A special shootout with four of the quickest cars on the property closed out Saturday qualifying at the 10th annual FL2K presented by Brian Crower at Gainesville Raceway. Rick Prospero collected the $3,500 payday, adding to a day that also saw the Florida native qualify No. 1 in Street Car Shootout presented by Motion Raceworks and Real Street Performance.
Driving his twin-turbocharged, big-block-Chevy-powered Mazda RX-7 known as the “Green Mamba,” Prospero used a 6.753-second pass at 203.89 MPH to knock out David Farlow and his 6.779 at 177.77 in the first round of the shootout. In the final round, he left the starting line first and posted a consistent 6.769 at 203.28 to beat Jonathan Atkins and his 6.916 at 202.91.
“This win means a lot because we finally got the car to another level of power and it’s pretty consistent,” Prospero said. “We tried to lean on it a little bit harder the first round and it wheelied, but we managed to gather it up and still got the win.”
A sizable crowd was on hand for the shootout, which wrapped up around 9:30 p.m. Fans got to witness a new stick shift record in the first round when Atkins fired off a 6.615 at 216.41 in his Grubworm Racing ’97 Camaro. In the other lane, YouTube star Garrett Mitchell, also known as “Cleetus McFarland,” set new career-best numbers, 6.667 at 212.59, in his Motion Raceworks “Mullet” ’86 El Camino.
“It’s exhilarating,” Prospero said of racing in the ultra-competitive shootout in front of a big crowd. “It’s my drug. It’s like a rush and I really, really enjoy it. I’m sure the fans enjoy seeing some pretty tight racing as well.”
Before winning the shootout, Prospero qualified well in two different classes, Street Car Shootout and Extreme 28s presented by Five Bar Motorsports and RI Automotive. He qualified No. 1 in the Elite field of Street Car Shootout with a 6.729 at 209.56, then he qualified third in Extreme 28s with a 6.788 at 204.66. Prospero is hoping that will lead to plenty of round wins on Sunday, but his family-based team is ready for the challenge.
“We do drag-and-drive events with this car, and we’ve got it ironed out pretty well,” said Prospero, who won the inaugural Sick Week drag-and-drive event in the Modified class earlier this year. “We’ve been racing the car for about eight years, same platform, so we know the car in and out and what its limitations are. Our team prides ourselves in making the car as reliable as possible so we can turn it around as quickly as possible.”
Behind Prospero in the Elite Street Car Shootout field, Will Dugas piloted his Dodge Viper to a 6.852 at 215.48 on Friday to qualify second. McFarland qualified third with his 6.939 at 210.77, a step up from his Friday best.
The massive Street Car Shootout class broke down into four different 16-car ladders after qualifying. The other low qualifiers are Robert Robinson in True (8.004 at 161.57), Kevin Stowe in Pro (8.255 at 171.60), and Ricardo Diniz in Super (8.496 at 160.18).
While Atkins didn’t win the shootout, he did earn the No. 1 qualifier honors in Outlaw Stick Shift presented by Grannas Racing and TurboSmart. He made a big swing with his 6.755 at 213.00 to hold off the 6.873 at 212.46 charge from Joel Grannas in his ’94 Toyota Supra. Jon Rogers qualified third in his ’98 Nissan 240 with a 7.35 at 190.54.
It took 7-second passes to crack into the top three in XFWD presented by Precision Turbo and FuelTech. The top two qualifiers from Friday night, Joel Olivo and Bradley Dillon, held on to their spots with a 7.876 and 7.878, respectively. Steven Ali stepped up to a 7.957 at 191.05 in his ’95 Integra to qualify third in the 32-car field.
Bret LaSala kept his No. 1 qualifying spot in Extreme 28s, but it took an improved 6.664 at 213.00 in his ’13 Mustang to do so. Friday’s No. 2 qualifier, David Farlow, also stepped up to a 6.747 at 200.56 in his ’86 Mustang to maintain his spot, holding off Prospero’s third-ranked 6.788.
Bobby Miller in his Clarksville, Tennessee-based ’15 Mustang just missed the Outlaw Stick Shift field, but he took the No. 1 spot in Sport Stick Shift presented by GP1 Racing and Haltech with an 8.928 at 120.83.
The top three in DCT Extreme presented by Ostar Motorsports and Dodson Motorsport didn’t change from Friday’s three sessions. Marcelo Duran, in from Magnolia, Texas, held on to the No. 1 spot with a 7.26 at 200.95 in his ’14 GTR. Jordan Martin improved from his 7.578 to a 7.486 in his ’18 Huracan, but he maintained the No. 2 spot. Jan Buhler also stayed in third with a 7.713 at 180.84.
Jason Heffner took over the No. 1 position in DCT Street presented by Pure Drivetrain Solutions and Cicio Performance with an 8.164 at 176.10 in his ’17 Audi R8. Miguel Pirez also moved up to No. 2 with an 8.235 at 184.47 in his ’17 Huracan. Nathan Cicio rounded out the top three in his ’22 Audi with an 8.248 at 175.52.
A90/B58 Shootout presented by P2uned and East Coast Supra was another class that didn’t see any movement at the top of the qualifying order in Saturday’s two sessions. Michael Botti Jr. in his ’20 Supra kept the No. 1 spot with an 8.278 at 159.21. Justin Lazaros qualified No. 2 with an 8.309 at 164.55 in his Supra, and Norris Prayounto is third with an 8.478 at 165.19.
With qualifying complete, FL2K presented by Brian Crower will go into eliminations Sunday at 10 a.m.
Tickets are available at the gate for $30. Children 12 and under get in free.
Stay tuned to www.RaceBMP.com, www.FL2K.com, and the Bradenton Motorsports Park and FL2K Facebook pages for results and news from FL2K22 presented by Brian Crower, Oct. 6-9, at Gainesville Raceway. Tune in to the official event livestream at FloRacing.com.