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.
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.
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.
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.
Round 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.
Real 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.
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.
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.