With 6 NHRA World Championships, 45 NHRA National Event wins, 14 NHRA Division 1 Titles, and countless big dollar brackettriumphs, it would be understandable if Peter Biondo didn’t seem particularly excited following yet another big victory. But even Biondo, arguably the most accomplished sportsman racer in thesport’s history, looks back on the last month as one of the most amazing stretches in his incredible career.
Biondo entered 2012 on the heels of one of his best seasons. He earned the NHRA Super Gas World Championship in 2011, his sixth title and first in the 9.90 category, and finished 2nd in the national Super Stock standings. Biondo opened the 2012 season with a pair of Super Stock semi-final finishes at the season-opening NHRA Winternationals and NHRA Arizona Nationals. He then won a $10,000bracket race in Atco, NJ on Easter weekend. Those performances, while impressive, were simply a precursor for what was to come in May and June.
On May 17-20 Biondo and partner Kyle Seipel hosted the third annual K&N Spring Fling bracket event at Bristol Dragway in Bristol,TN. The event, which is already established as one of, if not the premier big bucks event in sportsman bracket racing, saw an incredible turnout of over 400 racers converge on the Eastern Tennessee facility. The huge gathering of competitors was treated to a well-run event that went extremely smoothly,and hosted some of the toughest on-track competition of the season.
“As much as I enjoyed putting on the Spring Fling Race, it actually made me more eager to race after watching the best in the business battle it out for 4 days,” said Biondo.
Biondo did not have to wait long to get back behindthe wheel, as he and girlfriend Emily Lewis were able to attend another big bucks event in Atco, NJ the following weekend. There, Biondo won Saturday’s $10,000-to-win main event for the second consecutive outing. He continued his domination of the Atco quarter mile the following day, when he scored a $5,000victory behind the wheel of his familiar Race Tech dragster. To add icing to the proverbial cake, Biondo’s girlfriend Emily collected Saturday night’s $2,000 top prize!
“I had a good string of reaction times and my 2011Race Tech was flawless,” said Biondo in what could classify as a significant understatement. Biondo’s “Good string ofreaction times” included eleven .00x launches and three low .01x leaves in his14 rounds of competition. The only thing more impressive than the man was the machine: Biondo’s Race Tech Dragster posted 60’ times that varied from 1.099 to 1.101 in 11 of his 14 competition rounds.
"I really have to thank Scott Duggins of PAR Engines for his hard work and great motors. The dragster runs 189 mph with a tamed 582 CI motor and is deadly. Scott also does the engines on the Corvette Super Gasser," Biondo explained.
That weekend alone would have made a good year for most competitors, much less a good month. Biondo, however, was far from finished. The following weekend, June 1-3, brought Biondo to his hometown NHRA national event, the NHRA Supernationals in Englishtown, NJ. There, he drove good friend Tim Markoglu’sgorgeous Camaro to the victory in Super Street. Prior to the win, Biondo’s 43 national event crowns had come in five NHRA categories: Competition Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, and Super Gas. The victory marked Peter’s first Super Street triumph on the national stage (he is a two-time NHRA Division 1 Super Street champion, having earned back-to-back crowns in 1993 and1994), and made him just the second driver in NHRA history to hoist national event trophies in six different categories. He joins none other than Jeg Coughlin, Jr. in the most elite of clubs.
“Winning in multiple categories is a hugeaccomplishment,” said Biondo. “Thebasics of racing are the same regardless of the class, but each category has nuances that require slightly different skill sets. As a result, I feel that winning in each of the core sportsman categories is a huge accomplishment. Jeggie is not only one of, if not the most talented overall driver I have ever met, but is also a friend of mine. What great company to be in!”
Two weeks after the Super Nationals, Biondo and Lewis returned to the facility that kicked off their incredible run, Bristol Dragway,for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. There, Biondo’s streak continued, as he drove Phil Monteith’s “Hatari”Firebird to the Super Stock crown. Biondo got the rare opportunity to share the winner circle with his girlfriend Lewis, who earned her first NHRA national event crown behind the wheel of the Anthony Bertozzi-owned Corvette roadster that Biondo drove to the NHRA World Championship last season.
“My cars have been excellent and Emily and I drove well, it's nice when everything comes together at once,” said Biondo. “Winning a National Event is very special in itself and then to win with Emily and at our favorite track (Bristol Dragway)was a day we will never forget.”
Try as he may, even Biondo is at a bit of a loss toput his last month into perspective. “I’m not sure if the Spring Fling sparked good things for us or what got this ball rolling, but I know how tough it is to win races these days and I appreciate each and every win-light.”
Biondo credited several friends and associates for their role in his continued success. Among them, he thanked Steve Williams from K&N, Mike and Kristin at Sparco, PAR Engines, Racetech, Goodyear Tires, Bristol Dragway, NHRA, ATI,BiondoRacing.com, Jegs.com, California Car Cover, ARP, MSD, Moser, Digital Delay, Kyle Seipel and BracketRaces.com, and the Dimino Family.