Photography by Bryan Epps and BME Photography
Many people look forward to the winter season, but for racers, that can mean something very different as many venture south to the Sunshine State in search of low-elapsed times, perhaps a record, and for sure a race win during the US Street Nationals held in January at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
Heading up the heavy hitters was the Duck X Productions/Mickey Thompson Radial vs. the Words category and all eyes were on Stevie “Fast” Jackson, who grabbed the class record with a 3.548 at 213.91 mph. Jackson continued that trend to the finals, where his blown Brad Anderson Hemi posted a 3.56 to defeat Marcus Birt and his nitrous-assisted Corvette’s 3.609.
Twenty-seven cars entered the Carmack Engineering Pro Mod class in search of big prize money, and Lizzy Musi put her nitrous-snorting Dodge Dart on the top of the qualifying sheet with a 3.62 at 206 mph. Musi would find her way to the final round where she eventually defeated Tommy D’Aprile in his Noonan-Engineering-powered 1969 Camaro.
In M&M Transmissions Pro 275 class, it was Ron Green sitting at the top of qualifying with a 3.860 at 201 mph, but he would bow out to number-eight qualifier Nick Agostino in Round 2. Agostino would keep racing until the final, where he was victorious over Justin Swanstrom, 3.90 to 4.11.
The Motion Raceworks X275 racers were ready to go to battle at it was solid 4.2-second runs for the top three in qualifying, with Rob Goss grabbing the top spot in his BES Racing Engines Gen III Hemi-powered Dodge // Mopar Drag Pak. The class was chock full of NMRA and NMCA racers such as Manny Buginga, Phil Hines, Brian Criste, Tony Hobson, Eric Kenward, and more. In the final round, though, it was Goss with the holeshot victory over Gary White, 4.280 to 4.273, with Goss bagging .040 seconds at the tree to get him to the stripe first.
Like X275, Aerospace Components Ultra Street featured many NMRA and NMCA racers, including 2019 Edelbrock Renegade champion Haley James in her new 2000 Mustang. James only managed 13th in qualifying as she and the Hellion B-Team worked on fine-tuning the new car. At the top, meanwhile, was NMCA regular Brian Keep with a 4.58 performance. With a bunch of luck and a 4.73 in the second round to take a close win over NMCA racer Ray Cox, James made it to the final round where she faced Florida native—and frequent NMCA Xtreme Street racer—Kirt Sanders and his nitrous-injected, big-block Chevy-powered Mustang. James nailed the tree, but her War Eagle went into a wheelie that she had to pedal, subsequently allowing Sanders to drive past for the win, 4.74 to 5.05.
Other class winners included Kyle Salminen in Heavy Street, Walter Lannigan Jr. in Outlaw 632, Gary Varney in 5.50 index, Michael Carpenter in 6.50 index, Gerald Hamlik in 7.50 index, Andre Nunez in Open Comp, Luc David in 5.90 bike, and Dean Thompson in 7.90 Jr. Dragster.