Every year the National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) kicks off its season at Bradenton Motorsports Park. The warm Florida weather welcomed guests of Bradenton (March 10-13, 2016) to a weekend of drag racing at the 14th Annual Ross Racing Pistons NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem. This year featured some very large fields, considering it was the first race of the year. While some may have been at home getting their cars ready for the next round, VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod was bursting at the seems with 20 competitors. That’s huge considering it is the fastest class the NMCA offers, and one of the newest. Corvettes were particularly well represented in this class, given their aerodynamic advantages and looks. Beyond its skin there is not much Corvette left in these tube-chassis racecars, but they are cool none the less. The #3 qualifier was Adam Flamholc’s ’63 split-window with a blown 526ci Hemi, it ran 3.89 at 193mph in the 1/8-mile. John Green’s C6 was less than a tenth behind the Swede with his nitrous-injected Musi 903ci combo (in the #9 spot). And there was another C6 in the #11 spot (Richard Cohen) as well with a blown 526-cube monster.
A few other classes that typically see quite a few Corvettes include Mickey Thompson Radial Wars and Edelbrock Xtreme Street. Keith Berry’s ‘02 Z06 led the Radial Wars field with his brand-new twin-turbo, 487ci small-block combo, running 3.98 at 189mph on his final qualifying pass Saturday night. No one else managed to break the 4-second barrier. Paul Major’s ’01 Corvette sat in the #8 spot, running a 4.54 at 131mph (letting out) using a twin-turbo big-block. While Mark Woodruff’s ’10 Corvette ZR1 had the final spot with mere 6.39 at 88mph, that is not indicative of what his C6 is capable. This perennial front-runner is sorting out a few changes to his M&M 3-speed lock-up transmission. He ran a 4.00 just a few weeks ago at SGMP, thanks to his twin-turbo 522ci Sonny Leonard combo. In Xtreme Street, Cameron Massengale was the lone Corvette rep, with the ’01 Z06 that regularly competes in LSX Real Street. New for 2016, the NMCA aligned the rules in Xtreme Street so that racers like Cameron can compete in the other four races not in the LSX Challenge Series. While his 7.80 at 163mph (1/4-mile) was only good enough for #6 this weekend in Florida, it shows that they have got the bugs worked out of the nitrous-injection 440ci LSX and it should be a real contender in LSX Real Street. With a little more seat time, perhaps the high school senior will be right in the mix with a low 7.7 e.t. Believe it or not, a ’79 Malibu wagon was leading the field with a 7.67 at 176mph. Stay tuned for more coverage of the event.