2020 U.S. Street Nationals Same Day Coverage From Bradenton

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It’s another fine day in Florida for racing as we move to the final day of the 2020 US Street Nationals in Bradenton. We get started this morning with Open Comp and Jr. Dragsters before moving to the Index classes and heads up racing towards 11 AM.

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Mike “Mountain Man” Achenbach hails from Nazareth, PA and is entered in Pro Mod this weekend with his gorgeous Purple 1969 RJ Race Cars built Camaro. The car has a Buck Racing Engines 959 topped with Switzer Dynamics nitrous system with Brandon Switzer making the calls on the tune ups using a MOTEC M150 and qualified number eight in a tough field. Mike has had the car going on a year and a half and played around with street cars before jumping into Pro Mod with both feet. After the purchase he took the car to Rick Jones for some work and Jones pointed him to Jay Cox and Switzer. Mike owns. Plans for the team for 2020 include racing the Northeast Pro Mod series, The Shakedown and some PDRA events in Pro Nitrous. Mike’s company MJA Installations is the team sponsor. The team this weekend from left to right is Rob Schuttert, Steve Hemhauser, Ryan Ackerman, Mike Achenbach and Brandon Switzer.

Ron Green banged the blower last night on his record setting 3.839 run last night in Pro 275 with El Diablo. We caught up with them this morning to find Justin Smith and Charlie Hunt setting the blower back on the engine to prepare for round two.

2019 X275 Champion Charles Hull qualified sixth in class this weekend and is running a new lockup trans and converter from M&M for 2020. They are working out the bugs with the new set up and made it to round two, getting by a wheel standing Eric Kenward last night. Charles’ son Davey is here this weekend, pictured at left in the KBX prepared car.

Shawn Pevlor was here testing for DXP Street running in Pro 275 this weekend. Pevlor has teamed up with KBX for 2020 with Kolivas tuning on a nitrous car for the first time. The team had a good test running a 4.96 at 136 using a Nitrous Outlet class legal plate which is sure to get some tongues wagging with only 136 MPH. Pevlor has a history of running at the top of the class and teaming up with KBX will sure make them a force to be reckoned with in the new entry level class.

Justin Palmer has been running in X275 for about nine months now scoring the New England Dragway championship and running Yellow Bullet Nationals and now the US Street nats for his second major event. The car was updated by Victor at Texiera Fabrication and runs a Disomma Racing Engine out Manny Buginga’s stable tuned by Dez Racing. They tested different Prochargers here this week and swapped back to the 102 MM unit they are familiar with before qualifying started on Friday. Manny Bugina has been a great help to the team and showing them the ropes of preparing and maintaining a car in X275. He qualified fifth and will move to the semi finals after a pair of 4.31’s to face off with Rob Goss.

Round Two Results

Round three of Pro Mod saw top qualifier Lizzy Musi dispatch with Adam Flamholc running a 3.66 at 207 and Flamholc repeating a 3.77 at 205 in a good match. Eric Gustafson had an issue on the line and left before the green against Jerico Balduf who will advance to the next round to face off with Tommy D’Aprile who set low ET for the round with a 6.63 at 204.

Radial vs the World saw no less than three cars in the 3.50's, Melanie Salemi, Kevin Rivenbark and Bryan Markiewicz, who set a new best running a 3.563 at 209 against Ronnie Hobbs who went red on his 3.71 at 211 run. He will have lane choice against Marcus Birt.

Don Lamana faced off with Tim Slavens in a Pro Mod vs Real Car matchup. Lamana struck the tires early but recovered quickly and Slavens got into a wheel stand and was forced to pedal the car. He was sky high near the traps running a 4.64 at 132 to Lamana’s 4.31 at 140.

 

Frank Meshaw put up another personal best, a 3.90at 195 to advance over Smith. The Fratena/Meshaw Racing Firebird is running hard this weekend for his associates Baskin Truck Sales, TRZ Motorsports, AMS 2000, Fuel Tech, Menscer Motorsports, Nelson Competition, O&J Performance and ATF Speed. He has to face an inconsistent Justin Swanstrom in round three but he is always a threat so it’s anyone’s guess for the final pairing in Pro 275.

Manny Buginga put down low ET in X275 round two with a4.278 at 167 to get past Charles Hull. He will face Gary White’s Supra in round three in what looks to be a tight match up on paper.

Haley James is doing well with her new car this weekend. The War Eagle ran hard to a 4.73 at 152 to take out Ray Cox’s Trans Am.

Heavy Street had it’s first round of eliminations today with number two qualifier Mike Schmidt facing off with David Boger. Schmidt shoock thetires some and drove through it to a 4.83 at 153 to earn his way to round two to face off with Captian Al Dopirak.

