Race Coverage: The 2015 Yellow Bullet Nationals From Cecil County

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YB15-SUN

We’re here bright and early this morning; the track has just called the 8.50 Index class to the lanes for their pairings. We’ll be rolling right on time at 10AM and powering through until all of the winners have been crowned and the 2015 edition of the Yellow Bullet Nationals is complete here at Cecil County Dragway. It’s been an awesome weekend filled with awesome racecars and monster crowds. Stay tuned all day long as we bring you our coverage. Thanks as always go out to our event coverage sponsor, Comp Cams.

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Caught up with longtime Ford racer Louie Proto this morning in the tower. Lou finally threw all of the nitrous to his convertible Mustang last night--three kits in all--and made it into the Outlaw Big Tire show on the last run last night. Unfortunately, he was here to give notice to the track to call an alternate, as he hurt an exhaust valve in the process. Lou's slowly been chipping away at the program for a long time, and feels he's finally got a handle on what it takes to get the lightweight Mustang rolling. 'Two degrees of timing is huge at the nitrous level we use,' he says.

Caught up with longtime Ford racer Louie Proto this morning in the tower. Lou finally threw all of the nitrous to his convertible Mustang last night–three kits in all–and made it into the Outlaw Big Tire show on the last run last night. Unfortunately, he was here to give notice to the track to call an alternate, as he hurt an exhaust valve in the process. Lou’s slowly been chipping away at the program for a long time, and feels he’s finally got a handle on what it takes to get the lightweight Mustang rolling. ‘Two degrees of timing is huge at the nitrous level we use,’ he says.

As part of the Yellow Bullet festivities, Monty and Maria Mikho take good care of the kids on the property, where they hand out prizes for Cornhole tossing on Sunday morning. We stopped by there this morning and couldn't even get close. The little ones were all pumped up and tossing the bags for a huge selection of toys.

As part of the Yellow Bullet festivities, Monty and Maria Mikho take good care of the kids on the property, where they hand out prizes for Cornhole tossing on Sunday morning. We stopped by there this morning–the little ones were all pumped up and tossing the bags for a huge selection of toys.

Ronny Rhodes was debating which tuneup to put into the car this morning. We managed to sneak a photo of the book, but he said there was a bullet with our name on it if we showed anyone. He's sitting in 11th after qualifying with a 5-flat and has his work cut out for this morning.

Ronny Rhodes was debating which tuneup to put into the car this morning. We managed to sneak a photo of the book, but he said there was a bullet with our name on it if we showed anyone. He’s sitting in 11th after qualifying with a 5-flat and has his work cut out for him.

3,350 pounds is how Mike Cerminaro's X275 '68 Nova crosses the scales, but he's able to weigh much less in the class. 'This is an all-steel car and it's just too nice, so I won't cut it up,' he says. The Induction Solutions-squeezed 572 BBC has been a best of 4.83 in the class.

3,350 pounds is how Mike Cerminaro’s X275 ’68 Nova crosses the scales, but he’s able to weigh much less in the class. ‘This is an all-steel car and it’s just too nice, so I won’t cut it up,’ he says. The Induction Solutions-squeezed 572 BBC has been a best of 4.83 in the class.

After breaking his rearend in spectacular fashion at a recent PDRA race, Tommy Mauro upgraded to a full-floater setup for safety reasons. Despite not changing any of the suspension settings, he has been struggling to get down the track since reinstalling it in the car. Is he on the hotline to an unnamed suspension guru? Unfortunately it didn't make a difference as his struggles continued in the first round and he went down to Canada's Jerry Mitrovic in round one.

After breaking his rearend in spectacular fashion at a recent PDRA race, Tommy Mauro upgraded to a full-floater setup for safety reasons. Despite not changing any of the suspension settings, he has been struggling to get down the track since reinstalling it in the car. Is he on the hotline to an unnamed suspension guru? Unfortunately it didn’t make a difference as his struggles continued in the first round and he went down to Canada’s Jerry Mitrovic in round one.

One week ago, Eric Kenward's '79 Malibu 'Wheelie Wagon' was sitting in the bodyshop as a shell. Kenward has been to every Yellow Bullet race, so what do you think happened? He took the car home and thrashed nonstop to get it back together with the turbocharged combination under the hood.  With no testing, the car ran a 5.07 at 142 mph with a turbo that's been changed out for a better unit that makes 3.5 more psi on the two step and 5 psi more four-tenths into the run. Kenward thinks the car will be fast in the first round--we shall see!

