Last winter was the first time in something like 150 years that the New York City metropolitan area didn't see snow before Christmas. It was absolutely amazing-many of the staffers of SC left the office for the holidays in little more than t-shirts and lightweight pants. And, with our thoughts on the season-opening stop in Bradenton, Florida, for the 2007 Super Chevy Show tour that's just weeks away, it was as if that rodent in Punxsutawney had seen his shadow.
Boy, were we wrong. Three solid weeks of subzero temperatures turned the offices into an igloo, our only respite the occasional jaunt to the local pizza joint. Even then, someone in the office would go out and start up the company van for no fewer than 20 minutes, in order to get some heat circulated in the cabin. Needless to say, we were counting the days to the big event in the Sunshine state.
Upon arriving at the famous Bradenton drag strip, we were not only impressed with the Friday turnout of cars, but also with the transformation that the facility underwent in our absence. There's a nice concrete wall surrounding the strip (which gives photographers and racers alike a much needed sense of safety), improved bathroom facilities, and a great stone-like gravel covering what used to be sand in the pits.
After a botched run for espresso early Saturday morning (what kind of coffee shop doesn't open until 11 a.m. on a Saturday?), the rest of the day was spent at the track eyeing the show beauties. It was also our time to scope the cars competing for our two newest awards-the Danchuk Best of the Best '57 Chevy and Best of the Best '67 Camaro (as voted by you, the readers, on superchevy.com after each event). Steve Keech was the winner in the competition for the '57s, with his magnificent Nomad taking home the honors. In the '67 competition, Bob George walked away with the hardware with his black and blue F-body. We also bestowed the coveted Editors' Choice awards to the show cars on Saturday, which always puts a smile on the people that come out and brave the sardonic eyes of SC editors.
The afternoon gave us time to hang out with our favorite race team on the Super Chevy Show circuit, the Tweaked Ya! Racing team of Andrew and Dina Parise. As per the norm, the beer was flowing, the eggplant parm was being prepared, and the party carried on late into the night.
A nasty 7 a.m. wake-up call kicked off Sunday's activities, complete with a trip to the same coffee shop that was-you guessed it-closed. However, the racing action was intense all day, especially with another wonderful day of Florida weather. The DOT class witnessed Chris Adams in his Camaro win with an almost perfect run-a 13.100 e.t. on a 13.10 dial-in, with a .050 RT.
In the Jegs Bracket 2 finals, James Thompson and his ultra-consistent '72 Malibu (ironically, also an Editors' Choice winner), beat out the Pink S10 of Cara Wilson after she red-lighted.
The ProCharger Bracket 1 finals were somewhat of a surprise. Usually this class is dominated by the true dragsters that pepper the Super Chevy Show events. However, this wasn't the day of the dragster. Instead, Mark Mullen and his '66 Chevelle cut an impressive .008 RT with a 10.151 e.t. to a 10.10 dial-in.
The last, but certainly not least, impressive class of the day, the Aeromotive Nitro Coupe Challenge, was a true dogfight. Buddy Farmer and his '03 Corvette seemed to adapt to the changing weather conditions all day, emerging victorious over Willie Brainerd and his '68 Camaro. Farmer ran a 6.473 e.t. at 220.42 mph to take the spoils at Bradenton.