All the stars seemed to align for the first radial event of 2021. Anticipation was high across the board, the fans packed the bleachers and withstood the harsh rays of the sun. The PLR trailer arrived on Tuesday and set up in a perfect spot (as usual) ready for 5 days of great weather and even greater racing.
We counted 16 or so Proline Racing customers who were excited to get the event going with many turning up early for testing during the days of Tuesday through Thursday, with Q1 scheduled from Wednesday at 6.30 pm!
The event highlights were many:
Bryan Markiewicz Bows Out in Semi
Team Markiewicz was hoping to take back-to-back wins, having taken the crown at the recent U.S. Street Nationals in Bradenton Motorsports Park in January. Initial qualifying passes set the mark in the mid .50s, but the weather got warmer making the track a little trickier to get a handle on. However, tuner Josh Ledford, opted for consistency, and the team laid down a number of fast passes in the same ballpark, securing the No 2 qualifying spot with a 3.559 at 206.95 mph.
The fun-loving team won Round 1 against Louis De Leon, and steadily made their way through to the semi-finals. Their opponent to get to the finals was none other than Marcus Birt and excitement was definitely in the air. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get it done and the car spun just past the tree.
Mark Micke Puts Swaps to Big Tires
Meanwhile,Mark Micke and Jason Carter entered and qualified in two classes Pro 275 and RvW. They uncharacteristically didn’t get past the first round in Pro 275, so overnight they changed to big tires and switched their attention to RvW after Stevie Jackson broke in Round 1. The hard work paid off, as the well-known team fought their way through to the quarter-finals!
Mike Johns, the Quiet Achiever
Mike Jones and son Zach quietly made their way through qualifying finishing in the 26th spot in their new Chevy Cobalt kitted out with a 481X twin-turbo combination. They took down some well-known RvW stars, eventually going out in the quarter-finals to fellow Proline teammate Bryan Markiewicz.
Pro 275 seems to be the class of the moment, with so many talented teams, drivers, and engine combinations. The excitement to be amongst it all cannot be contained. The records and fast times keep clocking up and the battle to be No 1 is awesome to watch!
Buginga Resets the Pro 275 World Record
There is no doubt that Team Buginga has set 2021 alight with record passes and stout performances. By the time qualifying session 2 came round, Big Fred, tuned by Jamie Miller snatched the world record AGAIN, running an unbelievable 3.704 ET and of course qualifying in No 1 position.
The smile on Manny’s face couldn’t be wiped out even when Fred went red in the quarter-finals.
Scott Tidwell Hungry for Win
Eric Dillard, driving for Scott Tidwell in the red Camaro and equipped with a Proline ProCharged Raised Cam Hemi, qualified in the number 3 position with a 3.715 ET at 198.20 mph. The Pro 275 entry, tuned by Steve Petty steadily made its way through to the quarter-finals on Sunday but spun about 180 feet out handing the win to Jeff Miller.
Preston Making a Noise
Isaac and Adam Preston are campaigning the awesome ex-Lazzaro silver Camaro, buying a 481X with 572” of power, qualifying in the No 22 spot with a 3.993 ET, and getting through to Round 2 on Sunday morning.
Singletary Fixes Racecar After Being Caught in a Wreck
David Singletary’s white Camaro, tuned by Chase Driskell, qualified well in 8th position after running a 3.782 ET. A strong pass in Round 1 got him to the finish line first but he was unfortunately hit by his competitor in the rear quarter when the racecar got out of control in the braking area.
Not to be phased by this the team worked into the early hours of Sunday morning to ensure they were able to front for Round 2. Unfortunately, Singletary had to let off when the car started to wheelie about 100ft out.
Youmans Pontiac Goes Over 200 mph
It was Tommy Youmans’s first time out with his newly purchased twin-turbo raised cam Hemi and what a debut it was as Jamie Miller tuned the combination to take the Pontiac into the 200mph club straight off the bat!
And it just got better and better with Youmans finishing the event with a personal best time of 3.921 @ 203.22 mph!!
Anderson Ready to Fight
Brian Anderson finished well in the qualifying sheets, laying down a 3.853 at 207.18 mph to land in 12th position. The team had an excellent run against fellow Proline Racing team Jason Richards and went onto Round 2 to take on the eventual winner Mo Hall.
Gargus Takes Them On and Wins
The other Scott Tidwell entry, driven by Paul Gargus and tuned by Steve Petty was on a march before this event, cutting a world record time during testing in Alabama. As racecars tend to go, the Camaro gave Petty a challenge throughout qualifying, landing in 3rd qualifying position with a 3.983!
Gargus’s road to the finals consisted of low 4 second passes where he met the fellow Proline customer team of Tim Dutton and Peter Volpe driving the newly debut Foxbody Mustang!
Dutton/Volpe Has An Awesome Debut
The much-anticipated return of the ex-Fiscus / Klugger Foxbody Mustang decked out with a twin-turbo 481X Stage 4, and tuned by Jamie Miller, did not disappoint the fans, the crew, or the owner.
Steadily making progress and getting more and more confident with each pass, Tim Dutton (driving) qualified in 15th spot out of 47 cars entered in LDR with a 4.14 ET. The road to the finals got better every round until meeting up with the Scott Tidewell crew of Paul Gargus and Steve Petty in the final round.
Lawrence Sets PB and Debuts New Car at Lights Out
It’s no secret that James Lawrence commissioned Skinny Kid Racecars to build a brand new Z28 Camaro decked out with the prototype “Pro Line Red’ billet engine. This was the first time that race fans and the industry got a glimpse of this new combination on the East Coast. Qualifying got better and better and James finished qualifying in 5th position with a 4.02 ET.
In round 1, Lawrence was paired up against #28 and got to race on Sunday. Lawrence got past Taylor Lastor in Round 2 but lost to Tim Dutton in the quarter-finals after spinning just off the start line.
Harrison Qualifies in 12th Position
Eddie Harrison and his team were looking to win another Duck X event and qualified well in the over-subscribed LDR field. Unfortunately, they were unable to capitalize on this and went out in Round 1 to Taylor Lastor.
Dampier’s Corvette Take 18th Spot
The beautiful C6 Corvette of Ernie Dampier got to race and beat the 15th qualifier in Round 1 but went out to Jet Martin on Sunday in Round 2.
BCOP Claims Pole Position
Manny Buginga’s second car “Big Red”, piloted by Blake Copson was on a march when it took the number 1 qualifying position in the first session and got the win in Round 1 on Saturday night. Unfortunately “Big Red’ slowed in Round 2 and lost out for the event.
Jason Richards SS Camaro
Richards tough-looking SS Camaro went out in Round 1 against 2020 Champion Rob Goss, but they’re expecting better things soon from this team.