Horsepower adventures


My cousin and I enjoying the day

The fun never halts here in sunny Florida as I continue revisiting this place I ended up right in my backyard of Tampa Bay particularly along the mangroves and bay.  I actually used to go hangout at the stables while I was in high school. There are so many different kinds of people you can meet but in the stables they were genuinely good country folks it was my favorite place to make friends. Now every visit I make to Florida I always get to see my buddy Armando Gort who has a nice ranch in Tampa.  He also runs a great program called Horsepower for kids which I wish I had as a kid. It doesn’t really matter who you are or what walk of life you are from anyone can enjoy a good horse ride through some land.


Armando taking in the views

We made our way through the trail through the grasslands and marshes to a big wide area where the horse would come to a gallop then back down to a trot. The horses have completed the trail so much they will instinctively go to a gallop when they get out into the opening until you pull back on the reigns. Usually you can say “Whao!” and sit deep in the horse saddle and use your weight to signal the horse to stop but this horse “lightning” didn’t want to listen. The horses at full gallop can reach about 25 miles per hour depending on the length of the stride so you can get into trouble real quick. The opening started in some light water which lead to a beautiful side trail along the mangroves giving you a great picture of the Skyway Bridge.

The Skyway bridge off in the distance

The day was not over though as I had until 5pm to make it to Bradenton, Florida. For starters I can always enjoy any place that has farmlands and open grasslands. Bradenton has this farm life down packed but it also has the coveted Bradenton Motorpark.  Florida is known for a lot of sports and drag racing is one of them.  What is drag racing you may ask? Well if you haven’t heard of it you need to leave whatever rock you have been living under.  If that didn’t answer your question then drag racing is in the simplest terms is a sport where two vehicles compete side-by-side in an acceleration contest. Both drivers race in a straight drag strip from a  “dig” (standing start) to a finish line 1/8 mile away. The first to cross the finish line wins the race. Competition is part driver and part machine. Drag racing is not to be confused with street racing as this is on a strip of asphalt on private party way to pay to race legally.

Now that I have explained drag racing which I hope by now everyone already new about I will continue with my journey. I drove down from Tampa bay which took an hour for those that are not aware how far Bradenton is from Tampa. After arriving racing requires 15 dollars or 10 to watch.  After the 15 dollars are paid you can enjoy racing legally for five hours back to back.  Before I get to the racing I would like to note that I have been drag racing for awhile in California and I can say the crowds are a little different.  I noticed about 14 lifted trucks along the drag strip all spectating and I thought dam its real cool seeing them out here. However as it turns out they weren’t just spectating but racing as well.  Who knew lifted truck owners on 35s wanted to drag race (mostly each other). I enjoyed racing them but I had smaller tires as well more horsepower and torque. The diesels were the trucks I was most worried about, particularly if they changed out their turbos. The spectators were astonishingly more fun to hangout with between runs then the racers not to mention I got some free BBQ out of it (insert smiley face here)

The races were a whole nother level of fun between the runs and talking to fellow car and truck enthusiast I couldn’t have been more in my element. I was the only Tacoma racing but there was a couple of diesel trucks as I mentioned earlier enjoying the track. I heavily enjoy myself between the smell of race gas and motor-mouths (pun intended) it was any car enthusiasts dream just being there not to mention all the cool cars. You have a couple different categories you  can put them in. First you have the Subaru guys with STI’s and WRX’s not to mention a BRZ or two as you will see later.  Then you have the old school muscle cars with cages and V8s running anything from a 350 to a Boss 302 mustang.  Did I mention the mustangs you had not only the GT 5.0 Liter mustangs there but you also had a couple V6s! I can’t mention the mustangs without talking about the Camaros and their V8s simply by seeing the SS badge on the car you knew what they had.  Last but not least you have the Dodge challengers and chargers that show up as well it seems to be a typical day at the drag strip.  I will leave you with a video of one of the cars I raced as I upload more to the YouTube channel until next time, Vance out!

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