Well folks it's been about a week now since the wrap up of the 23rd Annual World Street Nationals held in Orlando, FL and I am here to tell you that it's back. This race is back to being a destination race. Quarter Mile Pro Mods, 10.5 Cars, Radial Cars, 632, and so much more. Folks, this really is a can't miss.
We headed out from our base in Chattanooga less than 36 hours after arriving home from the World Cup event in Maryland to go cover the Granddaddy race in Orlando. This is the only event, outside of ones in Vegas, where it's really a trip for everyone. You have all the tourist stuff less than an hour from the race track. Something for everyone.
Some of you may ask what I mean by Orlando being a destination again, so let me explain that. This race has been held 23 times, but in 25 or so years. There were 2 years where it wasn't held. Orlando's World Street Nationals was for years the race that everyone went to. It was the race of races. I know that growing up in the Midwest, the closest I got to this race 10-15 years ago was to read about it online. My boss on the other hand, she got to experience it first hand for quite a number of years. Then something happened though, it was 10.5 dying off, the economy tanking, the radial boom, and it seemed as though WSN got left behind.
All of that really changed when Ozzy Moya took ownership of the Orlando track, along with bringing in one of the most premiere track and opps managers in the business in Wade Rich. The two of them started working on bringing WSN back to where it belonged, and that was on top of the mountain. Sometimes slow growth is what is required, but with persistence and understanding, the two of them, along with staff like Franco, Marco, Tim, Maria, and more have brought this event back to the forefront.
This isn't just your average weekend race. This is the race that you strive to win. When you can call yourself a World Street Nationals Champion, that means you have actually accomplished something in the sport. There are only a few races outside of series racing that have the esteem of World Street Nationals. There are only two races in the country that I call true WORLD events and this is one of them. We saw people from numerous different countries at this race. There are fans that fly in from Europe just to see this race. There are muscle cars and imports vying for the chance to call themselves World Street Nationals Champion.
2016 was no different. We got to see what most internet keyboard racers thought would never happen, and that was a 10.5 car win the money over a radial car. It's a prime example of why racing is done on the track and not on a screen from thousands of miles away. Fans also got to see one of the Mount Rushmore of WSN racers, Kevin "Flash" Fiscus win his third Pro Mod title at this event. He also happened to set a new track record that had been taken from him by Rickie Smith at last years event. There were heavy hitters in every single class on the property. From Pro Mod to N/T. From Kevin Fiscus to Terrence Whalen.
Fans were treated to great racing throughout the weekend. Tight races in index, all the way up to who won it races in Pro Mod at 250 mph. There was not a disappointing moment during the event either. Florida weather was beautiful as well, which was nice for racers like Jeff Miller and Bumblebee, who left the cold of the Carolina's and came to race in the sunshine state. He made it all the way to the finals as well.
Someone else that wanted to race for the money and pride that WSN brings was another NHRA Pro Mod superstar, the one and only Mike Janis, in his Jan-Cen racing car. Mike also was the blower to have on your pro mod at this race. I saw no less than four different blower cars running the Mike Janis blowers as well.
Ultra Street continues to be a mainstay in Florida, with racers like Drakeford, Pirez Jr., Birchfield, and so many more. This class has been strong in Florida pretty much since it's inception and at WSN it was no different. When $3000 is on the line, these guys and girls are going to make a race out of it.
I could go on about how great the event was in my mind, things like Charles Hull of Georgia entering both Heavy Street which is quarter mile and Street Outlaw which is eighth mile. He then proceeded to go to the semi's in Heavy and win Street Outlaw. Or how about the Canadian contingency of racers, including the eventual winner in 10.5 vs. Radial. How about shipping your street car over from Denmark to go on the Power Tour I believe and then come to WSN to compete before shipping the car back home.
There is nothing about this race is isn't a great time. The area, the weather, the cars, the racing, the track, etc. And if you thought the 23rd was a great time, wait until you see what's coming for number 24 as a lead in to the Silver Anniversary race. The date for 2017 hasn't been announced yet, but we at E3xtreme will be the first to bring it to you, and we'd seriously suggest if you haven't yet, make this your event to attend. Bring the family, bring the kids, and enjoy it all.