One week ago, Eric Kenward’s ’79 Malibu ‘Wheelie Wagon’ was sitting in the bodyshop as a shell. Kenward (left) has been to every Yellow Bullet race, so what do you think happened? He took the car home and thrashed nonstop to get it back together with the turbocharged combination under the hood. With no testing, the car ran a 5.07 at 142 mph with a turbo that’s been changed out for a better unit that makes 3.5 more psi on the two step and 5 psi more four-tenths into the run. Cal Hartline, TRZ Motorsports, and Frank Mewshaw among others provide assistance with the program. Kenward thinks the car will be fast in the first round–we shall see!

The challenge to find the elusive three-second zone is one that has eluded 'THE' Kevin Mullins thus far. He's currently qualified fifth with a shutdown 4.36 hit but thinks there's a lot more in the car. Here he's pondering whether to make any changes for his matchup with Ev Bernardo this morning.

The challenge to find the elusive three-second zone is one that has eluded ‘THE’ Kevin Mullins thus far. He’s currently qualified fifth with a shutdown 4.36 hit but thinks there’s a lot more in the car. Here he’s pondering whether to make any changes for his matchup with Ev Bernardo this morning.

ATI Racing's J.C.Beattie, Jr. is here racing his COPO Camaro for the very first time in the Ultra Street class. Our understanding is that he built an engine just to be here this weekend. It's paid off as he qualified third with a stout 4.95 at 143.70 mph--just a couple of ticks behind Alex Hays and Shawn Pevlor.

ATI Racing’s J.C.Beattie, Jr. is here racing his COPO Camaro for the very first time in the Ultra Street class. Our understanding is that he built an engine just to be here this weekend. It’s paid off as he qualified third with a stout 4.95 at 143.70 mph–just a couple of ticks behind Alex Hays and Shawn Pevlor.

Canadian Nick Agostino crashed his car twice last year while working to figure out the small-block twin-turbo combination. The car uses a 441ci Alan Johnson billet-headed, CN billet block, and a pair of 94mm Precision turbos for motivation. He uses a BigStuff3 and Davis Technologies Profiler to make it all come together, and has thanks for guys like sponsor Mark Micke of M&M Transmissions and Patrick Barnhill for the solid performances. The hard work has paid off--he qualified third with a 4.10 at 201 mph, then posted a 4.15 this morning in his first-round broke bye--with lots of tire shake around 250 feet out.

Canadian Nick Agostino crashed his car twice last year while working to figure out the small-block twin-turbo combination. The 441ci engine uses a pair of Alan Johnson billets head, CN billet block, and a pair of 94mm Precision turbos for motivation. He uses a BigStuff3 and Davis Technologies Profiler to make it all come together, and has thanks for guys like sponsor Mark Micke of M&M Transmissions and Patrick Barnhill for the solid performances. The hard work has paid off–he qualified third with a 4.10 at 201 mph, then posted a 4.15 this morning in his first-round broken bye–with lots of tire shake around 250 feet out.

Looks like Mullins' tuneup for the first round wasn't what eh wanted, as Eve Bernardo stormed to the win when Mullins struck the tires. Margin of victory was .052 at the stripe as Bernardo moves on to round two. That will be contested later this evening.

Looks like Mullins’ tuneup for the first round wasn’t what he wanted, as Ev Bernardo stormed to the win when Mullins struck the tires. Margin of victory was .052 at the stripe as Bernardo moves on to round two. That will be contested later this evening.

Mr. Whetstine went for another wild ride in the first round of X275 today, taking the loss against Vincent Gianelli in the process.  Once he and Essick figure this car out and keep the nose on the ground it's going to be a serious player.

Mr. Whetstine went for another wild ride in the first round of X275 today, taking all four hoops off the ground and the loss against Vincent Gianelli in the process. Once he and Essick figure this car out and keep the nose on the ground it’s going to be a serious player.

