After qualifying No. 1 on Friday, Mark Micke charged through five rounds of eliminations in PJS Racing Outlaw Pro Mod presented by FuelTech to secure the $32,000 win at the U.S. Street Nationals presented by M&M Transmission Sunday night at Bradenton Motorsports Park. Micke fired off a 3.609-second pass at 222.84 MPH in the final round to deny Ken Quartuccio a second consecutive U.S. Street Nationals win. Quartuccio posted a 3.629-second, 208.14 MPH runner-up effort.
The U.S. Street Nationals served as the season opener for the FuelTech Radial Outlaws Racing Series, which crowned winners in five drag radial classes. Victories went to Jason Collins in PST Driveshafts Pro 275 presented by Pro Line Racing, Mark Meiering in Mickey Thompson Tires X275 presented by Precision Turbo & Engine, Rob Goss in Energy Manufacturing Limited Drag Radial presented by Callies Performance, Shawn Pevlor in TRZ Motorsports Ultra Street presented by Motion Raceworks, and Louie Filippides in SP Tools Limited 235 presented by ICE Ignition. Brandon McGee won the Radial Remix over Steven Wardlow.
Chris Holdorf secured the win in Summit Racing Outlaw 632 presented by Rife Sensors. The winners in the index classes were Jerry Norton in 5.50 Index, Pat Nanney in 6.50 Index, and Mickey Pearce in 7.50 Index.
OUTLAW PRO MOD
As pre-race testing at Bradenton progressed in the days leading up to the U.S. Street Nationals, Mark Micke in his twin-turbocharged M&M Transmission ’69 Camaro emerged as a serious contender to win the event. Low 3.60-second passes in testing and early qualifying sessions paved the way for a 3.57-second No. 1 qualifying effort in the final session. His bracket-car-like consistency continued in eliminations, culminating with a final-round win over close friend Ken Quartuccio. Micke cut a .006 reaction time, but Quartuccio was also ready with an .026 light. Micke charged to a 3.609 at 222.84 to beat Quartuccio’s 3.629 at 208.14. He collected $32,000 and a custom trophy for his efforts.
“This is one of our biggest wins, period,” Micke said. “I’m just so proud of my team because we never missed a run. We were here since Tuesday. We never missed a run for anything falling off the car. The car was flawless. The team was just phenomenal. I don’t even know how to put it. My guys are just young and that makes it a lot more fun. We’re a bunch of crusty old guys and these young guys just kicked ass.”
Micke started eliminations Saturday afternoon facing Top Fuel veteran Scott Palmer, who left the starting line first but coasted to a 7.453 at 85.23, while Micke laid down a 3.644 at 219.19. In the cool Saturday night conditions, Micke dipped back into the 3.50s with a 3.598 at 220.04 to take out past PDRA Pro Boost world champion Tommy D’Aprile and his 3.644 at 207.91. The third round brought on a battle with Pro Modified heavy hitter Todd Tutterow, who’s breaking in a new car for car owner Justin Smith. Micke got up on the wheel and fired off a 3.590 at 222.07 to finish ahead of Tutterow and his 3.598 at 210.18 by just .017 seconds. In the semifinals, Micke used a 3.593 at 222.80 to defeat truck pulling standout Stan Shelton, who slowed to a 5.617 at 79.54.
“I look back at the eliminations rounds, and it was a dream race for me,” Micke said. “I got to race my buddy Scott Palmer first round. Unbelievable. I took out Tommy D’Aprile – badass champ. Third round against Todd Tutterow, that was my most nervous in the race car ever. I’m like, ‘God, this dude, he’s a badass.’ Then we just kept it going. Stan Shelton, he’s just a machine too. Then, to run Ken, one of my best friends, in the final. We went into that final thinking if either car wins, it’s a win for me. But man, I’m so happy for my guys. I’m more happy for them than anything.
“I just gotta thank all my people,” Micke continued. “Of course, M&M Transmission, all the guys at the shop, my wife, Maria, and my kids Brooke and Lauren for putting up with all this craziness for the past 30-some years. I couldn’t do it without them. I got my buddy Jason Carter here, so I have to thank him and all my guys: Bryce, Troy, Damon, Alec. I had had our family here, had some friends from Sweden. We brought on Harts Turbos. Pro Line Racing, TurboSmart, Rick Jones, Blake Housley – I could go on forever. We’ve just got the dream team, man.”
Quartuccio, the 2023 U.S. Street Nationals winner, was unopposed in the first round, as Adam Flamholc couldn’t make the call. Quartuccio coasted to a 4.726 at 109.86, then got back into a groove with a 3.636 at 207.37 to beat Craig Sullivan’s 3.707 at 206.64 in the second round. He stepped up again to a 3.613 at 208.42 in the third round to knock out Snowbird Outlaw Nationals winner Lyle Barnett and his slowing 3.998 at 185.31. In a race between former Outlaw 10.5 rivals, Quartuccio left the line first against Mike Decker Jr. and recorded a 3.615 at 208.78 to finish ahead of Decker’s 3.626 at 209.17.