Dillon Voss could not grab traction in his match with Rick Griffen’s “Joker”, he went on to a 4.38 at 163 for the win.

Final Results

Pro Mod, Radial vs the World.

Pro 275, X275, Ultra Street, Heavy Street.

Outlaw 632, 5.50 Index, 6.50 Index.

6.50 Index, 5.90 Bike, 7.50 Index, Open Comp.

Open Comp, 7.90 Jr Dragster.

Pro Mod featured some tough racing this weekend with Lizzy Musi running the table on her way to victory to start off the 2020 season. She put up a string of 3.60’s and scored a perfect reaction against Johnny Camp in the semi final round when she needed it with Camp scoring a 3.68 at 205 to her winner 3.70. Dean Marinis was driving for Chad Green in the Pat Musi powered Corvette and made it to the semis from thirteenth position in the field to meet with Tommy D’Aprile in the Caruso backed Camaro where D’Aprile took a decisive round win with a .011 reaction on 3.66 at 203 that was good for lane choice. In the final he would again take the starting line advantage but slowed to a 3.70, with Musi right there running a 3.65 at 206 the Frank Brando backed team put up there best run of eliminations to earn a hard fought win. “She had to race every round and we knew we had to step it up for Tommy, we had to be careful when the track temp got up but we knew we could throw the coals to it in the final and got the win.” Pat Musi offered after it was all over.

“We are gonna run whatever PDRA races that don’t overlap with the No Prep Kings and I have about twenty races to go to myself with Chad Green running NHRA with his car…” Lizzy told us. “..We struggled during qualifying and put another engine in the car to get things sorted out. We use this race for testing and were trying stuff out and collecting data but struggled in the day time, it took us a while to figure what the car wanted here. I’m just glad to get a win with this car, it’s actually the first win with this car. I’m so excited for 2020, we have a great crew and we have DeanMarinis helping and Tommy Franklin was here this weekend too helping. None os this would be possible without the crew and Frank Brando who gives me the opportunity to drive this car, he has been with us for a long time and is going to be really happy for this won.”

Radial vs the World was simply on fire this weekend with no less than nine runs in the 3.50 during eliminations by four different cars, Steve Jackson, Kevin Rivenbark, Bryan Markiewicz and Melanie Salemi, who, while paired with Jackson in round three set the record for quickest side by side pair in Drag Radial history, Jackson with a 3.548 at 213 to Melanie’s 3.574 at 210. “Marcus is an awesome driver, we went .005, .008 on the tree in the final and were dead locked beside each other at the 330′, it was a good drag race and a great way to start 2020…” Jackson said after the race.

“Those guys have a top notch program, I’m glad to be part of it, Billy is doing a good job tuning the car, Robert and Jack are doing a good job keeping it bolted together and I don’t know of a better way to start a season off than an all team mate final” Jimmy Bradshaw, Tyler Crossnoe and the Bradenton staff had the track on kill and worked very hard all weekend to keep it that way and the performance of the cars, not just in this class, speaks volumes for track owner Victor Alvarez and his commitment to improving the facility, and the sport, as as one of Drag Illustrated’s picks for 30 under 30 2019. Winner circle photo courtesy BME Photography.

Nick Agostino has joined the ranks of Pro 275 for 2020 on the “Get in where you fit in” theory of heads up racing. His Camaro was built three years ago and set up for Outlaw 10.5 and Radial vs the World using a Vizner Engine Development small block Chevy based engine, now on version 3.0. “You know over the last three years as the weights have come down in RVW and things have changes in the class,now I’m not saying I can’t compete there but I’m telling you straight up that class ran straight over us and I’m almost two hundred pounds overweight now. So when Mark Micke said he might move over to Pro 275 I looked at the rules. When you compare the rules, the direct flip over from Outlaw 10.5 is Pro 275 now. So that is where we are. We came here untested on the tire and have played it safe with the tune ups learning how it works and how to bring the power on.” The team did just that running a best of 3.87 at 210 MPH during elimination to get by his long time friend, top qualifier and current record holder (3.839) Ron Green in round two.

Nick Agostino has joined the ranks of Pro 275 for 2020 on the “Get in where you fit in” theory of heads up racing. His Camaro was built three years ago and set up for Outlaw 10.5 and Radial vs the World using a Vizner Engine Development small block Chevy based engine, now on version 3.0. “You know over the last three years as the weights have come down in RVW and things have changes in the class,now I’m not saying I can’t compete there but I’m telling you straight up that class ran straight over us and I’m almost two hundred pounds overweight now. So when Mark Micke said he might move over to Pro 275 I looked at the rules. When you compare the rules, the direct flip over from Outlaw 10.5 is Pro 275 now. So that is where we are. We came here untested on the tire and have played it safe with the tune ups learning how it works and how to bring the power on.” The team did just that running a best of 3.87 at 210 MPH during elimination to get by his long time friend, top qualifier and current record holder (3.839) Ron Green in round two.