16 Car Ladders for Pro Classes

ultraladder

x275

OBT

o105

ODR

John Fisher is rocking it this weekend in Outlaw Big Tire. A 4.34 during qualifying put him right at the top of the ladder; more importantly, he's got 7 mph over the next closest competitor. 540 cubic inches of Andy Jensen twin-turbo big-block power is under the hood.

John Fisher is rocking it this weekend in Outlaw Big Tire. A 4.34 during qualifying put him right at the top of the ladder; more importantly, he’s got 7 mph over the next closest competitor. 540 cubic inches of Andy Jensen twin-turbo big-block power is under the hood. He faces Charlie Boy Micallef in round two.

632 cubic inches of Scotty's Racing Technology nitrous-assisted power is onboard with John Schroeder. He took out Gary Gonzalez in round one and will attempt to find a tenth-plus to take on Scott Kline in round two.

632 cubic inches of Scotty’s Racing Technology nitrous-assisted power is onboard with John Schroeder. He took out Gary Gonzalez in round one and will attempt to find a tenth-plus to take on Scott Kline in round two.

JoshSquatch is in the house working to tune up the Proline customers competing this weekend. He's been a busy man--we've seen lots of Proline stickers.

JoshSquatch is in the house working to tune up the Proline customers competing this weekend. He’s been a busy man–we’ve seen lots of Proline stickers.

Brian Penna turned in a huge upset win and his best pass of the weekend to date over Frank Pompilio in OBT--Pompilio shook the tires hard and Penna cruised to a 4.38 at 171 mph in his nitrous-assisted bullet.

Brian Penna turned in a huge upset win and his best pass of the weekend to date over Frank Pompilio in Outlaw 10.5–Pompilio shook the tires hard and Penna cruised to a 4.38 at 171 mph in his nitrous-assisted bullet.

Huge upset in Big Tire Outlaw as the Tom Ferrick-owned truck driven by Larry Wood, Jr. takes out number-five-qualifier Steve Gorman in a wild pedalfest. Gorman was in and out of the throttle numerous times and Wood was able to sneak around him on the top end, 4.86 to Gorman's 4.92.

Huge upset as the Tom Ferrick-owned S-10 truck driven by Larry Wood, Jr. takes out number-five-qualifier Steve Gorman in a wild pedalfest. Gorman was in and out of the throttle numerous times and Wood was able to sneak around him on the top end, 4.86 to Gorman’s 4.92. 620 cubic inches of DiSomma twin-turbo power marching on.

The  upsets continue--Robert Baptista lit the clocks in X with a 4.86 at 153 mph. On the losing  end? Charles Hull, who went up in smoke.

The upsets continue–Robert Baptista lit the clocks in X with a 4.86 at 153 mph. On the losing end? Charles Hull, who went up in smoke.

A career best pass for Jeff Helsinger in X275 of 4.75 at 147 mph puts Vinny Palazzolo onto the trailer. Helsinger strapped a monster holeshot down on the starting line.

A career best pass for Jeff Helsinger in X275 of 4.75 at 147 mph puts Vinny Palazzolo onto the trailer. Helsinger strapped a monster holeshot down on the starting line.

MONSTER upset in the second round of Ultra Stret, as New Yorker John Albrecht takes the win light over a spinning number-one-qualifier Alex Hays.

MONSTER upset in the second round of Ultra Street, as New Yorker John Albrecht takes the win light over a spinning number-one-qualifier Alex Hays.

It's always a great day to be the Greathouse--the Kentucky Ultra Street Domination Machine is in full effect today, as Joel powered to a 4.95 in the heat of the day over Mike Roemer to advance to the quarterfinals.

It’s always a great day to be the Greathouse–the Kentucky Ultra Street Domination Machine is in full effect today, as Joel powered to a 4.95 in the heat of the day over Mike Roemer to advance to the quarterfinals.

The sweet Tri-Five of Peter Esposito is on the move in Outlaw Big Tire, winning on a holeshot over Craig Buscio in the quarterfinal.

The sweet Tri-Five of Peter Esposito is on the move in Outlaw Big Tire, winning on a holeshot over Craig Buscio in the quarterfinal.

Toronto's Jerry Mitrovic runs 903 cubic inches of nitrous-injected Popeye fury under the hood and has nearly 10mph on the rest  of the nitrous cars in Outlaw 10.5. How does a 4.11 at 187 mph sound? He faces number-one-qualifier Chuck Ulsch in the semifinal. Ulsch had an easy path through the quarterfinal when Joe Newsham didn't move off the starting line. Mirtovic--4.11. Ulsch--4.14. It's going to be an awesome matchup!

