In the words of ring announcer Bruce Buffer, “It’s Time!” The track is live here at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida, as we kick off the 2017 NMCA Drag Racing Series presented by E3 Spark Plugs. The pits are filling up quickly, with over a dozen VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod entries on the premises, and a multitude of Holley EFI Factory Super Car racers looking to do some Cobra Jet vs. COPO battle. You’re going to want to be here to see all of the hot on-track action in person, but if you can’t make it, be sure to check out the live video feed <<<HERE>>>.
Two new entries into the Holley EFI Factory Super Car Ranks are the 2017 COPO Camaros of Tom Hughes and Erica Enders-Stevens. Former NHRA Pro Stock champion Enders-Stevens pilots the red COPO which has less than a dozen test hits on it, while Hughes has yet to make any hits on the blue car. Crew chief Jamie Tanksley told us that Patterson Elite built both of the supercharged engines for the Omaha Track-sponsored team, and given the background of the team, they should be a top contender to knock off 2016 champion, Kevin Skinner.
NA 10.5 has a new class sponsor in Boninfante Racing, and we’re expecting the upswing in class participants from last year’s final race to continue going into this season. One NA 10.5 racer that was questionable for the Bradenton event was last year’s runner up in the class, Dwight Ausmus. Ausmus was involved in an on-track collision at a separate event late last year, and credits his stock radiator core support for limiting the damage to the front end of the car. As you can see, it was largely cosmetic, but Ausmus’ rare carbon fiber Firebird front fenders bit the dust. There’s apparently quite the waiting list, so much so that the company that makes them stopped taking orders, so Ausmus found some fiberglass components to use in the meantime. With a change to a chromoly front core support, the Firebird actually ended up losing some weight despite the ‘glass parts.
Modular Mustang Racing’s Mark Luton will be competing in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod here on the east coast for 2017. His new S550-bodied Mustang packs MMR’s new billet modular Coyote block that checks in at 358 cubic inches. A new pair of Garrett twin turbos should pressurize plenty of the east-coast air for the California-based team.
Gardner Stone just received his 2016 Cobra Jet clone from Watson racing this week. Widowmaker #6 is the next step in a long line of race cars for Stone, one that he hopes will be quicker and faster than his most recent CJ Mustang. “If you’re gonna play, you got to get with the program,” Stone exclaimed.