The 2007 Orlando World Street Nationals Results And Review
15th Annual Orlando World Street Nationals 2007
Written by Bill Walters; Photos by Brian Wood
15th Annual Orlando World Street Nationals 2007
15th Annual Orlando World Street Nationals 2007 Photo Gallery By Brian Wood at Competition Plus Online
The World Street Nationals Complete Coverage by
Raceworks 15th Annual Orlando World Street Nationals 2007 Photo Gallery By Gary Rowe
SUNDAY NOTEBOOK - SUNDAY NOTEBOOK – ORLANDO MAYOR SHUTS IT DOWN, QUALIFYING (FINALLY) COMPLETED IN THE SUNSHINE (?) STATE, CRASH IN
FLORIDA IS THE 'SUNSHINE STATE,' REALLY! The rain that plagued the Real World Street Nationals continued to hamper the event on Sunday. On Saturday, the second round of qualifying finally began very late in the night and only three of the four outlaw classes completed their second and final session.
The famous Florida sun was finally shining Sunday morning, but not before a shower soaked the track at 7:30 a.m. It forced a very long early morning track drying session. Brooms, blow dryers and a small street sweeper remained in action all morning, but the fans still flocked into the muddy grandstands and pit areas, ready for large a dose of outlaw action at its best.
Racers in the Drag Radial class finally began their second round of qualifying at 11 a.m. Sunday morning, with eliminations to promptly follow. The grandstands were almost full by time the Drag Radial session ended. But the skies were darkening. Thick, rain-filled thunderclouds circled the track and although not as ominous looking as Saturday's, they still posed a threat for the possibility of more rain.
Eliminations began at approximately 1 p.m. with the Super Pro Street class.
The logo for the Real World Street Nationals is: "Always rain on but never rained out!" Think it's time for new motto, guys!!
IT'S 'THE MAYOR!'- I was told by a track worker that the owner of the facility received a phone call from the Mayor of Orlando at 2 a.m. Sunday morning politely asking officials to immediately stop racing after receiving numerous noise complaints (and to also forgo further scrutiny during annual zoning meetings). The friendly folks at Orlando Speedworld promptly shut down qualifying with the Drag Radial class unable to complete a second session.
SUPER PRO STREET
The second round of qualifying was finally completed late Saturday night with Vinny Budano of Hicksville, New York, grabbing the top spot in his 68' Chevy Camaro, setting low elapsed time and top speed of the event at 6.460 at 220.91 mph. Budano will have almost a one-second advantage over his first round opponent, No. 32 qualifier Frank Cersosimo, who made the field with a 7.420 at 146.30 mph.
Eliminations began at I p.m. and the racers and crowd were more than ready. The first highlight of the day was made by Chuck Samuel who set Top Speed of the meet in his Ford Escort with an outstanding 221.42 mph run during his first round victory over Kevin McCurdy.
Rockmart, Georgia's Jimmy Blackmon used Saturday's late night session to steal the No. 1 qualifying position with low elapsed time, 6.945 at 193.40 mph. Blackmon will have a half-second advantage over No. 32 qualifier Jimmy Hall in the first round of eliminations. Number three qualifier Tim Lynch set Top Speed with a stunning 210.64 mph pass in his wicked Ford Cobra.
John Schroeder qualified No. 1 in Heavy Street, running low elapsed time of the event with a 7.539 at 184.67 mph. He'll have a 1.7-second advantage over No. 32 qualifier Randy Goodman who made the show with a 9.210 at 147.81 mph. Gary Naughton set top speed during qualifying with a run clocked at 184.83 mph.
The Drag Radial class only completed one qualifying session during the weekend but had high hopes of possibly getting in a session early Sunday morning. Unfortunately, it rained just as the sun came up and the track officials spent most of the morning trying to dry the track (again).
The Drag Radial cars rolled to the starting line at 11 a.m. and put on a good show during their second round of qualifying. With over 80 cars attempting to make the 32-car field, the final session was chalked full of wild 8-second runs at over 170-mph, and several 7-second passes.
Mechanicsville, Maryland-based driver Keith Mclaughlin crashed his Drag Radial Mustang near the end of Sunday's qualifying session. His car launched hard off the starting line in the left lane and he appeared to be out of control early in the run. He never seemed to lift off the throttle as he tried to gain control but his car made a hard left turn and hit the retaining wall almost head on near half track. His highly damaged blue Mustang came to rest in the middle of the track and they slowly extricated him from the car and transported him to a local emergency facility by ambulance.