Toronto’s Jerry Mitrovic runs 903 cubic inches of nitrous-injected Popeye fury under the hood of his ’68 Camaro, and has nearly 10mph on the rest of the nitrous cars in Outlaw 10.5. How does a 4.11 at 187 mph sound? He faces number-one-qualifier Chuck Ulsch in the semifinal. Ulsch had an easy path through the quarterfinal when Joe Newsham didn’t move off the starting line. Mitrovic–4.11. Ulsch–4.14. It’s going to be an awesome matchup!

How about a little bit of Enzo for your soul? Pecchini moved on to the semifinal with a decisive victory over Ev Bernardo. Pecchini's been going rounds all day with mid-4.20 performances,

How about a little bit of Enzo for your soul? Pecchini moved on to the semifinal with a decisive victory over Ev Bernardo. Pecchini’s been going rounds all day with mid-4.20 performances,

In the upset of X275's quarterfinals, John Ashnault put Rich Bruder on the trailer with authority--a

In the upset of X275’s quarterfinals, John Ashnault put Rich Bruder on the trailer with authority–.041 on the tree to Bruder’s .088 reaction time, and 4.59 to 4.58 on the scoreboard.

If it looks like Ronny Rhodes (right lane) is ahead of J.C. Beattie, that's because he is, due to a redight. Beattie takes the win to move into the Ultra  semis against Shawn Pevlor. The other semi has Joel Greathouse and John Albrecht on deck.

If it looks like Ronny Rhodes (right lane) is ahead of J.C. Beattie (left), that’s because he is, due to a redlight. Beattie takes the win to move into the Ultra semis against Shawn Pevlor.

Now there's a statement--Joel Greathouse laid it down again. He'll take on John Albrecht in the other semi.

Now there’s a statement–Joel Greathouse laid it down again in Ultra. He’ll take on John Albrecht in the other semi.

Semifinal Notes

Rich Shainline is moving on, and John Schroeder is not--that's Schroeder being pushed back by his crew after something went awry in the Outlaw Big Tire semifinal. Shainline then proceeded to blow the tires off at the hit--something Schroeder never does. We'd bet it was hot in the Camaro's cockpit.

Rich Shainline is moving on, and John Schroeder is not–that’s Schroeder being pushed back by his crew after something went awry in the Outlaw Big Tire semifinal. Shainline then proceeded to blow the tires off at the hit–something Schroeder never does. We’d bet it was hot in the Camaro’s cockpit.

Peter Esposito is ahead in this photo, and that's about as close as he got to winning this race against  John Fisher. The Camaro pulled ahead just after this and took the win with an outstanding  4.31 to Espo's 4.60.

Peter Esposito is ahead in this photo, and that’s about as close as he got to winning this race against John Fisher. The Camaro pulled ahead just after this and took the win with an outstanding 4.31 to Espo’s 4.60.

Now that's a close race. We'll let the numbers do  the talking.

Now that’s a close race. We’ll let the numbers do the talking.

Right about here, Keith Berry knew his night was done, as the tires started to go up in smoke right as Rick Thornton started to pour on the power. Thornton crossed the stripe with a stout 4.05 at 190 mph.

Right about here, Keith Berry knew his night was done, as the tires started to go up in smoke right as Rick Thornton started to pour on the power. Thornton crossed the stripe with a stout 4.05 at 190 mph.

...And this is where The Golden Gorilla turned Enzo's hopes of moving into the final into dust, pouring on the power, crossing the stripe with a 4.01 at 201 mph--identical to his last qualifying pass, and backing up the track ET and mph records for Outlaw Drag Radial.

…And this is where The Golden Gorilla turned Enzo’s hopes of moving into the final into dust, pouring on the power, crossing the stripe with a 4.01 at 201 mph–identical to his last qualifying pass, and backing up the track ET and mph records for Outlaw Drag Radial.

This is how it started, and this is how it finished--with Ron Rhodes moving on over Mean Dean Marinis in one half of the X275 semifinals.

