There was an ominous quiet leading up to the NMRA's '05 Bradenton opener. Though we're never regulars on the popular Mustang racing message boards, it just seemed that everyone must've been too busy to get on the computer. Most of the off-season was pretty quiet, too. Of course, there were rule changes, and even more that were proposed, but not implemented. But, probably the biggest reason for us not being in touch with the racing community was because of the excitement over the '05 Mustang GT, and what affect it would have on the Mustang racing community.
Most surprising was the number of '05 Mustang GTs at Bradenton. The cars are brand-new for cryin' out loud, and people were already beating them within an inch of their lives. Top dog of '05 Mustangs show-stoppers on the property was Robin Lawrence's Real Street '05 Mustang, which he stuffed a pushrod combination into and ran 9s right off the bat. Not far behind its e.t. was Steve Angell's '05 Mustang GT, which had its Three-Valve hoisted out and replaced with a blown Four-Valve. Meanwhile, Justin Burcham's silver '05 Mustang GT was running 12.20s with few mods.
And that's just scratching the surface, as Johnson Motorsports also had its silver '05 Mustang GT on the property with a built bottom end and nitrous. Then there was Powerhouse Automotive's GT, which ran a best of 12.31 at 109 mph with some bolt-ons. Not to be outdone at the '05 Mustang GT game, was Alternative Performance's Lidio Iacobelli. Lidio had his GT sittin' on chrome Enkei deuce zeros, and running 12.90s by the end of the weekend-with an automatic no less.
However popular the '05 Mustang was at Bradenton, the NMRA racers with pre-'05 cars held their usual stellar show with fast times, breathtaking performances, and brash starting-line antics thanks to Don Burton and Jarrett Halfacre holding a 411/42-minute starting-line duel session. Grab the popcorn and put down the remote people, the '05 NMRA season is gonna be a blockbuster.