Final round results from the U.S. Street Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Fla.
Round by round results from the U.S. Street Car Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Fla.
SATURDAY EVENT NOTEBOOK -
GONZALEZ LEADS OPM QUALIFYING - Jose Gonzalez led through all three rounds of Outlaw Pro Mod (OPM) qualifying Jan. 26, for the 9th annual U.S. Street Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida.
Gonzalez of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, opened with a 4.001-seconds pass in the twin-turbocharged “El General” 1969 Camaro, which was exactly matched by past ADRL Pro Nitrous World Champion Jamie Hancock in his ’68 Firebird, but Gonzalez got the nod as provisional top qualifier based on his higher 195.73-mph top-end speed.
With tuning assistance from Proline Racing’s Eric Dillard, Gonzalez stepped it up in round two with a 3.862 at 202.65 mph, while Sweden’s Adam Flamholc took over second place with a 3.924 at 191.44 in his roots-blown ’67 Camaro. Hancock drifted out of the racing groove on his second attempt and was forced to lift, allowing Florida’s own Jimmy Keen and his ’63 Corvette to slip past into third with a 3.962 pass at 189.51 mph.
In the third and final session to set the field, Gonzalez again improved to 3.846 at 205.33 mph to secure the number-one start for race day.
“The car has been good all day; we have pretty much the same tune-up in it that we’ve had for the last few races,” said Gonzalez, who lowered the quarter-mile Pro Mod elapsed-time record to 5.730 seconds last November at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. His eighth-mile E.T. on the record-setting run was 3.830 seconds.
“We were a little heavier there (Las Vegas), and the track was different, but this track is very good, too,” Gonzalez said. “There’s still more in it here, but we’ll be backing it down a little for (eliminations) tomorrow; we’ll be racing smart.”
Flamholc’s car shut off at the end of its burnout for round three and had to be pushed from the track, but his second-round time stood up as number two for the 16-car OPM field. Keen improved to 3.932 at exactly 191 mph to hold on to third, while Hancock made his best run of the day with a 3.978 to solidify his fourth-place position.
Brad Brand, meanwhile, traded positions with ADRL Top Sportsman star Chuck Mohn, with Brand and his twin-turboed ’07 Mustang going four-seconds flat at 199.91 mph to earn a top-five start. Meanwhile, in his third qualifying attempt Mohn brushed Bradenton’s left guardwall; leaving his nitrous-boosted ’69 Camaro’s 4.008 at 180.32 from round two as his sixth-place run of record.
“I was going for a ‘three’ there. I’ve never had one before and with tonight’s conditions I knew it could be done. But I redlit and that threw me off,” he explained later. “It left straight, but instinctively I lifted. Then I thought, what the heck, and just got back into it, but by then the chassis had unloaded and reloaded and it just pushed me over toward the wall. Fortunately it looks like it’s all just cosmetic damage, so we’ll be ready to go tomorrow; it just won’t look as good now.”
Rounding out the top half of the field were home-state racers Frank Cersosimo with a 4.045 at 186.68 in his ’02 Viper and Jason Carlton at 4.051 at 190.47 in his twin-turbocharged ‘04 Celica. In 16th for an opening-round match against Gonzalez was Mike Tokarz and his ’68 Camaro at 4.889 and 174.45 mph.
FISCUS FIRST IN LS QUALIFYING - With bracket-like consistency from his twin-turboed ’02 Mustang, Kevin Fiscus finished first in Limited Street qualifying for the 9th annual U.S. Street Nationals in Bradenton, FL.
After making a 4.40 pass in Friday-night testing, Fiscus opened with another 4.404 at 182.62 in round one of qualifying. The Jacksonville, FL-based racer then ran 4.41 in round two before sealing the deal with a 4.400 at 184.84 mph in the third and final qualifying session.
With only 11 entries it was to be an “all-run” field with the top five qualifiers—including Fiscus, Will Stevenson, Tommy Ranier, Tony Ridenour and Scott Husted, respectively—getting first-round byes once eliminations began.
RUBEN ‘T’ VICTIM OF NEW-CAR BLUES - Making a big step up from his drag radial roots at the U.S. Street Nationals was Ruben Tetsoshvili of Wesley Chapel, FL, who debuted a brand-new 1970 Camaro built by Teddy Houser Race Cars in Lincolntown, NC.