This is how it started, and this is how it finished–with Ron Rhodes moving on over Mean Dean Marinis in one half of the X275 semifinals. Rhodes crossed the stripe with a 4.50 to Marinis’ 4.90–it looked like the Mustang’s engine expired through the traps.

Earlier this weekend we mentioned that  Jamie Stanton and Ron Rhodes have  faced off a number of times this summer in local X275 final rounds, and it looks like we'll get to see that again tonight. Stanton eliminated John Ashnault with a 4.53 to Ashnault's 4.55.

Earlier this weekend we mentioned that Jamie Stanton and Ron Rhodes have faced off a number of times this summer in local X275 final rounds, and it looks like we’ll get to see that again tonight. Stanton eliminated John Ashnault with a 4.53 to Ashnault’s 4.55.

It doesn't win races, but wheelstands like this sure do look pretty. Unfortunately for J.C.Beattie, Jr., this is where Shawn Pevlor pulled away  and took his spot in one-half of the Ultra Street final round.

It doesn’t win races, but wheelstands like this sure do look pretty. Unfortunately for J.C.Beattie, Jr., this is where Shawn Pevlor pulled away and took his spot in one-half of the Ultra Street final round.

Bennett Racing, KBX Performance, and Joel Greathouse took their rightful spot in the second half of the Ultra final round with an easy 4.90 to eliminate John Albrecht, Jr.

Bennett Racing, KBX Performance, and Joel Greathouse took their rightful spot in the second half of the Ultra final round with an easy 4.90 to eliminate John Albrecht, Jr.

Final Round Notes

Right here becomes the end of the line for Rich Shainline in Outlaw Big Tire...

Right here becomes the end of the line for Rich Shainline in Outlaw Big Tire…

Because John Fisher stepped it up in the final and ran his best past of the weekend, taking home the win in the process.

Because John Fisher stepped it up in the final and ran his best past of the weekend, taking home the win in the process.

Just after this, Mo Hall (far lane) turned on the angry red bulb in an anticlimactic Outlaw 10.5 final round between two of  the meanest cars on the property. Chuck Ulsch (near lane) is your 2015 Yellow Bullet Nationals Outlaw 10.5 champion. In the process, he turned in a 4.09 at 189 mph blast.

Just after this, Mo Hall (far lane) turned on the angry red bulb in an anticlimactic Outlaw 10.5 final round between two of the meanest cars on the property. Chuck Ulsch (near lane) is your 2015 Yellow Bullet Nationals Outlaw 10.5 champion. In the process, he turned in a 4.09 at 189 mph blast.

Boom! Jim Halsey and the Cecil County staff answered the call this weekend, giving the racers the surface they needed to throw big power down--and DeWayne Mills did just that, as you can see here.Rick Thornton struck the tires about 60 feet out, ending the race before it really started. Congrats to the Golden Gorilla team!

Boom! Jim Halsey and the Cecil County staff answered the call this weekend, giving the racers the surface they needed to throw big power down–and DeWayne Mills did just that, as you can see here.Rick Thornton struck the tires about 60 feet out, ending the race before it really started. Congrats to the Golden Gorilla team on the Outlaw Drag Radial win.

Ron Rhodes and Jamie Stanton faced off in an insane battle in X275--the difference on the tree of .029 and .06 in ET is all that separated the winner from the lower in this battle of the titans. What a great weekend for two of the fiercest competitors in heads-up racing today!

Ron Rhodes and Jamie Stanton faced off in an insane battle in X275–the difference on the tree of .029 and .06 in ET is all that separated the winner from the lower in this battle of the titans (Rhodes-right, Stanton-left). What a great weekend for two of the fiercest competitors in heads-up racing today!

Greathouse continued his run of success right into the final round of Ultra Street, taking out Shawn Pevlor with a 4.87 Pevlor's 4.89 blast.

Greathouse continued his run of success right into the final round of Ultra Street, taking out Shawn Pevlor with a 4.87 Pevlor’s 4.89 blast–the quickest side by side run in the history of the class!

And with that, the 2015 Yellow Bullet Nationals are complete. Thanks for sticking with our coverage all  weekend!

And with that, the 2015 Yellow Bullet Nationals are complete. Thanks for sticking with our coverage all weekend!

About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws on over 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry, and collaborates with many of the industry's movers and shakers to create compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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