Drag Illustrated Issue 179, November / December 2022 - Page 36

Dirt

‘ Cleetus McFarland ’ Headlines 10th Annual FL2K Winners with Double Victory

By Nate Van Wagnen

Two drag-and-drive stars , Garrett “ Cleetus McFarland ” Mitchell and Rick Prospero , faced off in a double final round for big money , big checks , and big trophies in two different classes to wrap up the 10th annual FL2K presented by Brian Crower at Gainesville Raceway on October 10 . Mitchell scored the win with a career-best 6.543-second pass at 221.38 MPH to finish ahead of Prospero and his 6.741 at 209.33 , taking the win in Elite Street Car Shootout and Extreme 28s .

The double final round was just one of the thrilling final rounds that closed out five days of action at Gainesville Raceway . The historic NHRA track played host to FL2K after Hurricane Ian caused damage to the event ’ s usual home track , Bradenton Motorsports Park , just days before the race .
“ There ’ s a lot to say – I could probably write a book ,” said Victor Alvarez , the promoter of FL2K and owner of Bradenton Motorsports Park . “ First and foremost , I say thank you to my staff , the Gainesville staff , and NHRA for allowing us to do this at the last , last , last minute . Also , thanks to my beautiful wife [ Helena ] for delivering a baby on Monday and letting me go and do this . We didn ’ t have a lot of options and we didn ’ t have a lot of time . We had to move equipment and do a lot . We made it happen . Nobody ever told me no or hesitated , everybody just jumped in and went . Everybody stepped up , everybody had our back . That was a great feeling . Thank you is all I can say . The racers , the spectators , the sponsors , media – everybody stuck with us .”
The double final round between Mitchell and Prospero came about when both drivers made it to the final round in two classes , Elite Street
Car Shootout presented by Motion Raceworks and Real Street Performance and Extreme 28s presented by Five Bar Motorsports and RI Automotive . Rather than run two races , the two drivers decided to run one final round for both trophies . It was a race between two true street cars , as Mitchell ’ s “ Mullet ” ’ 86 El Camino and Prospero ’ s “ Green Mamba ” ’ 90 Mazda RX-7 both put in hundreds to thousands of miles per year competing in drag-and-drive events .
The FL2K double-up was especially meaningful
for Mitchell , who ’ s been chasing a Street Car Shootout win for the last few years . The YouTube star , with over three million subscribers , also brought a fleet of fan-favorite cars and drivers out to FL2K . George Siciliano , also known as “ LS George ,” won in 9.50 Index presented by Zubin Performance and Power Rev Racing in the supercharged ’ 02 Blazer out of the McFarland Racing camp .
“ I ’ ve come up shy at FL2K the last two years ,” said Mitchell , who thanked his team and Pete Harrell , who helped with the tuning . “ Last year , we spun almost every run but one I think , then went out in eliminations . This year , we didn ’ t spin a single time . Not one of the cars in the group spun . That in itself is a huge accomplishment , plus all the cars are still running . They ’ re driving into the trailer . James [ Taal ] went out by . 0002 , Mullet won two classes , and George won his class . Way more than I could ask for this weekend .”
Another highly anticipated final saw Joel Grannas and Jonathan Atkins square off for the Outlaw Stick Shift presented by Grannas Racing and TurboSmart event title . Grannas qualified No . 2 in his Grannas Racing ’ 94 Toyota Supra , while Atkins qualified No . 1 and set a new stick shift E . T . record in his Tick Performance “ Grubb Worm ” ’ 97 Camaro . Grannas left the starting line first and held the lead through the finish line , posting a 6.691 at 221.38 . Atkins slowed to a 7.174 at 156.28 .
“ We were struggling , and that was the seventh pass with that four-link ,” Grannas said , “ so to
PHOTOGRAPHS BY KAYLEE CURRAN
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