If it seems like it took a long time to get to Friday, the perfect way to celebrate is by heading out Bradenton Motorsports Park. The 28th Annual Spring Break Shootout is in full swing today, as test ’n tune passes roll on and racers prepare to qualify for the first race of the season. The forecast calls for sun and lots of fast Fords this weekend, so stay tuned to this page and our social media for updates throughout the day.
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Here’s the lay of the land for today’s action at the 28th Annual NMRA Spring Break Shootout at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
It’s not something you see every day, but as Brian Hingle’s 1989 Mustang LX charged toward the stripe at 140 mph, his 5-inch cowl hood separated. The lower half remained pinned to the body of his Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle entry, but the cowl flew through the air and landed in the grass next to the track and not far from his pit. Finding a new 5-inch hood that fit was unlikely on short notice, so he and his crew bolted and screwed the two halves together. The Fox Mustang he calls Starscream — thanks to the pronounced gear whine of its ProCharger F-1C blower — delivers nearly 800 horsepower from its Four-Valve 5.4-liter engine.
The vendor midway at the 28th Annual NMRA Spring Break Shootout is brimming with gear and display vehicles from a wide variety of companies. Acting as a magnet for those passing by the Livernois Motorsports display is Darroll Myers’ 2020 Steeda Q850 Mustang, which is powered by a Livernois-constructed 5.2-liter Gen 3 Coyote engine boosted by a Whipple Gen 5 3.8-liter supercharger to the tune of 1,050 horsepower at the wheels.
Bringing out a 1985 Mustang GT to run in TorqStorm Superchargers True Street this weekend, Tyler Thornburg recently upgraded the ignition so it would light the candle when he sprays the juice. However, he was still chasing the tune with the carburetor. If he gets it dialed in, Thornburg hopes to run in the 12-second range naturally and in the 11-second range on the squeeze.
The Holley team is out on the midway and working in the pits as well. They are helping ensure their customers are running well. We spotted Technical Sales Representative Rick Andeson helping Dean Santiago of Spike’s Performance & Refinishing with his Holley EFI-equipped Mustang.
With the G-Force Racing Transmission Coyote Stock class becoming increasingly more competitive, most of the races are won at the tree and in the first 60 feet. To that end, Kevin McMullin is making big changes to the suspension of his SN-95 in the hopes of figuring out the 60-foot to keep pace with the elite racers in the class.
Speaking of the vendor midway, UPR Products always brings a wide array of parts, and this year is no exception. Whether you are looking for dress-up parts or suspension upgrades, you can check them out in person and find just what you need.
Even if your hair color has turned to grey, the site of Bigfoot transports you back to the days of your youth. Yes, we still want to crush a few cars with it, as well. You can see the original Bigfoot in person here at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
Dennis Fahey is here at the NMRA Nationals to support his wife Jenn's foray into Super Stang. This race is Jenn's first time racing in Super Stang, but she has been testing much of the off-season. For his part, Dennis will be back in two weeks to run his 1979 Pace Car in True Street at the NMCA event. You can check out the Pace Car this weekend in the National Parts Depot booth on the midway.
Dean Santiago and John Maguire were on track during True Street's Friday morning time trial. Santiago, in the single turbo white Fox GT ran in the 9.50s on his pass while Maguire overpowered the track in his 1979 Cobra. Maguire is usually in the high-11s, but spun to a low-12 in his ProCharger-motivated ride. Both will undoubtedly be looking for quicker elapsed times as the weekend goes by.
After scoring an impressive 18 wins in True Street with his formerly white 1990 Mustang, Michigan-based racer Kevin McCotter made the jump to JDM Engineering Limited Street with his naturally aspirated combination. This year, though, McCotter is trying his hand in the new SunCoast Performance 8.60 Street Race category in addition to True Street. To do so, all he had to do was simply a second carburetor to the Rick LaPouttre-built 462 ci small block and slap a license plate on his Fox body Mustang.
Racing in Ultra Street at the DXP Lights Out 13 event at South Georgia Motorsports Park, Bill Gregan noticed the number one cylinder in his engine had taken on some water. Although he contemplated running the ProCharger supercharged Fox body without any water in it at all, at the suggestion of Kris Nelson of Nelson Competition, Gregan bowed out before the second round of eliminations as his bigger priority was making it here to Bradenton Motorsports Park so he could run in NMRA VP Racing Madditives Renegade at this weekend’s 28th Annual NMRA Spring Break Shootout. Nelson was able to get the head fixed up with some hoops from MPR Racing Engines, and Bill and his son, Tyler, were able to put the head back on here last night and get the engine fired up. Today, the plan is to make a test hit and get ready for qualifying.
VP Racing Madditives Renegade racer Kelly Shotwell spent a pretty penny on a pretty new 9” rear end from Gary Rohe Race Cars for his Vortech-supercharged 1995 Ford Mustang. He also added a set of Afco shocks, new UPR Products adjustable torque boxes, a new Turbo 400 from Extreme Automatics, and removed 150-pounds to get his SN95 down to weight. This weekend, Shotwell’s been working on different blower speeds and rear gearing to figure out what works the best.
The NMRA Power Mall is offering a great shirt/hat combo deal where racers and fans can score 3 for $60! And, with plenty of sunshine in the forecast for the weekend, there are tons of awesome options to choose from to enjoy a bit of personal shade.
When Karen needs performance parts for her Mustang, she needs to talk to Martin Desormeaux, manager of Palm Beach Motorsport, a division of Palm Beach Dyno. Desormeaux will be able to advise anyone on their Mustang performance needs, though, using his experience with his own 2020 GT, along with his many years in the performance game. He's owned the GT for just a short time, and he just added a Hellion Sleeper twin-turbocharger system, running five pounds of boost. The car still retains its stock fuel system for now, so he is being a little cautious on the boost. Wearing a Texas drag pack consisting of Velgen wheels up front and RC Components wheels in the back, the car relies on Mickey Thompson ET Street R tires and KellTrac suspension upgrades. Desormeaux is running Grudge Test & Tune, so his times aren't given at the top end, and we won't give away any of his secrets, either.
Stepping into the new SunCoast Performance 8.60 Street Race class, longtime NMRA racer and former champion James Meredith had been creeping up on the elapsed time goal with his Mercury Capri and added a little nitrous oxide from Nitrous Outlet to make it happen. Unfortunately, he partied a little too hard as the engine lifted a head during testing on Friday morning and Meredith had to hustle back to his pit to start the task of tearing into it for repairs. He’s hoping the damage is minimal, as he’ll be able to continue if it’s only a head gasket that suffered. However, if the casualty included a piston, the Texan will have to wait until the next race in Rockingham, NC, to get going in the new category.
Much of the buzz in the pits this morning was thanks to Mike Bowen, as the Richmond Gear Factory Stock racer ran a 9.96-second elapsed time during Friday testing in what was rumored to be the first (unofficial) 9-second run in the class. Bowen had run 10.04 at the last NMRA race of 2021 in Kentucky under similar conditions with his Gen 1 Coyote engine and G-Force G101A transmission, so it certainly was plausible, but he later shared that he made today’s single-digit pass 100-pounds under class weight simply so he could wrap up his licensing runs. Back in class-legal trim for qualifying, Bowen is feeling confident that he’ll be able to run the number to make it officially official as long as the air cooperates.