Recap: FL2K Gathering Invades Bradenton

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One of Florida’s biggest automotive events, the annual FL2K2015, invaded the Bradenton Motorsports Park the weekend of October 9-10. The event kicked off on Sunday afternoon as the skies cleared following rain showers on Saturday. The Bradenton staff did an excellent job preparing the racing surface for the event, despite the troublesome weather. But this isn’t just a race — it’s a lifestyle event that culminates with a a car show, bikini contest, a DJ spinning music throughout the weekend, import and domestic cars and car enthusiasts, various manufacturers, and head-to-head drag racing. Now in it’s third year, the attendance at FL2K has grown significantly, and brings out many of the baddest cars in the Southeast to battle it out.

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The racing portion of the event featured five classes, including Pro EFI Street Car Shootout, Ultra Street, Limited Street, Real Street, and 10.50 and 11.50 Index.

There was a very large and enthusiastic crowd on hand for this years event.

There was a very large and enthusiastic crowd of all ages on hand for this years event.

The pits and vendor areas were busy with foot traffic all weekend, with many interesting cars and sites to to take in. From tricked-out race cars to clean detailed drivers, and all sorts in between, there was plenty to see regardless of your favorite brand or style.

Chris Schumacher entered the show with his Fiat Abarth. The car comes with a 1.4L 16V turbo engine with about 160 HP in stock form. Schumacher has modded this with full boltons pushing the power up towards 220 and rolls with Project Prime based in Sarasota. The lifestyle group welcomes all makes and enjoys community gatherings weekly with occasional planned trips to Bradenton to have fun safely on the track.

Chris Schumacher entered the show with his Fiat Abarth. The car is equipped with a 1.4L 16V turbo engine with about 160 horsepower in stock form. Schumacher has modded this with full bolt-ons, pushing the power up towards 220 and rolls with Project Prime, based in Sarasota, Florida. The lifestyle group welcomes all makes and enjoys community gatherings weekly, with occasional planned trips to Bradenton to have fun safely on the track.

One Life had a unique group of Euro Style touring cars in the show.

One Life had a unique group of Euro-style touring cars in the show.

The Tampa based Ilovedrivingslow.com Faction was well represented at FL2K, with several clean cars entered in the show. The group promotes safe driving, unity, and having a good time. One of Faction's founding members, David Whitehead, came away with several trophies, including Best of Show and Best JDM.

David's RSX was built in his garage and features k20/k24 pistons and rods fed by a Precision 67/65 mm turbo with about 20 pounds of boost, making 530 horsepower, and pushing the car to low elevens in the 1/4-mile. The custom Root Beer color was mixed and applied by Surreal Customz in Clearwater, Florida. The car rides on AG 18x10-inch wheels with a slight camber. He was a show winner last year as well and graced the cover of Honda Tuner earlier this year. At this event, he was awaded with Best JDM, Best Engine, Top 20 Overall, and Best of Show.

Rachel Bennet took home Best Old School with her 1966 Pontiac GTO Tri-Power convertible.

The DJ was spinning tunes during the event (right side photo) and prizes and shirts were tossed into the crowd. Bikini contest winners (left side photo) from left to right: Nicole, second place; Natalia, Winner; and B3ar, third place.

VMP Tuning had its mobile dyno set up for fun runs, tuning, and a competition, with trophies given for first and second place highest horsepower domestic and import. A $100 gift card to Undercover Performance and a free dyno session went to the overall winner.

This old school-looking Corvette turned heads and dropped some jaws when the hood was popped. Instead of the usual Chevy powerplant sitting there, we were surprised as anyone to see a Toyota 2JZ with a turbocharger nestled between the fenders. The car has remained in family for about 15 years, after his father purchased it out of Bradenton set up for Outlaw 10.5. Ricky Ferguson purchased it from his father just three weeks ago and pulled the 572-inch big-block Chevy in favor of the engine from his SC300 Lexus, making about 1,100 rwhp. The engine features billet mains, rods, pistons, cams, and head work with a 76 mm BorgWarner turbo providing boost. He came down from Georgia to make a couple of test hits on the car, managing an 8.93 at 153 mph best.

Randy Seward showed up to run his trusty Mustang in the Street Car Shootout. He is a multi time NMRA/NMCA True Street Champion and very familiar with what it takes to win but will ha

Randy Seward showed up to run his trusty Mustang in the Street Car Shootout. He is a multi-time NMRA/NMCA True Street Champion and very familiar with what it takes to win.

Another racer in the shootout is Justin Jordan. Justin owned the record for the fastest stock Coyote powered Mustang but that car was totalled in an unfortunate accident where Justin was rear ended. The engine was transferred to this car but not after spending some time with Tim Eichorn at MPR Engines where it was fitted with sleeves and upgraded rods and pistons. It's fed by a pair of Precision 64 MM Turbos and backed by a Power by the Hour bujilt transmission and a 35 spline 9 inch rear from Pro Fab Performance. He has already been 8.7's at 164 at the NMRA Finals recently in the first outing with the new car.

