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Bradenton Brawlers

Racers flock to Florida for the traditional prelude to the season.

As one of the few places in the United States of America warm enough to go drag racing in January, Bradenton Motorsports park had the privilege of attracting the best radial and Pro Mod teams.

The event dodged weather despite its southern location, resulting in a busy Saturday where qualifying was cut short and eliminations were raced through at a frantic pace to try and beat a wet forecast for Sunday.

Bradenton is a classic racers’ track. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but between the two walls the traction was superb, allowing both radial tire and slick tire cars to run quick times on the eighth mile.

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Early start: A crew member services the bottom of an engine.
To the lanes: Dewayne Mills' radial tire Camaro gets pushed out ahead of a qualifying pass.
HQ: The Bradenton Motorsports Park control tower under blue skies.
Stevie 'Fast' Jackson puts one of his famous gaps on an opponent.
Legend: NHRA Pro Stock veteran Larry Morgan was driving a Procharger-powered Camaro in Outlaw Pro Mod.
Jeff Sitton waits for a run in his Camaro.
Marc Caruso in the staging lanes before round one.
Sweet victory.
Tuner Brandon Pesz waits with driver Justin Jones before Pro Mod qualifying.
Skies would become more threatening in the afternoon but aside from some short sprinkles of rain the weather held off. That's good news if you own a convertible.

Enjoy the rest of the gallery below.  Photos by Luke Nieuwhof.