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Revving Up the Excitement: A Post-Race Look at the 2024 U.S. Street Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park

The 2024 U.S. Street Nationals held at Bradenton Motorsports Park proved to be a formidable challenge. Although the event kicked off on a challenging note, it ultimately concluded with significant progress and positive outcomes.

 

On January 23, 2024, Jordan and Jacie Ensslin embarked on a journey to Bradenton Motorsports Park. Their mission: to test and prepare the DRAG357, PRO632 Public Enemy 1969 Camaro for Patrick "Big Papa Pat" to have a fierce battle against the top contenders in Outlaw 632 racing.



During the initial testing pass, the DRAG357, PRO632 Public Enemy 1969 Camaro clocked in at 4.513 seconds to the 1/8th mile, reaching an impressive speed of 160 mph. However, upon return to the pits, a concern emerged as the number 8 cylinder exhibited abnormal behavior. This marked the

beginning of a meticulous journey to diagnose and resolve the underlying issue.


Photo Credit: Mr. Fabulous


Persistent challenges plagued the number 8 cylinder, requiring the team's focused attention. Despite thorough efforts, including meticulous examinations of carburetors, checks on plugs, wires, ignition coils, and scrutinizing Fuel Tech maps for potential issues, the problem persisted. Even after enduring five additional rounds of testing, the enigma surrounding the number 8 cylinder remained unresolved. The team faced a formidable task in deciphering the root cause of the ongoing issue.


Git your awesome MERCH at https://www.drag357.com/shop

 

Undeterred by the persisting challenges with the number 8 cylinder, the team pressed on, simultaneously addressing weight transfer issues and fine-tuning the chassis. The adjustments proved fruitful as the car exhibited remarkable acceleration during qualifying, clocking an impressive 4.437 seconds at 162.35 mph. However, the elation was short-lived, as post-run inspection revealed a broken number 2 valve spring. Swiftly responding to the setback, Crew Chief Larry Ensslin sprang into action, orchestrating the replacement of the damaged valve spring. The team showcased resilience and skill, demonstrating their commitment to overcoming obstacles and optimizing the performance of the DRAG357, PRO632 Public Enemy 1969 Camaro.


Photo Credit: Mr. Fabulous: 8,500+ burnout bad for springs. But sure is fun!!

Larry Ensslin making quick work repairing valve spring.

 

Following the second qualifying attempt, the team opted to make gear ratio changes in an attempt to enhance the car's performance. However, the adjustments proved to be counterproductive. Recognizing the need for a prompt response, the team swiftly reverted to the original configuration before the fourth qualifying run. This agile decision-making showcased the team's adaptability and determination to fine-tune the DRAG357, PRO632 Public Enemy 1969 Camaro for optimal performance on the track.


As the team geared up for the 3rd and final qualifying pass of the evening, a breakthrough occurred. The persistent issue with the number 8 cylinder was traced back to a small piece of black plastic that had lodged itself into the nitrous system. With the obstacle identified and resolved, the DRAG357, PRO632 Public Enemy 1969 Camaro demonstrated its true potential, achieving a remarkable 1.009 60ft time. The run culminated in a stellar performance, clocking in at 4.431 seconds at 160.23 mph. This impressive showing secured Patrick the number 7 position for the upcoming race day, marking a turnaround for the team after overcoming the challenging issues.


Photo Credit: Mr. Fabulous: Getting the beast ready to launch

 

The challenges persisted for the DRAG357 Public Enemy Camaro. As the team prepared for the fourth round of qualifying, a disconcerting development unfolded. During the car's warm-up, a loud knocking sound emanated from the motor. Upon inspection, it was discovered that the number 2 lifter had ceased functioning. Faced with the dilemma of not having any spares, Jordan and Patrick embarked on a determined search, reaching out to anyone who might have a lifter.

Jordan's efforts proved fruitful as he managed to secure a lifter and swiftly had it installed. With the lifter issue addressed just in time, the team rallied as they were called for the fourth and final round of qualifying at the U.S. Street Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park. This unforeseen setback only added to the team's resilience and showcased their ability to tackle challenges head-on in the pursuit of success on the racetrack.

Photo Credit: Mr. Fabulous: The newlyweds Jordan and Jacie lining up Patrick for his burnout.

 

Facing the prospect of impending rain on Sunday morning, the organizers at Bradenton Motorsports Park decided to expedite the race schedule, moving the first round of eliminations to Saturday afternoon. In this pivotal round, the team found themselves matched up against the number 8 qualifier, William Ward. The matchup took an unexpected turn in their favor as Ward committed a critical mistake with a -.359 red light on the starting line. However, the triumph was short-lived as the transmission in the DRAG357 Public Enemy Camaro broke during the run, with data indicating signs of trouble from the 4th qualifying pass.

With only one round of eliminations and the need to repair the damaged transmission, the team faced a race against time. Unfortunately, the required parts for the repair were not available at the track. A stroke of luck came in the form of Steve from CRT, who took the damaged transmission to his nearby shop. Working diligently, he managed to repair it and brought it back to the track that very night, showcasing the collaborative efforts and determination of the team to overcome adversity in the pursuit of success on the race track.


I think its broken boss...

 

Following a prolonged rain delay on Sunday, the racing activities finally resumed at 1:30 in the afternoon. The team's second-round matchup brought them face-to-face with Chris Holdorf, who had previously posted an impressive time of 4.374 at 167 mph. Despite the team's confidence in their chances after resolving the transmission issues that had plagued them, the outcome proved to be different. Holdorf secured the win with a significantly improved time of 4.19, outpacing the team's personal best of 4.307.

The race unfolded as a testament to the unpredictable nature of competition, showcasing the challenges and highs of drag racing. Despite the outcome, the team's resilience and determination throughout the event marked a commendable effort in the face of adversity.



In the aftermath of the defeat to Holdorf, it was discovered that a new challenge had emerged for Holdorf's team. The rear gear was found to be broken, shedding light on the difficulties faced during the race. In a display of sportsmanship and camaraderie, the team took the rear gear from the DRAG357 Public Enemy Camaro and provided it to Holdorf, allowing him to continue and finish the race.

Holdorf, fueled by determination and now equipped with the borrowed gear, went on to achieve a remarkable victory in the entire event. His outstanding performance culminated in a best time of 4.146 at a staggering 172 mph, showcasing both the competitive spirit of the sport and the supportive community within the racing world. Despite the challenges faced, the collaborative efforts and sportsmanship displayed added a noteworthy chapter to the team's racing experience at Bradenton Motorsports Park.


Photo Credit: KC Photography



Git your awesome MERCH at https://www.drag357.com/shop



Photo Credit: Mr. Fabulous


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