’s brother David Peters puts him in the beams in the round two qualifying session this afternoon.
Mark Woodruff is coming out hard for 2017 qualifying with a 3.867 and 208.57 MPH through the lights.
Chad Opaleski has ran well all weekend with several passes in the 4.0’s and qualifying seventh with a 4.08 at 186, three MPH faster than his previous best in the Fast Forward Race Engines powered ’66 Chevelle.
Daniel Pharris had a clean hit in second round qualifying scoring third in PDR with a 3.96 at 203 in the Aleppa Racing 2015 Vette.
Lil Country leads the Limited Drag Radial class with a 4.243 at 173.44 driving The Apocalypse based out of Zephyrhills, Florida. In the near lane Don Lamana put his Pro Fab Performance Plus 90 Fox in sixth with a 4.38 at 178.
Syracuse, New York based Mike Gwynn had a wild ride today in his 66 Chevelle climbing the ring gear very quickly on his qualifying attempt next to Scott Husted out of New Port Richey, FL. Gwynn sits last in the LDR field with Husted sitting fourth with a 4.299.
Kevin Fiscus (far lane) was paired with Lyle Barnett who is glad to be back behind the wheel driving for Jason Digby and smashing the Leaf Spring record to the tune of 4.298 at 183.37 MPH landing third in class at the season kickoff here in Bradenton this weekend. Fiscus is driving for Willard Kinzer this weekend driving the trusty stock suspension Wolfe built Mustang in LDR. He sits second, .001 behind Apocolypse with a 4.244 with 184.27 top speed, good for top MPH in qualifying.
I can safely say no one is Surprised Shawn Pevlor is the top qualifier in Ultra Street running a 4.801 at 146.96. There are three other cars in the 4.80’s this weekend though so things should get interesting Sunday.
Walter Drakeford broke a center section earlier today before coming back in the last session to score eighth spot on the Ultra Street ladder with a 5.02 at 128 after this wheels up launch. You can see the nose of the number two qualified ATF Speed car of Mike Freeman out of Lehigh, Florida.
After an eight day thrash session Eric Kenward is now sporting a Procharger and a new engine to go with it. He sits tenth with a 5.055 at 140.
Ultra Street racer Tony Alm is concentrating on Ultra Street for 2017 running a 4.78 and 4.74 personal best during Friday’s testing. He runs Haltech engine management on the MPR built engine with an update to coil on plug in the off season and a switch to the new Hossier 275 Drag Radial which carries a 50 pound weight penalty. Plans for this year include the Heads Up Madness series here in Bradenton and select Ultra Street events and taking the year off from the NMRA and the extensive travel that series entails. Alm sits third in class with a 4.83 today.
Felix Garcia’s Chevy II appeared not up to one hundred percent and still managed to top the Heavy Street field with a 4.59 at 167 MPH. The car is powered by a Chevy 555 inch big block and twin turbos.
Rick Prospero is based out of Satellite Beach with his 1990 Mazda RX7. It’s also got a big Chevy and twin turbo set up which has competed in Drag Week with. He sits second with a 4.74.
Third qualifier David Boger got on the bars unloading the rear tires and losing traction. The car did a quick spin and David was able to get it stopped straight scoring a nice save, albeit, facing the wrong way. David is ok though and the car is likely fine but for a tire, or two. He put up a 4.84 in the first session to earn third spot.
This C-10 is popular with the crowd and Austin Stephens and the NBS Race Cars team and Kris Nelson have stepped up the power and moved out of 5.50 Index to Heavy street this weekend. He landed fifth with a 5.12 at 135 miles per hour.
Outlaw 632 had 22 cars vying for the field with Ken Quartuccio taking top qualifier with a 3.372 at 165.86 MPH in the C&S Powered Camaro. He is a whopping files MPH better than the next best car of Troy Blake who qualified third. Oh, this is Ken’s first weekend on Drag Radials too.
Dominic Augustine hails from Moorseville, NC with his 65 Chevelle sporting only a 598 inch big Chevy power plant. Small engine and small tires works just fine for him after landing second with a 4.392.
Jeff Ensslin put the 37 Chevy in fourth spot with a 4.47 at 159.
NMCA Racer Billy Banaka led the Pro Nitrous class scoring a 3.78 at 198 MPH.
Danny Perry runs out of Sims North Carolina and sits second in Pro Nitrous with seven cars in class here this weekend.
Ty Tutterow landed third behind Jose Gonzalez and Todd Moyer with a 3.77 at 199 MPH for team Galot Motorsports 1968 Camaro entry. It’s a big filed of Outlaw Pro Mod this weekend with twenty five cars vying for the field of 16.
