Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
March 14, 2017

Every March we look forward to the Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout. After SEMA and PRI, the off-season leaves us in a doldrums only this race can put to rest. The cold weather is gone (for the most part), the days start to get longer and as January turns to February, and February turns to March, our sights are set on the NMRA race season. Of course, as mentioned, the Spring Break Shootout is the first race of the year, so we get warm, sunny temps; and drag racing all in one weekend. What else could be better?!

Held at Bradenton Motorsports Park (BMP) in sunny Florida, the race is aptly named since it provides a spring break for those that suffer through cold winters each year. It also gives all of us a chance to catch up with our NMRA drag racing family and get burnt together. However, if temps up north are south of freezing, that means no testing before the trip to Bradenton. That lack of testing sometimes means one’s skin is not the only thing getting burnt.

MV Performance’s Tim Matherly has had a rough go of it the last few months, business-wise. He and business partner Shane “Biggie Me” Cannon endured a shop fire in the fall of 2016, and he’s had a tough road since. With his Coyote Stock car being damaged in the fire, he was without a car until friend and fellow racer Craig Baldwin stepped in, offering up his own Coyote Stock car for Tim to race. At Bradenton, Tim progressively ran quicker each pass, but Gregory Herbert wasn’t feeling as generous as Craig, taking out Tim in round 1.
Donnie Gilder had planned to run both True Street and the Turbo Coyote Shootout with his 2015 GT. He was on the verge of 8s with his Hellion Turbo-motivated, and Steeda Autosports-suspended GT, but the car’s 6R80 didn’t take too kindly to four-digit horsepower. Donnie will be at the NMRA/NMCA All Star Nationals looking for an 8-second pass.

The Spring Break Shootout features all of the usual NMRA classes, but with several other small shootout classes thrown into the mix. To go along with heads-up classes VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw, Edelbrock Renegade, ProCharger Coyote Modified, and G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock, and Richmond Gear Factory Stock, the Spring Break Shootout features the Tremec Stick Shift Shootout, the JLT/Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords Spring Break Shootout class, the VMP Performance Cobra vs. GT500 Shootout, the Livernois Motorsports EcoBoost Shootout, and the Hellion Turbo Coyote Shootout. Say all those three times fast, and your head will start spinning.

To go along with those heads-up classes, you have Aerospace Components Open Comp, Detroit Locker Truck and Lightning, Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle, Roush Performance Super Stang, and the QA1 True Street class. With all these classes, and beautiful Florida weather, there was a ton of people in attendance at the event. So much so that Saturday set an attendance record for the event. Check out the captions for a full rundown.

Mark Duber is one of many racers that entered two different race classes. Mark ran in both Outlaw True Street, and the new class Modular Xtreme, which he helped mold with the help of the NMRA. Mark’s BES-motivated, turbocharged combination with an M&M transmission in the tunnel won the Outlaw True Street, thankfully. That class is open to non-Ford powered Fords, so Mark did us proud by winning the class. In Modular Xtreme, Mark couldn’t get past Brian Devilbiss, finishing runner-up. Mark runs an AEM Infinity 8 ECU, with chassis construction from London Chassis Dyno.

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