The NMRA Drag Racing series and Show Car Spectacular fired up its seven-event season in sunny Florida at Bradenton Motorsports Park in early March. There was great expectation in the heads-up ranks, and fans packed the stands to watch heavy competition in everything from Pro 5.0 to the mid-11-second Factory Stockers. In total, there were over 80 heads-up cars and many more in the Open Comp, Mod Motor, and truck classes. This led to excitement in qualifying and tight racing action, with many races being won on holeshots. This was also the first event for the MM&FF/Hedman Hedders True Street, and nearly 70 cars competed.
When the crowd wasn't watching the tight racing action, they were cruising the manufacturer's midway as 72 vendors offered the latest in go-fast goodies, collectibles, and Ford- and Mustang-related merchandise. The car show also offered event attendees a chance to see nearly 300 sparkling Ford machines. The show grounds were filled with Fords of all models and years-especially late-model Mustangs
The highlight of the weekend's racing was in the Pro 5.0 category, where Vortech Superchargers hosted a Big Bucks Invitational Shootout on Saturday that ran concurrently with qualifying rounds. The top eight racers from 2006 were invited to partici-pate. They were put on an elimination ladder based on points from last year. After each round, the winner advanced and the runner-up was eliminated. Vortech awarded Michael Hauf, defending category champion, $5,000 for his Shootout win. The company's Race and Media Relations Manager, Ricky Best, threw a challenge to Hauf and said if he doubled up by winning the event on Sunday, Vortech would pay him a $10,000 bonus.
The drama ran high as Hauf accepted the challenge. His mountain motor-powered Mustang ran consistently in the 6.60s thanks to the efforts of his crew. Hauf did his job as a driver by winning the second-round matchup on a holeshot against noted engine builder and racer Tony Bischoff. The B.E.S. head honcho ran a 6.62 to Hauf's 6.68-it was Hauf's 0.004 reaction time versus Bischoff's 0.089 light that was the deciding factor. The trip back to Iowa was easier as the Hauf crew left $20,000 richer in prize money and with another $5,000 or so in contingency sponsor winnings.