Kevin Fiscus continued to lead qualifying in his 2002 Mustang. He improved to a 7.869 at 183.74 mph on his second qualifying attempt Sunday morning, low elapsed time for the class. The bump spot for the 32-car field was held by Angelo Graham with a 8.354 at 163.91 mph. Top qualifying speed for the class was held by David Wolfe at 190.30 mph in his 1989 Mustang.
SATURDAY NOTEBOOK - RAIN WINS OUT, CAPTAIN
KIRK, ALMOST FINISHED
WEATHER WORRIES WIN THE DAY- Few people who were in attendance at the 15th annual Real World Street Nationals down in Florida were prepared for the wet weather that saturated the event. The first two days of qualifying were pretty well a washout, with two of the original four qualifying sessions wiped out.
Saturday morning dawned cloudy and wet, but the fans still poured into the race track like the rain out of the Florida skies. Heavy cloud cover blanketed the area and rain continued to remain a threat throughout the day, though officials vowed to attempt to complete qualifying. After drying the track for several hours, qualifying began just past noon with the completion of the Drag Radial class from Friday evening. With rain a constant threat, race officials tried their best to rush through qualifying in an attempt to give all the racers an opportunity to take another shot at making the show.
But Mother Nature eventually won out.
At about 2 p.m. the rain came down hard, just as the second qualifying session was about ready to begin. Dozens of racers quickly pulled their cars to their dry pit areas as the grandstands drained into the parking lot and manufacture’s midway. The rain ended after about a half an hour and the monotonous track drying process began. With threatening weather still lingering in the area, the crews slowly dried the track as the teams waited for a chance to race.
Then it started raining again about 3 p.m., steady. The manufacture’s midway was crammed with people under the many colored tents, unable or unwilling to get wet and reach their cars.
With the track equipped with lights, the race officials were determined to wait out the rain and run late into the darkness Saturday. As of 8 p.m. there was still no activity on the track
SUPER PRO STREET
Canadian Pro Modified racer and engine builder Carl Spiering was on hand at the Real World Street Nationals. He wasn't competing but helping a friend sort out the set up on a new chassis that a fellow racer was driving during the weekend.
Here were the Top 10 in the field after just one session and a painfully slow qualifying pace: 1.Vinny Budano, 6.460/220.91 2.Chuck Samuel, 6.549/216.41 3.Steve King, 6.618/208.39 4.Mark Micke, 6.638/203.12 5.Dan Saitz, 6.638/203.12 6.Rocky Raynor 6.643/210.41 7.Randy Jewell, 6.730/208.04 8.Michael Neal, 6.741/204.70 9.Timothy Baptista, 6.778/204.23.
A total of 64 Super Pro Street cars attempted to make the 32-car field.
With former Outlaw 10.5 standout Justin Humpreys grabbing the provisional pole in Pro Stock out in Nevada at the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals on Friday, one has to wonder which drivers competing at this year's Real World Street Nationals this weekend will eventually make the big step up to superstar status. The sheer amount of unknown driving talent on hand at Orlando Speed World is simply staggering. Some of these drivers enjoy the Outlaw series and wouldn't have it any other way, while others are just waiting for their big break to move up to the larger and more lucrative sanctioning bodies like the NHRA and IHRA.
CAPTAIN KIRK- Georgia's Steve Kirk has made a name for himself racing in the Outlaw 10.5 class. His career highlights include being the first driver over 200-mph, the first in the 4.60's, the first in the 4.50's and the first racer to crack the six-second barrier; all in an Outlaw 10.5 racecar.
After qualifying in the No. 15 position with a 7.381 at 197.02 mph during Friday's lone session, Kirk was looking for a dramatic improvement in his performance from his 2000 Chevy Camaro on his second qualifying attempt.
"Yesterday we really underestimated the track," said Kirk. "The track conditions were good enough for us to easily run to the 6.80's yesterday. If the rain holds out I think you'll see some 6.70's and 6.80's in Outlaw 10.5 tonight. I hope we can get two qualifying runs in," added Kirk, "we need it. You never know what this rain will do so we're happy just to be in the show right now.
Kirk has been racing in the Outlaw 10.5 class since 1994. "We pretty much pioneered this class," he said.
