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View Full Version : NMRA 2006 Bradenton Results -- Event Wrapup



NMRAPaul
03-13-2006, 09:32 AM
DiabloSport Pro 5.0
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The NMRA's quickest and fastest class drew a huge turnout for the 2006 season-opener, with 14 cars making the field in Bradenton by the end of qualifying on Saturday. Leading the pack was last year's championship runner-up, Michael Hauf, who ran a best time of 6.640 at 208.23 mph on the pristine Florida asphalt. Class champ Don Walsh, Jr. was right behind with a 6.689, and Chuck DeMory rounded out the top three with another six-sixty effort, despite a broken axle caused by huge tire shake during the second round of qualifying. In all, ten of the fourteen were in the sixes when the sun set on qualifying.

In eliminations, the competition quickly boiled down to a battle between first and second - Hauf got a free pass from Carl Smart with a big redlight, then ran out a top-qual first round bye to a 6.77. Third round paired him with Dave Schorr, who cut a stellar .009 light to Hauf's .105, but the race was over by half-track when Schorr had to lift. On the other side of the ladder, Walsh had also run up against a lumberjack in the first round; Howard Michael chopped down the tree with a .005, but despite a .05 advantage at the line, Michael's mid-seven pass wasn't enough to fend off Walsh's clockwork 6.73. Walsh got an unexpected single in the second round as well when Burt Kelkboom couldn't make the call, then went on to face Chuck DeMory in the semi-finals, who had managed to score a new axle and brake rotor to get back into the show for eliminations. Walsh trailered DeMory with another clean 6.70, while DeMory could only muster a lifting high seven.

Both drivers had their cars set to "kill" for the deciding race, and when the tree dropped, Walsh was away first with a .021 reaction time, and he'd need every bit of it against Hauf's .040. Hauf slowly reeled in Walsh's lead, but simply ran out of track before he could catch him, running faster by .004 seconds and more than one mph but losing on the holeshot.

NMRAPaul
03-13-2006, 09:59 AM
MSD Ignition Super Street Outlaw
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SSO drew another full field, with 17 cars in the mix. Nitrous racer Sam Vincent led the pack in qualifying, ripping off a 7.564 at 181.45 mph in his best pass, and showing potential for more with another run that posted a 184 mph trap speed. John Urist was next with a 7.588, followed by 2005 class champ Manny Buginga, who laid down a 7.644 best effort with a huge 189 mph trap. The top seven qualifiers all laid down sevens to earn their places in the ladder, setting the stage for an epic struggle in Sunday's eliminations.

As TQ, Vincent got a first-round freebie but ran it out to a 7.55 with an eight. Vincent caught a bonus bye in the second round when Zack Posey didn't make the call, then went on to face Jim Briante in the quarter-finals. Vincent gave up the holeshot, .061 to .025, but drove around Briante with a 7.668 to his 7.709. The odd field meant another bye for Vincent into the finals, but Sam doesn't know how to take it easy and ran it out to another seven-sixty.

Meanwhile, Manny Buginga was making his way through the field to meet him, trailering SSO newcomer Ben Schooler in round one, then advancing on Ed Imoff despite giving up almost three tenths at the tree. Buginga got a redlight out of his system in his quarter-final bye run, then met up with Urist to see who would face Vincent for the title. Both drivers took huge shots at the tree, with Urist overshooting and pulling a -.014 redlight to Buginga's .004.

In the final SSO pairing, the race was over almost before it began, with Buginga away first but breaking, and Vincent cruising to an uncontested win.

NMRAPaul
03-13-2006, 10:23 AM
ProCharger EFI Renegade
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Renegade is known for wheelstanding action, and with plenty of traction and no chance for many drivers to get a handle on new-found power during the off-season, Bradenton served up plenty of moonshots that left the crowd in awe. Qualifying was led by 2005 champ Scott Lovell, who drove his Swill Racing Mustang to an 8.683 at 156.65 mph. Zoop Zellonis was next with an 8.705, followed by Brian Mitchell at 8.749. In all, nearly half of the dozen-car field had found an eight-second tuneup by the end of qualifying.

Polesitter Lovell began the day on Sunday with an easy victory over Joel Howard, with both drivers shutting off and coasting through the traps. In the second round, Lovell's opponent Bob Cook put up a fight and made him earn the chance to advance, with fourth-qualified Cook running a respectable 8.823 to Lovell's winning 8.755. The semi-finals brought up the first available bye, giving Lovell a straight shot into the big show.

