Marc Christ Associate Editor
March 9, 2010

NMRA and Keystone Automotive have teamed up to bring you, the Mustang enthusiast, the best in heads-up and bracket drag racing. The first stop on the tour was Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida. This past weekend, March 4-7, 2010, the 16th Annual Nitto Tire Spring Break Shootout was held there in great fashion.

The greatest and most anticipated class featured was the Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords Spring Break Shootout presented by Pro 5.0. The Sunday event featured the top 16 of the Tremec True Street event from Saturday.

Many racing classes have the word "street" in their title, but do not actually make racers drive their cars on the street. We need not get into the details of other classes. However, Tremec True Street is quite different. All participants must have a current vehicle registration, insurance, license plates, DOT-approved tires, mufflers, and operational street equipment like headlights/taillights, turn signals, and horn.

Once checked in, competitors line up and proceed on a supervised cruise of a minimum of 30 miles. After the cruise is complete, all the participants return to the staging lanes for a cool-down period. During this time and beyond, working on the cars is prohibited. Air may only be let out of tires, not added. Participants may not open their hoods, but may add ice/water to intercoolers if they are located in the car or the hatch/trunk area.

After the cool-down, the participants proceed to make three back-to-back runs. The E.T. for each driver is averaged, and winners are determined. There is an overall winner, runner-up, and winners in each of the 9-, 10-, 11-, 12- 13-, 14-, and 15-second categories.

Though that's the end in most cases, the Spring Break Shootout is different. The quickest 16 averages get invited back to compete in a single-elimination class on Sunday. The difference is that the participants may open their hoods and make adjustments between rounds.

This year, both Saturday and Sunday were as exciting as ever. The True Street competition saw four competitors with 8-second averages, seven with 9-second averages, and nine with 10-second averages. 10-time True Street winner Chris Escobar was there, as was veterans Blair Brannock, Jason Borum, Randy Seward, and Chris Parisi, among others. We're not going to give away who won, but it was his first True Street win, and he drove the car to the track (over 100 miles) on Friday.

Sunday saw even quicker E.T.s, with Blair Brannock making one pass in near-7-second territory. Darryl Buckner of Goose Creek, South Carolina made the cut with his '85 LTD sedan, but was eliminated in Round 2 by Alan Happel of Kathleen, Georgia.

Check out the July 2010 issue of MM&FF for full race coverage and more on the Spring Break Shootout.

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