Kirk, who has been attending the event since 1995, is a prior winner in Orlando. He won the Real World Street Nationals Outlaw 10.5 title in 2003. He's also the defending Outlaw Racing Street Car Association 10.5 champion, winning the title in 2006.
The Top 10 after one session: 1.Rick Thorton 6.964/203.25 2.Richard Sexton 7.028/204.23 3.Chuck Ulsch 7.067/202.18 4.Michael Robinson 7.067/200.50 5.Jimmy Keen 7.104/209.43 mph 6.Gino Cvalieri 7.148/197.45 7.Bryan Markiewicz 7.169/193.07 8.Charlie Dolbin 7.180/198.26 9.Ryan Wetherington 7.222/192.99 10.Shawn Zubler 7.282/193.27
A total of 77 Outlaw 5.0 racecars attempted to make the 32-car field before the rain began.
The Top 10 in the class: 1.Anthony Russo 7.708/181.13 2.Jason Enos 7.808/179.21 3.Sam Gottier 7.889/139.30 4.Barb Nesbitt 7.971/157.21 5.Robert Remek 8.007/175.41 6.Lee Saunders 8.046/174.84 7.John Schroeder 8.078/133.42 8.Felix Garcia 8.302/167.12 9.Chris Cadotto 8.304/169.02
A total of 42 Heavy Street vehicles attempted qualifying.
ALMOST- The rain fell Friday night with just 11 Drag Radial cars left to complete the first round of qualifying. All three of the other classes were able to finish one round, despite a large amount of oil downs, transmission breakage, and rain delays that slowed the action throughout the day. The remaining cars completed the first qualifying session as soon as the track was dried, which was just past noon.
TOP 10 AFTER ONE- Here were the Top 5 qualifiers in Drag Radial following the completion of the first session, which began Friday night but was halted due to rain and completed Saturday afternoon.
1.Kevin Ficus, Ford Mustang, 7.875/182.90 2.Troy Pirez Jr., Chevy Camaro, 7.877/175.64 3.Shannon Wren, Ford Mustang, 7.901/166.50 4.Al Marlow, Chevy Camaro, 8.031/174.30 5.Scott Bitzer, Chevy Malibu, 8.064/175.68 6.Tim Murray, Chevy Camaro, 8.085/157.87 7.Eric Stubbs, Ford Mustang, 8.108/183.57 8.Greg Trotta, Chevy Camaro, 8.236/172.94 9.Samuel Phillips, Chevy Nova, 8.250/157.04 10. Steve Twiey, Chevy Camaro, 8.252/172.43.
99 Drag Radial cars attempted to qualify for the 32-car field.
FRIDAY NOTEBOOK - 'NEW LOOK' ORLANDO, RAIN OR NOT!, JEWELL SHINES,
WORLD'S FASTEST GTO?
RAIN, DRY, RAIN, DRY … It was one of those days when there was just enough
moisture in the air to stop racing every now and then for safety. Between oil
downs, light rain and the occasional broken hot rod, the race was an exercise
in patience, but well worth it.
ROLL A 'SEVEN'- After seven hours and counting the first qualifying session was still
underway for the over 300 race teams that invaded Orlando Speed World Dragway for the Real World Street
Nationals. Let the long night begin (7:21p.m.).
'NEW LOOK' ORLANDO SPEED WORLD DRAGSTRIP – The 15th Orlando Real World
Streetnationals, famous for unofficially being the largest 'outlaw' race in the
world, had a new feel to the facility for long-time attendees of the annual
event. Gone were the dangerous old Armco guardrails, replaced by concrete
barriers on both sides of the entire racing surface. A new lighting system has
also been installed in the shut down area, as well as new timing scoreboards
with LED lights at the finish line. The entrance way and other areas have also
been recently repaved. The Orlando fans were also treated to a new sound
system, which I was told was a great improvement from the past system. The
track appeared to be well prepped and the racers pit area was overflowing with
Despite the cosmetic overhaul,
some of the racers I spoke with said the money would have been better spent on
the racing surface.
"The track is still in
rough shape," offered one nameless racer. "If they want a street
track, that's what they have. Everything they've done is purely cosmetic. The
track is still the same."
This was my first visit to
the 'Woodstock of Street Racing' and after a stroll through the facility I was
fairly impressed. But I was ready for some 200-mph action and I received plenty
A light rain fell steadily
at OSWD until mid-morning before track drying finally began. Just past noon,
Heavy Street was the first class to attempt to navigate the green Orlando
Qualifying seemed to be a
"run when your ready' scenario, which made for a little confusion, but the
racing was pretty much non-stop once it got underway.
