BRADENTON, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2023) – Multi-time U.S. Street Nationals presented by M&M Transmission winner Ken Quartuccio scored his first Pro Mod class win at the long-running event Sunday night at Bradenton Motorsports Park. In the Outlaw Pro Mod presented by FuelTech and PJS Racing final round, Quartuccio used a 3.652-second pass at 204.35 mph to defeat Raymond Matos and his 3.677 at 202.67 to collect the trophy and the $32,000 check.
The other U.S. Street Nationals winners are Marcus Birt in Pro 275 presented by M&M Transmission, Andy Manson in Limited Drag Radial presented by TBM Brakes and Pro Line Racing, Kenny Hubbard in X275 presented by Rife Sensors and PST Driveshafts, Shawn Pevlor in Ultra Street presented by TRZ Motorsports and Innovative Racecraft, Brad Schehr in Limited 235 presented by SPA Tools and ICE Ignition, Chris Holdorf in Outlaw 632 presented by Voss Wheelie Bars, Kevin Lumsden in Sealed Crate Motor Shootout presented by Scoggin-Dickey, NTS, and Jason Dietsch Trailer Sales, and Marques Hatton in the N/T Shootout presented by Florida N/T and Speed & Truck World.
Index class wins went to Geordan Hoagland in 5.50 Index, Bill Stepp in 6.50 Index, and Gerard Hamlik in 7.50 Index.
OUTLAW PRO MOD
As an outlaw racing veteran, Ken Quartuccio has collected wins in numerous classes at several major events. An Outlaw Pro Mod win at Bradenton has escaped him until this weekend, though. After running consistently in the 3.60s throughout qualifying and eliminations, Quartuccio used his best run of race day – a 3.652 at 204.35 – to score the final-round win over Raymond Matos and his 3.677 at 202.67. It was a wire-to-wire win for Quartuccio, who led Matos off the starting line with a .022 reaction time to Matos’ .028.
“This is tremendous,” Quartuccio said. “I was talking to Manny Buginga today and I said to him, ‘Of everything I’ve ever done in my life, Pro Mod is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s so humbling. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of money or a lot of skill. You just need everything to be perfect.’ This means a lot because today, I think we were just about perfect.”
Quartuccio started race day from the No. 14 spot in his Jamie Miller-tuned, ProCharger-boosted ’69 Camaro, winning first round over Tom Blincoe with a 3.682 at 201.97. In the upset-filled second round, he knocked out No. 3 qualifier Randy Weatherford’s 4.114 with a 3.982 at 187.29. He then had a single in the third round – a 3.662 at 202.58 – when Terry Coyle couldn’t make the call. A .016 reaction time paired with a 3.653 at 203.77 gave Quartuccio the semifinal win over Mike Decker Jr. and his 3.687.
Sunday’s win is Quartuccio’s latest memorable performance at Bradenton Motorsports Park. He also had a runner-up finish in Outlaw Pro Mod at the 50th annual Snowbird Outlaw Nationals in 2021.
“I’ve won a lot of races with this car, but not down here,” said Quartuccio, a six-time U.S. Street Nationals winner. “This place is really special to me. Every time I feel down on my luck, I come here and I usually leave with a smile. Even losing to Melanie [Salemi at the 50th Snowbirds], it was a win for us.”
With the momentum of his big win, Quartuccio is ready to take on the rest of his 2023 Pro Mod schedule, which will continue at Bradenton on March 3-5 for the $100,000-to-win Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod.
“Anybody who knows us knows this car makes good laps all day long,” Quartuccio said. “I’m pretty good on the tree and we don’t make a lot of mistakes. Nothing ever falls off the car. I hate to say it, but when you come here, that’s half the battle. Racing us, you’re gonna have to go down the track every time. That’s hard sometimes. I feel really good about the World Series. This is exactly what I needed to start my season and re-energize this whole team.”
Continuing on the topic of his team, Quartuccio said, “I want to thank everybody, from Jamie the tuner, to Johnny [Miller], who works full-time for me on this car; Dennis, my brother-in-law; my kids, Kelsey and Kaitlin; my wife, Denise, more than anybody because she pushes me to race. She likes drag racing more than I do, I think. There’s so many people I want to thank: Pro Line, ProCharger, Mark Menscer [of Menscer Motorsports], Mark Micke [of M&M Transmission], and Justin Carmack [of Carmack Engineering].”
Puerto Rico’s Matos used a string of 3.60-second passes in his ProCharged ’69 Camaro to qualify No. 8 in the record-setting 32-car field. His consistency continued in eliminations, where he went 3.657 to beat Eric Latino, 4.024 to beat Snowbird Outlaw Nationals winner Jim Halsey’s 4.095, 3.663 to knock out No. 1 qualifier Chip King’s 3.666, and finally a 3.651 to move past Mark Werdehausen in the semifinals.
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Photo's: Chris Sears / KC Photography / Bradenton Motorsports Park