On the far side of the ladder, the other half of the field was sorting itself out with plenty of drama in the process. A first round bumper-stand ended Zoop's day when the car came down very hard and crossed the center line, a lucky break for his opponent Brent Weston, who broke at the line but got the win anyway. With number two on the ladder out of the picture, third-qualified Brian Mitchell was next up to take a run at the finals. Mitchell got a gimmie in the first round when Dwane Barbaree couldn't contest the race, then moved on to face John Mingolelli, who had recovered from a huge wheelstand of his own in qualifying and was back in the fray despite having to accept bottom rung on the ladder. Mitchell got away first, then stretched the lead to an 8.738-to-9.101 win. Mitchell caught another break when his semi-final opponent George Seeger couldn't make the call, sending him to face Lovell for the final round.

Nothing was held back in that matchup, with Mitchell posting a .010 reaction time to Lovell's .009. On the short end, Mitchell gave up more ground, then found his top-end charge and came on strong, flashing through the traps with nearly three mph more speed than Lovell, but by then it was too late - Lovell's 8.717 was enough to hold off Mitchell's 8.756 for the Bradenton win.

NMRAPaul
03-13-2006, 10:39 AM
BFGoodrich Drag Radial
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The price of admission to the world of Drag Radial racing these days is an eight-second ride, and it better be a low-eight at that - In Bradenton, the number one spot was nailed down by Eric Laferriere with a big 8.181-second pass at 170.42 mph. You had to go all the way down to tenth place to find an eight-fifty, and in all, 14 of the 16 drivers ran quicker than nine flat.

On Sunday, Laferriere started out with a freebie when his first round opponent Jason Lee lit the Red Bulb of Doom, but went down swinging in the second against fifth-qualified John Kolivas. Though Laferriere ran a quicker 8.290 to Kolivas' 8.345, Kolivas' monster .015 holeshot was just enough to keep ahead of Laferriere (who clipped a .123 light) at the stripe. That sent Kolivas on to face Pete Champani, and again Kolivas was away first and moving on to the finals thanks to a faster reaction offsetting a slower ET.

Working his way to face him on the other side of the field was Vitale Mauro, who got an easy win in the first round when Bob Kurgan had to lift, then took out Alex Vrettos despite giving up the holeshot. That paired him with Chris Tuten to see who would face Kolivas, and both drivers posted identical reaction times. Down-track, Mauro pulled an 8.249-to-8.325 lead to advance into the deciding round.

In that match, Kolivas once more worked his holeshot mojo, getting away with a .023 light to Mauro's .103. He'd need every thousandth, too - Mauro ran the pass out to an 8.305, a full hundredth of a second quicker than Kolivas, but still leaving him in the wake of the faster-reacting Bradenton Drag Radial champ.

NMRAPaul
03-13-2006, 11:01 AM
Edelbrock Hot Street
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A dozen cars were on the asphalt to compete for the title of Bradenton Hot Street champ, and Pat Topolinski led the field at the end of Saturday's final round of qualifying. His 8.929 was followed by an 8.931 from 2005 number three finisher Andy Schmidt and an 8.999 by Charlie Booze, Jr. that rounded out the eights. The rest of the field stretched through the nines down to one low ten, with the next four qualifiers posting nine-oh best efforts.

Eliminations began with polesitter Topolinski facing Bob Hanlon, with Topolinski winning in a nail-biter on the strength of his holeshot - Hanlon ran an 8.978 to Topolinski's 9.00-with-a-two, but he couldn't make up the time he lost at the tree and Topolinski moved on. Against Tim Eichhorn in round two, Topolinski was second to leave, but in this case it was a good thing - his .005 left no room for error, and Eichhorn's -.002 lit the foul light and put him on the trailer. As TQ, the semi-final bye went to Topolinski, giving him the go-ahead straight into the final round.

Meanwhile, third-qualified Booze was making his way through his half of the field, getting a very early Christmas present when Michael Abadalla, who came all the way from New Mexico, broke. In the second round, Booze got past Mike Curcio on the strength of an 8.987-to-9.134 run, then took on Andy Schmidt to sort out who'd be grappling with Topolinski at the end of the day. Booze put a holeshot on Schmidt, .021 to .156, and held the lead through the beams despite Schmidt running almost two hundredths faster.

When Topolinski and Booze met in the final, both racers took a shot at the tree, and Topolinski's luck finally ran out; a -.015 redlight cost him the win, but both drivers ran it out anyway with Booze ahead at the stripe.