Another racer in the shootout was Justin Jordan. Justin owned the record for the fastest stock Coyote-powered Mustang, but that car was totaled in an unfortunate accident where Justin was rear ended. The engine was transferred to this car, but not after spending some time with Tim Eichorn at MPR Engines, where it was fitted with sleeves and upgraded rods and pistons. It’s fed by a pair of Precision 64 mm Turbos and backed by a Power by the Hour-built transmission and a 35-spline, 9-inch rear from Pro Fab Performance. He has already been 8.70s at 164 mph at the NMRA Finals recently in the first outing with the new car.

Once the racing began it was non-stop action, with everyone trying to stuff the runs into one day. The Street Car Shootout had some fast cars on the property and provided great racing for spectators. The cars had two test passes before drawing chips to determine the matches and who would have lane choice.

A crowd favorite was Bob Stuller's CJ7 Jeep out of Pro Fab Performance . It's powered by an AMC 360 topped with Indy heads, intake and a Nitrous Outlaw Hornet nitrous system. Stuller ran well scoring a 9.71 at 133 personal best quarter mile pass making hinm the fastest AMC powered street legal CJ in the country.

A crowd favorite was Bob Stuller’s CJ7 Jeep out of Pro Fab Performance. The Jeep is powered by an AMC 360 topped with Indy heads and intake and a Nitrous Outlet Hornet nitrous system. Stuller ran well, scoring a 9.71 at 133 mph personal best 1/4-mile pass, making him the fastest AMC-powered street legal CJ in the country.

Michael Carpenter's Speedline Performance had a two-car effort in class with his '98 WS6 Trans Am and Landy Santana's Fox body Mustang, both featuring stock bottom end LS powerplants. Carpenter's is a 6.0 with a Precision 76 mm turbo on E85 with a Brian Tooley custom cam, TH400 transmission, and 12-bolt rear. The car makes right at 1,100 rwhp. Landy's Mustang holds a 5.3 LS with a Hornet Plate and was just finished up before the event.

Last years Street Shootout winner Tim Hafke (aka Ricky Bobby) ran well this year taking out Randy Seward (pictured far lane) in a re match of last years final before meeting up with Mike Nunez' 2JZ powered Fox in the semi finals.

Last years Street Shootout winner, Tim Hafke ran well this year, taking out Randy Seward (far lane) in a re match of last years final before meeting up with Mike Nunez’ 2JZ-powered Fox in the semi-finals.

Cicio from Top Speed Motorsports ran consistent all day with his Alpha16 4.4L GTR tuned by Rob Harper. He met with Tim Hafle in the Pro EFI Street Car Shootout final, scoring the win and setting the Alpha16 record with a 7.86 at 176 mph for the Fast Forward Race Engines-powered machine.

Tim Hafke - Pro EFI Street Car Shootout Runner Up.

Tim Hafke – Pro EFI Street Car Shootout runner-up.

Ultra Street drew 13 cars to compete. Troy Pirez, Jr. earned top qualifying honors with a 4.97 at 138 mph, followed closely by Walter Drakeford and Brian Keep. Keep's teammate, Bill Gregan, took the fourth spot with a 4.11 at 137 mph, with Mike Wacaser rounding out the top five with a 5.13 at 135 mph.

IMG_5141Round one had Pirez with the earned single, and number two Walt Drakeford paired up with 13th qualifier Matt Shearin. Drake ford ran another 5.03 at 140 mph to match his qualifying pace and earned a second round berth. Brian Keep put his own S-10 into round two after a win over Palm Harbor’s James “The Kid” Tall and his ’64 box Nova. Gregan also advanced with his win over Larry Hart’s clean ’56 Chevy. Jeff Gibbud and Mike Miller took wins, as well, with Wacaser moving on due to opponent breakage.

Once in the semi-finals it would be the team of Gregan and Keep against Pirez and Drakeford, respectfully. Drakeford went A to B to earn the win, with Keep striking the tires early. Gregan caught Pirez sleeping with a .101 reaction, but it was to no avail, as he lost an axle on the line, ending his run and his day early. Pirez would earn lane choice in the final with a 4.95 at 141 mph effort.

 

he Final pit Real Speed Parts' Walter Drakeford against Pirez who took the left lane. Drakeford grabbed the starting advantage but couldn't hold off Pirez' 5.003 at 141.37 with his 5.053 at 140.27 MPH run. That puts Fast Forward in the winner circle again powering Pirez' General Lee SN95 Mustang along with Diamond Pistons, PTC, and Induction Solutions.

The final pit Real Speed Parts’ Walter Drakeford against Pirez, who took the left lane. Drakeford grabbed the starting line advantage but couldn’t hold off Pirez’ 5.003 at 141.37 with his 5.053 at 140.27 mph run. That puts Fast Forward in the winner circle again, powering Pirez’ General Lee SN95 Mustang along with Diamond Pistons, PKRE and PTC.