There were definitely enough
monster wheelstands and lane-swapping wild rides to keep the sizable crowd on
the edge of its collective seat.
With a strong tail wind
blowing straight down the track, several cars made decent runs under
threatening skies, but a transmission explosion on the starting line early
during the first session brought racing to a quick stop. After a long delay,
the wild street action roared back to life as the officials scrambled to get at
least one session of qualifying completed in each of the four classes.
For the most part, there
were a tremendous amount of runs that bordered on the edge of disaster. Close
calls and lucky saves outnumbered full runs by almost double. Hopefully, with a
solid session and no more rain, the wild runs will calm down and the
performances in all the classes will improve dramatically.
The Top 5 qualifiers after
Friday's first session of Heavy Street were: 1. Anthony Russo, Chevy Chevelle,
7.708/181.13 mph, 2. Jason Enos, Chevy Nova, 7.808/179.21 mph, 3. San Gottier
Chevy Chevelle, 7.889/139.30 mph, 4. Barb Nesbitt, Chevy Camaro, 7.971/157.21
mph, 5. Robert Remek, Chevy Camaro, 8.007/175.41 mph.
SUPER PRO STREET
JEWELL SHINES- Randy Jewell has two
NSCA World championships to his name but he has never run at the Granddaddy of
all Street Legal events, the Orlando World Streetnationals. That will all
change this weekend when he gets behind the wheel of the Jewell, Falco, and
Mars twin turbo Camaro and joins the Super Pro Street field for the fifteenth
running of the event.
a telephone conversation Jewell explained, “We won two World Championships with
Pat Budd’s ProCar Corvette but felt we never could be competitive with the car
in the Super Pro Street class. Now with our new Camaro we know we really have
something to get the job done. We may be a bit short on data and suchlike as
the car is relatively new but it is going to be one bad hot rod once we get it fully
sorted out. I’m looking forward to Orlando, it always was a dream of mine to
race here but I am under no illusions, there will be a bunch of fast guys ready
to take the title, but we are here to have fun as well. We will just take it as
WORLD'S FASTEST PONTIAC- Scott Filkins was making
his fourth career appearance at the Real World Street Nationals, behind the
wheel of his record setting blown 526-cubic-inch Pontiac GTO Pro Modified. You
may not know Filkins name yet, but you soon will. The driver of the
Rupturewear.com-sponsored GTO recently recorded a career-best 5.96 elapsed time
at 242-mph, making his beautiful ride the fastest Pontiac in the world.
weekend we're just looking to qualify," said a humble Filkins, "then
we'll see where we can go from there. There are a lot of great cars and drivers
here this weekend."
faltered on his first attempt, suffering mechanical problems and slowing to a
12.028 at 82.64 mph. He had three
schedule qualifying sessions remaining to make the tough 32-car field.
ON TOP EARLY- Here are the Top 5 qualifiers after Friday's first session in Super Pro
Street: 1. Vinny Budano, Chevy Camaro, 6.460/220.91 mph, 2. Chuck Samuel. Ford
Escort, 6.549/216.41 mph, 3. Steve King, Dodge Viper, 6.618/208.39 mph, 4. Mark
Micke, Chevy Camaro, 6.619/217.67 mph, 5. Dan Saitz, Ford Mustang, 6.638/203.12
Thorton laid down an awesome number for everyone to shoot for during qualifying
in the Outlaw 10.5 class. Thorton, the first car down the track during 10.5
qualifying, turned more than a few heads Friday afternoon when he thundered to
a 6.969 at 203.25 mph, the first sub-seven second run of the weekend in the
class. With overcast skies and cool temperatures, it would be a long wait for
Thorton to see if the run held up for the top spot in the 32-car field.
Thorton's low elapsed time
stood up for the number one spot after the first session and was the only
six-second run during the opening session.
Here is the Top 5 in Outlaw
10.5 after one qualifying session: 1. Rick Thorton, Chevy Corvette,
6.964/203.24 mph, 2. Richard Sexton, 7.028/204.23 3. Chuck Ulsch, Chevy Camaro,
7.067/202.18 4. Michael Robinson, Chevy Camaro, 7.067/200.50 mph, 5.Jimmy Keen,
Ford Mustang, 7.104/209.43 mph.
Points Of Interest For The Street Nationals Fans On Speed World Dragway's Website.
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