NMRAPaul
03-13-2006, 11:23 AM
5.0 Magazine Real Street
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Although the Bradenton Real Street field was comprised of just a half-dozen cars, the quality of the entries more than made up for the smaller quantity. The first four qualifying slots were nailed down, in order, by last year's top four championship points leaders. Brian Meyer's 10.066 qualifying pace set the standard for the class, followed by Tim Matherly, Uncle Robin Lawrence, and Jim Breese.

In the first round, Florida local Jeremy Martorella got the go-ahead when Uncle Robin's new '05 hurt itself at mid track, Meyer trailered Breese with a 10.069 run to Breese's 10.331, and Matherly defeated fifth-qualified Bruce Hemminger despite Hemminger's stellar .009 light. The semi-finals gave Meyer the TQ bye, which he ran out anyway to a 10.112 at 132.70 mph, and Matherly and Martorella squared off to see who would get to run him in the finals. Both drivers cut sub-.1-second reactions with the advantage going to Matherly, which he stretched down-track to a 10.175/10.609 win.


With dusk descending, the final pair of Real Street cars lined up, and Matherly was away first with a .025 to Meyer's .079. But that wouldn't be enough - Meyer caught and passed Matherly by the 330, and wound out his Fox to a single-digit 9.991-at-134.46 win against Matherly's 10.126.

NMRAPaul
03-13-2006, 11:53 AM
Tremec Pure Street
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A baker's dozen cars filled the lanes for Tremec Pure Street, with top qualifier honors going to 2005 championship runner-up Brad Meadows thanks to his 10.388 run. Ron Anderson took the second rung on the ladder with a 10.419, followed by Teddy Weaver in third with a 10.564. All told, you'd need an 11-flat or better to crack the top ten in the field going into eliminations.

The lucky-13 field gave Meadows a bye in the first round, and the second was over before it began when Meadows' opponent Gary Barrett jumped the gun with a -.082 redlight. That sent Meadows to face Larry Wzir in the semis, and Wzir was away first, .068 to .058, but Meadows ate up the gap and tripped the beams first with a 10.401 run to Wzir's 10.720.

Number two qual Anderson had been doing a little racing of his own, taking a stripe-to-stripe victory in the opener, then catching the second round bye before facing Jimmy Wilson to determine who got to go race Meadows in the final. At the tree, Anderson had a near-death experience (at least as far as his hopes for a win went) when Wilson absolutely nailed his reaction time with a .001 to "only" a .083 from Anderson. With the better part of a tenth to make up, Anderson kept it to the wood and got around Wilson, taking the win with just a bit to spare, 10.354 to 10.644.

With the finals down to the top two qualifiers, both showing similar speed, it was even money on who'd come out on top. Chalk it up to the fading evening light if you will, but when the tree came down, Meadows left early with a heartbreaking -.031 redlight start, letting Anderson take a 10.314-second victory lap.

NMRAPaul
03-13-2006, 12:09 PM
K&N Filters Factory Stock
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It's not easy to go fast in Factory Stock, the NMRA's most restrictive heads-up class, but 11 drivers were up to the challenge in Bradenton, and despite the fact that power adders are forbidden and modifications strictly regulated, Shawn Johnson managed an 11.613-second run in qualifying to place himself at the top of the ladder. Steve Schmell was also into the elevens, his 11.720 good enough for second. Third-qualified Steve Gifford led the 12-second brigade, which stretched all the way down to ninth place Rick Walsh.

The odd field and his number one slot gave Johnson the opening bye, which led him to a faceoff with Dennis Merrow, ranked fourth in 2004 and qualifying fifth at Bradenton. Merrow clipped a tiny .007-second holeshot, but was immediately passed by Johnson, who bettered his qualifying pace with an 11.591. That put Johnson against Jonathan Paulk, who had qualified at the back of the pack but had since worked out the kinks. Unfortunately for Paulk, a -.104 redlight start ended his day and sent Johnson on to the finals.

That pairing would pit him against number two qualifier and 2005 class runner-up Jeff Schmell, who had taken out Mike Washington in the first round and Steffen Pearman in the second. Third round brought up a bye for Schmell thanks to the short field, but he gave it the stick anyway with an 11.681 blast into the finals.

There, Johnson left with a .093/157 advantage at the tree and never looked back, clicking off an 11.634 against Schmell's 11.668 for the win.

