Third Times A Charm For The Stick Shift Mafia Shootout At Lakeland

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The third event for the Stick Shift Mafia’s Cash Days and Stick Shift Shootout was held Friday April 27th at Lakeland Dragstrip. The no-prep event has drawn more racers and crowd to Lakeland each time and is already the top such series in the state. The Stick Shift Mafia is based in Lakeland, Florida and was founded by local racers Anthony Heard and Ricky Paulk. If you follow the NMRA’s Spring Break Shootout at all you may recall that Heard has won the Tremek Stick Shift Shootout within the HP Tuners True Street competition the past two years.

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The group has successfully taken their street meets from “somewhere in Mexico” to the track with a no-time format and is gaining interest across the bay area and beyond with four new competitors entering Cash Days this month, for a total of fourteen cars in class and five Stick Shift Shootout racers.

Pro Fab Performance Plus had four cars representing the shop this month. NMCA HP Tuners True Street and FL2K True Street winner Tim Hafke's Red Fox body hatch, Rob Butchers' heavyweight 1965 Pontiac Catalina, Andrew Richards' 4th Gen TA and Bob Stuller with his AMC-powered Jeep CJ.

After the drivers pulled chips for opponents and lane assignments, last month’s Stick Shift winner Harrison Cumbie faced off with Kyle Southwick, with Cumbie taking the win. CJ Russel, Cliff Calhoun, and Jay Nadal had singles to get them out in first round.

The Daytona Crew's Robert Itani is another racer with a , you don't see that every day, car the “Baby Hawk” RX7, sporting a small block Chevy/nitrous combination. Larry Hutchinson and John Townsend are seeking to bring some big tire Outlaws to Cash Days next month and still need a few more to make eight committed racers to lock in for the FL Street Outlaws format.

The Daytona Crew’s Robert Itani is another racer with a , you don’t see that every day, car the “Baby Hawk” RX7, sporting a small block Chevy/nitrous combination. Larry Hutchinson and John Townsend are seeking to bring some big tire Outlaws to Cash Days next month and still need a few more to make eight committed racers to lock in for the FL Street Outlaws format.

The same procedure applies for the Cash Days racers, with Rob Butcher’s pure Pontiac-powered ’65 Catalina getting past Tim Halfke’s big block Chevy-powered Fox. Aaron Lundquist advanced over Casey Howell, driving Mathew Uzzan’s “DeezNutz”  Mustang. Alex Menees took a loss to Nick Wills’ Winter Haven-based Nova after a big move to the left at the hit in his Red Firebird.

Two-time runner-up Andrew Richards met his match with John Fernandez’ LT1 Firebird, who went on to take the round after Richards had an ignition issue in his Trans Am. Bad Company Racing’s Mustang entry driven by Michael Bodiford Jr. took an upset loss to Terry Bianchi’s “She Money” and Justin Williams put his Nova out in front of first time competitor Bob Stuller’s naturally-aspirated Jeep CJ. Bobby Jones and Robert Itani had byes this round.

Bring your own prep! The track does a cursory prep before the event to ensure safe racing conditions, but beyond that and the random mop and sweep, the racers are responsible for prepping their own lanes if desired. Mustang Parts Fast has PJ1 Track Bite available for sale on site for those who need it.

Cliff Calhoun and Harrison Cumbie went on to win their next pairings and met in the final round of the Stick Shift Shootout with Harrison Cumbie again taking the win making it two in a row for him.

Cliff Calhoun and Harrison Cumbie went on to win their next pairings and met in the final round of the Stick Shift Shootout, with Cumbie (pictured) again taking the win making it two in a row for him.

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John Fernandez takes the holeshot on Rob Butcher’s Catalina (far lane) in the semi finals.

John Fernandez, Terry Bianchi, Robert Itani and Rob Butcher would advance to the semifinals in Cash Days, with Fernandez facing Butcher’s Catalina and Bianchi’s 302 single turbo “She Money” pairing up with Itani’s “Baby Hawk” nitrous-assisted, small block Chevy-powered Mazda RX-7. Butcher spun at the hit as Fernandez went right down the lane again, as he’d been very consistent so far in competition. Itani’s little Mazda hooks hard and is well known in the Daytona area as a tough car; he advanced over Bianchi to meet Fernandez in the final.

