Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
2011 Spring Break Shootout - One True Love
Over 80 competitors showed up in Bradenton for Tremec True Street to contend for a coveted spot in the MM&FF Spring Break Shootout, presented by Baer Brakes.
We do very little to hide the soft spot in our hearts for Tremec True Street and its participants. Some of you may tire of our rambling about the class and its 13-, 14-, and 15-second winners, among others, but the truth is that we love True Street and everything it stands for. Few national drag racing circuits have a class like it. Though many offer "street" classes, they don't require a cruise, proof of registration and insurance, working headlights, or street-legal tires. For the regular guy on a blue-collar budget, there's no better way to get your quarter-mile thrills than attending an NMRA (or NMCA) event and running True Street.
NMRA's season-opener and home of the MM&FF- sponsored Spring Break Shootout is held every year in early March in Bradenton, Florida. This is the event where everyone shakes off the departing winter chill and converges on Bradenton Motorsports Park for what is one of the NMRA's largest events in terms of participation and attendance.
This year proved as exciting as ever. By Friday afternoon, nearly 50 cars were registered. On that list were heavy-hitters Chris Segura, Alan Happell, Randy Seward, and 7-second-capable Angel Padillaùall vying for a coveted spot in the Spring Break Shootout class, made up of the top 16 True Street qualifiers.
Padilla laid down a low-8-second average in Houston last November, followed by multiple 7-second passes in the Lone Star Shootout. Padilla and car-owner Joel Cura weren't shy about shooting for the first ever 7-second True Street average. "We're hoping to average 7s," said Padilla in an interview on Friday. "The car is running great, and we feel really good about it," he added.
Tremec True Street
By late morning on Saturday, a total of 82 cars lined up for the 30-mile cruise. After NMRA's Jeff Conley instructed the contestants of the rules, the scenic tour began. All but four made the entire cruise and were lined up in the staging lanes for cool-down.
After all three back-to-back passes were made, 62 were left standing. Orlando, Florida's Randy Seward, a serious favorite, broke his trans on the first pass, sending him to the pits. John Sheffler of Fort Meyers, Florida, showed up with his '85 SVO but broke on his first pass as well. In the end, San Antonio, Texas' Angel Padilla stood victorious. His 8.040-second average was good enough to bring home the coveted six-foot trophy, $250, and a new national True Street recordùbreaking his previous record by one hundredth of a second.
The runner-up spot went to Mike Jovanis of Wall, New Jersey, with an 8.883-second average, while the 9-second win went to Chris Segura of Fort Meyers, Florida. Tampa, Florida's Julio Don averaged 10.074 to take the 10-second victory with his turbocharged '89 GT. In the 11-second category, Sunrise, Florida's Connie Greiner laid down an 11.057-second average to take the win in her nitrous-fed '98 Mustang.
With a 12.014-second average, Doug Fiero took the 12-second win in his Fort Meyers, Florida-based '93 Mustang. Steve Bouffard of New Port Richey, Florida, took home the 13-second plaque with a 13.018-second average. The '95 Cobra clone is powered by a homebuilt 331ci stroker and made two high-12-second passes on the first two runs. Bouffard took a little off on the third run to take the win.
Jeff Girardello of Palm Harbor, Florida, wheeled his '98 GT to a 14.041-second average to take the 14-second win. The Tremec-shifted coupe is mostly stock with a built rear and aftermarket suspension. With an average of 15.114, Tampa's Louis Fernandez, a first-time True Streeter, won 15-second bragging rights. His '03 GT convertible is stock with a cold-air intake.
One contestant of previous years whose absence must be noted is Pensacola's Chris Escobar. He wasn't able to get his '86 SVO ready in time, but we fully expect the champ to make an appearance in Commerce in April with his new power combination and 25.5-certified cage.