Walter Drakeford – Fast Forward Race Engines Ultra Street Runner up.

Walter Drakeford – Fast Forward Race Engines Ultra Street runner-up. Drakeford picked up some new sponsors with Larry Grella Automotive and Lightning Racing Oil joining Induction Solutions, UPR and Quick Fuel Technologies as part of team Real Speed Racing.

IMG_5577Real Street is the more street appearing, sport compact-based class. Justin Treap out of Malabar, Florida put his Induction Performance-built ’98 Toyota Supra in the top qualifying spot just ahead of CeeJay Mendezs’ ’88 CRX 2.0L, 9.70 to 9.73. Pete Soto, Raiko Gonzalez and Anthony Costello rounded out the class. Costello and Gonzalez were unable to make the call for round one, and so the three remaining drivers ran singles and advanced to round two, where Treap and Soto faced off. Treap put up a 10.16 at 138 mph to Soto’s 10.33 at 142 mph, taking the win and setting up the final with Mendez.

 Treap took a good holeshot with a .107 reaction to Mendez' .180, down track Traaps Supra rolled out to another mid nine second run scoring the class win with with a 9.55 at 138 to Mendez' little Honda's game effort 9.75 at 151 MPH. Not bad for a build based on a 165,000+ mile long block.

Treap took a good holeshot with a .107 reaction to Mendez’ .180, but downtrack, Traaps Supra rolled out to another mid nine-second run, scoring the Real Street Performance Real Street class win with with a 9.55 at 138 to Mendez’ little Honda’s game effort 9.75 at 151. Not bad for a build based on a 165,000-plus mile-long block.

Limited Street is quite a bit faster, with some cars running into the low eight-second zone. Fort Lauderdale-based Silvio Leal put his 1995 Nissan 240 on the pole with an 8.32 at 148 mph, but fell to Tampa-based James Kuhn, driving a 2005 EVO, after starting line troubles. Number three qualifier Darin Dichiara came out with an 8.44 at 174 mph to advance. Round two saw Kuhn advance on a 10.55 over Chris Carbee out of Jacksonville, who ran 11.91 at 106 mph in his 2010 GTR, while Dichiara laid down another mid-eight pass to advance over Mike Amerson’s 2JZ-powered 1995 Mustang, running a 9.13 at 145 mph.

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The final round saw the number three qualifier meet up with eight, with Orlando’s Dichiara and Double D Tuning taking home the Precision Turbo and Engine Limited Street win over James Kuhn with an 8.57 at 173 mph after a string of impressive mid eight-second runs.

James Kuhn - Precision Turbo and Engine Limited Street Winner.

James Kuhn — Precision Turbo and Engine Limited Street Winner.

Bradenton's own Matt Marcus waded through four rounds of competition in 11.50 Index to meet up with Gerry Vizzo out of Land O Lakes, the seventh and sixth qualified drivers respectively. Marcus put up an .039 reaction in his 1985 S-10 taking a big advantage to Vizzo's .137. That would be a lot of ground to make up for the little 350 Chevy powered 67 Nova. His 11.49 breakout pass ensured the win for Marcus.

Bradenton’s own Matt Marcus waded through four rounds of competition in 11.50 Index to meet up with Gerry Vizzo out of Land ‘O Lakes — the seventh and sixth qualified drivers, respectively. Marcus put up an .039 reaction in his 1985 S-10, taking a big advantage over Vizzo’s .137. That would be a lot of ground to make up for the little 350 Chevy-powered ’67 Nova. His 11.49 breakout pass ensured the win for Marcus.

The 10.5o Index would see Seffner, Florida-based racer Hannah Sanders qualify number one with a 10.527 at 114 mph and earn a single in round one. Number two qualifier Scott Salvo passed on to round three after a round one defeat of Charles Johnson and a single in round two. Trent Thomas brought his 1989 IROC Camaro out and caught a lucky break in round one, winning with a 10.90 on reaction time — his .107 to Ricardo Diziz’s .210 light and 10.62-second pass, setting up the semi-finals.

 Sanders and Nunez would advance over break out opponents to meet in the final with Nunez getting a big advantage on reaction time with an .057 to Sanders .106. Nunez gave it up at the stripe running a 10.488 at 105 to break out and Sanders earning her first event win for the Pirez/Sanders team.

Sanders and Nunez would advance over break out opponents to meet in the Stingray Chevrolet 10.50 Index final with Nunez getting a big advantage on reaction time with an .057 to Sanders .106. Nunez gave it up at the stripe, running a 10.488 at 105 to breakout, handing Hannah Sanders earning her first event win for the Pirez/Sanders team.

Eduardo Nunez -Stingray Chevrolet 10.50 Index Runner Up

Eduardo Nunez – Stingray Chevrolet 10.50 Index runner-up

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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