Pete Epple Technical Editor
June 18, 2012
Photos By: Team MM&FF

Spring is a time for new beginnings--a fresh start. As the colder weather turns to sunshine, the NMRA heads to Bradenton, Florida, for its inaugural event--the Spring Break Shootout.

The 18th Annual Nitto Tires Spring Break Shootout is known for big crowds, broken records, and great racing. Some off-season changes saw two classes (Pure Street and Real Street) dropped from the schedule, while the creation of Coyote Stock ushered in a new sealed crate engine class.

The show field was packed with absolutely stunning Fords, while the swap meet area was one of the biggest we've seen. The 2012 season opener also played host to one of the largest, most diverse manufacturer midways in the past few years. Racers and fans connected with some of the best and brightest in today's aftermarket.

When it came to on-track action, the Spring Break Shootout was second to none. John Urist ended last season by clinching his seventh championship in ProCharger Super Street Outlaw, and began 2012 where he left off. Urist qualified Number 2 behind Chris Tuten, who went out in Round 1. Andrew DeMarco arrived late to the race and needed the last qualifying session to get in the show. Only days before the Spring Break Shootout, DeMarco's '86 Mustang GT didn't have an engine in it, and after borrowing a set of cylinder heads and an intake manifold from Urist, DeMarco made it to Florida with an untested combination. He ultimately ending up in the Final against Urist, where the returning champion took the win with a 7.16-second pass at 203 mph.

Jason Lee rolled into Bradenton with a new look on the same dominant drag radial car from last year. The red, white, and black four-eyed Fox belted out the quickest pass in Afco Drag Radial history with a 7.41-second e.t. at only 177 mph. He went on to win the event, defeating Ronnie Diaz in the final.

Blow-By Racing EFI Renegade saw a couple racers new to the class--long-time racers Tim Matherly and Jim Breese stepped up to the quicker class. Breese would go all the way to the Final, but Chad Allmandinger was the man to beat all day, and he bested Breese to take the win.

Strange Engineering Coyote Stock may have only taken one round to contest, but seeing what the cars where capable of with a sealed crate engine and spec calibration was impressive. Joe Charles outfitted Tim Matherly's trusty '01 GT with the spec parts for the class. Charles met Joe Guertin in the final round, where Charles' 10.90 at 118 bested Guertin's 12.29 at 122 mph.

Ten factory-built race cars came out for the FRPP Cobra Jet Showdown presented by Jacky Jones Ford. The index-style bracket race allowed CJs from any NHRA class to participate. MM&FF's own Evan Smith competed but didn't advance past the first round. Robbie Hudlow went to the final in a beautiful orange, black, and purple Mustang, taking the win over Gary Richard in his '10 CJ.

Tremec True Street presented by Muscle Mustang & Fast Fords was the largest class with 96 cars taking to the streets of Central Florida. The 16 quickest cars moved on to the title class of the event for a heads-up showdown to see who had the fastest street-legal Ford. Full coverage of True Street and the Spring Break Shootout can be found on page 152.

For more exclusive content including photos and video, check out www.musclemustangfastford.com.

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Second Annual MM&FF Open House

On the Thursday before the Spring Break Shootout, the MM&FF staff open the doors to MM&FF Command Central for readers, racers, and Mustang fanatics to get a glimpse into the day-to-day operations of MM&FF. Project cars were on display, beautiful models were greeting attendees, and refreshments were served to keep everyone happy. If you missed it, be sure to come by next year!

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the hooters party

Each year, when Friday qualifying comes to an end, racers and fans head to Hooters in Bradenton, Florida, for some afterhours fun. Food, friends, cool cars, and tire smoke make for a fun night, as likeminded people from all over the country get a chance to get together and talk shop without the stress of racing.

Check out the video coverage at www.musclemustangfastfords.com!

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