August 11, 2007

Most people associate spring with the smell of flowers and the songs of birds. For Mustang racers, spring means it's time to torque the last few bolts, download the qualifying tune, and unleash the smell of burnt rubber with the song of open exhaust. The racers were definitely ready, as the ranks of nearly every class were robust. Performances were outstanding for so early as the NMRA kicked off its '07 season at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida. There were 94 racers qualifying in the heads-up categories alone.

Typically, season-openers aren't as well attended as mid-season contests because cars and combinations are still being completed to adhere to the latest rules. Certainly every racer wasn't at Bradenton, but the lion's share of them were, showing that people were more anxious than usual to begin. What really impressed us were the performances. Racers obviously dedicated more time to off-season testing, as at least one racer in every heads-up category-save Pure Street-laid down an e.t. or mph performance that bettered one of last year's records.

If that doesn't give you an idea of the kind of competition we're going to see for the remainder of the season, check out the photos for the scoop.