Recapping The 10th Annual Yellow Bullet Nationals

The Yellow Bullet Nationals, a creation of the internet’s rowdiest drag racing forum and now in its 10th edition, took the Cecil County Dragway in Rising Sun, Maryland. As it has for the last decade, the event treated Northeast fans to an array of racing categories popular in the region, from Pro Modified and Outlaw 10.5 to X275, Ultra Street and 8.50 Index.

Maryland native Mo Hall paced the headlining Outlaw 10.5 division with a 3.825-second at 194.21 mph. Twenty-nine cars in all attempted to qualify, with Mark Bernston, Jr.’s 4.082 anchoring the record-quick field of cars. The semifinal proved the most competitive of raceday, as all four remaining racers — Hall, Frank Pompilio, Steve Woolley, and Blake Copson — all ran in the 3.80s. Hall, for his part, clocked a quick 3.830 to dispatch Pompilio, priming him for a matchup with Woolley in the finale. There, he saved his best run for last, blasting to a low-elapsed-time 3.807 that was never headed by a slowing Woolley.

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Charles Hull and his Ford Mustang topped the qualifying sheets in X275 with a stout 4.336; six cars in all ran in the 4.30s and it took a 4.470 to make the show. Much as it was in Outlaw 10.5, Hull motored his way through eliminations to meet up with class kingpin Rich Bruder in the final. But that match was not to be, as Bruder’s machine broke and Hull was afforded a solo shot to victory — a 4.402.

Ultra Street qualifying was headlined by a barrier-breaking, national record pass of 4.591-seconds from Pennsylvania’s Steve Beaston, Jr. The largest heads-up field in attendance, 43 cars attempted to make the 32-car field, with Dan Moore’s 5.033 holding down the bump spot at the close of qualifying. Beaston, however, fell in round two, opening the door wide open to the remaining eight competitors. Number five qualifier John Albrecht, Jr. clocked a 4.634 to defeat Tyler Bedell in the semis, while Ronny Rhodes nearly matched his opponent-to-be with a 4.638 to oust Rodney Ragan’s 4.669. What was anticipated as an epic finale, however, didn’t come to pass, as Rhodes slowed a 10.82 and Albrecht pedaled his way to a winning 5.80.

Twenty-one Pro Modified cars signed in for the Yellow Bullet Nationals, with PDRA Pro Nitrous star Jay Cox claiming the stop spot with a very quick 3.632 at 208.32 mph — just ahead of fellow nitrous runner (and Cecil track owner) Jim Halsey at 3.647 and supercharged racer Melanie Salemi at 3.660. Matthew Dietsch was the final racer to make Sunday’s show with his 4.004. 

Despite the near-record performances atop the field, it was Tyler Hard, from the bottom half of the field that charged to victory, besting Todd Fontana, Halsey, and Chuck Ulsch on his route to the final round. There, he defeated Kevin McCurdy, 3.71 to an off-pace 4.01.

Mike Newman drove his Chevrolet S-10 to victory in Top Sportsman with a stellar .011 light and a 4.869 on his 4.84 dial, while James Smith was victorious in the Warriors class with a 4.32-second defeat of Will Fair. Dan Purdy was better on both ends of the racetrack to win 8.50 Index, his .022 light and 8.528 denying Michael Daniele. Chris Yeznach won in 10.0 Index, Steven McMilan in Pro Dial, and Jim Saiber in Pro Street.

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