Michael Galimi
August 3, 2007
Photos By: Steve Baur

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The Vortech Shootout was thrilling, but it was only a small portion of the on-track excitement. As NMRA's quickest naturally aspirated class, Hot Street looked more like an NHRA Pro Stock field than a street-legal class. In qualifying, the 8.80s were being slapped up on the board, but then Charlie Booze Jr. went to the top with an 8.79, which was the first 8.7-anything in Hot Street. The com-petition was extremely tight, so much so that the top two qualifiers (Charlie Booze Jr. and Andy Schmidt) lost in the first round. Several competitors ran deep into the 8.80s without the use of a power adder and running on real 10.5-inch slicks.

Super Street Outlaw, aka the 10.5-Inch-Tire Freak Show, had mid-7-second performances from the nitrous, turbo, and supercharger camps. It was a 190-mph slugfest that defending series champion John Urist won over Manny Buginga.

Going fast on legit street tires is the name of the game in Drag Radial. Competitors are practically forced to run solely on BFGoodrich Drag Radial tires, and that keeps the competition close and the times in the eight-second zone. Two racers in particular pushed the class to eight-oh performances. John Kolivas ('06 class champion) and Chris Tuten ('05 class champion) were the talk of the category as they punished the competition with their turbo cars. Other heads-up category winners included Tim Matherly in Real Street, Brad Meadows in Pure Street, and newcomer Tommy Godfrey in Factory Stock.

The NMRA offers three open-comp-style categories that do a great job of catching cars that don't fit into the specific heads-up classes. This format uses a Pro-Tree starting light, and racers qualify based on reaction time instead of e.t. performance. The rules allow for a 1/10 of a second breakout rule (using your qualifying time as an index). Open Comp is open to any Ford vehicle using a Ford powerplant. The Modular Muscle eliminator restricts competitors to Ford vehicles powered by modular engines only. The final category-Truck and Lightning-is self-explanatory.

Roush Performance-sponsored Don Bowles took his yellow '05 Roush Stang to victory in Open Comp. His quick Roush Stage III runs deep in the 9s with a 5.4 Ford GT engine that's backed by a G-Force five-speed. The king of the Modular Muscle shootout was Derek Kernodle with his 12-second '96 Cobra. Jim Roberts in his '03 Lightning claimed the heavy-hauler big prize with low-12-second performances.

The Bradenton opener was a great way to kick off racing, the car shows, True Street, and overall Mustang mania. Now let the fun begin.