Defending Radial Outlaws Pro 275 champion Jason Collins didn’t have the quickest car of every round, but his screw-blown Power System Services/Scott Tidwell Racing ’69 Camaro stepped up in a big way when it mattered – in the final round. Collins and Brian McGee left the line with similar reaction times, but Collins’ screw-blown machine soon pulled away from McGee’s nitrous-assisted ’67 Mustang. Collins set low E.T. of the event with his 3.669 at 206.48, while McGee made his best pass of the weekend, a 3.711 at 199.32.
“Well, this is the race I didn’t win [in 2023], so it was good to get this one in the trophy case,” said Collins, who was runner-up at the 2023 U.S. Street Nationals. “These guys are all swinging at us. Every round, it’s just, ‘What do we got to do, what we gotta do?’ We gotta keep stepping up, keep doing what we’re doing, and trying to make good runs. These radial cars are kind of hit and miss, especially when we’re running in the heat. Chris Terry is doing an awesome job, and Steve Petty and Brandon [Stroud], they’re all involved in it at some point. Our whole group, we’re all friends and we do what it takes. It’s fun to win with your friends. As anybody in drag racing will tell you, winning doesn’t get old.”
As the No. 4 qualifier in X275, Mark Meiering wasn’t exactly a dark horse in the race, but even he was surprised to find himself in the winner’s circle at the end of the weekend. But he ran consistent 4.20s in the first round, knocked out No. 1 qualifier Eric LaFerriere in the semifinals, and held off class icon Ron Rhodes in the final round. Meiering grabbed a sizable advantage on the starting line and ran a 4.224 at 175.50, while managed a 4.326 at 167.18 in his nitrous-fed ’68 Camaro.
“I wasn’t expecting to be here, but it was a crazy path we took to get here,” Meiering said from the winner’s circle. “In the quarterfinals, I rode a big old wheelie and recovered and won by about a foot, then in the semis, I rode another wheelie, about hit the wall, recovered that, won that one, and then off to the finals. Simple enough, Ron’s car didn’t perform like he thought it would. Mine was a little bit down. We thought we were going to run about a 4.18. But you just never know in drag racing how it’s going to turn out. It’s just the way it goes.”
LIMITED DRAG RADIAL
Former X275 standout Rob Goss claimed his first Limited Drag Radial victory on the strength of a consistent string of 3.89-second passes in his ProCharged ’23 Dodge Challenger. The Wyoming native ran 3.89 in the last three of five rounds, including a best of 3.893 at 194.04 in the final round. His opponent was Larry Salvator, who struggled off the starting line and posted a 6.747 at 87.24 in his ’03 Mustang Cobra.
“Last year was our first year in LDR,” said Goss, who thanked partners like ProCharger, Modern Street Customs, and MPH Fabrication. “We didn’t make the finals. I don’t think we made a semifinal either. We just couldn’t get everything put together right. We were figuring out the new power, the new class, and we struggled and we beat ourselves a couple of times. Then we made a lot of changes over the winter from everything we learned last year. It all pulled together and we were able to keep progressing. Even through eliminations we were still working on our tune-ups and improving and getting our starting lines figured out and getting the engine tune-up where it was happy. Everything just fell together. It was just a really good weekend for us, and to get our first win in LDR is really rewarding.”
Bradenton, Florida’s own James Taal kept the Ultra Street trophy in the neighborhood when he ran a record 4.430 at 156.66 in his nitrous-assisted ’02 Camaro to beat Billy Smith in the final round. Smith, who qualified No. 5 in his nitrous-fed ’06 Mustang, coasted to a 14.401 at 27.06 after spinning the tires on the starting line. Before that, he ran consistent performances in the 4.50s throughout race day. Similarly, Taal was running in the 4.50s before he threw down a 4.445 in the semifinals to establish lane choice for the final round.
Louie Filippides in his turbocharged ’86 Olds Cutlass 442 had a standout weekend in Limited 235. The Stanfield, North Carolina-based driver qualified No. 2 before charging through eliminations with passes ranging in the low 4.90s to high 4.80s. In the final round, he was first off the starting line and recorded low E.T. of eliminations, a 4.876 at 144.33, to defeat No. 5 qualifier Eddie Ramirez and his off-pace 5.033 at 137.41. Ramirez consistently ran in the 4.90s during eliminations in his Sanford, Florida-based ’88 Mustang.
Last year’s U.S. Street Nationals winner in Outlaw 632, Chris Holdorf, made his way back to the final round to defend the title in his Dewitt Custom Concrete ’10 GTO. It was a more decisive win than his 2023 victory, where he won in a pedalfest, as he left the starting line first ahead of Jacob Naumann and ran a weekend-best 4.146 at 172.01 for the win. Naumann, who qualified No. 1 in his ’70 Nova, recorded a 4.174 at 171.36 in the runner-up effort.