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.
Baer Brakes SBS
Though winning a prize in True Street is the goal for some, a place in the Spring Break Shootout is the real objective in Bradenton. When prizes were handed out on Saturday after the True Street competition, the top 16 were invited back to participate in the MM&FF Spring Break Shootout, presented by Baer Brakes.
This is perhaps the ultimate real street-legal heads-up race anywhere! The event is run heads-up using an NHRA Sportsman ladder with a 0.400 pro Tree. The drivers can lift the hood and tune, whereas the cars must be untouched in True Street.
Not only is winning a big goal, but winners take home some nice prizes. With an $800 cash prize, a six-foot trophy, and a Baer Brakes product sponsorship worth $2,500 all on the line, competition was fierce.
Because the forecast for Sunday was dismal, NMRA officials squeezed in Round 1 Saturday evening. That was no problem for Padilla as he ran a 7.99 at 181 mph to knock out Julio Don. Chris Segura eliminated Ronnie Smrekar of Saint Augustine, Florida, while Segura’s wife, Deneen, defeated Tony Whetstone of Tallahassee, Florida. Elsewhere, Mike Jovanis knocked out Herman Hernandez, Alan Happell eliminated Roger Feldner, Rebecca Starkey won over Eddy Perez, and Karl Wesson beat out Steven Valladares.
Though the top eight were staged for a while on Saturday night waiting for Round 2, a rain shower brought racing to a halt, leaving everyone to wonder if racing would continue Sunday morning. Thankfully Sunday was beautiful, and Round 2 was underway by late morning. The Segura husband/wife team were back in action, but Deneen’s 10.23 wasn’t enough for Padilla. Chris, however, wheeled his ’86 GT to a 9.09 at 150 mph, enough to edge out Wesson.
Allan Happell broke during Round 1, giving Starkey a bye run, and Jovanis eliminated Don to set up the semifinals. Though only the eighth-quickest car in the field, Rebecca Starkey made her way to the semifinals. She comes from VMP Tuning, and didn’t even bother to remove the baby seat from the back of her ’11 GT. Her husband, Justin, cheered as she took on Mike Jovanis. Starkey was a little slower out of the gate and never recovered, sending Jovanis to the Final.
In the other semifinal matchup, a hopeful Chris Segura went head-to-head with Angel Padilla. Segura got out of the gate nearly 0.2 second sooner, but shut it down after the 1-2 shift. “I was conservative with a 200-shot at first, but cranked it up against Angel,” said Segura. The 1.28 60-foot time, Segura’s best of the weekend, went by the wayside as he coasted to a stop before the 330-foot mark, but Padilla streaked to yet another 7-second pass.
The excitement built as underdog Jovanis lined up against Padilla for the final. The winner and runner-up from Saturday’s True Street competition lasted the day and finally went head-to-head for the first time ever. Though Padilla wasn’t quick on the Tree in the semis, he improved during the final with a 0.093 reaction time over Jovanis’ late 0.296. Jovanis busted into the 8s with an 8.905, but Padilla was gone, running 7.98 at almost 176 mph.
“We’re really happy with our win here, but we’re going to make some adjustments and hopefully come out and average 7s,” said Padilla after his victory on Sunday. After two consecutive True Street wins together, with shootout victories and records, the Texas crew has its eyes on the 7-second prize. It’s one of the last barriers in True Street that stands and they want it bad. Check back to see if the team can do it in Georgia.
For many more photos and lots of video footage from True Street and the Spring Break Shootout, visit our site at www.musclemustangfastfords.com.