The 2019 season kicks off this weekend under the sunny skies and amazing weather conditions here in Bradenton, Florida at the U.S. Street Nationals. This morning the corrected altitude was right at negative 500 feet — mine shaft conditions ripe for record-setting. There are several new cars and teams here and we will get you caught up on during the weekend so stay tuned for the latest news from the track and behind the scenes as we get the 2019 season started with a bang!
Ronnie Hobbs own this fabulous S-10 based out of Texas that was formerly campaigned by Jeg’s in Pro Stock Truck. It’s been completely redone with double frame rails by Brink Racecraft and will be campaigned in various No Prep events and perhaps a few other random events. This is the debut weekend for the truck with Ronnie scoring a 4.66 at 132 on the first full run with the team only testing 60′ and half track runs before today. The truck is powered by a twin turbo BAE Hemi freshened and maintained by Pro Line Racing. Hobb’s owned the Texas Rattlesnake Pro Mod winning two Dirty South No Prep events with Steve Wylie driving winning both. The car was promptly banned from competition prompting Hobbs to build this now street legal, tagged, insured S-10. “ We thought about running a Pro Mod series with the 53 but don’t want to be tied down to run a series, we want to be able to pick and choose where we run and have a flexible schedule. Bounty Hunters is our first No Prep event on March 8.” – Ronnie Hobbs From left to right; Ronnie Hobbs, Mar Barum, Seth McCann, and Landon Hobbs
We stopped by Jay Cox’s pit this morning and found him chatting with Victor Alvarez, who bought in as a partner to Bradenton Motorsports park last year. Cox unloaded Wednesday with a 3.72, a good solid hit to start the new year off. Victor told him he better get ready for a .68 and that is the number that popped up Thursday morning for Jay who plans to run the full PDRA season and Mad Mule Shootouts and a couple of the Carolina Extreme Pro Mod events. Jay Cox with Victor Alvarez as right.
Wild Bill Devine is entered into Pro Modified this weekend and awaiting on new Big Bubba tires to be mounted. Bill has been doing some NT racing recently with Pinks and made improvements to the ET. If all goes as planned Devine may see a 3.80 this weekend after some suspension changes and a new anti roll bar was installed.
Daniel Pharris also made some small changes to the car in the winter off season and did some testing on Orlando earlier this weekend scoring a new personal best with the car, a 3.69 at 216 MPH and a bunch of low 3.7 runs Tuesday and Wednesday. Over here Pharris ran a .72 and .73 last night. “We are going to have to step up the pace a little bit to hang with these guys. 2019 is upon us, with a lot newer stronger, faster, competition. Some of the blower and nitrous guys got to take some weight away but the turbo rules are basically the same, I saw Cox in the 60’s and the screw blown cars are gonna run in this weather.” – Daniel Pharris. The team plans to mix their racing between the NMCA and Mid West Pro Mods and will have the Mustang at Lights Out and the Sweet 16 on drag radials. Pharris also picked up sponsorship from Wiesco for 2019.
Craig Sullivan gave the roots set up the old heave ho and moved to a PSI Screw for the 2019 NMCA season. Sullivan thinks with his heavier car the screw blower will be the team’s best option to stay competitive with the new rules this year. “We will run a couple of Mid West Pro Mod events this year but we are committed to the NMCA for the year. We will probably stick a few local events in and maybe some No Time, or Grudge race, or whatever anyone wants to run and sit next to us.” Craig Sullivan told us. Sullivan stayed with Darren at DMPE for the engine maintenance and had him set up the PSI as well. Sullivan hails from Avon, Indiana and has brought Nick Bacalis onto the team this year. We saw one pass this afternoon so far out the team resulting in shake just after the tree.
There are no major changes for Mark Micke yet, just making small changes to things in the off season and preparing for 2019. He did score a 3.70 yesterday, at 212. Today we saw a 3.74 at 203 for him. They will be preparing for a solid hit in tonight’s session after 6 PM where it is likely to be again in negative DA, or “mine shaft” air conditions. Will we see the RVW record fall this weekend?
Team Swanstrom is now Swanstrom/Stravinos sporting a new wrap and partnership for 2019. Lil Country/Justin Swanstrom scored a .994, 2.50, 3.84 off the trailer today at 167 MPH.. Yes 167, taking it to half track under power. The next one will be a “full pull”. It’s On ladies and gentleman.
Chad Opaleski has upped the overdrive for 2019 to 128% and scored a 190 MPH blast this afternoon, running a 1.07, 2.66 3.94 ET. Congrats Chad and team!!
Pro Line Racing’s Jamie Miller popped in Ken Quartuccio’s pit to make some tuning adjustments before his first run today. We have quite a few top contenders in RVW here this weekend thanks to a $15K purse and promotional assistance by Donald Long.
Kevin Rivenbark is driving the second Galot Motorsports car this year. He made one pass today so far and we will catch up with the team a bit later.
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