NMRAPaul
03-13-2006, 12:22 PM
Vortech Modular Muscle
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The open-comp format Modular Muscle class drew a full 16 cars for the opening round at Bradenton, and with qualifying order determined by the best reaction time in qualifying, ten of those drivers could boast a sub-.1 RT. Leading the quick draw artists was Reggie Brunett, Jr. with a snappy .009 best reaction.

The class would come down to the fourth and fifth qualifiers, Rick Doern and Chris Colitas. Doern worked his way to the finals with an opening win against Mike Bowen and a big second-round treeing of Al Papitto, .028 to .223. That put him up against some stiff competition in the semi-finals, facing 2005 Mod Muscle fifth-place finisher Robert Hindman. Doern cut a .016 light to Hindman's .026, and Hindman had no choice but to run flat out to the finish line to stay ahead. Unfortunately, that put him under his index, posting a 11.274 breakout on his 11.28 target.

Meanwhile, Colitas got past Chris Niebauer in the first round, then won a double-redlight match against top-qualifier Burnett by virtue of the fact that Burnett's side of the tree came down first. That paired Colitas with Tom Motycka, who hit the tree just ever so slightly too hard and was rewarded with a -.001 redlight for his trouble. In the finals, the leave couldn't have been closer, with Colitas getting the head start and pulling a .034 reaction, and Doern following with a .035. With Doern well off his 10.34 index at the stripe with a 10.424, it was all about Colitas, who took the win running 11.480 on his 11.43 target.

NMRAPaul
03-13-2006, 12:37 PM
Toyo Tires Open Comp
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Open Comp, or "holy crap, that's a lot of cars!" as it's known at the track, drew no less than 37 entries in Bradenton. Out of that swarming mass of humanity, Bill Lee, Jr. rose to the top of the qualifying heap by virtue of his perfect light. Last year's Open Comp champ Bruce Parker was right behind with a .001, and you'd have to go all the way down to Milton Grow in seventh spot before you'd find a double-digit RT in the bunch.

On Sunday, the field quickly narrowed, with Parker getting by Larry Geddes in the first round when Mr. Open Comp pulled a rare -.006 redlight. From there, Parker got another red bulb gift against Enzo Pecchini who pulled a -.025, then actually had to race against Stephen Carroll, who could only manage a .132 to Parker's .010 and ended up running under his index and breaking out trying to stay ahead of Parker. The next rung on the ladder pitted Parker against Michael Sodano, and the race was over at the tree when Parker put down a .007 RT against Sodano's .117. The odd field meant that Parker got a single into the finals, where he'd meet up with Jim Brown.

Brown's trip to the finals began with an easy win over Larry Albright, then continued versus Susan Mcclenaghan, who he trailered with a combination of reaction and ET. Brown got a break in round three when Gil Perry was unable to make the call, then put away Chet Caminita in the quarter finals despite a reaction time deficit thanks to Caminita running 10.318 on a 10.01 index. That left ony Randy Conway between Brown and the finals, and a huge .011 to .421 treeing ended Conway's day. The Open Comp final was a weird one - with both drivers staged, Parker pushed through the beams and left before the tree came down and gave the uncontested win to Brown.

NMRAPaul
03-13-2006, 12:51 PM
Detroit Locker Truck & Lightning
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Bradenton saw nine entries into the Truck & Lightning class, and when the dust had settled at the end of qualifying on Saturday, those entries were led by none other than 2005 champ Keith "Captain Underpants" Kohlmann with a .009 light. Johnny Lightning, last year's number four finisher, had the second-best light in qualifying with a .009, while Mike Motycka was third, getting his big white beast out of the beams in just .050 seconds.

Kohlmann got the benefit of the first round TQ bye, then came up against C.J. Cigarran who ran under his 13.41 index trying to stay ahead of Kohlmann's Barney-colored Ranger. That led Kohlmann to a semi-final battle against John Ashcroft (no, not THAT John Ashcroft) who cut a .106 light. Unfortunately for Ashcroft, Kohlmann broke out his axe and chopped down the tree with a .003, and Ashcroft had something go away down track, coasting through the beams.

On the other side of the ladder, Jim Roberts cruised to an easy win against Robert Chuhran with a .068 to .506 holeshot, then got a freebie from Mike Motycka when he redlit. The second available bye came around in the semis, giving Roberts a clear path to Kohlmann for the deciding round. When the pair met, Roberts' slower index meant that he was past the tree by the time the Captain left, so Roberts didn't see the red bulb light on Kohlmann's side, giving Roberts the win.