UPR at the NMCA Muscle Car Nationals in Bradenton
The UPR sales trailer & staff attended the NMCA Bradenton opening meet and had a great time. Saturday morning, long time UPR racer and friend Tony Whetstone, who was running in True Street, came up and asked me how he can get rid of tire shake that was keeping him from making a clean pass. A quick call to UPR Superstar Chris Little provided Tony with the settings he needed. Not only was tire shake cured but he went on to record a 3-run average ET of 9.25 and WIN the event! Congratulations Tony! Another long time UPR racer Teddy Weaver won NMCA Mean Street with a come from behind 10.05 to 10.09 victory. Way to go Teddy! Thank you both for putting UPR Products in the Winners’ Circle this weekend!
Long time UPR racers and friends Billy & Shannon Glidden were there with his freshly wrapped M/T sponsored Mustang Pro Street entry. Their crew consisted of none other than PGA legend Kenny Perry, who is one of the most down to earth and pleasant celebrities you could ever meet. Even though he was underpowered compared to the Twin turbo and Pro Mod entries, he used his incredible tuning and driving skills to make it to the finals against another UPR good friend David Hance. David Hance showed what a great sportsman and competitor he was when he gave Billy time to try to make engine repairs from damage suffered in Billy’s great holeshot semifinal win over #1 qualifier Jeff Lutz in his gorgeous twin turbo Camaro. Unfortunately, the rains came around 4pm so the final will be held in Atlanta at the combined NMRA/NMCA race April 11-14.
It was great seeing so many legends and pioneers of Ford and Pro Street racing there. Jimmy and Vic Keene had their Pro Mod Vette there with Tony Christian along. I saw Pat “Popeye” Musi with some customer cars. I got a chance to talk to Ford engine builder and pioneer Ronnie Crawford. Sean Ashe and the ATF crew got it together with a 7.2 at 195 pass in their charcoal coupe, and David DeMarco’s Grand National continued to lay down great numbers in Super Street.
I met Richard Wood, longtime Tampa Bay Buccaneer linebacker and team captain, who has a fox body he’s building up. He was one of the nicest, happiest people I ever met and it was great talking to him. Lastly I got to spend some time reminiscing with Dr. Jamie Meyer who has been a dear friend since we first met at Bradenton 16 years ago. He is now the man that took the bean counting out of the Chevrolet performance aftermarket division and I feel has bridged the gap between all us enthusiasts and the factory performance engineers and marketing staffs. I’ve watched him progress from cub reporter at Mustang events to the voice of Mustang racing as World Ford Challenge announcer, then on to grad student and ultimately a doctorate in microbiology. But most importantly I watched him make a switch which blended his automotive enthusiasm with a great employment opportunity at GM Performance.
I think the UPR sales trailer has the best assortment of parts it has ever had and I’m looking forward to a continued great season. Looking forward to seeing all our great past, present, and future customers and being able to say thank you personally to them.