“I just wanted to go faster,” said Ruben T, as he’s better known by friends and fans. “And it’s faster alright; it’s very different, almost like starting from day one all over again.
“It takes off so hard, but we’re running into trouble down track. I hate these new-car blues,” he added.
With an also new twin-turbocharged, 650-cubic-inch engine from Nelson Competition under the hood, Tetsoshvili managed a best run of only 6.442 seconds at an early shut-off 72.80 mph that placed him 17th and last of the Outlaw Pro Mod entries on the grounds at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
Adding insult to injury, another racer’s errant parachute on the turnoff from the top end caught the bottom corner of Tetsoshvili’s right rear wheel opening, tearing and cracking the carbon-fiber fender directly in front of the Mickey Thompson tire.
“I guess it’s not brand-new anymore,” he said, staring at the silver and black duct tape repair. “I thought I’d at least be the one to put the first scratch on it.”
SCHROEDER OFF TO STRONG START IN OUTLAW 632 - After making the long haul down from Stanford, CT, for the U.S. Street Nationals at Bradenton, FL, John Schroeder qualified on top of the track’s unique Outlaw 632 class for cars running big tires with a 632-cubic-inch maximum engine size.
Schroeder was one of only three non-Florida entries to make it into the 16-car field after 21 teams made qualifying attempts. Kevin New of Lebanon, OH, placed 13th in his ’81 Mustang, while the ’68 Nova of Charlotte, NC’s Robby Keziah qualified 14th.
“This is a real neat class they’ve made here; I wish someone up where we live would do something similar,” he said.
Schroeder got out to an early lead with a 4.592 at 157.78 mph in round one of qualifying, but a 4.582 at 143.86 by the ’68 Camaro of Loxahatchee, FL’s Chris Levangie in round two bumped Schroeder down to second. No matter, with a Scotty Gaudagno-built 632 in his ‘02 Camaro, he stepped back up to first for race day with a 4.561 at 159.37 in the third session.
“We’ve had all sorts of dumb, bad luck the last few times out, so hopefully this will be the weekend we turn things around,” said Schroeder with son, Jake, by his side. “We just put everything back together after the car was in pieces not that long ago. After we broke the transmission at the Shakedown (in Englishtown, NJ, last fall) we took it all apart and sent the motor to Scotty for freshening and the transmission went to Coan.”
Schroeder was scheduled to face Wade Gullett, who qualified 16th with a 5.190 at 134.99, in the opening round of eliminations.
PIREZ PREVAILS IN X275 QUALIFYING - Straight off the trailer with his ’88 Camaro, Troy Pirez Sr. ran 4.725 at 153.53 mph to lead X275 drag radial qualifying for the 9th annual U.S. Street Nationals. His time stood up through all three sessions, as did fellow Floridian and number-two qualifier Justin Swankstrom’s 4.751 at 150.50 in his ’91 Mustang.
Dave Acker of Levittown, PA, also held third throughout qualifying, but he improved with each opportunity, going from 4.875 to 4.852 before finishing with a 4.811 pass at 143.31 in his ’83 Capri.
On the 16th-place bump spot, with four cars failing to make the cut, was the 5.501 at 128.35 by Michael Reedy in his ’79 Chevy.
SNYDER SNAGS NUMBER-ONE START FOR ULTRA STREET - The slick, black ’65 GTO of Middletown, DE’s John Snyder, with genuine Poncho power under the hood, secured the Ultra Street pole at the 9th annual U.S. Street Nationals at Florida’s Bradenton Motorsports Park. Snyder was second to Robert Rodgers and his 1990 Mustang after the first qualifying session, but reversed that result with a 5.104-seconds pass at 134.38 mph in the second round.
Following Rodgers in the 13-car “all-run” field was the ’89 Mustang of Tim Eichorn and ’87 Camaro of Jody Voyles, with Brian Keep’s ’98 Chevy S-10 pick-up filling out the top five.
In index qualifying, Bradenton’s Michael Thorp posted a perfect 5.500 at 122.98 mph in his ’80 Monza to lead the 15-car 5.50 class. Meanwhile, Palm Harbor, FL’s Patrick Steele was nearly perfect in pacing the 21-car 6.50 field with a 6.501 at 106.16-mph pass in his ’70 Chevelle and Denise Sosa’s 7.517 at 90.07 put her Palmetto, FL-based ’89 Mustang on top of the 7.50 index class.
ELIMINATION LADDERS -