She money and Baby Hawk going at it in round two of Cash Days.

She Money and Baby Hawk going at it in round two of Cash Days.

Fernandez took the advantage on reaction time versus Itani and was able to stay out in front on the hard-running Mazda, putting Pops’ Firebird in the winner circle in Acme Racing’s first Stick Shift Mafia Cash Days attendance.

The Firebird runs an LT-1 topped with a 650 carburetor, dual plane intake and a fogger system for a simple combo that certainly runs better than one might expect. The next Stick Shift Mafia Cash Days is scheduled for May 22 at Lakeland Dragstrip With Devastation Motorsports putting up a $50 bounty on the double-up Stick Shift Shootout winner, Harrison Cumbie, which is being matched by racer Cliff Calhoun.

Bob Stuller has been working on his Jeep for several months with Pro Fab Performance Plus doing custom headers and exhaust and chassis set up. His first event was NMCA Open Comp earlier this year and he should be testing a Nitrous Outlet Hornet plate system in preparation for the next event.

Bob Stuller has been working on his Jeep for several months, with Pro Fab Performance Plus doing custom headers and exhaust and chassis set up. His first event was NMCA Open Comp earlier this year and he should be testing a Nitrous Outlet Hornet plate system in preparation for the next event.

Rob Butcher drives the family race car, a 1965 Pontiac Catalina coming in at 4100 pounds. Rob has raced in 6.50 Index locally for several years and they are branching out into these street car events for a different challenge. The car features a fully built Pontiac engine from Allen Thomas Performance with Kauffman heads topped with an Edelbrock intake and Induction Solutions nitrous system.

Rob Butcher drives the family race car, a 1965 Pontiac Catalina, coming in at 4,100 pounds. Rob has raced in 6.50 Index locally for several years and they’re branching out into these street car events for a different challenge. Seen here versus Justin Willims’ Nova, the car features a fully built Pontiac engine from Allen Thomas Performance with Kauffman heads topped with an Edelbrock intake and Induction Solutions nitrous system.

Michael Bidiford drives the Bad Company Racing team car "Amtrack" They have struggled in three outings with their undisclosed nitrous combo  but should be a contender once things get sorted out.

Michael Bidiford drives the Bad Company Racing team car “Amtrack”. They’ve struggled in three outings with their undisclosed nitrous combo but should be more consistent once things get sorted out. The crew is Mike, Michael, and ,Mathew Bodiford making another family based team.

Click Calhoun drives this plain Jane 93 GT hatch. He runs a simple combo stock 302 with upgrade injectors and an On3 Performance 70 MM turbo kit. The incognegro crew consist of Cliff and his wife Shannon Calhoun, Cody Harper and Brother in law Kevin Robertson.

Click Calhoun drives this plain-jane ’93 GT hatch. He runs a simple combo — a stock 302 with upgraded injectors and an On3 Performance 70mm turbo kit. The Incognegro crew consists of Cliff and his wife Shannon Calhoun, Cody Harper and brother-in-law Kevin Robertson.

Robert Itani left hard in the final but couldn't get past Acme Racing Tampa's John Fernandez in a close final match.

Robert Itani left hard in the final but couldn’t get past Acme Racing Tampa’s John Fernandez in a close final match.

Harrison Cumbie, Stick Shift Shootout Winner took home $575 dollars in prize money.

Harrison Cumbie, Stick Shift Shootout winner, took home $575 dollars in prize money.

The Acme Racing Tampa crew showed out to support Cash Days and wound up taking home the big check in his first time competing in the event. That's $1,100, certainly no small pot that was enhanced by several local sponsors including Chris Cason's Mustang Parts Fast, Phillip Williams and Sons Trucking, Lakeland Dragstrip and Gator Graphix Design.

The Acme Racing Tampa crew showed out to support Cash Days and wound up taking home the big check in their first time competing in the event. That’s $1,100 — certainly no small pot that was enhanced by several local sponsors, including Chris Cason’s Mustang Parts Fast, Phillip Williams and Sons Trucking, Lakeland Dragstrip and Gator Graphix Design.

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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