It’s that time of year again, when the sweet smell of race gas and VHT permeates the air. All motor and force inducted LSX engines create a symphony of mechanical art that dance in our ear drums to the delight of enthusiasts. From the 9,000-rpm screams to the whirling groans and muffled grunts of LSX race cars and street cars alike that leave the burnout box in a blaze of hair-raising authority. The first race of the year is usually a crapshoot for LSX Challengers, as the northern folks are faced with the dilemma of leaving well enough alone over the winter or bring an untested combo to the sunshine state. However, in some cases the first NMCA race will also debut new combos that weren’t finished in time to make last year’s series. On March 21 to 24, we saw these scenarios and more at Bradenton Motorsports Park, as the opening Chevrolet Performance race unfolded in dramatic fashion. When the sun set on Bradenton, Florida, winners were crowned, but many stories and friendships were made.