After two successful outings in NHRA competition, Bongiovanni Racing headed south to Bradenton, Florida for the NMCA (National Muscle Car Association) Muscle Car Mayhem event. This was the NMCA season-opener and a showcase of American hot rods from the 1960s to the current crop of performance cars and trucks. NMCA events also have a great car show and manufacturers midway so there’s a lot to see and do.
Drivers Anthony Bongiovanni and Evan Smith took the reigns of the Micro Strategies and Optima Batteries-backed Ford Performance Cobra Jet Mustangs, with Anthony driving the Super Stock CJ and Evan wheeling the Stock Eliminator entry. Both drivers competed in the Coan Engineering Stock/Super Stock combo race, where Stock and Super Stock cars combine for one eliminator.
Two days of qualifying resulted in Anthony and Evan qualifying 7th and 8th respectively. Anthony’s best pass was a strong 8.67 at 155 mph, while Evan was a tick behind, going 8.74 at 152 mph. “We we’re pleased with our qualifying efforts and excited to take on the strong 34-car field,” said Anthony. “I haven’t driven in about a year,” said Evan, “so I was focused on cutting good lights and driving the car consistently.”
While the cars were running perfectly, first round wasn’t kind to the team. Anthony had an unfortunate .008 redlight, ending his chances at a win and Evan lost a close one to Dan Condon by .020-second at the stripe. “I put up a good fight, but it wasn’t my day,” said Evan, “But I do appreciate the opportunity to drive a fantastic car and to be a part of Bongiovanni Racing.”
“Steve Wolcott and his staff at NMCA always put on fun events, so win or lose it’s fun to participate,” said Anthony. “Winning and losing often comes down to thousands of a second, so sometimes the race just doesn’t go your way. Nevertheless, it’s early in the season and we have plenty of races to improve. The cars ran really well and I’m looking forward to returning to a few more NMCA races this season.”