“I’m happy to see the car working well after the changes we made in the winter to our program..” Rob Goss said after earning a hole shot victory over Gary White in the final. The Titan Motorsports Supra was the car to beat this weekend after running a string of 4.20’s at 175 MPH but Goss had their number putting up a .025 reaction to White’s .065. Goss ripped a 4.28 at 168 in the final, just beating White’s 4.273 to the stripe as the pair motored their way down the surface at Bradenton Motorsports Park. “Hole shot wins fell really good, it’s incredibly satisfying. We had a great weekend, everything came together. You unload the car and don’t know what to expect after making even small changes and when it starts working and doing what you ask of it it feels good and it rewarding for all the efforts that go into the program from everyone involved.” Goss uses a Procharger equipped Hemi from BES with Brice Maichle from High Horse Performance as crew chief with further backing from Rhodes Custom Auto, Coan, Hartline Performance, Fragola fitting and hoses, HPH Fabrication, TRZ Motorsports, Fuel Tech, The Brake Man, Santhuffs, and Ross Pistons.

Kirt Sanders got here late and had just one qualifier landing third and opening eliminations with a pair of 4.66’s then sailed through to the event win meeting with Haley James in the final. Haley and the Hellion B Team brought the their War Eagle in NMRA Renegade trim to test for the upcoming season and did the impossible by making it to the finals in a field full of sharks. Luck went her way in the semis against number one qualifier Brian Keep who rolled the beams due to an electrical issue. She was out first on Sanders but the car kept climbing the ring gear, forcing James to to pedal it and Sanders to slide by to an easy 4.74 at 150. “Special thanks to my crew, my girlfriend Ruth, Terry Kouns, and Brad Cox my tuner. We keep it simple and had no problems this weekend. We we ran a best of 154 miles per hour this weekend, she really pulls hard once I grab high gear. It’s great to start the season with a win and I am really proud of my team for giving me a consistent car I can be confident it will do what it’s supped to when I let go of the button.” Sanders uses a Nelson Competition built big Chevy with BES prepped heads and a PKRE nitrous system.

Heavy Street featured a new racer competing this weekend with Kyle Salminen taking the wheel of the families Camaro for his first time in competition after finishing up his licensing runs during qualifying. He nabbed the number one qualifier position and didn’t look back and meeting up with Veteran racer Mike Schmidt, who qualified second, in the final round. Both cars formerly competed in Outlaw 632 with some rule revisions changing the nature of Heavy Street it was a good fit for some racers to make the switch as that class has progressed into the 4.20’s regularly it was hard for some teams to compete at that level. Schmidt is a smart racer and played his cards close but suffered on the tree this weekend. Schmidt ran it hard on a semi final single looking for lane choice and came just short with a 4.51 at 154 after Salminen got past Austin Stephens running a 4.503 at 162. He pushed the tree hard earning a foul start and event runner up to Salminen’s 4.44 at 159 MPH winning run. “The weekend was surreal being in a car this fast and winning the here at US Street, I almost can’t believe it…” Kyle said. Before driving this car he had only run as fast at 10 second quarter mile ET’s and did some limited testing last year to prepare. “It’s really something to be in a car this fast, I love it, I don’t want to get out. When is the next race?” Winner circle photo courtesy BME Photography.

Black Flag Motorsports driver Walter Lannigan Jr. wheeled the team’s 1953 Corvette to an Outlaw 632 win this weekend coming from the number three position to meet Rick Griffen’s “The Jester” in the final round. Walter scored a hole shot win to get there in the semi final over Ken Kershaw running near identical ET at 4.362 to Kershaw’s 4.361. Griffen was no slouch and has made significant improvement to his program since getting hooked up with tuner Dave Hanlon and is his first final round appearance with the car. Griffen pushed the tree in the final going – .004 red to end his weekend but the team is happy with the performance and their showing. The Black Flag Motorsports team had a hard weekend running two cars with team mate Chris Holdorf qualifying second.

The N/T winner is Bill Futch based out of Miami, Florida driving the twin turbo big block Mustang from Futch/Zaldivar Racing. The team came from the Outlaw 10.5 ranks and moved to Radial vs the World and has sat out for a couple of years before re grouping and entering the No Time game with this car.

 

About the author

Rob Cossack

Rob has had an interest in photography since he was young, but didn't get started until 2007, when he started shooting at the local tracks. After that, he started doing local video coverage of heads-up events and began working with Power Automedia shortly after.
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