Michalek Brothers Racing Kicks off 2023 with Semi-final Finish in Gainesville
Records third quickest elapsed time to date during first round victory
The 2023 NHRA national event season opener will go down in history as a story of perseverance for Michalek Brothers Racing (MBR). Over the course of two weeks in Gainesville, Florida, MBR’s Fund That Flip sponsored A/fuel dragster towed to the starting line a total of 10 times and with each lap came an opportunity for the team to learn something about both their 4,500 horsepower hot rod and themselves as a collective group.
After an offseason full of highly-focused changes to multiple areas of MBR’s injected-nitro combination, the early runs threw the team a series of challenges that they would battle for the duration of their stay in Gainesville. In their first 6 attempts at traversing the Gainesville Raceway quarter-mile, MBR only successfully made it off the starting line on one occasion while instantly smoking the tires on all others.
“I’m really proud of the group of guys that dedicate themselves to working on our racecar,” said Kyle. “You have to try new things to go faster and even after making over 100 runs with this car, we are still trying to find more performance. The new combination threw us a curveball, but we stuck with it and made the car perform when it counted most.”
During national event qualifying, Michalek Brothers Racing took the steps that were necessary to back their car down enough to make a full lap to secure a spot in the 16 car eliminations ladder. MBR’s 5.485 second pass at 270.64MPH during Q2 was good enough for the #13 qualifying position before inclement weather claimed the final qualifying session that was scheduled to be run on Friday evening.
MBR then stepped up their performance in eliminations to reel off an upset win over the #4 qualifier, Dan Mercier, by running a 5.276 at 271.90mph and then the #12 qualifier, John Ausherman, by running a 5.303 at 273.39MPH. The team would ultimately fall in the semi-finals due to an aborted run after shaking the tires against event runner-up Cody Krohn.
“These past two weekends were a test of both the will and the character of our entire team,” said Corey. “When you put in the amount of work that we did over the offseason, it can be insanely frustrating when things don’t pan out run-after-run. This issue however, wasn’t that the changes we made weren’t working, it was that they were working too well to the point that we were getting negative results. While it may have taken longer than what we wanted, the whole group persevered to dial the updates back to a manageable level and we’re optimistic that we are onto something special as we set our sights on the next stop of our 2023 tour.”
MBR now returns home to regroup and reload prior to their annual spring stop to one of the most spectacular motorsports facilities on the planet, zMAX Dragway, to compete in their 4-wide spectacle. MBR returns to the event as the defending event winner from 2022.