Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
May 5, 2014
Photos By: Justin Fivella, Team MM&FF

Check out the video below for the Spring Break drag race coverage!

The NMRA season opener in Bradenton, Florida, never fails to deliver a great show, and front center you’ll find Tremec True Street presented by Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords regularly supplying over 100 competitors to the event. This year was no different with 116 entries vying for True Street cash, and spots in the Spring Break Shootout presented by Blow-By Racing, as well as the Tremec Stick Shift Shootout.

Competition was tough, and fast, with the top four spots taken by cars with 8-second elapsed time averages. Showing just how much high-powered hardware was cruising the streets of Bradenton, Florida, this year, the bump for the 16-car-field Spring Break Shootout was a mercurial 9.92 seconds!

True Street Winner: Anthony Leone
Spring Break Shootout Winner: Randy Seward
Stick Shift Shootout Winner: Anthony Heard

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It only gets better from there—as we witnessed the first ever 7-second pass in True Street with Miami, Florida’s Javier Leiva laying down a 7.99 on his first run. Shortly after, we saw that milestone eclipsed when New Port Richey, Florida’s Blair Brannock posted a sick 7.69. Multi-time True Street event winner Chris Escobar followed that up with a 7.97 and the fans were on the edge of their seats looking for the first ever 7-second TS average.

Unfortunately, none of the 7-second cars completed the event. Leiva’s ’93 Mustang bowed out after its Hail Mary first pass, and Brannock ran into problems on his third pass and left before activating the tree was activated. He was matched up against Escobar, who had to get a jumpstart in the lanes, which subsequently disqualified him according per True Street rules (TS rules do allow a competitor to make the pass if the car can be started). Despite these ultra-fast machines bowing out of competition, there was plenty of exciting racing to be seen.

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A legend in the True Street arena, Orlando, Florida’s Randy Seward was in contention for the True Street crown this year, but his engine blew a turbo coupler off during the first pass, thus killing his overall average. However, he qualified for the Spring Break Shootout, and that’s where his car really shined. It picked up every pass, dispatching the competition in the other lane and taking him to the winner’s circle. The twin-turbo 363 produced its fastest and quickest runs ever during the shootout. “The car has always had the ability to run what it did, I just left the boost up so no one would outrun me at the top end,” Randy told us. “If it wasn’t for the cage, I think I could have run the 7-second average in it already.”

At the awards ceremony, the crowd was introduced to Eric Coleman, who won the very first True Street event 21 years ago—he even brought the trophy to prove it! Coleman had his hands full with the much larger 6-foot-tall trophy that he awarded to West Grove, Pennsylvania’s Anthony Leone, who claimed the 2014 True Street prize in Bradenton after averaging 8.49 seconds.

In addition to the other class winners, True Street legend, Randy Seward, fought hard in the 16-car Spring Break Shootout presented by Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords magazine to make another final round appearance in the class. It was Seward’s old-school Fox body coupe paired up against Scott Water’s 2010 Shelby GT500 in an all-twin-turbo finale.

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Seward faced stiff competition from Round 1, and seemingly stepped it up every round, delivering an 8.53, an 8.42, and an 8.39 followed by an 8.34 (his fastest pass ever) in the final round. Waters bounced ever-so-slightly between 8.56 and 8.69 during the shootout, and ultimately, his 8.69 was not enough to drive around Seward’s 8.34, especially when you add in that Seward had a 0.153-second starting line advantage. And for the scrod year in a row, Seward with his mild-mannered LX took the Blow-By Racing SBS crown.

The Stick Shift Shootout presented by Tremec sprang from a list of eight very fast, manually shifted cars. Last year’s winner, Jeff Smith of Orlando, Florida, returned for another go, and was an early favorite having posted the quickest 11-second average In True Street. However, it was the lightweight, solid-roller-cammed, pro-shifted coupe of Anthony Heard that led the charge with easy 9-second time slips.

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Here are your 2014 Tremec True Street winners, presented by Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords magazine.

With a homebuilt small-block that could out-rev Smith’s Four-Valve Cobra, Heard’s notchback averaged 9.89 in True Street competition, and he made it a quick two-pass sweep to take home the new Magnum XL transmission (with install kit) from Tremec.

There’s definitely been growth in the number of heavy hitters that regularly look to take the True Street crown. While Chris Escobar certainly leads the all-time winner’s trophy count, Randy Seward, Tony Whetstone, Mike Jovanis, and a host of other tough competitors are all making big statements when it comes to laying down true street power. With the top three finishers averaging mid-8s and the next dozen in the 9s, we’d say that’s some pretty solid proof.

Stick Shift Mafia member and Lakeland, Florida-resident Anthony Heard came gunning for the Stick Shift Shootout. His clean, blue notchback sports an owner-built, 363ci 12:1 solid-roller small-block that he turns 8,000 rpm. Anthony built his own face-plated T-56 to make sure he hits every gear change, and while the combination has been mid-9s on slicks, the DOT tires required to run in True Street reduced the car’s performance.

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