Mike Janis put his car in fourth spot running a 3.78 right behind his old car now driven by Marc Caruso, who landed in seventh.
Adam Flamholc was the last car in the 3.70’s earning fifth position with a 3.796.
Robert Abbott kept up his performance today running a 3.84 at 190 to take eighth spot in the field. He will face number nine Ken Cruz in round one.
Jason Scruggs earned top qualifier in X-Treme Pro Mod with a 3.51 at a whopping 222.00 MPH for the Mississippi based team.
Jose Gonzalez is also entered in X-Treme Pro Mod with his 2016 C7 Corvette. He earned second for his efforts running a 3.62 at 220. John Sullivan Jr and Bubba Stanton struggled getting down today with both cars qualifying in the fours after aborted runs.
Tracy Stunkard put his Open Outlaw dragster on top running a 3.89 at 185.
Melissa Hutson hiked the front wheels in her 2010 Spitzer Dragster. When the front came back down it unloaded the rear tires and spun. The team knows the surface here well though so should have an A to B pass set up for first round tomorrow.
Butch Patrick, AKA Eddie Muster made an appearance today and an exhibition run with the “Munster Cars” after second round of qualifying. Butch and the cars got quite a bit of interest with the fans but some oil from the Munster Coach in the far lane put an end to qualifying due to cleanup time and the cold weather conditions the day was called for safety reasons.
Rain delayed out start time till around 1 PM by the time the track was dry and ready for racing. The Index Classes were also given rain checks due to the delay so the other classes could finish the event. The Leaf Spring and Pro Drag Radial records fell this weekend along with a string of personal best runs in multiple classes so today is shaping up for some exciting matches.
Outlaw Pro Mod, Outlaw 632, Ultra Street, Limited Drag Radial.
Pro Drag Radial, Pro Nitrous, Open Outlaw, Heavy Street.
Outlaw Pro Mod had some great action in the class today with Jose Gonzalez setting low ET of round one in a match with James Beadling with a 3.702 at 213. Robert Abbott met with Ken Cruz scoring another 3.83 at 202 MPH over Cruz’s off pace 4.28 after banging the blower past half track.
Abbott and Gonzalez were paired up in round two with the El General team moving on with a 3.70 flat to Abbott’s 3.90. Mike Janis and Adam Flamholc were the next pair in class with Adam slowing to a 4.14 and Janis moving on the the semis along with Ty Tutterow and Marc Caruso, who would meet in the semi finals. Once there both cars were off pace with Tutterow earning the spot in the finals vs Gonzalez and Caruso and Janis ending their day early.
The final saw Tutterow put up an .025 reaction time to Gonzalez .095. Tutterow would earn the event win with a 3.73 at 198 MPH to to a 3.82 at 199 MPH.
Seven cars made the round one call for Pro Nitrous with Billy Banaka number one qualifier, low ET and top MPH on the weekend. He put up a 3.75 in a round one single before falling to James Hancock who ran a 3.86 to Banaka’s off pace 6.06 at 109 MPH.
The finals would be Hancock vs George Williams with the drivers close on reaction times. Williams slowed on the run to a 3.89 at 296 with Hancock earnign the event win with a 3.83 at 196 MPH.
Open Outlaw event winner Tracy Stunkard and Kyle Dvorak were the top two qualifiers this weekend with only four cars left Sunday to make the call for round one. Kenny Puffenburger and Scott RIni’s day would end there and the top two qualifiers went on to the final round. Stunkard, shown here would put up a 4.11 at 170to a 4.32 for Dvorak.
Open Outlaw runner up Kyle Dvorak from McHenry, Illinios runs a 2007 Danny Nelson chassis with a blown big Chevy power plant.
Dewayne Mills met with Kye Kelly in round one of Pro Drag Radial where he put up a 3.97 at 205 to earn the win and a shot at Jeff Sitton in round two.
Jeff Shawver has been driving David Nassavera’s new car for a few events now and things are coming around in the consistency departments this weekend for sure with several clean hits in the 4.30s’ He was paired with Scotty G and pulled a .005 reaction time out of a hat getting a giant holeshot to Scotty’s .112 light. Shawver put up a 4.31 to take the win over the quicker Gudagno who ran a 4.27.
Barry Mitchell earned the PDR win this weekend by earning wins over Jeff Shawver with a 3.84 in the semis to meet Woodruff. Mitchell was away first by .019 and going on to a 3.821 at 196.37 MPH.
