Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
May 29, 2012
Contributers: Michael Johnson Photos By: Michael Johnson

It's nice to have things in life that you can count on. When the racing season finally ends after the PRI show, the performance world takes a deep breath over the holiday season. There seems like so much time to work on those cars over the offseason, but once we hit the new year, time seems to fly by, and the first race of the season is suddenly upon us.

In the case of the NMRA, that first race is always in Florida, and it's always around the time of Spring Break. Northern racers can't wait to get out of the cold and onto a sunny race track. We can't wait to get out from behind our computers and snaps some shots of wheels-up Mustangs. It's a beautiful thing.

Early March in Florida can bring weather as unpredictable as the performance of a new combination. It could be warm. It could be cold. It's right on the cusp of Mother Nature putting the coals to the Sunshine State. In the case of this year's season opener it was both. The first couple days of the race were windy and warm. Then a cold-front blew through, dropped the temperatures and offered a tail wind.

In short, the finals rounds were a gift to all racers, and the records set at the season opener might not be touched until Bowling Green rolls around. Time will tell on that front, but for now the season is well on its way, and the fields are sure to get more robust as races stack up. So, strap in and let's hit the highlights of the first race.

Horse Sense: ProMedia has added a number of boutique categories within its event programs. This season it has expanded the popular Ford Racing Cobra Jet Shootout to Bradenton Motorsports Park and the VMP Tuning Terminator versus GT500 Shootout to include Maryland International Raceway.

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Cobra Jet Showdown One of the more popular, exciting classes at Bradenton was the Cobra Jet Showdown, which lured a pack of these purpose-built racers to Florida to square off. It didn't hurt that the winner would take home a jacket, an award, and a cool grand. Obviously with a bunch of NHRA racers on the property, the competition was fierce. However, Robbie Hudlow made it look easy by qualifying Number 1, then climbing the ladder to the win. He squared off against Gary Richard in the finals; Gary got the jump, but Robbie knabbed the win.