Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
May 6, 2014
Contributers: Justin Fivella Photos By: Team MM&FF

Video: Check out the Action from the 2014 NMRA Spring Break Shootout!

Bradenton Motorsports Park in sunny just south of Tampa, Florida, was once again the host of the Nitto Tire NMRA Spring Break Shoot presented by Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords magazine. Amazingly, in it’s 20th outing, 2014 proved to be the largest ever.

The allure of burning rubber, horsepower and escaping the cold winter weather has drawn racers and spectators from all over the United States to the Sunshine State every March for a weekend of cruising, racing, and tons more Mustang fun.

The event kicked off with the 4th Annual MM&FF Open House held at MM&FF headquarters in Tampa. Burgers, bench racing, and some wild dyno pulls got everyone in the mood for some of the best racing action you could imagine.

In an epic battle of Mustang racing titans, John Urist took down reigning champ Phil Hines in a great ATF Street Outlaw smackdown.

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Over a beautiful weekend, 17,500 fans came out to enjoy the SBS, along with a record-breaking number of True Street racers and all the NMRA stars. But not all the action was on the track. The UPR Products all-Ford car show reached new heights with over 400 early and late-model Fords of all shapes and sizes on display. The Mustang Club of West Central Florida supported the event and ensured all showgoers had a blast.

Speaking of a blast, how could we forget the NMRA party at the Hooters of Bradenton, with its unofficial burnout contests, the lovely Hooters girls, hundreds of Mustang fans, great food, and cold beverages. If you haven’t made the Hooters party, be there in 2015—it’s an awesome way to kick off the weekend. (Check out the video HERE!)

But enough about all the extracellular activities. People were there to see racing, and that they did. The True Street class had a record showing of 116 participants, with 3 racers busting into the 7s for the first time ever!

Speaking of record-setting 7-second runs, John Urist also piloted his Fox-body coupe to a new record run in the ATF Street Outlaw class with a top-qualifying pass of 7.042 at 200 mph in the 12-car field. He later bested his qualifying run with the quickest pass in class history, 7.032, to beat 2013 SO champ Phil Hines in the final round.

The SBS marked the return of ACT Pure Street and class-veteran Teddy Weaver, who qualified on top with a 9.667 at 133-mph pass. He kept the front wheels down and the rear wheels driving to defeat Jimmy Wilson for the big win.

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It’s always a treat to watch the Ford Racing Cobra Jet Showdown, presented by Watson Racing. The CJs represent what Ford is capable of as you can buy an 8-second Mustang right from the factory. There was a multitude of CJ racers, including Carl Tasca, Roy Hill, NHRA world champion Bo Butner, Gary Richard, Anthony Bongiovanni, and many more. In the end, the ever-tough engine-builder Chris Holbrook took top honors with an 8.50 at 158 mph. Holbrook also ran his new ’14 5.0L Super Stock CJ, which ran in the 7s at 170-plus mph. The final round looked to be a nail-bitter, but Holbrook cruised to the win when Mike Skinner cut a 0.007 redlight.

One of the hottest classes in the NMRA is Strange Coyote Stock, in which racers must run a sealed crate engine. A total of 13 cars made up the exciting heads-up, wheels-up, gear-jamming class that had the spectators cheering with every green light. It was no surprise that defending series champ Shane Stymiest qualified number one with a blistering 10.438 pass, a full tenth quicker than the number two qualifier. In the final, Stymiest holeshotted Drew Lyons and carried that momentum to the stripe for yet another victory.

On the notion of Coyotes, this was the inaugural race for the Diablosport Coyote Modified class, and the competition was hot. Frank Varela towed his flawless ’90 Mustang coupe all the way from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and put it on the pole with an 8.70 at 157 mph, which was over a half-second quicker than the next fastest car. The infamous Terry “Beefcake” Reeves faced Varela in the final round and put up a good showing with a 9.78 pass, but it wasn’t enough to best Varela’s winning 9.15.

The ever-popular Edelbrock Renegade had a strong showing with 12 entries. Reigning champ Brian Mitchell threw it down with a quickest-in-class-history pass of 8.211 at 167 mph in his New Edge Mustang. He would go on to face the CJ of Michael Harris in the final round. Harris ran into problems at the hit, turning over the win to Mitchell who only needed a low-9 to capture the win.

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The SBS also marked the return of ACT Pure Street, which saw plenty of wheels-up racing. Pure Street veteran Teddy Weaver qualified on top with a 9.667 at 133 mph and never looked back. Even in the final round, Weaver pulled around Jimmy Wilson for the win on a 9.75 pass.

The Flex-A-Lite Open Comp class is always full of diehard racers and the SBS was no different as 25 cars went rounds. Donald Carver took the top-qualifier with a 0.004 reaction time, but fell short of the finals. Instead, Bill Hones and Wes Dalrymole went at it, but when Dalrymole nailed a perfect 0.000 reaction time and ran a 10.90 on a 10.70 dial-in, it was lights out.

Although only four racers competed in the Nitto Tire Factory Stock class, the results were nothing short of stellar. Matt Williams qualified first with a 10.85 at 123 mph; he would earn a spot in the final against Jay Dold. Williams cut a 0.042 reaction time to Dold’s 0.112 light and carried that advantage to the stripe, where Williams won with a slower 10.87 at 122-mph pass to Dold’s 10.86 at 122-mph pass.

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Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle category started with John Brooks cutting a perfect 0.000-second reaction time, but it would be Dean Snow and Jason Henson to face off in the final round. Henson came around Snow with a 12.43 on a 12.21 dial-in for the win.

Sixteen cars competed in the Roush Super Stang class with Lloyd Mikeska taking the number one position on a killer reaction time. In the end thought, it was Chad Wendel and Kent Nine who went to the final. Wendel would holeshot Nine and held it out front until the end.

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There were plenty of Lightnings in the 18-truck field in the Detroit Locker Truck class. Even though Steve Martin took the top spot in qualifying, it was Jimmy Cantrell in his ’94 Ranger who defeated Bob Dill in the final round to claim the trophy.

After a long weekend of good friends, great racing, falling records, and killer weather, we packed up and headed home, sunburned and content with yet another great Spring Break Shootout in the books. If you’ve ever considered paying a visit to the SB, do yourself a favor and book a trip to Florida in March. There’s just nothing like it.

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