Mark Woodruff got quicker every round today except the final were he spun the tires mid track sending the car sideways. Mark was able to avoid a major situation and got he car straightened out enough to avoid serious damage to himself or the car, though it will need some repairs before No Mercy In Georgia in the weeks.
Scott Husted ran well and stepped up his performance in eliminations napping a 4.26 at 182 in a round two single before falling to Justin Swanstrom in the semi finals.
Lyle Barnett is driving for Jason Digby in his 69 single turbo Dodge Dart and nabbed the leaf spring record this weekend. His 4.309 did the job against Lamana who did his job on the tree with a better reaction and put up a 4.33 for the Pro Fab Performance Mustang. We spoke with Lyle this morning and he was sure glad to be back at is with the permission and help from his father and a special thanks to Jason and the crew for allowing this opportunity. “We have been working hard on the car for the last few months and done some testing at Darlington Dragway, I gotta thank Jason Digby, Jimmy Bradshaw and the Millers at Darlington for have the track always ready for us on short notice, we rarely spin there so get a lot of good data. Thanks to my crew for being there and giving me a good safe car to drive. It’s pretty neat to have the fastest Leaf Spring car in the world” – Lyle Barnett.
Justin Swanstrom and Scott Husted met in the semi finals with both car making clean hits. Husted was out first with an .062 reaction running a 4.28 out the back it’s just wasn’t enough to stay in from of Swanstron’s strong nitrous car running a 4.22.
Kevin Fiscus and team Kinzer had a great first outing with his as driver this weekend setting new best ET’s for the car with a 4.18 in round one today. The final was climactic as Fiscus started climbing the ring gear well before half track. Swanstrom lost an engine allowing Fiscus to drive by wheelie to earn the event win, an accomplishment in the first weekend driving a new car.
Ultra Street had a full field this weekend and some great racing to go with it. Shawn Pevlor earned top qualifier and was using power as needed to get by Charlie Pixley and Steve Buscema to meet Brian Keep in the semi finals. Keep ripped a .016 reaction, a near .09 advantage for the Ft Meyers based racer. Down track it would still be Keep in an all Nitrous Outlet battle. Keep took the round with a 4.869 at 143.06 MPH to Pevlor’s game 4.878 at 145.44.
The other side of the ladder had Tony Alm who was number one qualifier and dispatched with Ken Pellicciotti in round one before setting low ET with a 4.793 at 146 in a round two match with Bill gregan based right here in Bradenton. Another contender was Mike Freeman but he took himself out via redlight in the semi final with Alm to set the final with Brian Keep who took the tree first by a good margin. He spun the tires after the 60′ allowing Alm to get by for the class win running a a 4.86 at 146.
Heavy Street has always had a broad mix of cars this this weekend is no exception with his 1968 C-10 blown Chevy out of NBS Race Cars in Ste Pete, Florida. Stephens ran well scoring several 5 teen passes this weekend before Rick Prospero ended his weekend in the semi finals with a 4.74 at 162 to a 5.13 at 134.
Punta Gorda based racer Ben Wolverton has struggled getting his Malibu lined out over several years and an engine failure. He scored his first 4 second passes here this weekend and Neal Watkins was his first victim today in his Chevy II, which is normally ran in 5.50 Index. In the semis he faced off with Rich Leroy's 69 Camaro Convertible taking his out on his way to the finals with Rick Prospero's Twin Turbo RX7.
Once in the finals Prospero was away first with an .079 Reaction getting out front early in the race. Wolverton spun the tires down track and did a great job saving the car tonight while Prospero put down a 4.80 at 162.
Outlaw 632 had plenty of action and some upsets this event with Ken Quartuccio running the table in the class this weekend in his first time on Drag Radials. Ken was in the 4.30s except one pass today running a 4.41 at 164 in a round two win over John Lanstinger. (shown)
Allan Dito struggled recently with the car darting around and hard to drive. The crew checked things over and found the problem, making the adjustments to the front alignment and rear housing, basically re aligning the car here Saturday morning. He earned a round one win in a bit of confusion on the starting line over Anthony Masiello before being retired by multi time class winner Troy Blake with a 4.421 to a 4.554.
Dominic Augustine sat on top of the other side of the ladder in his clean 65 Chevelle SS. Rick Davis out of Clearwater fell first, then Blake in the semis after a single in round two with both drivers late on the tree but fast out the back. Augustine’s 4.413 takes the win over a 4.440.
Once in the final Augustine took a holeshot advantage by .015 but his 4.42 could not hold off Quartuccio’s new record 4.359 record setting pass earning the event win.